Nina Joshi Ramsey

Biography

Nina Joshi Ramsey was born in London to itinerant migrant parents from British India who travelled with work, and finally settled in British East Africa. Joshi Ramsey left Kenya as a teenager with her family, following an attack on their home after a violent attempted military coup. Her account of that won a place in the 2nd Decibel Penguin Literary Prize Anthology.

Following a career in technology Management and an MA in Creative Writing and a PGDip in Psychology, Joshi Ramsey's debut novel, Lifewalla, was inspired by true events of the 1984 Bhopal Gas Disaster. Bollywood song and dance are embraced in the book as much as all over India for their role of entertainment and escapism. The UK edition of the book raises funds for survivor clinics in Bhopal (Lifewalla.org). Amongst recommendations is one from Professor Jamie Hacker Hughes, President of the British Psychological Society, who considers Lifewalla 'a very human book' that 'really gets inside the psychology of disasters and the consequences they wreak'.

A professional reading of Joshi Ramsey's play, 'Familiar Strangers' was produced by Kali Theatre at the Tristan Bates Theatre in Covent Garden as part of Talkback 2016, with the stellar cast of Ameet Chana, Shaheen Khan and Clare Perkins. Going back in time the play reveals once close bonds that were severed when a mother won't accept her son's choice of a black partner. With themes exploring otherness in sameness, the play weaves humour and pain, as well as the Mother's obsession with Bollywood's Shahrukh Khan. The story unpicks prejudice to explore the familiar in strangers, and the strangeness in the familiar. A short film script, 'Hari & the Three Misfits' is in development.

Joshi Ramsey has travelled to over 40 countries for pleasure as well as for work: from the Arctic to the Antarctic, and from waitressing to cleaning motel rooms, from wiping slum children's bums and tums to writing glum experiences of the marginalised, from interviewing model desert dwellers to cajoling rogue city dwellers, from auditing broken banking systems to managing global technology groups, from leading performance coaching sessions to professionals to giving stress management workshops to students. Amongst that she has trained male prisoners in listening skills and village woman in birth control. She was a digital volunteer co-ordinating rescue efforts for those stranded in the Langtang valley during the 2015 Nepal earthquakes, and encourages others to sign up to such efforts. 'Even an hour a week. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.'

Her writing is informed by the sum of her experiences. Joshi Ramsey lives in London with her husband and their imaginary dog

Smashwords Interview

What is your writing process?
My writing process has changed over the years. I used to just sit down and write and see where that took me. My first novel took forever (I am now editing it for potential release). My second one, Lifewalla, took long as well but after the first complete draft, it got sent out to publishers by my then agent. Unfortunately 2008 was a tough year. Publishers didn't bite and I had some tough family responsibilities for a few years, which meant I wasn't able to work on the novel again for a few years. Life experience marinades stories though, and I can only assume the book has some of my processed and raw emotions. It's a tough story but also with some light relief, and it got some good reviews from subject matter experts. So, ultimately, I was happy about the new route it ended up taking, fundraising for survivor clinics in Bhopal, the city that inspired the story.
What do you read for pleasure?
I use to read literary novels for pleasure. Now they are work as well. So I tend to read crime novels for pleasure... although now I want to write one! So who knows. They might become work as well!

I also still read the Indian Amar Chitra Katha and Panchatantra series that I used to as a child. They are like graphic novels and I find it quite nostalgic and somewhat comforting to read them. The former series was largely mythological stories and the latter a series of fables with mostly animal characters. Have a look when you get a chance and let me know what you think.

http://www.talesofpanchatantra.com/elephants-and-the-king-of-mice
http://www.amarchitrakatha.com/int/?___from_store=0&___store=international
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Nina Joshi Ramsey online


Where to buy in print


Books

Lifewalla
Price: $7.99 USD. Words: 89,500. Language: English. Published: July 25, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Psychological thriller
'[This] is going to be a big hit!!...I'd never read anything like it' (Concourse Magazine) Lifewalla is an unforgettable portrait of loss and pain. It is a deeply moving story of the humanity that could be experienced in a family of strangers. A story of the instinct to grapple for a child's survival, with indestructible hope.

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