Interview with Vishwas Vaidya… After 5 Years…
“I’ve met a real poet”, five years ago, I said. Vishwas Vaidya, whose poems are able to touch the reader’s heart in a blink, has a favorite quote. “A promise is a promise” by Ratan Tata. Well, we promised that we’ll come back so… Today, after so long time, the proper moment for our second interview just arrived. If you are curious about the first one, you can read it here.
MC: Welcome back, our dear poet Vishwas Vaidya, to Writers Pay It Forward! There are four or five years since our first interview, isn’t it? Our readers will be happy to find out what news do you have.
VV: …Thanks a lot, Mirela! You are right, it is quite a while since I met my readers through the medium of your interview. And let me compliment you on a quite an effective interview that you conducted, which was widely received with enthusiasm across the globe. So much so, that my current publishers have included it in lieu of a foreword for recently launched book “Garden of Dreams”.
MC: We conducted our first interview towards the readers and their love for poets and writers. We will dedicate this second interview to other writers and authors. So… Let’s enter directly to our subject of interest.
MC – You proved during years that you are a prolific poet. Do you ever have what is called the writer’s block?
VV – To be honest before the publication of my first book I had a fear that flow of creation may abruptly stop anytime. I was like a budding cricket batsman who fears that his every boundary stroke may prove to be the last stroke and he may be clean bowled any time! But it speaks volume for the loving encouragement showered by my audience across the globe that the flow of poetry never really stopped flowing through my pen.
It gives me a pleasure that I have also made progress in prose writing during last few years. I am expecting publication of a sc-fi crime thriller to be published within next few months.
MC – For your reading, do you prefer eBooks or traditional paper/hard back books?
VV – I prefer the latter option. If you are a discerning reader, you are like an avid tourist who likes to visit and revisit different places of her tourist destination. This helps her in deriving a spectrum of insights during every revisit. That is where a paper back scores over the eBook. It is easy to flip through pages of a traditional book. I also cherish treasuring artistic paper book-marks collected from tourist destinations world over and insert at multiple places. That said, an e-book has it is own merits. You can have multiple eBooks in your smart phones and you mat delve into them any time you want.
MC – You already are a published author. Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
VV – Absolutely. Cover art is the part of the entire package. Rather it is the first interaction a reader has with my book. For a new and less know author like me, my cover needs to engage the attention of the reader. For my recently published book , “Garden of Dreams” my publisher Sunita Paul was very particular to ensure that the cover art is at once engaging the readers’ attention on one hand and be a fitting tribute to my word art.
MC – How do you market your books?
VV – Honestly I am yet to figure out best ways to market my book. That said, my interview with you which was appreciated by all my global readers, help me sell my book from Crimea in the North to South Africa in the South on one hand, US/Canada in the West on one hand and Australia in the East! My book also reached countries like Equador.
I hope this interview also is able to repeat the feat. Other means I explored was to share my art in various poetry forums to reach prospective readers across the world.
This time I am planning to attend live poetry events to showcase my art. I am also panning a few promotion event across the country with my publishers.
I believe, the key to marketing your book successfully lies in building your brand as a poet among your target reader audience across the world.
MC – For our readers who don’t know yet can you tell us if you preferred to traditionally publish your books or to self-publish. Why did you choose this route?
VV – I started writing poetry one year before I published my first book. However I was receiving chorus of requests from my global audience to publish my book much before that. I asked them to be patient, saying if my creations are publication worthy, a suitable publisher will come along and approach me. My words came true very soon. (You can find these details in the previous interview).
The second book was much awaited. Many publishers had approached me. And I selected somebody from Indian state of Bengal, as a token of gratitude towards my own poetry guru/icon Rabindranath Tagore who hailed from the same state. AABS Publishers, Kolkata have published my second book (check for Garden of Dreams by Vishwas Vaidya). I also need promotional support from my publishers, given my own busy schedule for my corporate career.
MC – What’s the best advice you can give writers, especially lyric writers, to help them develop their own unique voice and style?
VV – Lyric writers need to study both sides of the coins: They need to know/study about their own lyrical inspirations/motivations. They need to revisit their own soul, their own heart which gives birth to their poetry. On the other hand, they need to understand their target audience, what attracts them to your poetry, what is the take away they are looking for.
The former requires deep and periodic introspection. Your critics and reviewers will help you too. For the latter, you need to actively mingle, interact with your readers. Establish lasting bonds with them. Discuss your work with them and fine tune your art accordingly.
You also need to benchmark your work vis a vis other writers who are more successful. That also covers your icons in the art of writing.
