In our new author series, we’ll be offering a clairvoyant peek behind the veil of who and what makes up TRANSCENDENT. Here’s a glimpse at Rohit Sawant and his story “I Dream of Desirée.”
ABOUT THE STORY
What inspired your story?
“I Dream of Desirée” came together over time. Part of it was inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “Ligeia,” in which a woman returns from the dead by sheer force of will. But it was just notional then. Later, during a phone conversation with my best friend, I mentioned having bizarre dreams about a girl I knew in college, and, after the customary leg-yanking, she joked how it could be the basis for ‘the weird stuff you write.’ It could, I said and something about it stuck. The more I played with it, those two ideas came together and I had an exploded-view, if that makes sense, of the new thing they formed and it gradually developed as I began writing.
Did you have to do any research? If so, what kind? What did you learn?
There wasn’t much research involved except for a part where a character visits a neurologist. It’s a minor scene, but I wanted the ensuing medical assessment to ring of accuracy. It actually wound up being bloated with superfluous details, which is true for the initial draft overall, and I had to shear them off during rewrites.
Tell me about the setting you chose and how it influences your work.
The setting is a bit all over the place, factoring in flashbacks and dreamscapes, but it mainly switches between a small town and a suburban neighborhood, and while both are rather uneventful locations, compared to the latter the former has a nostalgic vibe being set in the 90s.
What would you like readers to take away from your story?
Maybe find resonance in the little things and have an instance or two of being creeped out. But really, if I can help readers while away time in a waiting room or a queue, I’m happy.
Which phrase are you most proud of in this story?
“She wore a colorful top that reminded me of temperature maps I’d seen in geography books.” I like how that line makes the imagery pop.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
A moleskin notebook.
If you had to put your name on someone else’s book/story, which would it be and why?
A while ago, I read a story on Flash Fiction Online called “And All Our Bones Were Dust” by Steven Fischer, and it just blew me away, man. It’s this ingenious apocalyptic piece. I especially loved the tone and visuals, and it hit all the right notes in terms of story and emotionality. Definitely something I wish I’d written.
When did you decide to take writing seriously?
When I was in my early twenties. I’d scribbled stuff before, but it was nothing more than half-baked thoughts or random scenes. For me, taking writing seriously meant finishing what I wrote. And doing it again as often as I could.
If you could choose a single superpower, what would it be and why?
Teleportation. Because I’m lazy, and also, it’d save up on time, so I could cross more books off my TBR.
Rohit Sawant’s fiction is forthcoming in Weirdbook Magazine and has been featured in the anthologies On Fire, Down with the Fallen, Sherlock Holmes: Adventures in the Realms of H.G. Wells and elsewhere. He lives in Mumbai, India. Enjoys sketching, films, and his favorite Batman is Kevin Conroy.