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Friday, August 04, 2017

Author Interview : Priyanka Talreja Garegrat, author of ‘Kitten the Dog’

Priyanka Talreja Garegrat
Read up, the Interview with Priyanka Talreja Garegrat, author of 'Kitten the Dog'. In this interview, she tells us, how the entire book first began, what gave her the core idea, how the main characters came about, the most challenging part of the story, what she thought was different about her book, how did the element of the dog trying to meow come about, her favourite authors and books, and much more, Folks…

How did ‘Kitten the Dog’ begin? Could you describe the journey?

One day, I had gone to meet my cousins and there I saw that they had adopted a newborn pug. I asked them if they had to take any precautions, and they happened to mention that because he was so low and close to the ground, he was more prone to infections, so they had to be mindful about where they take him.
And that is how my protagonist came about. I started to wonder what it would be like to be so small and look at the world from that point-of-view. Then I wondered what would happen if this small dog got mistaken for a kitten. And that was the birth of 'Kitten the Dog'.

How did you come up with the core idea and develop it? 

Once I decided that I wanted to explore this idea further, I started to make a skeleton with chapter names. I would write a one-line brief for each chapter.

But all through my journey, what helped me the most was the fact that I had started with the end in mind. So, I knew where I was going. I just needed to fix on the route.

How did the characters, Margi, her father, Kitten and the pet thief come about?

I must admit that I take great inspiration from real life. And Margi and her Dad are a result of just that. I knew of a girl like Margi who had to face a big loss at a very young age. I saw how she tried to deal with it. I observed her journey and realized she grew to be fairly independent. And these traits helped me build Margi and Dad.

Kitten and the pet thief on the other hand have been completely cooked up in my head. When I was writing down their characters, I too was shocked to see how they were turning out. I did not know them till I wrote them down.

What according to you is different about your book?

To be honest, I feel everything is different. Right from the illustrations, to the voice of the book. All have been presented in a very fresh way. But apart from those basics, I feel Kitten has touched upon a pressing issue that some preteens have to go through, which is the loss of a parent.

This book also highlights the huge role that social media plays in the lives of children today. And lastly, this book has a mystery that is waiting to be solved as well. These factors make Kitten different when compared to the other books currently on the shelves.

How did the story, especially Kitten and him trying to meow come about?

Kitten tries to meow because of Margi. And that is a reflection of Margi’s state of mind.

And as I mentioned earlier, her behavior reflects her coping mechanism, which is the underlined message for the readers.

What was the most challenging part about writing the book?

The writer’s block. At one point, the story was just not moving forward and I had to force myself to write which resulted in utter crap that I had to scrap. 

This way I ended up scrapping three story lines before I fixed on this one.

When will your next book be out?

Right now, I have numerous ideas, but I am not working on a book. So, it might be a while before we see the next one.

Who was it that told you that you could become the author you are today?

My Dad was the one who kept telling me time and again to write a book. I would just keep brushing it off by telling him it was not that easy. Then one day, after being told for the thousandth time, I started believing that maybe if I did try, I could do it. 

And without much thought, I just decided to go ahead and see what happens if I do complete a manuscript. In the end, I realized that all efforts always pay off.

Which are your favourite books and why?

My favourite books are the trio from the Hunger Games series because there is just so much happening in them and it is all so unpredictable. The pace of the narrative is just perfect and there is never a dull moment.

Who are your favourite authors and why?
Suzanne Collins

JK Rowling, George RR Martin, Suzanne Collins – these are among my most favourite because of the kind of worlds they have been able to imagine and build.

Now that I have written a book, I understand just how difficult fiction writing is and have newfound respect for these authors. 

What else do you do on a daily basis? 

I am a content-writer as a full-time professional. I write and curate content for a successful jewellery portal and also take up freelance articles, stories for print and digital media.

You can  Read the Review, too and Buy the Book, here as well.

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