On one of her blogs Kiran Manral blogs about fashion, jewellery, bags, shoes, cosmetics, home décor and food. She claims to be obsessed with them all; we are sure most women will understand why…
In the interview, the author talks to us about how her first novel The Reluctant Detective was born, why blogging is so much fun and how she founded India Helps (a network of volunteers who work with disaster victims).
How was the storyline of The Reluctant Detective born?
It wrote itself. Honestly. I just began writing about a suburban housewife and she had her own little adventure while I wrote it.
What is the methodology you follow? Is that that you plan every chapter or let the story take its own course?
In the case of The Reluctant Detective, I wrote out the first three chapters and a synopsis of each of the rest of the chapters and mailed it in. It got approved and I wrote out the book.
In case of another book I have written (which is still languishing with me, because I can't seem to end it) the story is taking its own course, so I have worked with both routes and while the first route is finite and determinable, the second is creatively much more satisfying.
How did you think of amalgamating a murder mystery with a housewife's story who worries about her weight and groans about not having enough clothes?
Actually, the back stories to the little snippets in the newspapers about 'unidentified dead body found' and such like fascinate me. Also the thought was to incorporate something disturbing into her everyday life that wouldn't actually impinge too much on her everyday life, but just create slight ripples that would unsettle her a bit.
What changes in the sequel to The Reluctant Detective?
Ha ha ha. You have to wait for that. Kay will be as reluctant as ever, is all I can promise.
Do you think women bring a unique perspective and emotional angle to their novels?
Stepping into Sir Vidia's controversy? Seriously, no. I might get lynched for saying this but it isn't a male/female perspective that counts, it is the power of observation and recollection and the ability to put down thought and emotion in a way that the reader can connect with it that counts. Some of the most moving novels have been written by men and they have been as emotional as they can get, and some female authors are very matter of fact and brusque with their writing. I would say it is personality rather than gender that determines how the writing will be.
You do a couple of blogs and write extensively as a freelance writer. How is novel writing primarily different from blogging and writing.
Novel writing involves living with the characters over a period of time, seeing how their story evolves, creating a kind of plot or development they have to work over or around. Blogs aren't like that.
Blogs are very random, at least mine are. Just five to ten minutes of writing. Freelance writing is writing to an assigned topic, in the house style. That is bread and butter work. Novel writing is a passion. Blogs are fun.
How can a writer make his/her humour work?
I wish I knew the answer to that. Honestly. I think you either have a sense of humour or you don't. I think it helps to not take yourself or your writing too seriously.
Could you share a little about your role at India Helps?
I founded India Helps post the 26/11 terror attack with a group of friends. It is a network of volunteers who work with disaster victims.
I primarily coordinate fundraising and getting information about the victims in need.
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