This blog used to be views on various things. But in all these years, I find it going a whole new direction.
Something which I have loved all the time. It's BOOKS!! So, presenting a whole new saga, of books and a little about them, whatever I can find, write, visualise and imagine...
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Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Author Interview : Abirami M Krishnan, author of 'How to Screw Up like a Pro'
I have read quite
a few interviews, some of which I have liked, and some others which I have
respected for the genuine thoughts that they came with. But not in a debut
author. This one is a tad different.
Abirami M Krishnan
is honest, frank and eager to share, and that is something I have rarely seen. It
reads like a novel, her interview does. Though, she does have a touch.
Read on as she describes
how her novel came about and why she picked subjects that are funny and yet
have the humane touch. She also advises writers of today, what they can do if
they want to write. You could read the review right here.
I read somewhere
that everyone has a story within themselves and I started wondering if I had
one within me too. That is how it began. I started
small. I wrote a short story and sent it in to a magazine, and to my great
surprise and delirious happiness, it got published. Then I began to think about
how to properly write a full length novel, the technique and the skill
required to write one and began to teach myself.
There are umpteen
books about how to write novels - by authors who are novellists or where
several novellists have contributed, and I read them all voraciously. Of course
there are major contradictions about what to write,
how to write, how to edit with each author's instructions, but that is part of
the fun, to figure out what works for you, individually.
the story, especially Akola’s come out? Did you have a lot of personal
experiences to go with it?
remembers some childhood memories very fondly. As I grew up, I too thought that
there were parts of my childhood that were great, and some that were the
some of the experiences that the protagonists have in How To Screw Up Like A
Pro are my own, large parts of Akola's story is imaginary.
about the medical element? What kind of research did you put in?
I have two doctor
parents too, just like the siblings in my book :-) Most of the information in
my book was bugged out of them, and the remaining is from the internet and
according to you is different about your book?
I think mental
illness is mostly portrayed negatively in books. As if even people who admit to
having mild depression are to be pitied. So, I
wanted to write about mental illness differently within a novel format.
illnesses, like other illnesses are largely temporary and treatable. I'm not
talking about schizophrenia or MPD here, but much milder forms, which are what,
affect most people who have mental illnesses.
But, the public
perception of mental illness – to give you an example- is to imagine that someone
has been diagnosed with end stage cancer and treat them as such when all they
have caught is the common cold.
aspect I wanted to explore was child abuse. I wanted the parent and the child
to make up with each other and find peace as the pain from such an abusive
incident or life period fades away with time.
I find more and
more of my contemporaries having a very transactional relationship with their
parents, mostly because they have hurt each other too deeply or have developed
misunderstandings that take up the entire space in the room. Do parents and their grown-up children know each other as
people, as persons, with likes, dislikes; hatred and flaws, as opposed to a
parent-child model that needed to exist when the children were young?
the most challenging part about writing ‘How to Screw Up like a Pro’?
I actually wrote
the manuscript within a three month period, but the challenging part was the
editing. It was slow going, agonizing and life-sucking :-) Mainly because as a
first time author I was new to the editing process and the approach that an editot will have to a manuscript. It was trim, trim, trim every word that was unnecessary to tell a story.
the problem with any new author is learning to cut mercilessly. I think I have
learnt it now. Or my next editor will find differently, much to her anguish :-)
the most fulfilling parts in your book?
In any book/movie
of this sort, resolution of the emotional conflict is the most fulfilling part.
It is like when Amitabh Bachchan and Shahrukh Khan make up in the mall in K3G,
for me the best part was Akola and Parvati making up.
particular character did you feel most close to? Why?
I identify with
both Akola and Anjana, because of their gender and age, mostly. As I grow
older, I think I will begin to identify with Parvati and then if I grow old
enough and am still alive, Lakshmi Patti :-D
it that told you that you could become the author, you are today?
had an English teacher in high school, who encouraged me to read more widely
and write more often. But otherwise, there wasn't anyone who told me I could
become an author.
I love words and
books and cannot imagine a life where I am not reading or writing.
will you next book be out?
working on the next novel, but it will be a couple of years before it will be
fit to be read.
to eat, so I go to work. Otherwise, I potter about in my balcony garden or I
bake sinful, calorie laden treats that
I'm not supposed to be eating, but I eat anyway.
What advice do you have for the young writers
It is absolutely
true that old adage – write what you know. I will just slightly modify
it to – Write what you know first, the rest will
automatically follow. There is truth to another adage about writing – it is 1%
inspiration and 99% perspiration. If your butt is not in the chair and your
fingers not on the keyboard, your brilliant idea for a book will never turn
There will be
rejections, but it is part of the game. Learn,
adapt, re-write and resend – unless what you have written is absolutely
un-publishable (If you have read enough you will know what is and what isn't
publishable, and if you haven't read enough, you shouldn't be writing anyway)
your writing will get its space.