Moitrayee Bhaduri fell in love with crime thrillers at a very young age while reading many greats of this genre namely Agatha Christie, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Satyajit Ray. Her fascination with crime thrillers led her to The Sinister Silence, her début novel. She graduated from Loreto College, Kolkata with a degree in History and Master of Arts from Jadavpur University.
Moitrayee soon joined the corporate bandwagon as a technical content writer, moving up and working in various capacities with global conglomerates such as IBM and Cognizant Technologies, living in different parts of India-Kolkatta, Hyderabad and Mumbai. It’s Mumbai where she found her true calling and The Sinister Silence was born. Besides writing, she loves travelling, singing and watching cricket.
We are delighted to welcome Moitrayee on M&J. The Sinister Silence published by Shristi Publishers and Distributors, was recently launched at Crossword in Mumbai. The guest of honor at the event was none other than Mr. Prasoon Joshi, a celebrated writer and lyricist in India.
M&J: With a background in history and then going on to making a mark in the corporate world as a content developer, when and how did you decide to become an author?
MB: I was always passionate about writing. History was my favorite subject and I liked reading a lot. When I decided to explore writing as a career option, I knew that I wanted to be an author ‘someday’. Over the last few years, the resolve grew stronger and finally I was able to take the plunge.
2. As a debutant author, what inspired you to write a crime thriller?
Since childhood, I enjoy reading crime thrillers. My brother Kushal, also a thriller lover – used to buy me a lot of crime & mystery novels. I grew up reading Agatha Christie, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Satyajit Ray, and other legends. So, as a writer, I have always wanted to explore this genre.
3. Tell us a little more about the journey you took with The Sinister Silence. The time from when you finished writing the first draft to getting published.
It has been a long journey! I had completed my first draft in late 2013. But then I made a lot of changes in the consequent drafts. In the final draft, I almost changed the story, you can say. Thereafter, I started reaching out to publishers. The book was published in November 2015 – on Diwali.
4. We read somewhere that you left your job to finish this book. Is it true? If yes, how hard was that decision?
Yes, that is correct. I was working with IBM as People Manager – Proposal Writing Competency. I loved my job, had a great team, and made friends for life there. On the other hand, because this was my first book, I wanted to single-mindedly focus on completing it. So, I decided to quit my job. It was a very tough and emotional decision.
5. Where did you draw your inspiration from while etching these amazing characters? Did you undertake any research?
I am glad you like the characters in my book. Thank you!
Yes, research was a continuous process. My protagonist, private detective Mili Ray’s character has been inspired by strong women I have met in my life. Though this is a work of fiction and Zarine Software is a fictitious company, my experiences in the IT world came in handy while sketching some of the characters.
6. Getting the right publisher is not an easy task. What was the process like for you?
It was a tiring and frustrating process. Several publishers didn’t respond. A few reputed ones replied with a one liner – ‘Your writing is powerful but currently we are not looking at this genre.’ It took me some time to realize that those were ‘rejection letters’.
When I had almost given up hope and was toying with the idea of self-publishing, Srishti Publishers & Distributors came to my rescue. They were professional in approach and prompt in responding to queries. I am thankful to Jayanta Kumar Bose and Arup Bose for helping me debut as an author.
7. Few popular authors have recently turned screenwriters, given an opportunity would you like to tread that path?
Yes, I would love to. In my career, I have explored different forms of writing – content writing, technical editing, instructional designing, proposal writing, and more. So if I get a good opportunity, I will explore screenwriting too.
8. Do you have a work in progress (WIP)? Would you like to share it with our readers?
Yes, I have started work on detective Mili Ray’s next case, tentatively titled ‘The Musical Murders’. A third one in the series is also lined up.
9. While growing up, who were your favorite authors? Who are you reading now?
As a kid, I loved reading Sukumar Ray and Enid Blyton (I still do).
My favorite authors are Agatha Christie and Paulo Coelho. I love reading Tagore, Arthur Conan Doyle, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Anita Desai, Jeffrey Archer, Amitav Ghosh, Pearl S Buck, P.G Wodehouse, James Joyce… the list is endless.
Currently I am reading a compilation of contemporary short stories called ‘The Art of the Story’ – Edited by Daniel Halpern.
10. Name three books that we will definitely find in your bookshelf.
1. Agatha Christie’s The Mirror Crack’d From Side to Side
2. Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist
3. Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind