Chissick Chat #5 ~ Read the interview with Rohini Sunderam

Chissick Chat

Chissick Chat with Elaine R. Chissick and Rohini Sunderam.

Hello, Rohini Sunderam, a Canadian author of Indian origin who now lives in Bahrain. Welcome to my blog. Please, can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about yourself and your books?

My name is Rohini Sunderam, and I am a Canadian of Indian origin. I spent ten years in Bahrain, a tiny island in the Middle East, emigrated to Canada and after a life-changing decade in Halifax, Nova Scotia returned to Bahrain in 2003 and have been here ever since.


I have written three very different books, a short romance: Desert Flower under the pen name Zohra Saeed – set in 1930s Bahrain, a collection of poems: Corpoetry- satirising life in the corporate world, and a recently released novella: Five Lives One Day in Bahrain that follows the lives of five very different people – four expats and one Bahraini through a single day. The five prayer times that Muslims observe are used to punctuate the different periods in the day and the story’s action. Through the course of the day, we learn of the individuals’ lives and hopes until a point when they are all brought together and their lives intertwine. This is an uplifting story that celebrates ordinary people in extraordinary ways.

What, or who, inspires you?

That’s a hard one. As you can tell, my stories are all so different and different incidents sparked each one off. One was a chance remark in the office, one was a colleague asking me how hot it gets in Bahrain – that sparked off Desert Flower, and Five Lives was in response to a challenge. So it could be anything, a poem, a word, or if the wind blows another way and sets a memory buzzing.

Do you enjoy reading the same genre as the one you write in?

Yes. My tastes, like my books, are all over the place. I do like a number of stories set in India and some in the Middle East. So some day I will write at least one tale that’s set in India. I already have an outline in place for a story in Halifax and yet another one in Bahrain that I’ve been working on for a while. What attracts and inspires me most is poetic writing.

Has any of your research taken you to an unusual place?

Not yet, but anything is possible in this insanity called writing.

What are you working on at the moment?

The w-i-p that I hope will be my magnum opus and the story based in Halifax.

What are your future writing plans?

I have a number of outlines, story germs and ideas that I’ve been carrying around with me for many years. I hope to one by one finish them before that final adventure beyond the grave.

Is there anything you don’t like about writing/being an author?

No! I love it, all of it, from editing to planning to researching. I am one of those fortunate people who even had a writing job – as an advertising copywriter in several ad agencies and the provincial newspaper in Canada. I’ve really been blessed as I enjoyed almost every single day of going to work. I was devastated when I retired and then, along with freelance (to help pay for a few things) I began to write in earnest.

Quick Fire Questions …

Tea or coffee? Tea

Sweet snack or savoury snack? Savoury

Real book or ebook? Real book

Cinema or DVD? DVD or a download.

Cat or dog? Dog

Weepie or action movie? Depends on my mood, but usually ‘drama’ could be a weepie or an uplifting tale.

And to Finish, What is your favourite …

Food? Depends on my frame of mind, but if all else fails, some form of bread.

Drink? Sherry

Movie? No single movie, but I like most historical/ period films

Book? Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses

Colour? Haven’t a clue… depends on my mood, blue one day, red another, white!

Saying/Proverb? A quote from Gone with the Wind: “Tomorrow is another day.”

Song? A hymn: How Great Thou Art

Pudding/dessert? Anything dark chocolate

Thanks for chatting, Rohini, and good luck with your current work in progress.

Elaine ChissickElaine R. Chissick ~ Wife, mother, and step-mother with a passion for writing. I have three books out on Kindle at the moment and two in paperback. One is a true story and the other two are fiction novels. I am currently working on a few new projects. I’m also one of the authors who contributed to the charity book, “Look 4 Books Medley of Short Stories”
I have an eclectic taste in music, I like to cook, and I think that my cat has the most fabulous green eyes I have ever seen.
For more information, check out my website:


One response to “Chissick Chat #5 ~ Read the interview with Rohini Sunderam”

  1. I have often seen posts from Rohini online and it was interesting to read something about her. An interesting interview giving an insight into Rohini’s personality and her interests. She is clearly a seasoned traveller and this must have an influence on her writing. I wish her good luck on future endeavours.


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