‘Being an editor did and does help. Both editing and writing require living in the world of literature and books so the transition from editing to writing is always pretty seamless for me’ Himanjali
In an exclusive interview Himanjali Sankar speaks to Bookaholicanonymous, tells us about her writing process and her transition from writing books for children to writing for adults.
Himanjali Sankar grew up in Kolkata. She completed her Masters and MPhil in English Literature from JNU, New Delhi. She has taught English to undergraduate students and been an editor with various publishing houses. Her first book for children, The Magical Adventures of Skinny Scribbles, was published in May 2012. This year she has launched her first book for adults called ‘Mrs C Remembers’, a piercing exploration of the limits of submission, of illness and upheaval and the unfathomable powers of the human mind.
You wrote for children earlier, now you’ve written a book for adults? Why did you feel the need for this transition?
It doesn’t really reflect any need or thought on my part. The themes I chose for this book made it more suitable for adults. In fact, my next book will be for young adults once more.
Which is easier, writing for children or for adults?
It’s easier to write for adults since one doesn’t have to work as hard at getting the language and the vocabulary right. With children you want to challenge them but just to the right point where they are engaged but not losing interest. Also writing for adults requires less planning – I can go along with the narrative and let it flow freely or introduce more twists and turns as I think fit. For children one has to be more plot-driven.
Tell us something about your books for children.
I have written two books on Rousseau a time-telling super dog and his adventures with the Orange Marmaladies in the Black Hole of Time. The dog is loosely based on my own Labrador Rousseau who can perhaps also tell the time (how can I be sure he doesn’t?). I’ve also written one book for young adults, Talking of Muskaan, and one for early school goers called The Magical Adventures of Skinny Scribbles.
Tell us about Mrs C Remembers. Your first book for adults
In a sentence I would say it’s about family, loving and forgetting, explored through the relationship between a mother and a daughter.
Was it based on someone you knew?
Yes it’s loosely based on my other mother who has Alzheimer’s.
How important are covers for a book?
An attractive cover catches the attention of a person who is browsing in a bookshop –there’s so much out there that it is great if one can get the attention of a person simply through an unusual cover. A well-written book will be recognized for its worthbut a good cover does help generate interest initially.
You are an editor with a publishing house; did being an editor help you while writing?
I believe it did and does. Both editing and writing require living in the world of literature and books so the transition from editing to writing is always pretty seamless for me.
Bookaholicanonymous wishes Himanjali ‘all the best’ for her future in the writing and editing world!
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