Interview with Kiran Manral

kiran manralOn the 15th of May, Just Books Library, Thane had organised a book reading and signing of Kiran Manral’s latest book, “The Face At The Window”.  I had the privilege of interviewing  Ms. Kiran Manral on this occassion. The cosy atmosphere of the library set the tone for a friendly chat rather than a formal interview. Kiran’s demeanor too made it very difficult to be all stiff and business like.

Me: “A Face at the Window ” is your 5th book to be published, isn’t it? So how did you start writing? Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?

Kiran: (laughing): Not at all. It was my mother. She kept asking me, “When are you going to write your book?” In college. After I got married, “When are you going to write your book?” When I became a mother, “When are you going to write your book?” When I was forty. And then I gave in and decided that if I have to do it now is the time, and that is how “The Reluctant Detective” was born.

Me: Every book of yours has been a different genre; from humour to romance to horror. How do you come up with your plots?download ftw

Kiran: Some of my plots are organic. They come to me fully developed. Some I consciously plan out and work out every detail. But it all hinges around the character. It is the character who dictates the plot.

Me: Coming to the main character in your books. Each one of them is so different. From Kay who was a bored housewife in The Reluctant Detective, to Mrs. McNally, an old Anglo Indian woman who is haunted by her past. How do you find your characters. Are they someone you know or just a figment of your imagination.

Kiran: I think they are a combination of both. You meet people, you hear about people, you add a bit, and a character gets created.

Me. When “The Reluctant Detective” was released it received mixed reviews. How did you deal with it?

Kiran: I realize that no matter how well  you write there will be people who won’t like your work. And that is okay. Also, I do not write for others. i write for myself. At the end of the day, I have to like what I write. So I ask myself. Do I like what I have written? Does it satisfy the level I set for myself. If yes, it is good, if not, I need to do something about it.

Me: Why did you choose to write a horror story this time?

Kiran: (laughing) Because I like to scare people. I wanted to write a story that had people asking “why?” as they read the book and even when they finished they had to ask more whys. It had to stay with them like a thorn in their side, niggling and worrying them.

Me: ‘A face in the Window ” certainly does that. I kept agonizing over the end and wanting more!

Me: Before we wind up, any advice to the aspiring writers here?

Kiran: Write, every day. At least 500 words. Get your presence out there. On Facebook, on twitter, let people know who you are but more importantly do not wait for the muse. Just write.

Me: Thank you so much Kiran. Are we expecting any more books soon?

Kiran: Well, I have had 3 releases in the last six months, and there are a couple of works in progress …so…..

Me: Definitely looking forward to reading them, Kiran. Thank you so much for your time and advice!

Kiran: The pleasure was mine!

And with that she sat down to meet her fans and sign copies of her book for them.

You can read the review on her book on my blog here 

You can buy the book on through my affiliate link here .

Maya Angelou

This year is a very special year for me. I call it  “my year of awesomeness”  and one of the things that I have done to make it really awesome, is to surround myself with things and people that really mean something to me and rid my life of things that take away from my happiness. So it was no wonder that one of the books that got added to my library was “The Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou.”maya angelou

I remember the first time I came across a poem of hers, “And still I rise” I just sat transfixed, taking in the poem. While reading it, the poem became me and I became the poem. I became a die hard fan ever since.

I read about all the talks she was invited to, I read about how famous she was. I read about the people who admired her.

And then I read her poems.

And her poems took me to the person she was. I came to know her, to love her, to cry with her, to hope with her, to feel her strength in me.

Through her poems I saw the 7 year old child, who was abused and who blamed herself for the death of the man who abused her; who punished herself by losing her voice. I saw the woman she grew up to be, strong, even a bit defiant, but not scared to be totally herself as she found her voice back through her poems and her writings. The day she died, I cried, as if I had lost a friend,a very close friend. I was devastated that I would never hear her through her poems again.

Today as I read her, I realize I do not want the fame and admiration she had. What I want is that when someone is sitting alone and quietly reading what I have written, my poem, my writing should enter their heart and soul and help them to heal the way Maya Angelou’s poems helped me.

You can get the book for your self through my affiliate link here.



Happy Reading!

Kids and the Summer Vacation


Children and the Summer Vacations!

Come summer and most parents are faced with the question, “ What do I do with the kids the whole day? How do I keep them occupied? Is there anything I can do to help them utilize their time in a more productive manner than watching mindless television or playing games on the computer?”

I personally feel that the holidays are a great time to get the kids to do all that they don’t have the time to do during school days: creative stuff, having fun, learning life skills, reading, learning…

sunita_saldhana_learning_expressions3Looking at today’s scenario, most kids only “study” during school days. There is little time for “learning”; what with long school hours, home work, tuitions and tuition home work. And if we stop to think, how much does all this really help our kids in the long run?

What our children need is to learn in a joyful manner. They need to learn life skills, values and cognitive skills. Know & Grow AD-01They need to increase their knowledge through fun reading and exploration and what better time for this than the vacations?

To help you keep your children occupied in a fun manner where they will also learn things for life, we have planned a summer camp at The Know & Grow Learning Centre.

summer camp blog 3This year we will be conducting courses in Creative Writing where the kids will learn to unleash their imagination, find better words to express themselves and have a lot of fun writing  stories, poems and other fun stuff.

In our course on Public Speaking and Elocution, they will learn to speak confidently in front of an audience, to perform poetry and mono acts and learn how to modulate their voices for the  best effect.summer camp blog 4

The first batch  starts on the 3rd of May, 2016 and the second batch starts on the 17th of May. Since we take very few students, please ensure your kids place by registering today.

Call on 9892939062 or click here and we will get back to you.

Give your kids a summer full of fun!


NaPoWriMo Day 7- Mamma at the dentist

Mamma at the dentist!


She  said her tooth was hurting,

She couldn’t enjoy her cup of chai anymore.

And so after a lot of nagging

To the dentist she agreed to go.
The appointment was at 7,

But she just had to finish one more chore.

Till I finally lost my patience,

And almost dragged her out of the door.
She sat in the chair, oh so rigid,

Her hands tightly clenched at her side.

As she saw him select a needle

Her eyes with fear went wide.
“Is it going to hurt me a lot?”

She gave a low plaintive cry

“No, you know it won’t.  Don’t worry.”

To reassure her I did try.
“Now hush and be calm,” I said

“It will only take a while

We’ll get some ice cream later.”

And finally mamma did smile!
Getting mom to the dentist

Is a drama everyday

I think she’s taking her revenge

For the those long forgotten days.
When we were the ones throwing tantrums

And she was the one to cajole

Oh yes when mom turns 77,

There is a reversal of roles!

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