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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Author Interview : Krishna Udayasankar, author of ‘Govinda’ and ‘Kaurava’ Part II

This part is here a little early, mainly because I couldn't resist it. But, if you guys want to also read the first part too, here it is http://srutis.blogspot.in/2013/11/interview-krishna-udayasankar-author-of.html

As 'ACK' used to have the dialogue 'Lo and Behold'! this is the concluding part of this interview. Here, she talks about the travails of writing a 'trilogy'?, and of course, the fulfilling parts. 

The fact that she enjoys writing poetry, teaches at a university, are all just a part of this author's satisying and enjoyable life. And also, the fact that you might have read 'Govinda' in poetry fomat is also part of this mytho-fiction's writer's reality. 
So, read on for more surprises!!

What was the most challenging part about writing a trilogy?

Not wanting to ‘kill’ irritating characters. Seriously – I think its finding the resolve to go on, even though I look back and find things in previous books that I wish I had done differently. The ‘mistakes’ you make haunt you longer when you write a series – which, by the way, is the plan, not a trilogy. I have a prequel in the pipeline too!

What are the most fulfilling parts till now; now that you have managed to release two novels?

Getting to interact with readers and looking at the book-world from their point of view. That, and of course, the increased belief that I’m not mad for holding conversations in my head with imaginary people, I’m just a writer. :)

When would your third book be out?


Did you think that they would become as successful as they have become today?

Sadly, no. Else I might not have waited so long to write the first book :) In a market like this, first-mover advantages are huge! 

But, business regrets apart, when I began work on the Chronicles, which was before mytho-fiction took off in such a big way, I was writing it because I had to, because it was my way of making sense of the past, of the world around me. In fact, I didn’t even consider it ‘mytho-fiction’. It was just a book.

What else do you write, besides the novels? Could you tell us a little about the poetry you write?

I am mainly a prose-poet, though I do write free verse and rhyming verse. In fact, when I first began writing what subsequently became The Aryavarta Chronicles, it was as a satire poem! I used to happily call myself a failed poet, but now that I have a collection and am working on the second, I guess that’s not a good idea. 

My poetry follows the view that the personal is political, and so is often plotted along a small, micro-situation, like a conversation between two people, but is actually a doorway to a larger issue. But yes, I actually have to ‘storify’ and plot even for my poetry – otherwise it tends to what is called confessional poetry, and I totally suck at writing that!

I also write flash fiction, which has appeared in anthologies and collections – those tend to be aderenaline boost moments where I write the piece in half an hour, edit it over the next one day, and then never look at it till it is in print – then of course, I wonder what madness led me to write it…

Which book are you currently reading?

I just finished Neil Gaiman’s ‘Ocean at the End of the Lane’, and also ‘House of Hades’ in Rick Riordan's Heroes of Olympus series. Am trying not to pick up something new till I finish the pile of marking that needs to get done (I teach at a University in Singapore), but it’s a battle I shall lose - I am going through a collection of poems by Wislawa Szymborska and also reading some of Charles Bukowski’s work, online.
Who are your favourite authors and why?

Rudyard Kipling, Isaac Asimov, Bill Watterson, Kalki Krishnamurthy and many, many more. Why? Because they brought alternate universe to life.

What else do you do on a day to day basis?

I work! But other than that, my day is pretty routine and quiet. I enjoy gymming and yoga, and also the occassional run. I love being with my family, especially my fur-kids. It’s never a dull moment with them around. Oh, and they are howling at me right now, insisting I tell you how I steal all their ideas and turn them into books.                            

What advice do you have for the young writers of today?

Hmm... We best give the advice we need to hear, so here goes: Know why you write.There is no right or wrong reason to write, but knowing why you want to do so – is it fame, money, or just a compulsion – helps deal with the process and the outcomes. It will save you heartbreak.
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