Bookaholicanonymous is delighted to present this exclusive interview with Kiran Manral. She is a prolific writer, writing books across genres. Her book ‘Saving Maya’ which was earlier launched on an app, is all set to be published in print by Bombaykala any day now. She is someone I admire and would love to achieve half of what she has accomplished till now.
Kiran Manral published her first book, The Reluctant Detective in 2011. Since then, she has published seven books across genres till date. Her short stories have been published on Juggernaut, in magazines like Verve and Cosmopolitan, and have been part of anthologies like Chicken Soup for the Soul, Have a Safe Journey (2017) and Boo (2017). Her articles and columns have appeared in the Times of India, Tehelka, DNA, Yowoto, Shethepeople, TheDailyO, Scroll, Buzzfeed, New Woman, Femina, Verve, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Conde Nast Traveller, DB Post, The Telegraph, the Asian Age, iDiva, People, Sakal Times, and more. She was shortlisted for the Femina Women Awards 2017 for Literary Contribution. She is a TEDx speaker and a mentor with Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk 2017. Phew! Is there anything she hasn’t done?
Please tell us about your writing journey. Are you satisfied with how it’s turned out so far?
Well, I've always been writing ever since I can remember, whether soppy princess stories as a kid, angst ridden poems as an adolescent or features and news reports through my twenties and blogs through my thirties, post having my son. I published my first book when I turned forty and I think everything happens at the time it should. No regrets.
How do you decide on your characters?
I don't think I decide on them, they decide on me. They pop up in my mind as fully formed flesh and blood people and demand to be written down.
Let me start with 'Saving Maya', it was launched on an app, now soon-to-be- -published in print. Why did you decide to take out a print version? And finally, why does Maya need to be saved?
There were a lot of people who didn't want to read on the phone but wanted to read the book, among them my mom. That's why I thought it would be nice to have a print edition.
Maya was letting life happen to her, but she wakes up to the fact that there's no waiting for a Prince Charming to come save her she needed to get out there and change what she didn't like about her life.
Is 'The Face at the Window' a spooky
story or about 'finding oneself'?
Both. But then isn't finding oneself always rather spooky?
The stories of 'All Aboard!' and 'Once Upon a Crush' remind me of Mills & Boon stories? Your take.
They are romantic feel good stories with the guarantee of a happy ending. But I would like to think, they have a touch of humour which isn't quite Mills and Boon. And ‘Once Upon A Crush’ she's actually rejecting the premise of the ‘Happily Ever After’ with the arranged marriage for a no guarantees fling with a chap who might just work or not work long term, so it is a risk she takes. And she couldn't care a damn.
'Karmic Kids: The Story of Parenting Nobody
Told You' is about parenting. So, what kind of parenting do you support,
especially in today's scenario when parents are running up the wall, being
paranoid, trying to be 'cool' as well as 'pushy' parents!
Ah. I wouldn't know. I'm a doubting parent always, especially about my parenting abilities, The thing is none of us really know how to parent, what we know is either what we've seen our parents do, or we reject their parenting style completely and try to create our own. I think the best guide is always instinct, as a parent you instinctively know what works for you and your child. Each parent child equation is different; there is no one size fits all.
Your first novel 'The Reluctant Detective' is about a bored housewife who turns detective. How did you develop the character of Kanan Mehra aka Kay, she seems so familiar and funny at the same time.
Well, she's a bit of all the women we see around us and bits of her are us. She would seem familiar because she's a composite of me and a few women I know. I think we all know someone like Kanan.
You are super busy writing novels, being on talk shows, involved in writer fests, doing interviews and you are a mom too! Tell us about your time management skills.
Terrible. I am constantly running around in circles trying to get real work done while getting sidetracked by twitter trolls and social media. I wish I had better time management skills; I would be more focused and get more done.
What's next on the agenda? Which book/books can we look forward to from you?
Well, there's a domestic noir mystery coming up from Amaryllis. It is quite different from anything I've written before; I've dealt with subjects I've not tackled before. I think I need this, to keep changing the things I write about, or I bore the socks of myself in the writing process.
Bookaholicanonymous is thrilled to have her on our website. We are hoping for many many more delightful reads from her.
All the best Kiran Ma’am!
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