Nerisha Kemraj resides in Durban, South Africa with her husband and two mischievous daughters. She writes poetry in any style, and short stories in any genre that she takes interest in. A lover of dark fiction, she has over 150 short stories and poems published in various publications. She has also received an Honourable Mention Award for her tanka in the Fujisan Taisho 2019 Tanka Contest. Nerisha holds a Bachelor's degree in Communication Science, and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education from University of South Africa.
Writing has been a part of my life since high-school. I started out by writing poetry, rhyming poetry, to be more specific. (I’ve since learned to take on free-verse and other classical poetic forms, with the help of writing groups like Rising Moon Poetry.) I was always a voracious reader and fell in love with words, although it never occurred to me that I would one day, be writing stories, myself.
In October 2016, I wrote my first short story, which was later published by Celenic Earth Publications, and that’s when I realised, I loved the whole writing to publish process. That first story idea came to me in a recurring dream, which stopped as soon as I got the words down. Dreams are where my inspiration comes from, and when I can’t remember them, I write stories from the experiences of others.
I decided to join writing groups on Facebook, since I’m a selective introvert and avoid people in real life, this was a perfect avenue and also, how I came across The Iron Writer group, run then by Brian Rogers – this group became my greatest motivator with their weekly challenge competitions and writing prompts, and the stories began to flow from then. Thereafter, my short stories and poetry went on to be published in many online journals and print anthologies.
Writing is a big part of my life now, and it’s such an accomplished feeling, knowing that my work is out there, being read around the world. Yes, there are many days where the words for stories escape me, but then I bounce back with poetry on those days. Procrastination is my biggest hurdle even though I love writing. I find it difficult to get my “ass in seat” to write, and the social media distractions don’t help at all!
Aside from those distractions, I spend my non-writing time with my two girls, who I’m proud to say, chip in some story ideas whenever I’ll have it, to their father’s dismay. I write under the Horror umbrella, and in using my daughters as sound boards, they have become obsessed with zombies and monsters! So, in order to get them away from the darkness, I encourage creativity with my other hobbies: drawing and painting, or spending time with nature – my favourite pass time when the sun is shining!
And then when another determined idea hits me, I get back onto the writing horse. While, I have a laptop, and a dedicated writing space (thanks to my darling, husband), I tend to write on my phone which has become a permanent accessory, and where almost all of my stories were born... (Although I am trying to refrain from it as it isn’t very productive - We’ll see how that goes!)
My advice to aspiring writers is: don’t be like me, get those words down as soon as the idea comes, that way, it won’t be lost in the void, and on those days where you just can’t get anything out, don’t force it… it will come when it’s ready. And when it does, it is magic! Being able to finish a story that has been floating around in your mind, waiting to be freed, is the first step to success. “Finishing” is the best part of writing for me, and having that story/poem published is most gratifying.
Yes, not everyone will love your work, and there will be critics along the way, but just take everything with a grain of salt. Writing, like most things, is a learning process, and you’ll find yourself improving along the way. So, heed the advice of others who are trying to help, and ignore what isn’t helpful. That’s what I do.
I am currently working on poetry to hopefully publish in a collection, soon. I also plan on having a collection of short stories out in the next year or so. It will most likely be a collection of horror stories since that is my favourite genre, reading and writing, with other sub-genres thrown in… While that dream of writing a novel, has never left my mind’s eye.
Most people may not know, that I have dabbled in writing erotica. Some of my sensuous poems have already been published under my current name, however if any erotic stories are published in future, I will definitely be using a pseudonym!
Anthologies featuring Nerisha Kemraj
For published work
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