Interview with Writer Camille Sanghera (WHO IS SHE?)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your short story about?

Camille Sanghera: This story is about a young woman who gets lost in her thoughts while staring at her unrecognizable self in the mirror. She describes feelings of sadness and touches on how she feels that she must put on a brave face. She is known as a happy and positive person and so she feels that she must continue to pretend that this comes naturally to her when in reality, she is empty, sad, and emotionless.

2. What genres would you say this story is in?

I would say this short story would land in a genre about mental health.

3. How would you describe this story in two words?

Regrettably relatable

4. What movie have you seen the most in your life?

Hmm. If I had to think off the top of my head, I would say Forest Gump.

5. What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the
most times in your life?)

I absolutely love Is This Love by Bob Marley and Pursuit of Happiness by Kid Cudi.

6. Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

I love reading and books in general, but if I had to choose an all-time favorite, it would be A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini.

7. What motivated you to write this story?

My husband and I had recently gone through some trauma and I found myself feeling very alone. Just like the woman in this short story, I am known as a person who generally has a positive outlook. I felt that my husband and family needed me to be strong so that they could stay strong, and if I had shown them how I really felt then everything would have come crashing down. I was also afraid that if I let myself be vulnerable and publically accept how I felt, I would forget how to be positive. I wanted to write this short story to let people know that you are not alone. It is completely okay to feel how you feel. You don’t have to hide like the woman in this story. Use your support system because you don’t have to carry that burden alone.

8. If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would
that be?

If I could have dinner with one person, I would choose Bob Marley. He seems to have just radiated positive energy.

9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Apart from writing, I am passionate about health and fitness in the mind, body, and soul. I run frequently, spend time with my dogs and loved ones, and try to grow herbs and vegetables.

10. What influenced you to enter your story to get performed?

I am a strong believer in the law of attraction, and I had asked the universe for some direction. Soon after, I was approached by someone from LinkedIn who was familiar with my writing. This person encouraged me to enter, and the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to see where this could go. It has all been extremely exciting so far.

11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Personally, I feel like the best piece of advice that I can pass along to other writers is to just be as honest and as raw as possible. Be present in every moment of your day. Remember how you felt, what you saw, what you heard, what you smelled in an environment or situation and use that when creating a character. Also, don’t give up. Writing can be a long process, and it can be tricky to put what you’re thinking into words. To help clear your mind, jot down all of your thoughts in point form, and then expand, and then expand some more until you have a sentence, a paragraph, a chapter, a story.  

Watch the Short Story Reading: 

Performed by Allison Kampf