Susha Satish, author of the romance book ‘The Song of the Caged Birds’ believes that love is an all encompassing emotion and romance is only just the tip of the iceberg
Aditi: Tell the readers one thing about yourself that they wouldn’t get to know by reading the “author bio” printed in the book
Susha: I’m an educator, have been the Principal of a school and have done my M.Phil in English; along the way, I stumbled across poetry and realised that I was a diehard romantic! Surprise, surprise! I devour thrillers and my favourite authors are Patricia Cornwell and Jeffrey Deaver. Yes, gory as they come! But I have a special place in my heart for Jane Eyre and Jamaica Inn, the books I turn to when I am in a low phase! Comfort books, I guess.
Aditi: Describe your book to the readers.
Susha: My book, the Song of the Caged Bird, grew over a period of time. I enjoy teaching, mostly because it gives me such great scope for interaction with the young minds I teach. And somewhere along the way, I saw their stories, shared their hopes and held their hands when their hearts were broken! And watching them, emoting with them, my book was born. I saw the pain of Malini, the struggle of Yash – my characters – who grew from the world around me. And most importantly, we think that some things are impossible, too farfetched to happen in real life; but like the incidents in my book, they are very real! Yes, my students have been my inspiration, right from the story idea to the way they encouraged me to write! I am constantly learning from my students, my children; that is what also keeps me young!!!
Aditi: Do you think that the cover of your book is an apt reflection of your story? Why?
Susha: The cover represents the characters who are trapped in the cages created by society. I wanted to show a bird who continues to sing, refusing to allow the cruelty of the world brings it down!
Aditi: What made you pick up the romance as a genre when you decided to write a book?
Susha: I believe that there is an emotion called Love, which can weather all odds and come out, stronger than before. Romance would include the trappings of candlelight dinners, roses, and music, the soft and gentle atmosphere around love. But Love itself is made of sterner stuff, strangely enough! It has the ability to face hurdles and still emerge victoriously!
Aditi: Would you say that your story is different from the plethora of romance stories that are in the market today?
Susha: My story is based on something that actually happened: of course, not all of it. The story began from an idea that came from an actual experience. Then again, I have made it as real and true to life as I could. Also, since I teach kids, I didn’t want to write a story that was oozing sex. Guess I take my job seriously!
Aditi: How would you define love? Is it the same as romance or more?
Susha: Love is an emotion, a feeling…romance is just the tip of the iceberg, the trappings.
Aditi: You work as an educator – would you say you learn from your students?
Susha: My students are constantly teaching me! I stay young at heart because of them. They teach me to be positive, to believe in love.
Aditi: How have your students been your inspiration for your writing?
Susha: It is their stories which have culminated in my story!
Aditi: Juggling between home and work – how do you find time to write?
Susha: Writing and holding down a demanding job was no easy task but it has been exhilarating, all the same!
Aditi: Do you have a message for your audience?
Susha: Despite the world we live in, a cynical and self-centered world, I have seen people fall in love and continue to love. It makes me believe in the goodness of mankind… The world needs more stories of love and romance!