Thursday, June 30, 2016
Author Interview : Gayathri Ponvannan, author of ‘Time Racers’ (Part 1)
Read up, Interview with Gayathri Ponvannan, Author of ‘Time Racers’. This science fiction piece, with a blend of history and mystery. We get to explore PP’s characteristics, along with Simha’s histrionics. Why is it all so? We get to explore it and we have Ponvannan giving us a few more details. There is even more to come in part two of this Interview, Folks…
How did ‘Time Racers’ happen? Could you describe the journey?
‘Time Racers’ started off rather prosaically, with an email. One of the editors at Penguin got in touch, after reading my work with Disney’s Pitchkiaow contest. I was developing a vague ‘time travel across generations’ idea then – percolating, is the right literary word, I suppose. This took off as a full-fledged manuscript.
The journey could be best likened to a see-saw…there were many back and forth trips between my inbox and the editor’s, as well as a few pit-stops at Siyahi, (the literary consultancy), along the way!
How did the story, especially Pratik’s come about? Did you have a lot of personal experiences to go with it?
Much of this is from personal experience – I have a 14 year old son, who provided the language and style for the character. There is a good deal of me in Pratik too - I was just such a doofus, when growing up in the early 1990s (the mists of time, as far as the readers of this book are concerned!)
Did any of the incidents happen, how much was fact and how much, fiction?
The time travel, and all related incidents are fiction, of course. The emotions are all factual, however, and so is the village near Chennai.
‘Time Racers’ started off with a similarity – I’ve always found my son strikingly similar to my grandfather. And I’ve always bitterly regretted the fact that they never knew each other (my grandfather passed away well before my son was born). This was the germ of the idea that then grew into the story.
Of course, there had to be an aspect of time travel, since this is a relationship between two people who would never ever met, expect in my own head!
What according to you is different about your book?
The book describes an underdog-to-hero journey of a thirteen year old boy – the bildungsroman, a rather common genre. But the inspiration for his metamorphosis comes from the past.
In this book, Pratik lives and learns in the past, and carries his lessons into the future – this, I feel, is an aspect that’s different from the usual coming-of-age books.