In the last few years, I have met quite a few incredible youngsters with talents and ideas that could change the world. There have been instances where I have been blown away by the sheer maturity displayed by a teenager, or the depth of analysis given to a particular project by someone so young yet so admirably focussed. One such youngster is definitely Samragngi Roy. A student of Class XII, she has already published her debut romantic novel, is in the process of writing a sequel to it and guess what, she’s all of 17 years of age!
Her novel, “I’m Yours…Forever…” is a foray into the fictional world of Rose Hayden and Robert Williams, and carves an intricate tale of love, passion and mystery. You can get yourself a copy of her book here.
It was a privilege to attend the launch of the book at the iconic bookstore, as a delegate of Kolkata Bloggers. Afterwards, she sat down with me to answer a few questions and give some insight into how she found her calling, how she went about writing and publishing, and what it feels like to be a published author. Here are some snippets from that conversation.
Arjyak – What was the inspiration behind starting this book?
Samragngi – Divine calling! There wasn’t any inspiration as such. It was ridiculously spontaneous and thoroughly exhilarating! There came a moment in my life back in 2015 when I felt aimless. I didn’t have a particular goal in my mind and the future looked like a blank page. I was trying to figure out what I’d like to do with my life, the road I could choose to take. Writing has always been my passion. I was always ‘gonna become a writer one day’ but never really got a spark. So, one fine evening, the 29th of October evening to be more specific, I had a small chit chat with my dad over tea and this is where I poured out my heart to him and confessed my love for writing. He asked me to take it up seriously and I knew not what it was that followed but it was kind of an adrenaline rush, I dashed across the kitchen towards my room, got hold of an old diary and penned down the very first lines of ‘I’m Yours… Forever…’ And I went on with it…
Arjyak – Any particular book or author that has influenced your story?
Samragngi – Well, not really! I’ve never been a voracious reader. My pattern is diverse and unpredictable, at times even out of the way. I have read very few love stories, maybe just three or four and I’m mostly into motivational non-fictions, like works of Robin Sharma, Dale Carnegie, Leil Lowndes and the like. Just before I started off with my novel, I had been reading ‘The Da Vinci Code’ by Dan Brown along with the first volume of ‘Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda’. Whichever book I read last becomes my favourite and I don’t think my story has got the slightest resemblance to the content of the aforementioned books.
Arjyak – What have been your biggest learning experiences and surprises throughout the authorship and publishing process?
Samragngi – There are many. First of all, the bitter truth that almost every author is bound to admit is that it’s a lot easier to write than getting your work actually published and seeing your name in print. One of the most valuable lessons that I’ve learnt is that I should never ever depend on a third party to get my work done. Secondly, I’ve realised that ‘editing’ is way more important than ‘writing’. It’s an effective editing round that gives the correct texture to your fabric. It’s perhaps the most important part of writing and I’m happy to have had it my way. On another note, getting to see your name on Google, witnessing the gleam of pride in your parents’ eyes, being felicitated by your school before a gallery of two thousand juniors and scribbling your own name down on the very first page of your book as your ‘autograph’ – these are definitely some of the things I’ll always cherish.
Arjyak – Looking back, what did you do right that has brought you where you are now?
Samragngi – I guess it’s my resilience and determination that have helped me reach so far. I’m a very self-motivating person, undaunted by failure, criticism, and injuries. They serve as the much-needed fuel that feeds the fire burning within me.
Arjyak – If you had to describe the book in one sentence, what would it be?
Samragngi – It’s a story of true, unconditional love that knows no confines, blended with a surreal tinge of supernaturalism in the subplot.
Arjyak – How supportive has the environment been of an enthusiastic debutant as a whole?
Samragngi – There have been both good and bad times. People have often asked why I opted for self-publishing over conventional publishing. Well, to be very honest, I was in a hurry. It’s was the start of my ISC year and unless I had done something about my book I couldn’t bring my focus back. Waiting for the agents to approve the first three chapters and then ask for the complete manuscript itself is a ‘nine months’ procedure and then there’s no guarantee whether your manuscript will be accepted by the publisher or not. It hasn’t been easy for me. However, it’s all a part of life and I’m proud to have experienced it all at the age of seventeen.
Arjyak – Something personal about you that people may be surprised to know?
Samragngi – Well, my first dream was to become a Rock Star. A guitarist, to be precise. I was, and still ‘am’ a die-hard fan of Linkin Park and at one point of time this dream had driven me so insane that I even sacrificed my school excursion for an electric guitar that my Dad had promised to gift me if I didn’t speak much about it.
Arjyak – How do you plan to stay in touch with your readers and build a platform?
Samragngi – Through my blogs of course! I have my personal website where they can put forwards their questions to me. I’m yet to come up with the sequel to ‘I’m Yours… Forever…’ but that’s possible only next year since I have to get through with my board exams first. They can also connect with me over Facebook and Instagram. Close contact with the readers is the best way to build a platform I guess, besides writing stuff that they’d love to read.
Arjyak – What’s next in store from Samragngi Roy?
Samragngi – Like I just said, I’ve already started working on my sequel and wish to get it published soon after my ISC exams.
Arjyak – Is it all fiction, or does the story draw from real experiences in your life?
Samragngi – The story is completely fictional and so are the characters and the setting. But if analysed at a deeper level, Rose Haydon is a mirror image of mine. The way she thinks, feels, beholds the world… is pretty much like me. It’s just that she’s got a different story to tell, she’s got Robert Williams to walk by her side, the streets of Pegasus echoing their footsteps.
Samragngi has truly been a motivation. I hope her book does really well, and she goes on to achieve the success that she desires. Did you read her novel “I’m Yours…Forever…”? What are your thoughts? Leave a review!
Photographs by Siddharth Barma