7 January 2024 in The Bookish Gossips, Author Connect Sessions

Kamalika Mazumder: Weaving Words of Passion and Power

In the picturesque hilly suburb of Lumding, Assam, where dreams sprout fairy wings, Kamalika Mazumder, an Electrical Engineer by profession, discovered the enchanting world of words. Her journey from the realms of electrical circuits to the tapestry of storytelling is nothing short of inspiring.

“I’m Kamalika Mazumder, an Electrical Engineer by profession and a passionate writer by choice,” she begins, her words echoing with the harmonious blend of two seemingly disparate worlds. Born in the heart of Assam, Kamalika’s childhood was infused with the magic of Lumding’s hills, laying the foundation for her future as a wordsmith.

Poetry, like a river coursing through her veins, found its voice in Kamalika. Three books stand as testaments to her love for Bengali poetry – ‘Kuwashay Bheja Timeline,’ ‘With Love, Kamalika,’ and ‘Je series OTT dekhay na.’ The latter, a nod to the modern era of streaming, intriguingly titled in Bengali.

Kamalika Mazumder’s professional journey led her to the Indian Railways, where she donned the role of an officer. Yet, beneath the uniform lay a writer’s soul yearning to be heard.

Embarking on the Unforeseen Literary Voyage

The genesis of Kamalika’s journey as an author emerged unexpectedly from her love for reading. A voracious reader, she reveled in the words crafted by others until a whisper from her own soul urged her to become the storyteller.

“Writing poetry, for me, was spontaneous and varied,” she shares. Each poem bore its unique birth story, penned during quiet nights or inspired by the ebb and flow of daily emotions. The positive reception of her first two Bengali poetry books in 2017 and 2018 resonated with readers, becoming the stepping stones toward storytelling.

Venturing into English literature seemed daunting initially. Crafting an elaborate narrative tugged at her curiosity. The protagonist, Vedansh, and other characters emerged as reflections of real people and events, a testament to the authenticity woven into her stories.

The turning point arrived with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Amid chaos, writing became Kamalika’s solace, and Vedansh, a beacon of strength. The discovery of Literary Agencies marked a significant learning curve, leading her to The Book Bakers, who embraced her work. Multiple offers from publishers followed, and ‘Heir, I am,’ her debut English novella, saw the light in August.

Simultaneously, her third Bengali poetry book, ‘Je Series OTT dekhay na,’ found its place in the literary world, published by Dhansere Publishers in October.

Crafting Words: The Kamalika Mazumder Way

Kamalika Mazumder’s writing process is a harmonious blend of spontaneity and structured effort. Ideas spark unexpectedly, during moments of quiet reflection, travels, or amidst the spectrum of daily emotions. When it’s time to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), creating a conducive environment becomes crucial.

Writing, she believes, requires a specific mental space. Distractions are set aside as she seeks a quiet corner to focus. However, the life demands of an officer in the Indian Railways bring unforeseen challenges. Days planned for diving into her stories often end with drained energy due to the day’s affairs.

While rituals aren’t strictly adhered to, Kamalika emphasizes the power of patience and persistence. ‘Heir, I am,’ her first English novella, posed challenges on the path from idea to completion. The journey started years ago, and there were moments when it seemed destined to remain an unfinished project. The pandemic became the catalyst, pulling her back from the brink and breathing life into Vedansh’s story.

Navigating Challenges: A Writer’s Odyssey

Kamalika Mazumder’s writing journey, a tapestry woven with both joys and challenges, encountered a significant hurdle – the struggle to find time and energy amidst the demands of the Indian Railways. Overcoming this required a blend of discipline, adaptability, and an unwavering passion for storytelling.

Transitioning from Bengali poetry to English novella writing posed a unique challenge – expressing the same depth and nuance in a different language. This challenge spurred continuous learning, seeking feedback, and refining language skills.

Understanding the dynamics of literary agencies and the national publishing industry proved to be a new frontier. Being from the Northeast added an extra layer of complexity. Patience played a pivotal role in navigating from idea to print, waiting for the right opportunities.

