I learn from each and every writer: Meera Bhansali

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Meera Bhansali is a talented author and literary figure based in Mumbai, India. With a focus on horror and psychological thrillers, Meera has published several works, including the book “Speck” and has been featured in numerous anthologies. In addition to her writing career, Meera is a dedicated advocate for mental health awareness, frequently speaking on taboo societal issues. She is also a respected book reviewer

In an exclusive interview with the Heaven Mail, she talks to Professor Shiv Sethi.

1)What drew you to specialise in horror and psychological thrillers, and how did you develop an interest in Gothic poetry?

My interest in horror and psychological thrillers stems from my fascination with the darker aspects of human nature and the unknown. Gothic poetry provides a unique avenue to explore these themes, with its emphasis on mystery, darkness, and the supernatural. I find that writing in this genre allows me to delve deep into the psyche and explore the hidden corners of the mind.

2)Your book “Speck” explores taboo societal issues, particularly around mental health. What motivated you to explore these themes in your writing, and what kind of impact do you hope your work will have on readers?

Mental health is a topic that is close to my heart, as I believe it affects each individual in some way or the other.Speck deals with the darker aspects of the human experience, societal flaw, which are just pushed under the rug and often failed to acknowledge.. By shedding light on these issues, I hope to create a space for readers to feel seen, heard, and validated. I also believe that writing can be a powerful tool for healing, and I hope that my work can provide some measure of comfort or solace to those who may be struggling.

3) What projects are you currently working on, and what can readers expect from you in the future? Are there any particular themes or genres that you are interested in exploring in your future work?

I am currently working on a new collection of poetry that explores themes of transformation, identity, and the search for meaning but through the paranormal realm.This book is Part 2 of the gothic poetry anthology Speck. Both books are individual reads. It is titled “ The Nocturnal Frights” . Then there a collection of fictional horror short stories specifically from the Konkan region, yet untitled.

4) What more can you tell about Nocturnal Frights and the short horror stories?
After publishing the first poetry collection,I received critical constructive comments from fellow writers and enthusiast readers. So taking into consideration those points , I am putting more efforts and the book is more concrete in the treatment of the theme, the classification of poems, etc .I normally tend to write free verse style but in this collection I have tried writing with poetic forms and devices. The book has 13 parts with five poems in each. The short stories are special because, they have been penned during my frequent visits to the Konkan seaside, for vacations. They are loosely based on my personal experiences and on the local stories of the region.

5)What difficulties have you faced while writing gothic poems?

Researching and being in a dark thought process, for a longer period of time, does have its own effect on my psyche. So I have to keep myself well balanced with my real life and my original self as well. It is sometimes difficult to maintain the fine line.

6) What is the biggest misconception you have come across regarding your writing?

Many of my readers think that I am a very depressing, suicidal kind of person due to the topics that I write upon. But that is far away from reality. I would just like to remind all readers that one shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, similarly do not judge a writer solely on her writings. I am a jovial, fun loving person and a spiritualist as opposed to the common misconception of being an atheist and a depressing person.

7) What is the weirdest accusation you have faced?

I practice voodoo or black magic !! People fail to acknowledge that the God and Devil are two sides or the same coin. If one accepts the light , then darkness follows as well. So even though my writings are mainly paranormal I am a spiritual person.

8) Have you written on other topics as well ?

Yes, I write on spiritual topics, prose on mental wellness, romance, friendship, and whatever topic is on my mind at any given point of time.

9) What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer ?

I am friends with many esteemed writers on the group helmed by the esteemed poetess Neelam Saxena, and The Literary Warrior Group. I learn from each and every writer, via their vibrant writing styles. I majorly write in English and also try to write in hindi, Gujarati, and marathi as well. I learn from all the amazing writers that are on these groups. They guide me and motivate me.

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