Today's guest is Moushumi Chakrabary, author of two books in the popular Amazing Stories series. Fighting for Women's Rights is the story of Anna Leonowens - that's Anna from The King and I. Mouishumi's new book, Champions of Women's Rights, tells the stories of other great Canadian women who fought for social justice.
LEC: Please describe your typical working day.
MC: I generally spend the morning researching and writing, with frequent tea/coffee breaks. Sometimes, I break off to read some of the library books I may have on my desk. I would like to say I am very disciplined about writing a set number of words every day, but that would be stretching the truth!
LEC: As a non-fiction writer, research is a big part of your job. How do you know when it's time to stop researching and start writing?
MC: While researching, I wait for the point when I get really excited with the subject. I jot down the relevant information and dig in some more. There is no buzzer that goes off when I actually start with the writing but I believe it is the moment when you know you just can't put off writing any longer. That said, I find a deadline is a fine thing to have hanging over your head if you have trouble beginning.
MC: The very fact that girls and women in Canada have a sense of entitlement today is due to the groundwork put in by these fiesty women who lived so many years ago. I believe it is important for Canadian kids to know how hard won the road to this 'freedom' has been. Certainly North American women are better off than their sisters in many parts of the world, yet their struggle for equality, choice and acceptance continues. I am passionate about this topic because I think a society grows greater largely with the upliftment of its women.
LEC: You're currently branching out from nonfiction to YA novel writing. Will the same ideas and themes inform your fiction as well?
MC: I do have a penchant for women's stories, being a woman and mother myself. My YA novel features a girl who refuses to accept what has been doled out to her. She stands up for herself and makes her own way. I find this quality very attractive and plan on developing this thread in my writing.
LEC: Describe your best moment as a writer - a memory or experience that keeps you going on days you feel like giving it all up.
MC: Oh, there's plenty of days when I do feel like chucking it all - I won't deny that! On such black days, specially after rejections, I look at the covers of my books and resist the urge to just call an employment agency and take up a job. I have had some really precious memories related to writing. One I remember particularly - when my first effort was published in the local newspaper when I was 14!
LEC: That would work for me, too! Thanks for joining us today!
For more about Moushumi and her writing, visit her blog. And special thanks to Formac Lorimer, for donating a a copy of Champions of Women's Rights to this week's giveaways!