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The Write Questions featuring Medha and David

June 19, 2015

In our second installment of “The Write Questions,” we meet Medha from St. Paul, MN, USA and David from Boston, MA, USA. Medha, who is currently visiting family in India, caught up with David right at the start of his summer break. In their Q&A, Medha digs a little deeper into what makes David tick as a writer. We learn more about his his excellent Fantasy Competition story, “Warehouse Wandering” and how he aspires to move up the literary ladder from a ‘wannabe’ writer to bonafide author.


Medha: Where do you get inspiration? Particularly, where did you get the inspiration for a man made of shadow who walks on the ceiling in “Warehouse Wandering”?

David: My inspiration comes in unpredictable flashes, which is awesome when it happens but rather frustrating the rest of the time. Usually an idea will just strike me—an image, a song lyric, or just a connection I made while thinking about something unrelated. In the case of “Warehouse Wandering,” I got the idea from an album cover. I was listening to music while doing my homework, and the album cover looked to me like a silhouette climbing out of a light in an abandoned warehouse and I realized that I needed to write that image down that very instant before it faded from my mind. In that moment, “Warehouse Wandering” was born.


Medha: Where are you from (geographically, culturally, ethnically, emotionally, and whatever else)?

David: Well, geographically, I’m from a suburb right outside Boston, which is where I’ve lived all the portions of my life that I can remember. Culturally, I’m from a middle-class family in the United States, which, pleasant though it has been, seems pretty boring to me. If you asked me about my emotional background a month or two earlier, I’d have had nothing to say but “stressed.” Now, I’d say that my emotional background consists of a loving and supportive family.


Medha: Do you write many drafts before putting your work out there? Do you have a particular editing process?

David: Usually I don’t write very many drafts at all. In the case of “Warehouse Wandering,” most of the final version was written after that initial moment of inspiration, and I just made a few tweaks and tacked on a few paragraphs to tailor it to the Fantasy Competition. Often, I don’t even do that before sending it off to other people. The fact of the matter is that I really don’t like revising and editing, which is something I need to change if I ever want to succeed at becoming a serious writer!


Medha: Do you think you were born in the right century/decade? Why/why not? If not, when do you think you belong? Why?

David: I actually think this is an exciting time to be alive. Right now the world is undergoing a tremendous transformation in a lot of different respects, and our generation has the opportunity to not only observe how technology and the internet impact both developed and developing nations, but also to shape our culture and how we use these technologies to develop a better world for ourselves and generations to come. I’m excited to be a part of both processes and I hope I, along with  the writers of this generation, play the role we ought to.


Medha: How long have you been a ‘wannabe’ writer and what caused that desire?

David: I’ve been a wannabe writer since childhood, which consisted mostly of reading books and playing with LEGO. The process of consuming story after story and then going on to shape my own stories on the tables, bookshelves, and heaps of clothing in my room, fostered a love of the art of storytelling that continues to this day. I think that you can have a powerful effect on people as a writer and I hope to one day move from being a wannabe writer to a real one, so that I can use that power to better people’s lives in some small way.


Medha: What are some of your favorite things to read (authors, genres, languages, specific books)?

David: I keep a list of my top five favorite books in no particular order, just in case someone asks me the dreaded question: “What’s your favorite book?” I can’t pick just one! So my top five right now are: Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace, Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut, The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, and Dune by Frank Herbert. As that list suggests, while I think the more literary works are fascinating and wonderful, I’ll always love reading sci-fi and fantasy, my favorite genres.


Medha: Who/what influences you the most in your life? Is it the same as who/what inspires you most in your writing?

David: Well, there are some obvious and major influences in my life that can’t be overlooked, like my parents, my siblings, and my school. But beyond that, the answer would mostly have to be the books I’ve read—they’ve done everything from take me to other worlds to make me think about my identity as a person. The books I’ve read have given me experiences I otherwise wouldn’t have had and have shaped the way I think and process big ideas. The authors behind those books are a big influence on me as well; I wouldn’t mind growing up to be the next Aldous Huxley, or the next J.R.R. Tolkien! And of course all of these influences and more provide inspiration for my writing. Writing is, by its very nature, an expression of the self—even when it doesn’t try to be. And so, all the major influences in my life come through, one way or another, in my writing.


More about Medha

Medha grew up bilingual, biracial, and bicultural, traveling between the American Midwest and the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. She has been genetically conditioned to be a writer and actor and after years of resisting, she’s finally accepted her fate. She is a passionate advocate for sustainable food production, race, gender, and sexuality issues, and workers/laborers rights. She is a self-proclaimed nerd, who loves all things Harry Potter, His Dark Materials, Doctor Who, soil, and knitting. If she could do anything, she’d play Yitzhak in Hedwig and the Angry Inch and be a part of Dark Noise Poetry Collective.


More about David

I live just outside Boston, Massachusetts and go to school there. I keep myself busy during the school year with Jazz Band, Glee Club, Debate, lifting, and of course our school's literary magazine. At home, I don’t have any pets, but I do have four whole siblings, so the house is never quiet! Still, I love to read and I just finished Catch-22. Reading grows naturally into writing, but I say that I’m a “wannabe writer” because I feel that I don’t write nearly as much as I ought to if I want to call myself a true writer. But I’m always trying to make more time (and summon up more inspiration) to write and I hope that one day I’ll feel worthy of the title “writer.”


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