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, September 07, 2016
Author Interview : Khyrunnisa A, author of 'The Misadventures of Butterfingers'
She tells us, how the entire book came about, how she
relates the lives of her characters to lives today, how the lead character,
Amar came about, how she relates the lives of the characters to lives today,
the most challenging part of the book, the next book she has planned and
much more, Folks…
How did 'The Misadventures of Butterfingers' happen? Could you
describe the journey?
created the character Butterfingers for the
children’s magazine, Tinkle and very soon the character became very popular.
Every Butterfingers story that I wrote was lengthy – close to 2,000 words,
was then scripted by the script writer who passed it on to the illustrator before
it appeared in the comic strip version. Often, this long story of mine got reduced
to 8 or 10 pages of comic strip. Initially, I was
heartbroken by this reduction but very soon understood the comic version’s
idea grew in my head that I should consider getting the original stories
published later. So, I decided not to compromise on
my writing style and continued to pen lengthy stories.
I felt there were enough stories for a collection, I approached Penguin
(Puffin). They liked the concept but requested a novel based on these
characters (As you worded it in a later question, ‘Publishers do not prefer
short stories.’ But I fail to understand why). That’s how ‘Howzzat Butterfingers’ came to be written
and was published.
was followed by two other novels, ‘Goal, Butterfingers!’ and ‘Clean Bowled,
Butterfingers!’ I once again approached my publishers with the short stories
and this time, they agreed to publish them. The result? ‘The Misadventures of
Butterfingers’. There are 14 stories in the collection, 13 of them have already
appeared in the comic strip version.
story, a very long 65 page novella titled ‘Ghosts at Green Park School,’ is
original for I wished to offer something completely new to the readers.
How did the story, especially Amar’s, come about?
first story I wrote for Tinkle was an entry for the Tinkle Original Short Story
Competition for adult writers of children’s fiction. The story was
‘Butterfingers,’ and it won a second prize.
seven consecutive years after that, I won the first prize in the competition,
but though I created different characters in the stories, Butterfingers
remained the family favourite. So, when Tinkle asked me to create a regular
character for the magazine, I unhesitatingly decided on Butterfingers. The only
change I made was to change the original name of Butterfingers from Mukesh to
Amar, the name of my son.
according to you is different about your book?
My earlier novels were humorous
sports-based novels, but ‘The Misadventures of Butterfingers’ is a collection
of laugh-out-loud short stories with diverse themes that one can easily relate
Humour and fun are common to all the
stories and unlike most books today that have horror, fantasy, mythology or
magic in them, mine are cheerfully realistic, fun-filled stories centering
around a bumbling but endearing, well-intentioned but disaster-prone hero and
those close to him. My aim in
writing is to make children laugh and enjoy the
How would you relate the lives of characters to the lives today? Any
I think children can
easily identify with the characters; that’s what children tell me at
Children and grown-ups find it very
easy to relate to Butterfingers – there is a butterfingers in all of us. I am a
Butterfingers, anyway :)
What was the most challenging part about writing this book?
first story where I brought Shakespeare and
Sherlock Holmes together in a totally crazy play put up by Amar, Kishore and
their friends – ‘The Play is the Thing: The Case of Hambeth, Prince of Venice.’
– was quite challenging to write.
Who was it that told you that you could become the author you are
Quite a few people – my
professors, friends and students - had faith in my abilities as a writer and
were very encouraging.
At the top of the list, are my
husband and my son who were especially encouraging and continue to be so. It does
wonders to my morale.
When will you next book be out?
In April 2017. It is
another collection of Butterfingers stories.
Which book are you currently reading?
I am reading two books now, Rudraneil Sengupta’s ‘Enter the Dangal : Travels Through India’s
Wrestling Landscape’ and Paul Verhaeghe’s ‘What About Me? The Struggle for
Identity in a Market-based Society’.
Who are your favourite authors and why?
Bill Bryson from Wikipedia
PG Wodehouse from Wikipedia
all-time favourite writer is PG Wodehouse. I
absolutely love his books for they are so much fun to read. I love the
language-based humour and the farcical, hilarious situations he creates so
effortlessly. I admire his plots that are so masterfully knit together and of
course, the wonderfully absurd characters who people his world.
I also love Bill Bryson’s books for the humorous manner in which
he relates his travel experiences. His books are a lesson in travel writing.
What else do you do on a daily basis?
Other than reading and writing?The usual stuff – cook, clean, take care of
my family and home :). I spend quite a lot of time working at the
computer. No TV watching or whatsapping for me.