I have the good fortune of having interacted with Kiran Manral, over her blog and Twitter. I have just bee completely fascinated by her style, humour and usage of phrases. I have not missed a single blog post of hers since she was at 'Thirty seven and counding'. And, when I came to know that she is soon to publish a novel, it was just too thrilling. The book was sure to just be a riot knowing her writing style. I was also awed with someone I knew writing a full fledged novel. This would be the second author who I would know, maybe not too well, but at least I do know!
I got the book the week it was out, but just finished it, with travelling, packing and such. Totally enjoyed the book and in fact when I was at the last chapter, I was reading it way more slowly than what I usually do. I just did not want it to end! I would be writing a review too which you can come back for maybe next week, but for now here is the short question answer session which I could squeeze out of the new author on the block!
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I am so proud to introduce to you the author, blogger, tweeter, social worker and much more
Tell us a little about yourself
I started out my career as a copywriter in a small advertising agency, moved on to journalism, quit full time work to have a baby, and continued freelancing. I write freelance features. I also blog and work on social issues.
When did you first dream/wish to become an author?
Never actually. I’m too intimidated by the thought of becoming an author. I’d always looked on to authors with awe and reverence.
When was your first work published? What was it?
Hmm. First work in print? Probably the school and college magazines. Some earnest attempt at poetry or fiction.
Prior to becoming an author, you were…
A freelance features writer.
What is the plot for The Reluctant Detective?
It is about a housewife who has a person from her society found murdered on the road, and comes across yet another murder. And her curiousity and lack of anything better to do perhaps leads her to start snooping around asking questions...for the rest of it, you have to read the book.
How did you come upon the plot for The Reluctant Detective?
Honestly. I just wrote it out. I’m awful with plotting and planning. So I just wrote out a story as I thought it would flow.
What kind of research went into writing The Reluctant Detective?
No research actually. It is not a very serious book. Its more a kind of life I am familiar with, being a suburban housewife myself.
What profile of readers do you think would enjoy this book?
Anyone who enjoys a funny, quick read would enjoy this book.
What are your three all time favourite books and why?
Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K Jerome
Anything by P G Wodehouse
The Lord of The Rings Trilogy
Why. I love to laugh and to be fascinated with things.
What are you reading right now? Are there any authors (living or dead) that you would name as influences?
Right now I’m re-reading some old Wodehouse books. I tend to keep dipping into them back and again between heavy reads. I just finished Stephen King’s 11.22.63 on the Kennedy assassination and time travel. Authors as influencers are so many--P G Wodehouse, Dave Barry, Jerome K Jerome in the humour genre, Gabriel Garcia Marquez in magic realism, Milan Kundera, J RR Tolkein, Terry Pratchett, Charlotte Bronte, Ernest Hemingway, Daphne Du Maurier and yes, Enid Blyton. I find I love the comfort of simple writing and an easy tale.
How does it feel to be a published author?
It still hasn’t sunk in, to be honest.
Who has been the best critic of your work?
I would find that out now I guess.
What is your definition of a great book?
A book you can go back to anytime and feel compelled to read it all over again.
On another front, what are your favourite recreational activities?
I love to watch movies. I am a complete horror movie buff. Apart from that, no real recreational activities, except maybe, eating.
Are you a music buff? What are your fav genres?
Not really, as one gets long in the tooth, one tends to stick with familiar music one has grown up with. So soft rock and pop I guess. And I enjoy the occasional ghazal and thumri.