On Sakshi Chanana’s blog

The Romantic Symphony: In conversation with Kiran Manral

I vividly remember the day when I first met Kiran Manral amidst the beautifully dazzling hills of Kumaon at one of the Literary Retreats held at Te-Aroha. As the co-curator, I had a chance to interact with her and we had a great session about the ‘death of the author’. Clad in Pink, she would go about smiling and passionately discussing about life and literature. There is an aura of certain sublimity around her, which was easily discernible. Her humble demeanour inspite of being such a prolific writer and proactive social activist, touched me deeply.

With her new book’ All Aboard’ around the corner, I have been curious about how she manages to juggle between responsibilities of a Super-Mom and a constant writer and still excel at both. So, I requested her to share a part of her writing journey with us.

Here is an excerpt from an e-mail interview about her writing and the timeline of ‘All Aboard’:

1.How do you view the concept of Romance in your new book ‘All Aboard’?

To me, romance has always meant the point at which the love story ended, because then every romance has the hidden potentiality to become a tragedy. Seriously though, romance to me, as shown in my book All Aboard, is something that lifts one’s soul, makes one feel desired, and gives one hope there is happiness even after tragedy.

2. Who is your Muse? What motivates you as a writer?

Life itself, I guess. As a writer, I guess motivation has to come from within. Unless you are very driven to tell the stories you have to tell, it is difficult to be a writer because there is no external motivation, except perhaps for publisher deadlines.

3. What is ‘All Aboard’ all about?

All Aboard is the story of a girl who is ditched by her fiance practically days before the wedding and how she goes on a Mediterranean cruise for a change of atmosphere, and of course, because this is a romance, falls in love again.

4. Could you share with us something about your writing process?

I try to write every single day, even if it is just 500 words, even if it is just a blog post. When I am writing a book, I try to structure out the book chapter wise before hand and then work on each individual chapter until the book is done with. There is no magic trick to writing, it is just sitting down and typing day after day after day. It is also a very solitary profession, and we writers prefer it that way.

5 What are the challenges in writing chic-lit?

I don’t know. I write the books I want to write. I don’t feel there is a challenge per se in writing them whether they’re my chick-lit ones, the mom lit one, the non fiction, the romance or the supernatural. The stories tell themselves in the voices that feel the most authentic to the telling.

6. What do you think , is the purpose of your writing?

To be heard in a world that has no time to listen.

7. Which writers have influenced you/ your writing? How important it is to adhere to the tradition?

I’ve been great influenced by humorists like P G Wodehouse, Mark Twain, Jerome K Jerome, Erma Bombeck as well as classic writers like Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, not to forget contemporary writers like Helen Fielding, Haruki Murakami, Kazuo Ishiguro and so many more. I don’t think one needs to adhere to any tradition. All one needs to do is to tell one’s story and tell it well.

8. How is this novel different from your earlier works?

This book is pure romance. It is also set out of Mumbai, on a Mediterranean cruise. The style is also a bit different from my previous books, it is a quicker read.

9. What is the source of your characterisation?

Life around me, people around me. Such a rich font of inspiration.

10. What would be your advice to the aspiring writers?

Write everyday. Read everyday. And rewrite everything you write until you cannot rewrite it any further.

Read the original here.

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