I was trained as a classical pianist but I always loved to read. During my childhood, my father encouraged me to write poems for family occasions; that took hold (I’ve published over 400 poems in literary magazines and in book form) but I only began to take novel writing seriously when I married my Indian husband. Suddenly the door to an unfamiliar world opened to me, and writing about it was one way to understand it.
Can you tell us a little bit about your new book?
It’s a multicultural, literary novel, an exploration of cultural identity, the power of reconciliation, and the meaning of home. The action revolves around Alice, who marries Ramesh and is plunged into a battle of wills with her new mother-in-law. Amma wreaks havoc over Alice’s household until a family secret is revealed that costs the old woman everything, including her health. Alice must restore what was lost, and in the process finds a deeper meaning in a world where relationships are everything.
When a reader finishes your book/s what do you want them to come away with?
I want to entertain—to be able to transport a reader to a vivid, imagined world and surprise them with what happens there. I want to suggest ways of being not previously considered, new ways of thinking. And as a poet, I always like to be appreciated for the music in my language.
Do you have any suggestions for aspiring authors?
1) Write every day. It’s a discipline—don’t wait to be inspired.
2) Read widely and deeply. If you can take classes, or join a workshop slightly over your head, so much the better.
3) Read more than you write.
Is there a place you have always wanted to visit? Think vacation.
I can’t travel, so the whole beach-y globe is up for grabs on my wish list. Space, too! Well, maybe not, although those space suits could hide some major figure flaws.
What one event would you love to be at? Historical or a future event?
I would have liked to have been at the concert when Franz Liszt turned the piano sideways so that everyone could admire his profile. Moments that start precedents always intrigue me.
What is one thing your readers might not know about you?
Oh, so many things—I’ve very mysterious! ; ) Do they know that I’ve played the piano with a symphony orchestra? That I had a speedboat named for me? A law in physics bears my family name? My husband’s ancestors were part of the court of a Rajkumar?
When you are not writing what can you be found doing?
Practicing the piano, reading, collaborating with my sister on art/poetry projects, talking to my very interesting husband, or cooking with him. He still has some Indian culinary tricks up his sleeve..
Any last thoughts for your readers?
“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.” (Samuel Beckett)
**Here are some links that I encourage you to visit to learn more about Cheryl Snell and her Book “Shiva’s Arms”.
http://writerslairbooks.com/EventCalendar (blog stops)
http://snellsisters.blogspot.com/2010/06/show-me-your-shiva.html Show Me Your Shiva promo
You can buy Shiva’s Arms here
Thanks to Cheryl and Writers Lair Books I have one copy available to giveaway.