Concise, clear, page turners are what she writes. Her books have so much passion, emotion and a thirst for life that keeps me glued to the pages. Please welcome freelance author, blogger, and ex-Indian Air Force physician, Sunanda Joshi Chatterjee.
She is a practicing pathologist in Los Angeles. While medicine is her profession, writing is her passion. Her life experiences have taught her that no matter how different people are, their desires, fears, and challenges remain the same.
Her themes include romantic sagas, family dramas, immigrant experience, women’s issues, medicine, and spirituality. She loves extraordinary love stories and heart-warming tales of duty and passion. Her short stories have appeared in short-story.net and induswomanwriting.com.
In your stories, you have a lot of insight into various social and medical issues, how do you research for your novels, Sunanda? What tools and activities do you follow?
As a physician, I have seen a lot of medical problems, as well as how they affect the families of patients. So writing about medical issues comes easy to me. As a pathologist, I see and diagnose cancers on a daily basis. But I often ask my fellow physicians of other specialties for a quick curb side consultation: “I have a question for a story I’m writing.” Then I ask their input on the situation. I find they are always excited to help.
For my first book, The Vision, I asked a neurosurgeon for a medical condition that would explain how someone could not only ‘see,’ but ‘hear’ things. He is a renowned surgeon and after a bit of thought, came up with an AV malformation in the temple area. I also asked my colleagues about CT scans and chemotherapy, etc.
About social issues: I grew up in small town in central India, Bhilai, which was a steel city set up for the first big steel plant. As such, we had people from all over the country who came together to make and run the plant. I was exposed to various cultures from northern, eastern, southern and western India, who came with their different faiths. Then I joined the Indian Air Force and travelled to various parts of the country, gathering experiences on the way. As a Maharashtrian married to a Bengali, I am exposed to both cultures very closely, and can write about them without much added research.
For research, though, I turn to books and the internet, including Wikipedia, Google (and google maps), history websites, and those about culture. I talk to lots of people and discuss social issues in my books with people from those situations. For Shadowed Promise, I researched life in the University of Southern California, where I did my PhD. I also researched legal issues, by discussing them with my lawyer friends, and having them read chapters, if they were willing. And they were! I also read up about the Governor elections exhaustively.
In summary, I use my personal experiences, those of my family and friends, as well as the internet for research. Some days, all I do is research, without writing a single word.
It is indeed the best writing if it flows from our mind and heart. To strike a balance is the trick!
Thank you for gracing Eloquent Articulation. I wish you many more bestsellers.