Kiran Manral, Mentor at SHEROES tells us a little about her new book – The Face at the Window today.
The Face at the Window is a book that is a looking-back at a life lived, at the end of it. It is the story of Mrs McNally, a retired school teacher, living alone in a cottage at the foothills of the Himalayas,who grapples with ghosts from her past, but also a strange, vicious presence in her house that seems to want something from her. It is a gently nuanced, layered story that deals with the lack of identity and an eternal finding of self, and holds a mirror to the fears we are all afraid to voice, the fear of ageing, the fear of not belonging, and above all, the fear of having no one to love you at the end of your life.
How did the inspiration of the story come about?
I was on holiday in Kumaon, at Te Aroha in Dhanachuli to be specific, when from my window I saw in the distance, smoke curling out from the chimney of a house that seemed far off, and isolated. I wondered what if someone had come out to such a remote place to live out the last years of their life, what would it be like, and the story evolved from there. Mrs McNally became that person, come to live out the end of her life in a remote place, and her last few months are what this book is all about.
Who are the targeted readers for this book?
I think anyone who likes to read would be my audience. I would find it very difficult to slot this book into a specific genre, targeted at a specific demographic, but I think across genders, any reader would find this book interesting, given that it deals with themes that are universal in nature.
Any thoughts you would like to share about future books in progress?
All still work in progress, nothing really concrete. I’m on a little writing break at the moment. Will get back to writing post March and let’s see what comes up then. One of the greatest failings I have is that I can plan nothing. I just write and whatever comes of it, does. So one just has to wait and watch. I have always been writing in different genres in a bid to shake myself out from getting into a comfort zone, and now I think I want to experiment by writing in a genre I haven’t tried before, but what that would be, I don’t know. I just have to wait for the character to come to me and build my story around him or her.
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