Monday, 4 April 2016

Interview with Jaideep Khanduja of "Follow Pebble in the Still Waters"

Your real name and pen name?

I use my real name BRENDA MOHAMMED as my author name.

Please share some of the best memories of your childhood.

My best memories of my childhood are growing up in a large family of ten children. I had three brothers and seven sisters and I placed eighth in the family. My father was a Head Master and my mother was a housewife. It was lots of fun being part of a large family. We had many outings together and family parties with friends and other relatives. When my father was transferred to other districts as Headmaster, and then as Inspector of Schools, we made more new friends as we had to move residence each time.

About your education and career?
I was educated at St Augustine Girls High School after leaving elementary school. I always wanted to work at a bank and I achieved that goal after graduation. While working at the Bank I studied and was successful in obtaining the Banking Diploma of the Institute of Bankers, London by correspondence courses.
I started off as a bank clerk, and after a few years I was promoted to Junior Supervisor, then to Senior Supervisor, Manager’s Assistant, Sub- manager, Corporate Senior Credit Analyst, Relief Manager, Branch Manager, Assistant Area Credit Manager, Area Credit Manager, and finally Commercial Credit Manager, until I retired and moved on to the Insurance business where I excelled in the Insurance exams too. I qualified for the Million Dollar Round Table eight years in a row and was granted Lifetime Status as an MDRT member. I then turned to writing.

What is your biggest source of inspiration in life?

The influence of my father. He was a great educator in Trinidad and Tobago. I wrote his Memoirs.

What hurts you most in this world?

When I see injustice and senseless crime it hurts me. I wish that people can live in harmony and put away all pride and envy.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced? How did you overcome it?

Ten years ago I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. The doctor in Trinidad told me that she could not help me and could not recommend any doctors in Trinidad who could deal with it. It was a matter of life and death and I was about to accept death. My daughter in Miami made the arrangements, and my husband took me to the University Of Miami Sylvester Cancer Center where I met the Chairperson of the Miller School of Medicine, Dr. Leo Twiggs. He and his team of doctors treated me and performed surgery to successfully remove the cancer. I wrote a memoir about it, “I am Cancer Free.”

What is your favorite genre and why?

I have no favorite genre. I read all types of books and I write all types of books.

When did you start writing? What is the purpose of your writing?

I started writing after I retired from the corporate world. I write because I feel that others can learn something from what I write.

Which of your work has been published so far?
All my eleven books have been published on Amazon, and eight of them are in Paperback on Create Space, and Barnes and Nobles.

What are your forthcoming writings?

I am working on Series II of “Revenge of Zeeka.” The first was “Zeeka and the Zombies.” Series II is “Zeeka’s Child.”[since published and have received Five Star Reviews.]

Here is a brief description of Zeeka’s Child:

‘Zeeka’s Child is a continuation of the story “Revenge of Zeeka: Zeeka and the Zombies.” The story evolves into a more complicated plot of kidnapping, suicide note, and diamond necklace with tracking device, arson, major corruption in the Police Force and a few ‘skeletons’ jump out of the closet.
Detective Jack Wildy certainly has his work cut out for him in this episode.
Who is the mystery Master Zeeka and who is Zeeka’s child?’

What genres you write in and why?

I am a multi-genre author. I love to indulge in all genres.

What keeps you motivating towards writing?

It is definitely not book sales. I write because I enjoy writing.

If Writing a Book is taken as a project, what are the key essentials you take care of in Project Management?

Project management is the discipline of initiating, planning, executing, controlling, and closing the work of a team to achieve specific goals and meet specific success criteria.
In a way writing a book is similar except the team is the writer, editor, and the publisher. But although a writer may hire an editor, the writer reads through his story multiple times and may make changes before sending it off for publication.

What are your future plans?

To keep traveling and to keep writing.

What is generally your preference in reading – a paper book or eBook? And why?

No preference here. I can read either one.

An EBook is easier to publish. A paper book takes more time to format and can be done later on.

What four top most things you take care of while writing a book?

1. The story must be appealing to readers.
2. Characters – must be likable whether they are good or bad.
3. Edit, Edit, Edit, Edit, and Edit again
4. The Book Cover must tie in with the story.

How much real life goes into a fiction writing?

Fifty percent of my characters are people I know in real life.

Is a high level of imagination important to have for an Author?

Yes, definitely.

Your dream destination on Earth?

Paris, although I have already visited there.

Your origin of birth and other countries you have visited/ stayed. What best things you liked in these countries around the globe?

I am from Trinidad in the Caribbean, and to answer the second part of the question I would refer you to one of the books I wrote: “Travel Memoirs with Pictures.” I have traveled to several countries around the globe and it is impossible to answer this question in a few lines.

Favorite time of the day?

In my country daytime is the best time. We have lots of beautiful sunshine and beaches.

Your zodiac/ sun sign?

My zodiac sign is Sagittarius.

Your favorite color and why?

I like red. It inspires me.

What is the last book you finished reading? What is the current book you are reading?
The last book I read was written by Katerina Sestakova Novotna named “Hawaiian Leis of Shrunken Heads," I am currently reading, “The Chosen One,” by Anna Erishgal.

Your favorite book and why?

The Bible as it is my guide.

Your favorite movie and why?

The sound of Music. I saw it when I was quite young and I can look at it again and again.

Your favorite celebrity and why?

Gerard Butler. He came to Trinidad and took time off to take photos with us.
Just saw his latest movie, “London is falling.” It was good.

Your favorite food?

Local and Asian dishes.

Your favorite sports?

I like to play Scrabble.

What is the force that drives you?

My strength comes from my faith and strong belief in God.

What comes to your mind when you think of India?

Bollywood Movies and rich Indian culture.

The first thing you do in the morning after waking up?

Give thanks to God.

The last thing to do before sleep?

Pray and give thanks to God.

If one fine morning you wake up and find your sex changed to the opposite, what will be your first reaction?