Some books leave a lasting impact on our minds and some book weave a realistic tale about those incidences that have left last impact on our lives. Priyanka Baranwal’s The Shadow Of Darkness is one such book. I recently had an opportunity to interview the author and by far this happens to be the best interview I have ever done. Pls have a look.

1. Tell me how did you come about writing the book?

The willingness to do justice with my character prompted me to write ‘The Shadow of Darkness’. When Maya fought two criminals on the night of October 23rd, her little five year old daughter – Sejal – was traumatized too at a great extent. Children are commonly considered to get past everything in a click but not when there is a case of trauma. The thing with traumas is, if I tell you frankly, that their affects may stay for a lifetime! The determination to do the justice with little Sejal by showcasing her later life and how she does her best to manage life despite of that traumatic childhood episode made me pen down ‘The Shadow of Darkness’. And my efforts have been well received by the readers.

Your readers can get my books here:

2. As an author what do you think, is writing fiction difficult?

Writing is a complicated process in itself. Besides other complications, the ability to narrate the scene just as effective as it sounds inside your head is the most challenging part. If you can send the message across to your readers by the way you have visualized it, well, then bravo! The biggest challenge solved. When you keep at something regularly, steps becomes easier to handle.

3. Your favorite authors?

Naming a few:
Indian: Classics – Premchand, Shivani, Gurudutt.

Contemporary – Anita Nair. I find her writing style and thought process behind the idea of the story engaging and much different than others on any level.

I am also exploring more Indian authors.

International – Grisham, Coelho, Picoult, Cecilia, Paula Hawkins, John Green… I also admire Jhumpa Lahiri. For me, she is influential. I may not read her books as frequently as I expect myself to be but I watch her interviews, see her speaking and the way she responds to the questions and attention, the elegance never leaving her face, observe the simplicity of her aura and it inspires me.

4. Your favorite books?

It’d have been rather easier if you had asked not-so-favourite books. I have a long list of favourites and the space will never be enough. But for now, I can say I have finished Camino Island recently by Grisham, and Where There’s Smoke by Picoult and I loved both. I am yet to get my hands on Hippie though. Reading Nair’s Cut Like Wound currently and loving her style all over again.

You can read a quick review of Camino Island here on my blogs. I manage two.

English blog:

Hindi blog:

6. Five things we can find on your work table

I don’t hang around a work table. My entire home is my work station.

7. How much time did it take for you to complete this book?

‘The Shadow of Darkness’ roughly took about 2.5 years to finalize and then editing consumed more. A lot of time has gone into adequate research and weaving the apt story around it.

8. What kind of research was involved?

A lot! There is a Reference section at the last page. One can have a rough idea.

9. Did you face any hurdles while publishing the book?

Every writer has to and it’s a part of the process.

10. What is your advice to budding authors like me?

With the experience I have gained over years, I guess I can dispense one. Develop your own style and then stick to it. World will eventually come around.

11. Are the characters inspired by any real life people?

In literal meanings, no. ‘The Shadow of Darkness’ is a complete fiction yet I’d like to dedicate it to all those who have fought or are still fighting the monster called childhood trauma. Survived or not, I bow to their efforts and willpower to deal with the issue. It’s no less than a challenge to do that. Sadly, we still have to accept that childhood trauma is a reality and that every second house may have a child or a person suffering with any type of trauma. We are in dire need of massive awareness. On this relevance, readers here are welcome to have a quick glance on the Childhood trauma series

I’ve shot and uploaded:

Here you can find the link for the rest two videos as well.

12. Any incidences in the book that you have taken from real life?

None. As I said, TSD is a complete fiction.

13. If you were to make a movie on the book who would you like to direct it?

Let’s not divulge into something that has not happened yet.

14. Your favorite quote from your book.

Many but sharing only couple:

Love outlaws every existing logic.

We should all follow our passion because it nurtures us right to the roots.

15. What other activities do you do apart from writing?

A few. Reading. I read on my Kindle a lot. Now being in Kuwait, I have to avoid buying paperbacks because moving stuff through countries is challenging. Yet you can locate a few books stacked neatly over a rack at the back of my beautiful white coffee table or on a black home shaped wall piece. Can’t help!

Apart from writing and reading, I also play guitar and have a dedicated Facebook page by the name of Guitar Gorgeous where I include the process, the song I am practicing on etc.

Check it out:

In fact, in the month of July this year, I got done with Atif Aslam Special series where I played 16 popular songs sung by Atif. Just like I share my writing side on my social media, I do the same with my musician side as well.

I also own a YouTube channel where I post several interesting videos. Apart from the Childhood Trauma series, I have also uploaded Myths about Child Abuse (#1 and #2). I also make book trailers for my books. Along with these, I upload guitar covers and tutorials where I sing songs on my guitar and teach how to do it. So you can find authenticity again in my work.

Have a quick glance:

Besides writing and music, I also like to delve into photography. I inherit a few skills in photography already. I automatically know what to click and how. If I ever got a chance to multiply it with knowledge or proper training, I think I would go crazy with a camera.

I also love travelling.

16. How’s being guitarist different and similar to writing?

What a wonderful question, thank you.

When I was just into writing, I had always wished to have something else that could take me away from my laptop screen but again something to which I can relate to at soul level. Guitar gives me just that. Writing and guitar make me who I am and what more can I be. Now with plenty of exposure to both, I can certainly say that writing and music inspire each other to happen. Both are similar and yet a lot different.

Similarity is that both speak to you. They bring you closer to yourself. Both bring a sense of fulfilment, but only if you’re passionate enough to hang around. Guitar and writing involve intricacies and hence, can easily prove to be big challenges on many fronts. Many people, I have seen, leave practicing guitar after a month or so. Why? Because what you see does not come easy in practice. When you see someone doing something with perfection, he or she
must have gone through the entire process of learning the craft which is often frustrating than encouraging. One must have enough inspiration to stick around. The same goes with writing. Reading a book is easy and writing one, well, you guessed it right. It’s equally tough. Both demand the constant self-learning virtue and not everyone is blessed with it.

Difference is quite evident. Writing is a non-stop on screen process whereas guitar takes me off the screen exposure which, by the way, works amazing for me! Both are completely different worlds. Writing helps me create characters while guitar helps me find various aspects of my own personality. Writing lets me shout in silence whereas guitar tunes the misery in rhythm. Not everyone is fond of reading but you can never find a living human being on this earth who does not adore music. Writing takes time but music? It gets you instantly. Getting a book published takes months and sometimes years but you can whip a song on guitar in less than five minutes, only if you are regular with practice. That’s HUGE on any level of difference. Music gives words to your feelings, even to those which you cannot say neither you’re aware of. Just seeing my guitar makes my world go happier. In my personal view, everyone should learn an instrument. Playing music works wonders, and not just listening to it.

17. Complete this, Guitar gives music, words give ____

Identity to a language.

You can connect to the author here