Written by JJ Barnes
I interviewed poet Akanksha Agarwal about what inspires her poetry and the creative process behind her new book, The Secret In My Blood.
Tell me a bit about who you are.
Hi, everyone This is Akanksha Agarwal, I am from A city called Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh. My parents were doctors. My father was a physician and my mother is a gynecologist. I lost my father to cancer a few years ago.
My father expected a boy when I was born. So, my parents actually raised me like a boy. I was never restricted from doing certain things just because I am a girl. I used to have boy-cut hairs and was exploring almost all the segments of my choice. I am thankful to have such wonderful parents.
Eventually, there came a time when I needed grooming and that’s why I was admitted to a hostel for further studies. I learnt a lot there. When the time came, I got married and settled down. It is almost 10 years now in the married life. And I am happily married with kids.
I am a poet ,dancer ,singer ,artist ,musician and a proud homemaker. I started writing with the pen. I have won many writing competitions and prompt challenges.
Recently on social platform Instagram, I have organised a live session with Poets around the globe which was a huge success.
I write what my heart bleeds, I enjoy connecting with people. My first book, The Secret In My Blood is a beautiful poetry book based on love and romance.
When did you first WANT to write poetry?
I just started writing down with the Pen that my father gave me . Actually I was very connected to him. It was he who saw the poet inside me at an early stage. Since then only I wanted to write poems and I wanted to make him proud of me.
He was a cancer patient and he left us very early. But it was he, and his blessings because of whom I have reached to heights and am I sure he must be happy today seeing me this way.
When did you take a step to start writing poetry?
While expecting my second child , I was full of thoughts and emotions. I just kept them penning down. And within no time they were converted into beautiful love poetries.
I penned all my thoughts in my notepad , and I never focused on what to write. It just comes from inside. That’s a vibe I get and I quickly just write it down.
How long did it take you to complete your first book from the first idea to release?
It took less than 3 months to pen down all the poems and another 3 months to get them in sync. My book is full of illustrations, I found a dear friend Sofia who has done each illustration of the book. So in about 6 months the complete book was framed.
What made you want to write The Secret In My Blood?
My book “ The Secret In My Blood “ is very different, it’s very unique. It’s a beautiful work on the profoundness of love and romance.
I love to pen down my thoughts, I believe we all in our life journey goes thru love. So I have made it into parts ;
1. Ovulating in Emotions – When someone falls in love, everything seems extraordinary and magical.
2. Bleeding in Love – this part is dedicated to the stage where one’s heart-breaks. The loneliness, darkness, negative thoughts looming over and everything reminds you of your partner.
3. Fertile to fly – depicts the craving of bodies where passion and love for each other are boundless and sturdy as the ocean. This segment is also a gentle reminder that love is about growing old together, and there is no moment you regret if you are with the one you belong to.
What were your biggest challenges with writing The Secret In My Blood?
Challenges are fun but touchwood I had no challenges. It’s been a joy ride for me. Penning down your thoughts is the best thing anyone can dream of.
Do you keep to a theme with your poems, or just go where the mood strikes?
I write what my heart bleeds. Majorly and my best writings are all based on love and romance
My poetry conquers a stage where love mushrooms,
May it be
Happily in love
So I love poetry based on love and romance.
Also some days I write on Food , I write on celebrities , I wrote on famous Mexican Painter FRIDA KAHLO, but yes all these have the base of “Love “.
So I would say the major writing theme is “LOVE”.
What is your favourite poem in The Secret In My Blood about and what inspired it?
I love the old classic poetry, also for me Romanticism would be the favourite one as romantic writing is generally characterised by a highly imaginative and subjective approach, emotional intensity, freedom of thought and expression, an idealization of nature, and a dreamlike or visionary quality.
I think I connect to all the poems written keeping in mind love and romance. So my favourite genre is everything that’s is written by love and for love.
A small poetry :
The irony of love is
you never regret your decision.
It’s like mozzarella cheese that loosens in thorny and perplexed times.
As you swallow the anger,
it becomes fresh and beautiful!
It’s like the blooming flowers that need affection and dedication,
as water for plants
to grow older and greener!
Love is like grapes
sour, attractive and juicy.
Relationships intensify and enhance with the unwrapping of time,
like wine, fermented in a glass bottle!
It’s like the dark chocolate,
bitter in the beginning
but heavenly while it’s dissolving in the oesophagus.
We can’t judge love in hours,
days or months.
It’s a constant affair and fondness that
grows older and merrier without any regrets through moments!
Does music help you write or is it a distraction?
I’m very close to music. I breath music, I love being around music it gives wings to my imagination.
Did you get support with editing, and how much editing did The Secret In My Blood need?
Yes I got a support for the editing. I hired a team, that did all the editing for my book. It’s much required as my work is to write, but only a good editor can help and let me know where I am I going wrong.
So very less editing was required, but yes I hired a team and they did it.
What is the first piece of writing advice you would give to anyone inspired to write poetry?
My first piece of advice will be to peep writing, and don’t have long breaks in-between; once you start taking breaks, or keep yourself away from writing, you’ll end up missing out on all the thoughts and emotions that are the essence of good poetry.
Can you give me a hint about any further books you’re planning to write?
Recently I fought with Covid 19. When I was on bed rest, my hands and feet were not working. Because of this syndrome, I named my book ‘The Burning Syndrome’. This book will include poems about love and the syndrome. It will be a book about me and how love has brought me out of the pain I have gone through for six months and given me life again.
I would like to write about the pain patient goes through and how it affects oneʼs psyche.
Also other will be a Beautiful love story. The characters are Anna and Kris.
And, finally, are your proud of your accomplishment? Was it worth the effort?
Yes I am very proud of my accomplishments, It all started with earlier when i used to write my poems. I used to send them to various platforms, and if they love it they would post them on there respective pages , websites and magazines.
Then I used to hunt for various “Prompt” and I used to pen down the poems based on that “Prompts”
So yes I have won many of the challenges, competitions. And I am glad people like my work and I get recognised.
For my poetries I have achieved many awards and certificates. My poems are in prestigious magazines of many places of the world including USA, Uk , Singapore and off course in India. Recently one voice over of my poetry was played at a radio station of London and Glasgow.
Book recognised as Top 6 best new reads by De Mode Magazine Globally.
Recognised as Top 4 Indian female poets must read.
Book has been feature by Outlook Magazine as
Top 7 books Creating Waves this summer
Book Recognised by The Financial Express as 10 books to be read in this year
When I google myself today , I feel very honoured and proud of myself.
I am sure I am fulfilling all my , my family and my parents dream.
Pop all your book, website and social media links here so the readers can find you:
Thanks And Regards
IG : @akan_kshaagarwal
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