DI resident Vijaya Bodach releases her first novel
Are you responsible for your loved ones? How do you live your own life? And what happens when your dreams and desires don’t match up with the needs of those you care about?
Author and Daniel Island resident Vijaya Bodach uses her new book “Bound” to explore these questions in a story about siblings.
“My book is about two sisters who are both damaged in some way,” said Bodach. “The narrator, Rebecca, is physically damaged. She has severe burns as a child and her sister is—I don’t like to say ‘mentally damaged,’ but intellectually disabled.”
Complicating things further for 17-year-old Rebecca Joshi and her sister, Joy, is their traditionalist father, who depends on Rebecca to care for her sibling. Although she wants to make her dream of being a physician a reality, life throws wrenches into the cogs again and again. Joy gets pregnant, leading to confrontations between Rebecca and her father.
“I imagine all sorts of horrible things happen to my characters,” she laughed. “Not because I’m a sadist, but because it’s only when you are in difficulty that you realize what you’re made of.”
Bodach uses the hardships of the dramatic tale to pose a biblical question: Am I my brother’s keeper?
“Bound” is Bodach’s first young adult book and her first novel.
“I’m primarily a short story writer and a nonfiction writer,” she said. “I really avoided trying to write a novel because a novel will take years, but there are some stories that don’t fit in a short story mold. You need the space to explore these questions and the lives of these characters.”
The author’s book took some inspiration from characters in her life.
“I have two cousins. One who was burned as a child and one who was born deaf,” she said about Rebecca and Joy’s creation.
“I borrow a lot from real life,” she added.
While Bodach felt like writing a novel was a daunting task, she had the story arcs worked out before she put ink to paper.
“This book came very easily for me,” she commented on Bound’s writing process. “The book literally wrote itself, and what I had to do was basically make sure that everything was in the logical order.”
This may be Bodach’s first young adult work and first novel, but she has forged a career as an author in several forms, having written articles, poems, and over 60 children’s books.
As a child, Bodach worked her way through a stutter, an experience she uses in her writing.
“I think better through my fingers than through my mouth,” she commented. “One of the biggest reasons I love the writing life is because I never had a voice as a child. I write to give a voice to those who have none.”
The author’s life before her first story was in a completely unpredictable field.
“I was a biochemist and I did my PhD in biochemistry and biophysics,” she said.
Bodach’s career change came from her kids.
“I really enjoyed it, but when I got pregnant with my children, I was in between jobs,” she remembered. “And I had lined up some interviews, but when I discovered I was pregnant, I cancelled those interviews because I wanted to stay home with my children.”
Her life as a mother brought her imagination out, reminding Bodach of her childhood fantasy of being a writer.
“I really have enjoyed staying at home and it’s really the simple life that we lead; I love the fact that we had all this time to daydream,” she said.
Her story is one that she hopes everyone can experience first-hand.
“I would love for people to follow their dreams,” she stated. “Because I really do believe that dreams are placed upon our heart from God himself.”
Currently, Bodach is continuing to write. She’s preparing an historical young adult story, working on a discussion guide for Bound, revising two picture books, all while preparing to draft her next novel.
To read more about Bodach and her work, visit https://vijayabodach.blogspot.com.