Interview with Kavya Janani. U

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Chennai. The capital of Tamilnadu state in India. Chennai and its people have inspired me to write lots of stories. Most of my tales are set in Chennai.
When did you first start writing?
I started writing at the age of ten. I used to scribble stories in my rough notebooks and personal diaries. I still remember a mystery story by the name 'Suspense Behind The Trees', which I had penned after returning from a bicycle trip with my grandfather. I also wrote a story named 'Jack And The Woods', after getting inspired by reading Huckleberry Finn.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book 'Somewhere In A Song' is a 9.3k word short story laced with science fiction. The idea for this story popped up when I was listening to a Tamil song sung by popular Tamil singer Bombay Jayashri. Then I wrote an outline about a girl travelling through time to achieve success in her life. It flourished into a full-fledged story in November.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Writing is not about fame and recognition for me. Writing provides me with immense inner happiness. A sense of peace prevails in my mind when I am drafting a new story or updating a chapter in Wattpad. Writing gives me freedom to express what I cannot express in my real life. Also, when people say that they loved my story, I would feel thankful to God that at least one person has read my story and loved it. I write, because I don't think there is any other soul-cleansing form of expression.
What are you working on next?
Coincidentally, my next work also deals with science and time-travel. It has a love story integrated into it. I can call it as a sci-fi romance. It's named as 'A Letter That I Never Wrote'. It is my third novel after my yet-to-be-published first novel 'Yours Forever' and my Wattpad novel 'Diya Rai'.
Who are your favorite authors?
There are lots of favourite authors. Most loved ones are obviously J.K.Rowling and Enid Blyton. I love to read Agatha Christie's murder mysteries. Other favourite authors are Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Paulo Coelho, Elizabeth Gilbert, Cecelia Ahern, Diane Setterfield, Dan Brown and Sophie Kinsella.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Well, I have a few talents apart from writing. I am a professional singer in an orchestra. I sing and record videos in Smule. I also play the keyboard occasionally. And I read. Lots and lots of books and online articles. I watch movies, too, but rarely. Only if the content is interesting enough, I'd sit down to watch movies.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes! I wrote 'Ghost Sticker' when I was just 8. I still have it with me. You can find photographs of the story in my Facebook profile.
What is your writing process?
I plan my stories beforehand. I would never start a story without a rough outline. And I write the first draft without taking a break or going back to read what I have written. I save that for my subsequent revisions.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I don't remember the first story I ever read. Probably something from the magazine Tinkle or from a collection of Moral stories. But every mystery written by Enid Blyton had an impact on me. She is the first author to inspire me to write.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
1. Harry Potter series. I became a Potterhead only in 2016. Since I read the books at a crucial point of my life, they helped me a lot in becoming a better person.

2.And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. This is THE MURDER MYSTERY I'd suggest to any mystery enthusiast. This book kept me on the edge of the seat throughout.

3.The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Though many people find it hard to interpret this book, I love it immensely. It helped in following my dreams.

4.P.S I Love You by Cecelia Ahern. This book is a tear-jerker. I would recommend you to have some tissues handy.

5.The Shadow Of The Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon and The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. These are the books with compelling stories which appealed to me this year.

P.S: I am reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. It is turning into my Bible.
Published 2018-03-09.
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