Swapna Kishore

Song Hungers, fiction, Issue 15, June 1, 2011

When did you start writing? I have been writing nonfiction since 1988 and have co-authored six books in the area of software, process, and quality. I started attempting fiction around nine years ago, and decided to focus on speculative fiction around five years ago. 

When and what and where did you first get published? My first nonfiction publication (now out of print) was a book called What every manager should know about computers, published in India in 1990. My first fiction sale was a speculative humor flash-length piece, which I sold to the e-zine Planet Relish in 2003.

What themes do you like to write about? In fiction, I focus on speculative fiction. Many of my stories have a mythological flavor and contain more female characters [than male characters]. I am facinated by what makes a person unique, especially the role of selective memories and their interpretation. Acceptance, forgiveness, and death are some subjects that I explore through stories. Other than fiction, I blog about dementia caregiving in India, and maintain a resource site for dementia care. 

What books and/or stories have most resonated with you as an author? Why? How do these stories and their characters find expression in your work? I read a lot, often many books a week, but rarely remember details. I don't think what I read affects my writing choices. For example, I gobbled up the Harry Potter series, enjoyed Paulo Coelho's Alchemist, and was impressed by Lionel Shriver's We Need to Talk About Kevin, but I cannot see traces of these in my writing. I write to sort out what puzzles or interests me. I also read nonfiction, especially popular science books on neurology; maybe some day these concepts will get incorporated in the world-building in my stories. 

Swapna Kishore lives in Bangalore, India, and writes fiction and nonfiction. Her speculative fiction has appeared in Nature (Futures), Ideomancer, Fantasy Magazine, Strange Horizons, Sybil's Garage 7, Warrior Wisewoman 3, and other publications. Her website is at http://swapnawrites.com