Hiya bookish folks!
I know it’s been a while since I’ve touched base. (Guilty face.) I’ve been receiving sweet little notes from friends wondering what happened to me, so I thought I would write a post to at least semi-explain. As I periodically do, I quietly slipped away and took some much needed time for self-care. To be honest, that time isn’t over. Just peeping over the fence to wave and say, Hiiiii!
I feel terrible about missing cover reveals and launches and pub days and doing the author cheerleading that brings me such joy. But hey, life happens and sometimes it wins out. I’m trying to cut myself some slack in this regard. (Not easy for a perfectionist workaholic.) :-)
Right before life got really real, I had finished a manuscript – woohoo! – a sisterhood story about the enduring impacts of childhood trauma and violence against women that ended up being super emotional to complete. (No kidding, right?) I usually experience a bout of creative fatigue following the completion of a WIP and this time I’m sure the exhaustion of pandemic times compounded matters. My agent is currently reading and reviewing two manuscripts that I am so damn proud of. Both are sisterhood stories. The first is the story I’ve been trying to find the language and courage to write since I was a teenager, about the experience of being a person of colour and first-generation daughter of immigrants growing up in Quebec and Canada. I was very fortunate to receive a writing grant from the Ontario Arts Council to support that work. The sisterhood in that story never really works out for a host of reasons, a story that’s more bitter than sweet. Well, after that, I felt a need in my writerly soul to write about a pair of sisters who love each other unconditionally, no matter the obstacles they face, they are always there for each other – and because it’s me, you know I put them through a lot. ;-)
I feel like with both of these books I’ve been reflecting on girlhood and womanhood, the beauty and, at times, the brutality of the journey. I’ve also been deeply moved and impacted by the recent societal and cultural changes we’ve been going through collectively with the Black Lives Matter movement and also MeToo. The work feels timely and necessary. That others have the same issues on their minds gives me courage and a desire to contribute to the discuss, as I’ve tried to do with issues of mental health in my previous books and novella. Of course, as with all my work, there is a strong emphasis on mental health, immigrant experiences, the social and cultural pressures faced by South Asian girls and women, identity, belonging, and place. I’m looking forward to what the future holds and finding a worthy home for these stories, they are especially close to my heart.
I hope you’re hanging in there and making the most of the summer. For me, it’s been a haze. But hopefully soon the mists will part in time for fall, my favourite season.
I have a few great debut author Q&As lined up for you in the coming weeks and I’ve been thinking about starting a “Publishing: Real Talk” series about the realities of the industry – good, bad, and just plain ugly – in an effort to help empower each other as authors. I’ve learned a ton this year, not all of it pleasant, but I’m grateful to have had the tough experiences early in my career rather than be blindsided later. Anyway, we shall see…
Well, I just wanted to get things rolling by saying hey, how’s it going? Insert: Pearl Jam “Alive.”
Artwork by: Daniel-Ravi Thakorlal (AKA. My talented partner in crime and everything else.)