In the Labyrinth of Words: Characters, Poetry, and Novels

Kamalika Mazumder finds joy in both novels and poetry, each offering a distinct avenue for creative expression. Poetry, a canvas for capturing moments and emotions with evocative brevity. Novels, a space for delving into intricate narratives and exploring characters’ depths.

Her characters, crafted with authenticity, draw inspiration from the kaleidoscope of life. Observing people around her, their struggles, joys, and unique nuances, she breathes life into characters that resonate with readers. Infusing relatable qualities and flaws, she paints a realistic portrayal of the human experience.

“I strive to make my characters authentic,” she affirms. Real people, after all, are a mosaic of strengths and weaknesses. Kamalika’s characters navigate realistic circumstances, rooted in Northeast India, reflecting her personal life experiences.

Dialogue, a powerful tool, reveals personalities. Kamalika Mazumder pays meticulous attention to the way characters speak, conveying emotions, relationships, and individual quirks.

The Craft of Overcoming: Challenges and Solutions

Kamalika’s writing odyssey faced challenges, yet each obstacle became a stepping stone to growth. The struggle to find time amidst the demands of the Indian Railways demanded a fusion of discipline and passion. Transitioning from Bengali poetry to English novella writing required continuous learning and language refinement.

Navigating literary agencies and the publishing industry involved research and patience. For Kamalika Mazumder, every challenge was a lesson, shaping her into the resilient writer she is today.

Words of Wisdom for Aspiring Authors: Reading, Writing, Authenticity

As an aspiring author herself, Kamalika shares invaluable insights. Reading widely, exploring diverse genres and authors, exposes one to different writing styles and perspectives. Writing, she emphasizes, is the key—writing thoughts, good or bad, becomes the foundation of the craft.

Time, she advocates, is a crucial ally. Don’t immediately share everything you write. Let it breathe, gain perspective, and revisit it as a reader after a day or more. Trust your instincts, write for yourself, not to please others. Authenticity, she believes, is the secret ingredient that makes writing stand out—a reflection of who you are as a person and an artist.

Confronting the Abyss: Writer’s Block and Creativity’s Elusiveness

Writer’s block, or as Kamalika affectionately calls it, ‘Oh! ‘Am so dumb!’ moments, is a common foe for writers. Stepping away from the writing desk, taking a break, and allowing the mind to reset is her first line of defense.

Reading becomes a therapeutic intervention, preferably something entirely different from the current work. Revisiting earlier writings, completed or unfinished, helps reignite the passion for the craft and rediscover one’s unique voice.

**Navigating the Literary Seas

: Reaching and Connecting with Readers**

In the ever-evolving landscape of publishing, Kamalika adopts dynamic strategies to reach and connect with her audience. Engaging on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, she shares updates about her writing journey. Actively participating in literary communities, both online and offline, proves invaluable. Joining writing groups, forums, and attending literary events open avenues to connect with fellow writers and potential readers.

Collaboration becomes a potent tool. Partnering with other authors, bloggers, or influencers expands reach through cross-promotion, shared events, interviews, or joint initiatives. Actively engaging with readers through comments, messages, or discussion forums fosters a sense of community. Responding to feedback and showing appreciation for support builds a connection beyond the pages of a book.

The Author’s Network: Community and Networking for Success

Community and networking, Kamalika asserts, are indispensable for an author’s success, regardless of experience. Building a community of writers and readers provides a supportive environment, understanding the unique challenges of the writing journey.

Networking is a two-way street, she believes. Being willing to support others in the community creates a sense of reciprocity. Kamalika actively engages with fellow writers, readers, and industry professionals, both online and offline. She participates in writing groups, attends literary events, and contributes to discussions within the literary community.

In her approach, authenticity reigns supreme. Genuine connections, built and nurtured, contribute not only to her individual success but also to the vibrancy of the broader literary ecosystem.

Kamalika Mazumder’s Odyssey Continues

Kamalika Mazumder’s odyssey as an author is a testament to the transformative power of words. From the hills of Lumding to the literary landscapes she now navigates, her journey is a tale of passion, perseverance, and authenticity. As she continues to weave stories that resonate with readers, Kamalika invites us all to embark on our own journeys of self-discovery through the magic of words.

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