Hi Anjali, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I’m the youngest of three girls. Growing up, I’ve lived in Nigeria, India and South Africa. I completed my Business Science degree with Honours in Marketing from the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. I worked as a Management trainee at British American Tobacco in South Africa before quitting the corporate world to follow my passion for the media. I was an RJ and Radio drama scriptwriter in South Africa. I moved back to India in 2008 and have lived in Mumbai since then. I’ve worked as a Marketing Executive, Voice over Artist, Fashion Website Editor and most recently as an Anchor and Producer at the business news channel, ET NOW.
What were you like at school?
I was pretty nerdy! I always got good grades but I was actually a very study-at-the-last-minute kind of person. I could only study under extreme pressure. Even now, I find that I work my best under pressure.
Were you good at English?
English was always my favourite subject. I loved how there were never really any right or wrong answers during English exams; it was always about how you interpreted a poem or book. I always did well in English. Math, on the other hand, I hated!
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
I would like to write more bestselling novels. I would love for my books to be made in to movies-only because, that gives your story a much wider reach.
Which writers inspire you?
Paulo Coelho, Marian Keyes , Vikram Seth and Jane Austen.
So, what have you written?
Never Say Never is my first novel. Prior to that, my short story Destiny won two awards (one on Lotus fm in South Africa and another on a website called Shortstorybook.net) I was the Editorial head of Stylekandy.com and in that time I wrote various blog posts for the website. I’ve also written freelance articles for O-the Oprah magazine in South Africa, Yuva in India and have written guest blog posts for the popular website, Missmalini.com.
Where can we buy or see them?
Never Say Never is available on Amazon.in, Flipkart.com, Homeshop18.com, Infibeam.com, Snapdeal.com and more. It’s also available at Crossword, Landmark and other bookstores around the country. The kindle version is available on Amazon.com.
Merry Brains have reviewed the book. Please check our review here
My blogs for Stylekandy.com can be read on: http://www.stylekandy.com/Blogger_Anjali_Kirpalani.aspx
Missmalini.com blog posts:
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
Nikita Kumar is a twenty-five year old girl who loves in Mumbai. She is unemployed and is in love with her best friend’s boyfriend. To make matters worse, she doesn’t even like, let alone love Deepak, the man she’s in a relationship with. So she starts off in a low phase in the novel. But as the novel proceeds, she finds herself and grows. The best part about Nikita, though, is that she has a sense of humour. She has a funny take on everything that is going wrong in her life and that’s what makes her stand out.
What are you working on at the minute?
I’m working on my second novel now which will also be chick literature/contemporary fiction. It’s too soon to talk about it now, however.
What genre are your books?
What draws you to this genre?
I’ve always loved this genre because it’s so relatable- you can always relate to either the characters or the situations they find themselves in. It’s like a slice of life. So there’s romance, drama and humour, all together, which gives the writer a lot of scope to explore various emotions and tones.
Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
Even though Nikita Kumar is the protagonist in the book, the story is told from multiple points-of-view with chapters from the point-of-view of characters like Aziza, Raghav and Siddharth too. So all these characters are as pivotal to the novel as Nikita is. Parineeti Chopra would make for the ideal Nikita Kumar. Siddharth Malhotra or Aditya Roy Kapur would play Siddharth the best. I picture Imran Khan as Raghav.
What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?
I started writing ‘Never Say Never’ when I was unemployed and unsure of which direction to take career-wise. I knew I had a good story idea- A story about a twenty-five year old unemployed girl who makes a list of things she will never do. Since life has a plan of its own, however, most of these things end up coming true- and hence- she learns that one should ‘never say never’. The idea came about when I heard my sister talk about how she ended up doing all the things she said she’d never do in life.
Do you write full-time or part-time?
I’ve recently become a full-time writer.
Do you write every day, 5 days a week or as and when?
I aim to write every day but that’s not always possible. I’m still learning to discipline myself when it comes to my writing. My natural instinct is to write as and when I feel inspired but hopefully that will change soon as I start respecting my self-stipulated deadlines!
Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?
I write on my laptop sitting in my bed.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
With my short stories, I sometimes have no idea where I’m going and I just let it flow as I type. With my books, I usually have a general idea but new angles get added as I write.
Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors.
Yes, I do- although I think I had more time to read when I was in college. My favourite authors are Jane Austen, Vikram Seth, Arvind Adiga, Paulo Coelho, Khaled Hosseini and Marian Keyes.
For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?
I always preferred the traditional paper/hard back books but have recently started reading ebooks too. I can’t deny how convenient it is to have your books on kindle on your phone-I can read when I’m waiting at doctors’ offices without carrying heavy books with me! But that said, traditional paperback will always be my first love.
What book/s are you reading at present?
I’m currently reading Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie and What Young India Wants by Chetan Bhagat.
How do you market your books?
I’ve used various methods to market Never Say Never. I had a book launch at Crossword Juhu in Mumbai with Nisha JamVwal and other celebrity guests. Then I had a celebrity lunch with actors like Sandhya Mridul, Suchitra Pillai, Manasi Scott and Narayani Shastri in attendance. I had a book reading at Crossword in Pune and another one in Crossword, Kemps Corner. I have Facebook pages for me and my book and I’ve used social media pages like Goodreads to promote my novel. I’ve also been invited to judge literary events at colleges like National College in and Sydenham Institute of Management Studies, Research and Entrepreneurship Education (SIMSREE) in Mumbai. I was also invited to be part of a panel discussion on writing at Litfest 2014 at IIT in Mumbai. So, I think all of this, along with word-of-mouth has helped market my book.
What is your favourite positive saying?
Never Say Never, of course! On a serious note, I truly believe that ‘Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.’
Linkedin: Anjali Kirpalani
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.in/Never-Say-ANJALI-KIRPALANI/dp/9381841322/ref=zg_bs_1890195031_56
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