Dhanya enjoys good reads and savors poetry. Books and the feeling of transforming brewed thoughts into words is what interests her about writing. She has studied engineering and has worked as an assistant professor. Her story ‘The Tip of the Iceberg’ is a fast-paced thriller with Zaira, a smart RIW agent at its centre.

Please tell us more about your story.

The Tip of Iceberg’ is the story of Zaira, a smart intelligence agent. It is about her journey from timid  Zaira Banu Nazir to a self-sufficient individual. She is unabashed about her ways of attaining goals, she never restrains herself from using her beauty and brain in getting things done. What happens when Zaira gets alleged of malpractice and alliance with a terrorist group? Will she fight and win against all odds? That’s the basic plot of the story.

What was the writing inspiration behind this story?

There is no specific incident or person as such. When I read about those smart independent women out there it inspires me. I wanted to create a smart lady character, but I did not want her to be perfect, I wanted her to have her set of vulnerabilities and imperfections. That’s how the main protagonist Zaira was created. Then a premise was chosen which could showcase her facets best, so I narrowed down to the intelligence wing backdrop. The remaining story was weaved based on these two factors and the operations of such agencies.

Do you have any particular rules or rituals you follow as a writer?

I personally get hooked to something which has a ‘What next’ element to it and so anything I write falls under this category too. Basically, I am a science student so I like involving a little bit of reasoning and logic twists in my stories.

Who or what is your writing companion?

I like the company of tea and good music while writing. I munch quite a bit while writing as well. That’s the only side effect of writing which I would like to eliminate!

What got you interested in becoming a writer? Where do you go for inspiration?

Good books and the feeling of writing itself got me interested in it. Initially, I started writing when I felt something deeply or when some incident struck a chord in me. Serious reading actually happened at a later stage and then I started getting involved in literary activities. Nature and the incidents happening around are mostly my inspiration.  I like to give my own interpretation of nature and emotions through my words. I also enjoy the process of creating a world through your stories and bringing it to a full circle.

Your favorite piece of work written by you. Why?

I started with poetry. I love the possibility of multiple interpretations and the underlying meanings a poet leaves behind in a poem.  My favorite would be a poem ‘Incest of Gulmohar’ which was the first poem in my blog. So that way it is special, moreover I enjoy observing and writing about nature in my own way.

The first book you fell in love with and the author you admire the most. Why?

To kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee will be one of those first books I fell in love with. There are a number of works by different authors which have left me awestruck. Having said that one of the writers I admire most will definitely be William Shakespeare. We had his plays in school and I used to totally admire his style, soliloquies. It was through his works I realized, for the first time, how much happiness one can have by savoring a good piece of writing.

Any writing tips you’d like to share with fellow writers?

I am not an expert and it’s too early for me to give tips, so I refrain from that. Definitely will share few things which I found useful. Just keep writing, there might be rejections or disappointments but as long as you enjoy the process and if that makes you happy, keep writing.

You can read her book The Tip of Iceberg here.


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