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Monday, December 16, 2013

Author Interview: Anjali Kirpalani: Author of Never Say Never

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She is author at Grapevine Publishers and has been an Assistant Producer/ Anchor & Special Features at ET Now, Voice over artist at East Coast Radio – Globe Studios, and Freelance Writer at Yuva, O, The Oprah Magazine and The Sunday Tribune. These are few of the laurels to mention of this multifaceted and multitalented personality. Her name is Anjali Kirpalani and she loves to be called as Anjali Kirpalani only. She might appear to some as a model or Bollywood actress…

Welcome Anjali on board… 

Your real name and pen name?

Anjali Kirpalani- I don't think I'd ever want to use a pen name. I love seeing my name in print (I'm narcissistic I'll admit but then, who isn't?) 

About your education

Bachelor of Business Science (Honours in Marketing) from the University of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa and Masters in English Literature (University of Mumbai)

What career did you plan during your education days

Although I studied business, I always knew I'd be associated with the media- I always wanted to be a TV anchor and writer. I always told my mother that my biggest goal in life is to make a difference. I didn't want to die without having made an impact and influenced people. I always wanted to be 'Googleable' and never wanted to die having been a nobody (Yes, I often google myself- admit it, everyone does it) 

What is your biggest source of inspiration in life

I draw inspiration from various icons- Jane Austen, Steve Jobs, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Aamir Khan. There is a lot you can learn from every successful person. I find quotes by Rumi and Ralph Waldo Emerson, among others, absolutely inspirational. If you're looking for inspiration, you can find it all around you. You just have to open your eyes and look closely.  

What is the biggest challenge you have faced? How did you overcome it?

The biggest challenge I have had to overcome is self-doubt. There were times while writing my first novel when I'd wonder 'what if this never gets published' but then I'd just force myself to keep writing and stay positive. 

What is your favorite genre and why?

Chick-lit/Humour/Contemporary fiction/Metro reads. I love how relatable chick-literature is. This genre is all about allowing your readers to escape into another world while still being realistic- chick-lit makes you laugh, cry and most importantly, relate to the characters. Humour is an essential part of my life; I make light of difficult situations through my sense of humour. As a young urban woman I relate the most to chick-lit or contemporary fiction. 

When did you start writing? What is the purpose of your writing?

I started writing poetry when I was about 13. I won an award in school for one of my poems and that's where my writing journey really began. Thereafter I wrote articles for magazines, newspapers and websites. One of my short stories won an award on radio in South Africa. I followed this by writing 3 radio drama scripts in South Africa. I write to inspire, entertain and surprise my readers. 

Which of your work published so far? Would you like to share a synopsis of your work?

Never Say Never published by Grapevine India is my first novel. It is available at bookstores around the country and on Flipkart, Amazon, Homeshop18 etc. The e book version of the novel is also available on amazon.com.

Aside from this, a short story of mine, titled 'Reality Check' is part of an anthology of short stories, '25 Strokes of Kindness' published this year. 

Synopsis of Never Say Never:

About the novel:
Never Say Never tells the story of Nikita Kumar, an unemployed twenty-five year old based in Mumbai who doesn't know what to do with her life. To make matters worse, Nikita is in love with her best friend Aziza’s boyfriend, Raghav Shetty, who is a radio jockey on the popular radio station, Spruce fm. And that’s not all; Nikita doesn't even like, let alone love Deepak, the man she’s in a relationship with! Tired of her life going nowhere, Nikita decides to change her life. On the night of her cousin Natasha’s wedding, she makes a list of things she will never do. She vows to never marry for money, never doubt her abilities, never have feelings for a friend’s boyfriend, never stay in a relationship with someone she doesn't love, never get completely drunk in public and never wear velvet!

But life seldom goes according to plan and Nikita soon learns that you should never say never…


What are your forthcoming writings?

I'm currently working on my second novel- which will also be a coming-of-age, fun story of a young woman. 

What are your future plans?

World domination! I intend on writing more books and getting my books made into movies. At the same time, I will be writing on my blog- HappydaysIndia.com- a blog focused only on delivering good, happy stories from India. The media tends to focus on a lot of negative occurrences in India. There is a lot of good work being done in India which doesn't end up getting written about. So this blog focuses on positive news from India only. 

What four top most things you take care of while writing a book?

1. Realistic characters
2. The book should be a page-turner 
3. Lots of twists and turns 
4. I put myself in the reader's shoes and ensure that I would enjoy reading the book I'm writing 

Your dream destination on Earth?

Paris, France. 

Your origin of birth and other countries you have visited/ stayed. What best things you liked in these countries around the globe?

Indian. My family moved to Nigeria when I was a year old. We lived there until I was 6. We then lived in India for 6 years before moving to South Africa in 2000. I lived in Durban, South Africa for 8 years. Then we moved back to India in 2008 (I know! Phew!) I was an exchange student in my final year of University in South Africa and got to complete my last semester in Canada. I've travelled to 13 countries so far and intend on seeing the entire world before I die! I loved how friendly the people are in Canada, the food is to die-for in Singapore, Greece has the most beautiful islands, Mauritius has the best beaches, Hong Kong has amazing nightlife, South Africa is very scenic- fantastic vineyards, mountains, the ocean, safaris- you name it! I hardly remember Nigeria since I was too young when we lived there. I've also travelled to Thailand, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Dubai and the U.S. 

Your zodiac/ sunsign?

I am a complete Gemini- I love to do many things at once, I get bored easily, I'm sociable and love meeting new people and I absolutely love communicating- I guess that's why I was drawn to the professions of Radio jockeying, TV anchoring and writing. 

Your favorite color and why?

Yellow- it symbolizes happiness 

Your favorite book and why?

I have many favourites! Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen- I love how this book transports you to another era and how relatable it is till today, despite being written 200 years ago. I love 'A Suitable boy' by Vikram Seth- this book has a plethora of colourful characters and depicts post-partition India beautifully (wow, I guess I like travelling back in time through books!) Another favourite is 'The Alchemist' by Paulo Coelho- the message of the book is so powerful yet it is delivered in such a simplistic manner. I also love 'Anybody Out There?' by Marian Keyes- it's funny despite being a sad story. 


Some quickies:

Sun or Moon- Sun 

Laughter or Smile- Laughter, of course! The heartier, the better! 

Morning or Evening- Evening- it's my favourite time of the day 

           Coffee or Tea- Chai all the way! I'm a big Chai addict- I need my morning and evening cuppa without fail 

Mountain or Sea- Sea 

Long Drive or Short Drive-  Road trips! 

Silence or Conversation- Conversation

Water or Fire- Water 

Air or Earth - Air 

Mars or Jupiter- Venus! (Women are from Venus, hello!) 

Tulip or Rose- Carnations! 

Red or Blue- Red

Left or Right- Right 

Glance or Stare- Stare

 State your signature line/ tagline/ best quote:

I'd rather go somewhere slowly than go nowhere fast...


Some of her links are:

Twitter: @Anjalikir