Big question mark in my senile head: what kind of publicity is appropriate for my novels. Sometimes I admit, in moments of soul-searing clarity, that if they were good enough, they'd be up there with The GOD OF SMALL THINGS or PURPLE HIBISCUS, which must be two of my favourite books ever. There'd be journos sitting at my feet, drooling, as they did with Arundathi. (Mind you, at my time in life, just a publishing contract would have been good.)
I would like to think someone in publishing believes my writing is worth buying. But - I don't need the money. For the moment, I live with my children, who are bred in the Indian ways. They wouldn't dream of asking me for rent or costs.
I have to wonder, though: should I do more about putting my novels in the public domain? The first one, A STREAK OF SANDALWOOD sells steadily on Amazon.com. Not enough to make me
rich or famous, but enough to feel someone is actually reading what I write.The second one, SHARDS OF SUNLIGHT gave me more pleasure in the writing, because it is sometimes dangerously close to my early life. It was painful and exhilarating at the same time. In the process I also cringed about the quality of my work in my first ham-fisted offering. I am still learning.
So why do I write, anyway? Who cares if I do or I don't? Certainly not my children, though they say it keeps me out of their hair. Not Kitta, who is vaguely interested in my blogs, not Manju, who says my best writing is when I write about my life, and definitely not Raghu, who says it won't even pay for a month's beer.
I toss the thought around in my mind and I believe I write because I can construct something, which is totally mine, out of words in the English language. I love what words can do - persuade, deceive, influence, beguile, explain, admonish.... I can spend hours searching for that one word, which is right for the idea, give up, and find the word presenting itself gleefully at four in the morning.
Then again, no one else has my take on my experiences, leave alone my particular ups and downs. So the process of writing is also one of taking stock, of admitting to things, of knowing me better. I don't think I'll ever stop.