And welcome to my spot on the Tara Guha blog tour. Tara is the debut author of the newly recently released “Untouchable Things”, an intriguing psychological thriller. Tara kindly accepted to answer a few questions so we can get to know her a little, and learn more about her book.
Don’t hesitate to check out the other tour stops with a team of fab bloggers!
In the meantime,
And without any further ado, please welcome Tara Guha!!
1) You have done many things throughout your career, from PR to charity work? Was there a particular moment in your life where you decided you wanted to take the chance at writing? Was there a particular trigger?
I wrote reams as a child and, like many people, always vaguely thought about writing a novel one day. Then I had my first baby and quickly realised that I had chunks of time every day while she napped. Instead of cleaning the kitchen or making tea, I could seize the opportunity to write – so I did. It was an amazing foil to all the feeding and nappies, and an amazing discipline. I knew that I only had 90 minute chunks of time at my disposal, so there was no time for writer’s block!
2) Your debut novel is a thriller. Can you tell us a few words about it to whet our appetite?
A group of friends, bound together by their love for the arts and a shared secret. At the centre of the group is Seth, brilliant, charismatic and controlling. When he disappears, the friends feel as if their world is falling in. But in fact their problems are just starting…
3) The cult-like element of your novel is its backbone, are cults an area of interest of yours?
Not so much cults per se, but I’m definitely fascinated by groups: what appears to be going on, what’s going on under the surface, the dynamics between individual members – all of which is contained within the group. I’m also interested in how this affects us as individuals – there’s a natural human desire to belong, but if being in a particular group starts to compromise our personal values, where do we draw the line?
4) Acts instead of chapters?! Very cool! How did you come up with this idea?
Thanks – I was pleased with that! Untouchable Things starts in a theatre, and one of the main characters is an actor. The whole idea of performing and being watched is a recurrent theme in the novel, and I started to wonder if I could incorporate it structurally. So I drew on ancient Greek tragedy, which is also relevant thematically in the novel, and used the traditional five acts to plot the rise and fall of the action.
5) Are there any other genres that might take your fancy for future writing projects or is the thriller genre a comfortable fit?
I see Untouchable Things as more of a hybrid than a conventional thriller, and that perhaps is where I am most comfortable. My interest is in character and relationships as much as surprising the reader with plot twists – though there are twists a-plenty! In the future I can see myself writing contemporary fiction in general, with or without the thriller dimension.
6) Any new projects for 2016 that you might want to divulge a little about?
Well, I’m starting to think about novel number two, which is likely to be quite different from Untouchable Things. It’s going to explore issues of race and cultural identity, drawing to an extent on my own mixed heritage background. The thing it will probably share with Untouchable Things is an experimental approach to structure and storytelling…
7) Do you still play piano?
Yes! I’ve had to switch to a digital piano for now – it’s so much more practical with children, as it means I can play when they’re in bed. I’m classically trained but at the moment I’m having some fun playing and singing Tori Amos songs – and of course, since Monday, a bit of Bowie.
8) If you could hang out with a fictional character for a day, who would it be and how would you spend your day?
At the moment it would be Lila from Elena Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend. I’ve recently started on Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels and I’m intrigued by Lila, a sexually magnetic, morally ambiguous polymath as far as I can tell. It would be fascinating to hang out in her home environment of 1950s working class Naples, though I’d have to get myself a few Italian classes in first!
Thank you Tara :).
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