Hello Anjali, thank you so much for taking the time out to talk to me. 🙂
First things first: how did you take up writing?
I started writing poetry in school; I won a poetry writing competition at school when I was 13. I remember my parents not believing I wrote that poem; they hadn’t known I was interested in writing until then. Although, now that I think about it, I did start writing a diary when I was ten. And I remember making my diary entries entertaining in case someone stumbled upon it! After school, I wrote on a freelance basis for magazines.
What was your very first attempt at creative writing?
My diary entries when I was ten! Another turning point for me was a short story writing contest on Lotus fm (part of the South African Broadcasting Corporation) I sat down to write a story when I heard about this competition. That story, titled ‘Destiny’, is still one of my favourite pieces I have ever written.
Where did you get the ideas for your stories?
I usually start with a blank page, not knowing where my stories are going. Luckily, they take shape and become something concrete as I go along. However, for all my novels, I have always had a basic premise in mind before sitting down to write.
What in particular gave you the idea for Never Say Never?
Never say never was inspired by something my sister mentioned to me in passing. She spoke about how she ended up doing everything she had said she would never do in life. That was the basic premise of NSN; Nikita makes a list of things she’ll never do and since life has a plan of its own she either breaks those resolutions or comes very, very close to breaking them.
And what about your second novel, Written in the Stars?
Written in the stars is inspired by my search for my true calling. I’ve done numerous jobs and never felt completely satisfied by any of them. Ananya’s dissatisfaction with her various jobs is inspired by my life. My stories are always a blend of fact and fiction. Ananya and her struggles are also inspired by those of my many friends and acquaintances. Everyone around me was seeking something, which is essentially what your 20s are really about.
Do you have particular schedules or writing routines when it comes to your work?
I usually write when inspiration strikes. I really wish I had a set routine when it came to writing. With each novel, I’m trying to be more disciplined with my writing. I’m not there yet but I’ll get there!
A lot of authors are taking the indie publishing route. What’s your view about it?
I think its great that authors today have so many options when it comes to getting their work out there. Indie publishing and self-publishing are great options for when the traditional publishing route doesn’t work out. Of course, greater access has also resulted in the quality of work being published falling. But its up to the reader to sift out the good from the bad.
If any of your stories got turned into a movie, which would it be and who would you like to see star as leads?
I would love for all my stories to get turned into movies! Only because the medium of film allows a story to reach far and wide.That said, I do believe Never say Never and Written in the stars would translate very well on screen; they are both about strong women protagonists who eventually find they way and that’s something that will resonate with viewers of all age groups and backgrounds.
Do you have any particular authors who inspire your work?
I grew up reading books by chick-lit authors such as Marian Keyes, Helen Fielding, Fiona Walker and Cecilia Ahern. I especially love Marian’s writing style; her books deal with serious issues but with strong doses of humour. I wanted to write books that address important social issues; whether it’s the class divide or being gay in India but that are also entertaining and fun to read.
What would your advice be to aspiring authors?
Cliched as it may sound, believe in yourself and your writing. Faith and belief can move mountains. And work on your craft; don’t be in a rush to get published. Polish your work first.
What would be an ideal gift for you?
Books of course! A kindle gifted to me by my husband was one of the best gifts I’ve ever received. I love quirky, customized gifts. Why are you asking; is Buzz gifting me something?!
And finally, if there was a book you could turn into a movie, what would it be and why?
A suitable boy by Vikram Seth because its such an engaging story. The good news is that BBC is making a series on the book; I cannot wait for it to come out!
What’s next for you? And when will the next Anjali Kirpalani book hit the market?
My third novel, 19 till I die to be published by HarperCollins, is releasing in Feb 2018. I’m currently writing my fourth book. I’m also working on web series’ scripts. I would like to write for mediums such as film, web and TV and that’s what I’m working on now 🙂
Thank you once again for talking to BUZZ Magazine. We wish you all the best with your current work and future works. 🙂