Suzanne Sangi: Writing Facebook Phantom

Author Suzanne Sangi on the experience of writing her first book.

Facebook was the word in every mouth come high school. And so, eventually, it started getting to one’s head. How fascinating it was to be able to share anything you wanted with anyone you’d ever known and then slowly realizing that it was one of the easiest ways of making new friends as well. Reconnecting with old friends who’ve gone unheard for too long was the most alluring part of this new exciting social media since, well almost EVERBODY started appearing on Facebook!

I remember the first time the idea of ‘Facebook Phantom’ came to me: It was during my mid-terms in tenth standard and I’d just come home from school in the afternoon. I’d convinced myself that I was going to sign in on Facebook just for ten minutes or so–that was the time I was obsessed with Vampire Wars and I was hell bent on reaching the next level.

An hour later I’d slumped back to study, cursing myself for the time wasted on the computer and I wondered what would it be like to be so absorbed and addicted to this social media that you’re left with nothing else that can interest you? And then eventually, my love for the supernatural got the better of me and I started building up a story in my head about an essence that uses Facebook as a bridge between its otherworldly existence and that of the living. However, it wasn’t till after my board exams that I seriously thought of writing a book out of it.

I had no plot or a proper structure to base my writing on–once I started, the story flowed. I always preferred the peace of the night to do anything that required brain work and so, most of my writing was done while everyone at home had retired for the day. And I have to admit, it was almost scary sometimes–sitting alone in my room in the dead of the night and writing a thriller! But then again, it was an inspirational set up, I should say.

A Bangalorean in heart and soul–forgive me if I come across as overly patriotic–I have made sure that every scene in the book has taken place in this city. Writing about the places I’ve been to–places that I’ve grown up in, has made me personally attached to the scenes and characters. This feeling of familiarity is something I truly cherish about the book.

The book revolves around strong friendship whose mettle is tested time and again.

All my life, I’ve always known how truly fortunate it is to have friends whom you can open up your mind and heart to–this has been an inspiration to the characters in the book. I’ve read an article on the newspaper once, which said. ‘Friendship becomes stronger with the happiness shared and not sorrows’. It’s amazing how very humorous and accepting you become only with the friends whom you can open up to. And this is what I’ve tried my best to bring to light in ‘Facebook Phantom’.

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