MC – For your books, did you receive many reviews? What do you do to get book reviews?
VV – For my first book I received two formal reviews. They were volunteered by a couple of fellow poet friends. However I routinely post my creations in various online poetry forums, where I receive informal reviews These reviews can be highly insightful and enlightening, being interactive in nature. I have refined many of my poems based on such reviews. My poem The Rising Star is a case in point. Let me cite the first few lines:
The Rising Star
The monsoon breeze,
Like a rebel student leader
Gets merrily hand-cuffed
In the maddening web,
Of your vagabond tresses!
The reviews/interactions help me cut the fat from earlier version and add bells and whistles instead to make the scene come alive as if in a movie scene!
The earlier version went as below:
The Rising Star
The monsoon breeze,
Like a rebel student leader
Is dying to be imprisoned
In the silken web,
Of your vagabond tresses!
You can notice the depth of punch in the refined version by replacing “imprisoned” with “hand-cuffed” as well as a few other crisp refinements.
MC – Which social network worked best for you in marketing?
VV – Facebook and to some extent Linked in
MC – Any tips on what to do and what not to do when you want to write poetry?
VV – You need to deeply introspect if what you want to express, the way you want to express qualifies for being expressed as a poem. Many times a simple prosaic description/theme is forcefully fitted with a clumsy lyrical attire by so many writers. Poetry for the sake of poetry does not make sense. Some-times a long treatise on day to day hum-drum topics like work-life balance may deserve a well-crafted essay in prose rather than poetry.
As regards tips of what to do and what not to do, let me cite example of my own poem, “Half Dreaming Poem” cited below:
Start with a catchy title. Title is the first layer of gift-wrapper you are presenting a reader. She will not look at it if it is not engaging enough. It needs to excite eager interest in her heart. “How can a poem be half dreaming?” That makes us go past the title.
It starts with an opening scene so dramatically painted. Both the night and the river come alive as two protagonists wearing crisp lyrical phrases as a “The night sky gazes into the dark eyes of young river”
A Half Dreaming Poem
The night sky
Into the dark eyes
Of a young river!
Like a half-dreaming poem
Smiling into an endearing pain
Wetting the eyes
Of a distance relationship!
© Copyright 2017 Vishwas Vaidya ,All rights Reserved.
By this time the poem has effortlessly but firmly clasped your fingers with the word art and shades of emotions. As you are ushered into the second half, eyes of your heart end-up getting moistened with the sudden twist leading you to the “endearing pain” of a distance relationship.
To sum-up, keep in mind that a lay poetry reader needs to be regaled with crisp and flowing word-art. Her interest needs to be excited every few lines with sparks of imagination touching her heart. The end should leave an endearing after-taste in the mind of the reader so she feels like visiting your poem all over again
MC – What’s your favorite part of the writing process? Least favorite part?
VV – My favorite part is to deck the basic theme of the writing with your words and sparks of imagination, so that it hits the bull-eye as it enters your readers’ hearts. I craft and re-craft my words and lines to achieve the effect.
The least favorite part is to keep hunting for the right theme, central idea which can give birth to my creation. Sometimes this hunt is like an endless frustrating journey.
MC – What’s your favorite part of being a writer, Vishwas Vaidya? Least favorite part?
VV – Seeing my readers going crazy over my poetry and sometimes deriving their own deeper meanings out of my word is the best part of being a writer. The poem below describes this experience.
Freedom At Midnight
A dark eyed dream gasps
For a midnight utterance!
Your eyes tip-toe
From one word to another
Of my newly born poem,
Resonating every line
to the rhythm of your breath!
Setting my words free
Out of the cage
Of their narrow meaning
To find their sky
In the damp silence
Reigning your eyes!
© Vishwas Vaidya Copyright 2014. All rights reserved.
The least favorite one is to judiciously compile my pomes into a book, do the editing, punctuations etc.
MC – What is you’re writing process like?
VV – There is no real process! Absence of a process is a process. That said, I have noticed a pattern in my creation. I spend a good deal of time in arriving at the theme. Once theme is fixed I weave a plot, determine characters like a movie director. Then I execute a plot scene by scene through a few stanzas. Then I play and replay the creation like my own hard critic and go on refining, go on cutting the fat and decking my baby with jewels and frills till I get the desired effect. The case in point is the poem below:
What Is In a Name?
My world is basking
In your silken presence
Donning the fleeting shadows
Of your whispering tresses!
My life listens in wonder
To the music of your name
Beating in my heart
Like a lasting work of art !
© Copyright 2014, Vishwas Vaidya, All rights reserved.
