B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree Marisha Pink is a rat race escapee turned author and entrepreneur.
Born and raised in London, from a young age she had an unhealthy obsession with books. She always dreamed of one day writing stories with the power to take readers on a journey, but somehow she wound up studying Chemistry and working in marketing instead.
In September 2012, after five years of climbing the corporate ladder, she decided that it was finally time to take the leap. Backpack in hand, she left everything behind to travel Southeast Asia and complete her debut novel, Finding Arun. She’s been on a mission not to live life by the book ever since.
Eventually returning to London in February 2013, Marisha raised the finance to publish the book through crowdfunding, and joined the self-publishing revolution. Released globally in September 2013, Finding Arun has earned a 5* Readers’ Favorite review, a B.R.A.G. Medallion, and a shortlisting for the inaugural Quagga Prize for Literary Fiction.
Marisha has been featured on BBC London 94.9FM, The Literary Platform, and across several popular blogs and podcasts. Her second novel, Last Piece of Me, the prequel to Finding Arun, was published on 5th March 2015 and is available from Amazon in paperback and ebook.
Marisha, why do you write?
There are two reasons why I write: a love of storytelling and therapy! As a child, my head was always stuck in a book because I loved getting lost in other worlds and other lives. Books fascinated me in a way that television was never able to, because words give you just enough to construct an environment, but let your imagination fill in the detail. I would write short stories and also song lyrics, which are essentially another form of storytelling, but I always had this burning desire to write whole tomes capable of delivering the powerful reading experiences that I enjoyed myself. When I started to write properly it was as though a tension had been released and I find the whole process very therapeutic and cathartic. Writing is a creative outlet for me and I enjoy crafting and tinkering with words on the page, knowing that I am creating something unique which others will be able to immerse themselves in and interpret in their own way.
How has writing impacted your life?
Writing has changed everything! I quit my job to write and though I’ve had to make a lot of sacrifices in order to keep writing full-time, the experience has made me appreciate everything in my life so much more. The writing life has a much slower pace than the rat race does, and because I have slowed down I am far more observant of the world around me. I actually notice when the trees are blossoming or the leaves are on the ground, instead of simply hurrying along the street to get to my next appointment. I see things much more clearly than I ever did before, and I am constantly drawing inspiration for my writing from the places I visit and the people I meet. Everyone and everything has a story; if it doesn’t, then I find myself making one up – I can’t help it.
When do your best ideas come to you for a story?
Inconveniently, the best ideas usually come to me when I’m in the middle of writing another story! When I am writing I am at my most creative, and I often feel as though I am in an entirely different headspace, which breeds ideas faster than I can write them down. It’s tempting to hop from one project to another, especially because new ideas can feel more exciting than something that you have been working on for ages, but I have taught myself to note down new ideas so that I can come back to them at a later date. That said, earlier this year I had a brilliant idea for a story during a massage in Malaysia, so I guess ideas can appear at any time!
How do you respond to positive and negative reviews?
With gratitude. Whether someone has good words or bad to say about your work, you should appreciate that they have taken the time out of their day to let you know their thoughts. Positive reviews can make you smile for days and negative reviews can make you grow, so embrace them both as a part of your journey to becoming the best writer that you can be.
What advice would you give to beginner writers?
Just enjoy yourself! Often when we seriously turn our attentions to our passions and creative endeavours, we feel a tremendous amount of pressure to “get it right” first time or to be successful overnight. Yet this is not the reason that most writers begin writing and true commercial success is not a reality for most writers anyway. You should never lose sight of why you started to write and remember that writing is a marathon, not a sprint. It can take time to find your unique voice and you should enjoy the process of discovering it, because it’s all part of the joy of being a writer.
Where can readers buy your book?