Read part one here.
Read part two here.
Airship Ambassador: How have you and your work grown and changed over time?
Rati Mehrotra: I would like to think I’m growing as a writer, just as I’m growing as a person. The more life experiences and relationships one has, the truer one writes.
AA: Writing can be a challenge some days. What are some of your methods to stay motivated and creative?
RM: Read something fun, or go for a walk. Walking in a park can be very energizing. I can feel my mind lifting up and away from daily cares. That’s when new ideas come.
AA: How is Toronto for writing? Does location matter for resources, access, publicity, etc
RM: One can write anywhere. But location definitely matters for resources and access. I lived in Switzerland for 6 years, and that’s where I started work on my novel. But there was a dearth of English language resources and events, and I didn’t make much progress. It wasn’t until I arrived in Toronto, and met the wonderfully kind science fiction writer Karl Schroeder (through the Toronto Public Library Writer in Residence program) that I made any headway. I cannot contemplate living in a non-English language country now. And I have grown to love Toronto.
AA: If you weren’t an author, what else would you be doing now?
RM: I am so many things besides a writer. I am a mother, an environmental economist, a consultant, a cook. I’ve been writing since the age of five, and I won’t stop until I die. It’s an essential part of me. But it’s only one part.
AA: Looking beyond steampunk, writing and working, what other interests fill your time?
RM: I love to read, especially science fiction and fantasy, but also other genres. If I don’t have at least one good book close at hand, I feel as if something is missing. I also like to travel to new places. I’ve been to dozens of countries at different points in my life.
AA: How do those interests influence your work?
RM: Reading has definitely influenced my work. I came late to speculative fiction – I used to write poetry and literary fiction in my teens and twenties. But then I read Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Wheel of Time, and the Discworld, and I was hooked.
Traveling has also influenced my writing. It’s one thing to know that there are different climes and cultures, and another to actually experience them. I think all young people should spend a year working or volunteering in a country and/or culture different from their own.
AA: There’s only so much time in a day – what interests don’t you have time for?
AA: Are there people you consider an inspiration, role model, or other motivating influence?
RM: My grandmother. I have always been able to confide in her. Her pride and belief in me makes me a stronger, better person.
AA: Three quick-fire random questions – what is your favorite fruit, website, and documentary?
AA: Any final thoughts to share with our readers
RM: Get out of your comfort zone. You’ll be surprised at how much more you are than you thought.
Thanks, Rati, for joining us for this interview and for sharing all of your thoughts. We look forward to hearing about your next projects!
You can support Rati and our community by getting your copy of Clockwork Canada here.