An Interesting CHIT CHAT Session with Author Reshma
Opportunities we get very less to interact with promising authors of India who are keen to create a niche for them in the industry with quality work. We consider us lucky to get the opportunity to CHIT CHAT with an inspiring author representing young India in session. Join us to know more about author Reshma.
Welcome, Reshma. It’s a pleasure to have you on this platform of Indiacafe24.com. Our readers would surely want to have a sneak peek on your background. Kindly share a brief about you, your education and your family.
I am from Coimbatore but have been to so many schools beginning with kindergarten in a tiny school called Home School in Kotagiri, then a convent, a boarding school, a day school and finally another convent in England for my A levels, before I completed my graduation at Oxford Brookes University and received a BA (Hons) in something I don’t use anymore but please note the Honours because I had to write a many pages to earn that privilege. While I live in Mumbai now, I have worked in both Chennai and Delhi, studied at the ISB in Hyderabad learning things I don’t use anymore (see the trend here?). My parents still live in Coimbatore.
2. How the idea of turning an author came to your mind? Is there someone who inspired you or it just happened?
Never wanted to be a writer, so much so I still wake up some days and find this whole thing quite surreal but I am happiest when I am writing so I think it all worked out in end, apart from the fact I used to make a lot of money once and don’t anymore. So my advice to anyone having a quarter-life crisis is this- wallow in it and use it to find out what you want to do for the next 50 years, but know you have to find a way to pay the bills as well, the luxury of one’s own room as Woolfe famously said.
3. Who are those Indian authors whose writings inspired you the most? Do you have any foreign writers in your favorite list?
While my favorite Indian author is Amitav Ghosh, I am currently haunting literary festivals trying to meet Perumal Murugan, K R Meera and the poetess Arundhathi Subramaniam. I have too many favorite foreign writers but here’s a quick list- PD James, John Connoly, Tolkien, Stephen King, Hilary Mantel, Rowling, George R R Martin, and the most wonderful N K Jemisin.
4. What attracted you towards Children Fantasy genre?
Fantasy is my drug of choice. If in doubt I pick up the crime, fantasy, stories with supernatural elements. While I don’t read as much Young Adult as I would like, I wanted to write something that would appeal to anyone over the age of 12, a coming of age exploration of what it takes to become someone great while also discovering yourself and of course eventually falling in love and deep friendship. More importantly, I found all the great YA books were foreign. There isn’t a single fantasy novel in the YA Amazon top 100 list, mine was the first. It’s time Indian Young Adults had stories that represented them and I wanted to be the first to do that.
5. Share a few words about your latest book The Hidden Children and how it happened
I started this book almost immediately after Fade Into Red was published and it began because of a dream I had which kicked off the writing but not the story – it’s when Abha’s dream and Shui’s dream coincide, the word tourmaline was what got me. Shortly after I found out I was pregnant and one of the things that excited me most was to share my love of fantasy with my daughter which got me thinking how none of those books reflected the world she lived in. Be it Narnia, Potter or Alice in Wonderland, the protagonists were white, blond and foreign. There was really nothing that transported our young adults to wonderful places that were their own. But I wanted this magic to linger in the background and I needed to have some sense of how? and why?. Because as a teenager I wanted a deeper understanding of magic. I always read books on paranormal phenomena and wanted to create my own rationale. I also wanted it to be gentle and vicious which is what brought me to butterflies because I find them fragile and beautiful, much like young minds. While much of the book is made up, it still required fair amount of research, especially with respect to the Quantum Physics and the concept of Branes. I think I read across subjects like Quantum Physics, Scottish Witchcraft, Indian Witchcraft, and Tantra especially the Puranas. There was a lot of intense reading and interviewing before the book came to be.
6. What are your other passions in life?
I read quite a bit especially poetry and encyclopedias and books about weird things. I enjoy thinking I can play the guitar and am constantly trying to learn French to no avail. I also teach on the weekends – both Finance and Creative writing and enjoy getting paid to tell millennials how entitled they are. I also love being a wife and mother and find much passion for spending time with my family.
7. If we ask you to name 3 favorite books of your… which 3 you will pick and why?
It keeps changing but for now- The Lord of the Rings (always on the list), The Fifth Season, Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince.
8. What are your future plans-?
I am working on an adult supernatural thriller which should be out in six months and then, of course, the sequel to The Hidden Children which is slated for release November next year.
9. What next in pipeline and of what genre?
Oh, I thought that’s what the earlier question asked. My genre will probably always be supernatural and fantasy. I cannot imagine a world without magic.
1o. Define Reshma Krishnan the Author in One line?
A writer constantly trying to find the beauty in the strange and wishes she lived in a forest by the ocean.