In the Himalayan Writing Retreat blog

A very useful article on how to make money as an author.

Delighted to be mentioned here in stellar company of authors I look up to and some dear friends.

“Some of the most prominent authors in India are not full-time career writers. Twinkle Khanna is a successful interior designer apart from being a best-selling writer. Chitra Divakaruni Banerjee and Elif Shafak teach creative writing at leading universities while continuing to conjure heart-warming stories. Sudha Murthy is an engineering teacher along with being the chairperson for Infosys Foundation. Kiran Manral was a journalist previously and is now an independent research and media consultant. While Anita Desai is the Emerita John E. Burchard Professor of Humanities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, another prominent author who shares her name, Anita Nair, hosts an annual writing workshop at the famous “Anita’s Attic” in Bengaluru. See our list of writing workshops in India to know more.”

Read the entire article here


Nano review of The Face At The Window by Saumya Kulshreshtha

Nano review of The Face At The Window by Saumya Kulshreshtha

The Face at the Window by Kiran Manral
The book was a companion on my metro rides for three days, and I was kind of sad it ended because I couldn’t have Mrs. McNally and Dr. Sanyal for company anymore. They had been alternately giving me chills and relief in this wonderfully penned psychological thriller by Kiran Manral – the first I have read from her corpus. Other than the generous sprinkling of drama and horror, reading the beautifully flowing language was a treat. Kiran constructed mansions of lucid imagination, shifting easily between two time frames and fleshing out multiple characters, even those which were mere ghost presence.
Should you read it? Yes.(Bought from the World Book Fair 2019.)

Read her entire wonderful list of reads here



In The New Indian Express today. ‘You are enough’

In The New Indian Express today. Thanks Ornella D’Souza for this.

I was really very annoyed with those social media posts that went something on the lines of if you don’t come out of this pandemic without learning a new skill, you lack discipline or you’re lazy or something to that effect. We are all struggling. There’s the anxiety about the situation, the mental health impact of isolation, the reality of being locked 24 x 7 with an abuser for some. There’s the doubling of work for those of us who don’t have full time live in help, there is the uncertainty of the job market, pay cuts, job losses for those in affected industries, there is the worry about the health of immunocompromised loved ones, there is the sheer difficulty of surviving for some. I say, take this as time out from the rat race, allow yourself to do nothing. There is pleasure in not rushing to ‘improve’ yourself all the time, any chance you get. And by letting yourself be, you accept that you are indeed good enough. This is self acceptance we all need.

‘You are enough’

“If I can survive and keep my family fed and watered, for me, that is enough. The rest is just pressure from popular culture that makes everyone seem accomplished, poly glossed, polymaths…,” says author Kiran Manral, who adds that whenever feelings of inadequacy arise, “I tell myself ‘you are enough’ and that has helped me.” Any form of self-improvement, she says, should not stem from FOMO as the initial euphoria can fade if you are not intrinsically driven. “But, if these activities make you feel in control, then wonderful,” she adds.


Assistant Professor, College of Science and Arts, Al Badaya, Al Qassim
Qassim University, Saudi Arabia
“…as many Indian writers of English horror fiction have kept the ball rolling. Some of the fairly new horror collections that can be found on the bookshelves across Indian book stores are Arnab Ray’s The Mine, K. Hari Kumar’s That Frequent Visitor, Jessica Faleiro’s After Life, KiranManral’s The Face at the Window, Neil D’Silva’s Maya’s New Husband, Athul Demarco’s AN. AL The Origins, and Sriramana Muliya’s collection of short stories Frankly Spooking.”

“Kiran Manral’s new novel, The Face at the Window is yet another Indian novel close to the theme of Karma which is a ghost story set in a hill station, that has some unnerving moments. The protagonist Mrs. McNally, a retired Anglo-Indian school teacher, shifts to a small cottage adjoining a tea estate on a picturesque hill station. She is looked after by an old couple and is visited by her granddaughter during vacation. The story is narrated

from the perspective of idle Mrs. McNally, who is preoccupied with past and often we have flashbacks amidst her present. Her life seems to be going at a steady and expected pace with solitary treads up and down the hill. However, like most of the appearances, this one too is deceptive. Mrs McNally bosoms some dark secrets gripping her conscience
like her tragic parentage and a reckless youth.

Events take a sharp chilling turn for the worse when she spots an unhappy, murderous specter on the premises. This specter is a real ghost of her sins and, it becomes crucial for Mrs. McNally to discover how to do it.

Creating a frightful experience for any writer is as daunting as amusing them by the virtue of words alone unlike the more vibrant world of digital imagery. It either succeeds or fails miserably reducing the text to flat descriptions devoid of life. In The Face At The Window, the author is triumphant in creating some real disturbing moments by mere use of words through the book.”

In Verve, Vivek Tejuja chats with Shanta Gokhale, Sukanya Venkatraghavan and me on starting late as writers

“I was lucky enough to have a conversation with Shanta Gokhale, Sukanya Venkatraghavan and Kiran Manral — women who have, in their own ways, changed the fabric of Indian literature. The first started off at 56, the second at 42, and the third at 40. But, honestly, age had nothing to do with it. The fact of the matter is they just did what they had to and continue to do so. Between the three of them are decades of experience, and the authors are a testament to how much can be achieved after a ‘certain age’, contrary to the popular belief. They have not only broken perceptions and stereotypes but also risen above expectations, age be damned.”

Read the entire article here:

In the HT Brunch: 5 women authors pick their heroes

With Anita Nair, Andaleeb Wajid, Rakshanda Jalil, and Abeer Hoque.

Three guesses as to who I picked?

1. Bertie Wooster from Jeeves series


Picked by: Kiran Manral

“Bertie Wooster from P.G. Wodehouse is a boy who never quite grew up and never will, he definitely does elevate and, for all his muddle headedness and confusion he holds a right mirror to us trying to get out of various situations life throws at us, unfortunately not always with the hilarity that ensues when he does.”


Read the entire list here:

In the Economic Times: Reading in the time of Netflix:


“However, FOMO shouldn’t drive you to apps that give you the executive summary of a book, says Mumbai-based author Kiran Manral.

There are quite a few in the market, like Blinkist for non-fiction. You might as well read a long-form article on a subject instead, she reasons: “Summary takes away the pleasure of reading.” Manral is also not entirely in favour of reading challenges that put a lot of pressure on people when everyone has a different pace of reading.”



In The Times of India: Indian romance writers talk about their favourite love stories

With bestselling authors Preeti Shenoy, Ravinder Singh, Andaleeb Wajid, Milan Vohra and Sudeep Nagarkar.

07/7Kiran Manral

Author Kiran Manral has penned love stories like ‘Once Upon A Crush’ and ‘True Love Stories’. She told us that she has not one but two all-time favourite romance novels. Talking about the kind of love stories that warm her heart, Kiran said, “I love the love stories which aren’t traditional romances; but those which define how I was introduced to the unconventional idea of the fact that love might not really be all roses and moonlight. The first was ‘Jane Eyre’, older man with a dark secret. Then there’s ‘Gone With The Wind’ in which Scarlet O’Hara pines for the unavailable Ashley Wilkes all through only to realise when she loses him in the end, that her true soulmate was Rhett Butler.”