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Mary Zareah: Author of Vodka Sambar

Vodka Sambar - That's a weird blend right? Not really. Vodka Sambar is a beautiful love story written by Mary Zareah. Guess what? It's her first book. I was really surprised by the fact that it is possible to create a masterpiece in the first attempt. So I asked her to answer some of my questions. I was very surprised by her answers. Those answers were not lengthy. Instead, short and very realistic. 

"What can I say? Other than the words like "Amazing", "Beautiful", "Magnificent". I started reading this book a week ago. I usually don't read a lot of books. But I was intrigued with the title of the book. "Vodka Sambar" Can you imagine? It is a weird combination, but Mary Zareah is an awesome mixologist. She made an awesome blend which will make you fall in love with the beauty of the book. Okay, I don't know about you. I did fall in love with the story. I'm not revealing any part of the story in this book because it will ruin your surprise. I couldn't resist. So I'm telling you that the story is very happy ending and it's very dramatic. You just can't predict the end of the story while you are reading it. Just can't do it. It's a beautiful ending. This is a "Must read" Love story"

1. Tell us something about your childhood life. You can include details about your friends, Parents, dreams, your inspirations as a child.
My childhood wasn't pretty crazy or adventurous. It was quite normal in a very sleepy small town called thrissur. It's a place where everyone knows everyone. Yeah. it's very beautiful with pristine beaches and mountains and since my family is so interested in cooking, I had my entire childhood waking up to fluffy appams and elephants everywhere.  

2. Who has been the most important person in your life? Tell me about him/her?
Well, I'm quite narcissist to answer this question. The most important person will be me, because there were lot of times, when I had to gear up to support my dream.

3. Tell us about your emotional self? What role do emotions play in your life?
I'm very emotional. I'm a kind of person who thinks with her heart. I guess all decisions whether right or wrong took place because I was emotional to that particular thought.

4. What do you consider as your greatest achievement so far?
Solo backpacking and writing a book.

5. What do you think as your strengths and weaknesses?
I have been very emotional and sometimes it is my weakness. My biggest strength is I believe in myself quite a lot.

6. Where do you see yourself in next few years? Don’t think as an author. Just tell us what do you want to do with your life?
I want to do what I love in my life. I want to enjoy that moment. If I want to play violin so be it, just be in that moment. In long haul I see myself writing movie scripts :) No idea if that will be true. I also want to bring in change. We are all conformed to certain rules by the society. I want to be a living example that, your dream job could also be an excellent career.


1. Tell us something about you. What were you doing before jumping into writing? How did all this begin?
I was a mobile application developer. Writing didn't instantly happened to me. I started reading when I was 2 and a half and started writing from when I was 8. So it's years and years of hard work.

2. Why did you choose this genre? Do you have any specific reasons? 
I believe fiction is an amazing genre. And through it can express the ups and downs of life.

3. How do you distinguish yourself from other authors? What is your belief on your writing? As in the purpose of its existence.
I don't write like any other author. I'm not any good as them. But I believe whatever I weave however simple that is, if it can strike a chord into my reader. Then I'm a winner there.

4. What was the biggest challenge you faced in the whole process of developing Vodka Sambar?
Writer's block. Terrible. Couldn't write anything further than a fullstop for almost a year.

5. How long it took to complete the book? Tell us about those times.
Almost 3 years. I started in 2012 with the first chapter and climax, then I was hit by a terrible writer's block in 2013, and then I started writing the mid portion in 2014 and merged it all in. 

6. What was unexpected? Financial issues, Criticism or whatever it may be. Please share it with us.
Both. I was taken aback when I faced severe criticism. Then I asked myself. Does this book deserve a chance to be in the hands of a reader. Yes was the ultimate answer.

7. What made you decide to sit down and actually start something? Where do the ideas come from?  Do you ever get writer’s Block? Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?    
I don't really sit down to create something. Ideas never comes to me like that. I'm a compulsive overthinker. I think a lot with subjects  I love.  There are a lot of stories that died within my head. If I feel like this has to be in paper or MSWord, I will be restless until I put it down.

8. What is your vision as an Author? Where do you see your writing career in few years?
More books, more love :)

9. What would be your next book?
I'm struggling with 3 ideas where I haven't decided which one to write.

10.  What would be your advice if I tell you I'm planning to start writing?
Don't think, just do

11. Tell us about the research for Vodka Sambar
Intense research has been gone into the research. Since Sudha, the main protagonist is a copywriter, I had to ask many people in the advertisement industry. And also a large chunk of the story happens in pak, with a backdrop of 2 tribes. So a lot of studies has been gone in those details before writing the story.

Logical Questions

1. What is your opinion about failure? Did you learn anything from failure? and how do you deal with it?

Yes. Failure is inevitable. Embrace it. Learn through it. Then when you finally kiss success, you do with all your heart how much that means to you.

2. Do you have something that you regret? A mistake. What would you have done differently? 

Not really.

3. When have you been the most satisfied in your life?
When I do things I love. From appreciating the first ray of sunlight to the best filter coffee to watching kids play to finishing a good story, from people Liking or commenting in social media. To inspiring people and getting overwhelmed with their wonderful messages. For me, every day is quite satisfying. It's a gift :)

4. Tell me about a time when things didn’t go the way you wanted
It was quite disheartening. But I'm a go getter. If I want something, I will get it.

5. If you could travel back in time of the day of your start-up and have 15 minutes to your former self to communicate any lessons you've learned with the intention of saving yourself from mistakes and heartaches. What would you tell?
Don't hurry into making a masterpiece. Just give it some time. 

6. What do you think as the goal in your life? Do you think that you are heading in the right direction or should you change it?
I want to start a revolution. Where people can believe in their dreams and strive to be happy. I guess I'm going exactly where I should be.

7. What is your vision for the world? What can be done to make the world a better place and what is your share in making it?
Love is not a give and take. It's all about sharing. I believe people should be more open to each other. For starters, a simple smile would do.

8. Describe happiness in your own terms?
When you see, feel, understand things and that gives you peace 

9. Whom or What do you want to be when you have next birth? And why?
I just want to be me, being born exactly as me.

10.Given the choice of anyone in the world. Whom would you want as a dinner guest? Why?
Hugh jackman. Who doesn't like Wolverine :)


1. How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
When I could write the pain and poetry in my head to words.  It took a long haul to achieve it.

2. What book/s are you reading at present?
I want to read Rustom and last storyteller of Almora by Gaurav Parab.

3. What is your favorite book and why?
I love "Wild water walking club, by Claire cook". It's about a story. How old you are, how opportunities you miss. Get up, show up and do something about it. Whatever you want will come to you.

4. What is your favorite quote?
Climb is tough, but view is great

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