Today, at Pondering Two we have Kiran Manral, a multi-talented author sharing with us some interesting things on writing, crushes and her new book, Once Upon A Crush.
Kiran Manral is an author as well as a blogger who has worked as a journalist before she quit to be a full time mommy. Her blogs www.thirtysixandcounting.wordpress.com and www.karmickids.blogspot.com are both in Labnol’s list of India’s top blogs. She blogged at Tehelka on gender issues. She is also considered a ‘social media star’ on twitter by TOI and IBNLive named her as among the 30 interesting women to follow on twitter and among the top 10 Indian Moms to follow on twitter for 2013.
Post 26/11, she founded India Helps, a volunteer network to help disaster victims post 26/11 and has worked on long-term rehabilitation of 26/11 Mumbai terror attack victims and 13/7 Mumbai bomb blast victims, amongst others. She is a part of core founding team behind CSAAM (www.csaawarenessmonth.com) and Violence Against Women Awareness Month (www.vawawareness.wordpress.com), two very well received social media awareness initiatives across twitter and blogosphere.
Her debut novel, The Reluctant Detective, was published by Westland in 2012.
In conversation with her in an attempt to know her more in her own words:
Pondering Two welcomes you. It is a pleasure to host you on the blog and thank you so much.
1. Tell us something about your journey from blogging to writing? And what made you choose writing and be an author?
The journey from blogging to writing was actually the journey from writing to blogging to writing because blogging is writing and I have been a journalist and a feature writer in the past before I quit when I had my son. So it was rather like coming full circle for me.
2. What is your book ‘Once Upon A Crush’ all about and how is the book different from the various other books available in the market?
Once Upon A Crush is about a girl who will turn 30 soon, and as is natural, her parents are concerned about her settling down in holy matrimony and searching for the perfect spouse for her. She has a terrifying crush on a man in her office, and the book is about all that happens in the process. How is it different from the other books in the market? Ah well, I like to think it is a story every girl who has had a crush on someone inappropriate at her workspace will identify with it.
3. How did it occur to you to write this book? Any particular instance or a thought that went into writing this book? And how was the experience writing this book?
I was looking at writing something fun and a quick read, and I happened to be chatting to few friends who were single and decrying how difficult the dating scene is and how tough it is now to find spouse material, and the dichotomies where some of them were confused between settling down in arranged marriages or waiting for Mr Right to turn up. The experience was fun, it was putting myself into a different situation completely which was interesting.
4. Throw some light about the central character of your book?
Rayna De my protagonist is a working professional girl in her late twenties, she’s living alone in Mumbai and has her parents back in Kolkata. She also is finding herself as the book goes along, discarding old notions and picking up new ways of being.
5. Since your book involves office romance, what is your take on it?
My take on office romance is that it is often inevitable when people are thrown together for extended periods of time to feel attracted to each other, but it can get messy if things don’t work out, so keep the PDA out of the office, stay professional in the office, and be prepared to look for another position if the romance falls through unpleasantly.
6. At times it gets very confusing to identify a crush, an infatuation, and love. So according to you how to differentiate between them so as to get some clear picture?
I guess, simply by the intensity. Crushes are ephemeral, then they move on to being infatuations and if the infatuations become all consuming and last for more than a few months, you might wonder if it has morphed into love. But then, I’m no authority on this.
7. Your first book ‘The Reluctant Detective’ is completely different from ‘Once Upon A Crush’ in terms of genre? So how easy or difficult did it get while switching from one genre to another? Also, what is your preferred genre of writing?
I think writing is like flexing a muscle, you need to give it every kind of workout. I enjoy writing whatever flows naturally from the fingers on the keyboard. I read everything and write everything.
8. Do you plan to dabble into writing a different genre, say horror in future?
Already have. Now for it to find a publisher.
9. What authors do you like to read?
My favourites are P G Wodehouse, Stephen King, Mark Twain, J K Rowling and so so many more…
10. One thing that comes on your mind when I say the following?
(a) Author – Creator
(b) Books – Life
(c) Blogging – Connecting
(d) Love – Eternal
11. Any particular advice that you would like to give to new authors on the block especially the bloggers turned authors?
Keep reading. Keep writing. The more you read, the more your writing will be enriched by it.
A huge thank you for sharing some interesting things on writing and here’s wishing you all the very best for your future endeavours.
So what’s say people? Ready to grab the novel. eh?