Born in Odisha, India, author Soumiya Seemran Sahoo comes from a long line of engineers. While pursuing her own engineering degree, she also tried her hand at writing. Her award-winning book, titled The Arrangement, became an Inkitt fan favorite and soon earned her a publishing contract with GALATEA. While Soumiya’s success as an author was unexpected, she’s eager to continue her writing career and has several new tales in the works. I’m so pleased to feature Soumiya today on the Inkitt Writer’s Blog and get to know her a little better.
Welcome, Soumiya! Tell us a more about how you went from engineering to storytelling.
I belong to a family of engineers. Starting with my grandfather down to my younger sister, everyone is a civil engineer, but I was the most creative one among them. I have heard that people in my mother’s family were writers in the film industry. They say writing is in my genes, but I have never met those people or read their work, so I can’t really say!
As a teen, I read novels and autobiographies in my leisure time. I took comfort in the stories, especially after losing my mother at fifteen. I used to love it when I could sit in a corner with a coffee and a book in my hand. One day, I actually thought to give writing a chance and spent time developing characters. From there my first story, The Arrangement, came to life.
How did you find the Inkitt platform, and what about Inkitt made you want to publish your stories here?
I had heard that there was a contest on a new website called Inkitt. At first, I was not really that confident with my novel, because, let’s be honest, English is totally not my first language. I entered my book anyway, and after two months, I saw it in the awards section. Can you believe it? I grew from nobody to somebody overnight! It took a while for me to understand I had seriously won. After that, I was offered the publishing deal with GALATEA, and now my book is available as an immersive story.
Congratulations on the contest win and the publishing deal! Has this success impacted your life?
To be honest, I don’t let it get to me. I started as an anonymous writer and I still prefer it that way. Half of my friends, and even many of my relatives, don’t have any idea about my writing profession. My dad had no idea why I was on my laptop day and night. One day, he lashed out at me saying I would ruin my eyes, but my sister told him I was busy writing a novel! After that, he was very supportive and never disturbed me while I wrote.
I still don’t think of myself as successful. My goal is much bigger, and I won’t stop until I get there. There is more I have to learn, and I want to keep growing as an author. I plan to carry on writing, and I will try my best to write better with every one of my stories. Sometimes it’s hard, and I suffer writer’s block.
Let’s talk about writer’s block. I think it’s helpful for new writers to understand that it can happen to anyone. Do you have any tips or tricks to overcome it?
For me, either I stop writing to cool my brain down for a little while, or I travel. Traveling really helps. I meet new people, and I shamelessly try to get some stories from them as inspiration. I have never written down a full story from someone else’s experience, but I get inspired.
Do you have a regular writing routine, or a favorite place to work?
I write whenever I feel like it, or when I have a new idea or scene in my mind. I like to write when I won’t be disturbed, so generally that’s at night. I can spend my whole night writing a chapter. The next day I’ll proofread it, edit it, and publish it. That’s my routine most of the time. As far as where I work, I need a calm and quiet environment to write.
Tell us something unique and non-writing related about yourself!
I like to do daring stuff, which many people would never imagine doing. When I tell you about my bucket list, you’ll think either I’m insane or from another planet! Yes, I am telling you the truth! I am really adventurous. I want to go cage diving with the Great White Sharks in South Africa or Australia, I want to take a volcano trek, and most importantly, I want to go wing walking. Search it. It is pretty interesting.
What are you working on now, or planning for your next project?
I am currently working on two stories. The first is a romance titled The Bewitched Knights, and the second a fantasy romance titled Fall for Me.
Thanks so much, Soumiya, and best of luck with your writing career!
Here’s a teaser from Soumiya’s award-winning novel, The Arrangement…
When two strangers with absolutely nothing in common are forced to marry, their relationship will put the famous theory to the test – can opposites really attract?
Everyone thinks they’re a hero.
We fantasize about moments of glory — the ones we read about in books and see in movies.
Run into a fiery building to rescue a dog? Sure. Donate a kidney to a friend? No problem. Stand in the way of an armed robbery? Easy.
But the ugly truth is, we don’t know how we’ll react when the moment strikes. Until the gunman has the gun pointed at your temple, and you can smell the metal of the barrel.
Will you be strong enough to do it? To face the gun and say, “Choose me. Shoot me. Kill me.”
When the time comes, what will you choose?
Your life, or theirs?
Check out Soumiya’s Inkitt Profile, and follow her for updates and new material.
Download the GALATEA APP to access Soumiya’s story and more!