MC – What kind of environment do you need to do your best work?
VV – I hunt for my theme during chores of my daily life. A reader wishing to meet me first time was wondering what gift she should plan for me. She asked me so over phone and that became the topic of my next poem! To cite the first few lines of that poem:
An Eternal Gift
” Wonder, what gift will
Make you really happy..?
Something that will
Sweep your eyes..
Off their feet! “
Mused my new love
Longing to meet first time.
Read this poem in my book “Garden of Dreams”
Once I capture a theme, it gradually turns into a poem in my unconscious mind. I start building a poem during my solitude, during commuting or even during sleep.
MC – What do you think of “trailers” for books? Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your book/s?
VV – This may make sense for novels. I am not sure if they will work for poetry. We can upload poetry recitals on you tube instead. My first publisher Pam Sandhu did that for me in her mellifluous voice.
MC – Are you working on something new at the moment?
VV – Yes I have co-authored a sc-fi crime fiction thriller novel which dwells on the theme of human relationships undergoing transformation due to social media. How it can lead to honey-trapping and exploited by drug mafia on one hand intelligence agencies on the other. It has come out quite well with startlingly innovative sc-fi concepts woven around artificial intelligence and augmented realty technologies.
MC- What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
VV – Rule number one is to read hundred pages of others before you write your first page. Divine Author has crafted this master-piece called world around us. You need to read it every living moment of your life and drive inspirations. Be open to readers’ criticisms and suggestions. Go on refining your art word by word, line by line.
MC – How can our readers discover more about you and you work? Where to buy the book, where to get autographed copies, and how to get on the mailing list?
VV – Click the links below for my past interviews:
The latter interview listed above was conducted by Rashmi Malapur.
Links to my first book are in those links
For my second book the link is as below for readers in India:
My publishers, AABS Publishing House, are shortly opening up the link for international readers.
At their website a payment link will be available from 2nd week of June 2019. Readers world over can click the same to obtain the book.
Till then ISBN number of this book can be noted: ISBN 978-938461-3-1 (Click the button “Pay Now” on the home page of this web site).
I will ensure to deliver a copy to them. As regards signed copy again the readers can get in touch with me and I will make it happen.
MC – If any, what was your biggest disappointment you had as a writer?
VV – My readers across the world have showered so much love and adulation on me that I have forgotten what something called disappointment feels like when I look at myself as a writer as summed-up in my poem below:
A Celluloid Wonder
When your smile
Utters my name,
My heart floats
On the wings of
Like an overnight
Floating on the wings
Of mass adulation!
©2017, All rights Reserved Vishwas Vaidya
MC – And now… more about you… Vishwas Vaidya, the human. How do you relax?
VV – Apart from writing I like to spend time with nature, travel, meet new people and keep reading the book of life, enriching every passing moment I live. I must admit that poetry has been a great stress buster.
MC – What is your favorite motivational phrase?
VV – “If you cannot be the poet be the poem, if you cannot be the singer, be the song!”
MC – What is your favorite book and why?
VV – I like “The Prophet” by Kahlil Gibran. It is collection of poetic essays Those who want to know how to write either prose and poetry that can eternally rivet the attention on any reader, need to read and study this book over and over again. It covers a spectrum of topics that we encounter in life, from marriage to friendship, from children to teachers, offering deep insights in a lyrical manner.
MC – What is your favorite film and why?
VV – I like “Chicago” which is an American musical crime comedy. All the movie is a satire on life in America during “jazz age” the lessons it offers are eternally applicable across the world and across the decades. It depicts how the modern age grants celebrity status to criminals on one hand and painting human angle behind the process of turning an innocent person into a criminal.
MC – Where can you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
VV – I would be travelling across the world delivering my guest lectures for engineering audience on one hand and reciting my poetry to the global audience on other. I want to write a book devoted an engineering topic. I also want to pen down my experiences in the corporate world. Let us hope I am able to do all that I am dreaming now.
MC – Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
VV – I would like to meet Kahlil Gibran and Rabindranath together and listen to their poetry live.
I would also love to discuss varying insights and depth of meaning in their writing with them.
MC – A final parting word of advice?
VV – We should never forget that we are in this world for a moment. Live that moment fully as summed –up in the first few lines of my poem below:
“I am but a
Floating on the
Breeze of time”
Hummed my life,
” Born as a
On the face of
Every passing moment!”
©2017, All rights Reserved Vishwas Vaidya
Our interview reached the end. For now… 🙂
Thank you, Vishwas Vaidya, for the time you gave to our readers and for the information you decided to share with us.