When I received a book review request from Prita Yadav, I thought it would be just another book about a story of an outlier child at school. As I downloaded the book and begin reading, I couldn't stop until I reached the end in the wee hours of morning. It was one of those books that make you sad for you wish to be in them forever. My facebook and twitter was all praises for this debut writer who had confidently, with a brilliant story chosen the path of self-publishing. I was in awe of her and decided to know all about her journey into writing this book which is definitely one of the best I have read so far this year.
Here is the conversation that thus took place...
Q. What was your first venture into writing?
A: I was in 6th grade and had just finished reading Enid Blyton’s St Clare's book. This story, as well as the love for my alma mater, plus my passion for sports inspired me to write a book on school. I wrote couple of pages, read and re-read it like zillion times and with heart thumping like crazy, I just let my mind and heart wander to write my first book at the tender age of twelve called as St Kathleen.
Q. When and how did the story of KLASS start taking shape in your mind?
A: The original name of KLASS was St Kathleen, the first book I wrote. Few years back, I made up my mind to publish my book but I had to polish and work on the language as I had begun writing it almost a decade back. The characters and outline of the story remained the same, but I wanted to dedicate my first book to my grandfather, who plays a very important role in my life and to my friends, who are instrumental in shaping my actions and thoughts and hence KLASS and its characters! Also, I always desired to study in a school like KLASS where “sports” was the major focus.
Q. Is it based on real life happenings or purely fictional?
A: An amalgam of both. Real life happenings around me, inspire me to add my fictional thoughts to write a story.
Q. How much of you is in the characters of KLASS?
A: My friends keep telling me Jolene reminds them about me!!! Hehe… I won’t agree completely, but yeah in some scenes, if I was ever stuck while writing or unable to comprehend Jo’s feelings; I did imagine myself in Jolene’s place and penned down the story.
Q. Who is your favorite character?
A: Now that’s a tricky question! It is difficult to pick one. Obviously apart from Jo, I like Angus Jordan, Dennis, Sonawane Ma’am, Nik, Teju, Ankit and Bharat.
Q. Since the story is open ended how many more parts will the story go on for?
A: As if now I have not thought too much about it. I’m taking it one book at a time. KLASS is definitely part of a series, but I still need to decide whether it will be followed by four or three books.
Q. Why did you choose the road to “self –publishing” and how has your experience been with it?
A: Well, I had honestly approached quite a few traditional publishers, but things didn’t work out. Finally it was the desperation to get my book published, that I chose the option of “Self- Publishing”! Honestly, it was a hassle free experience. All I did was send my manuscript through email and my book was in my hand within a month :)
Q. What do you do apart from writing?
A: I try to play hockey as much as I can. As I’m a fitness enthusiast I do enjoy playing any outdoor sports frankly. Of lateI have also started running marathons and realized it is a big stress buster for me.
Q. What are your favorite books?
A: I’m very fond of all Enid Blyton books as I grew up reading them. Also, I love all Harry Potter books. They are the best of J.K. Rowling’s creation.
Q. Hard copy or kindle?
A: Both. I love reading and can read anywhere and anytime, but if I get an option of a book in these two formats, I will prefer hard copy.
Q. What do you tell yourself when the odds are against you?
A: Nothing is permanent, so this phase will also crawl by. Good time is around the corner!
Q. What does the road ahead look like?
A: Well, the second book is in the pipeline and I’m looking for a good publisher. Otherwise, the road is full of awesome people and I enjoy their company. Thank you Rino, for being the best editor I could have asked for!
P. S. Also, Thank you Sunny James for all your support. I know you will kill me if I don’t mention your name in the interview and as promised here goes… :)
NV: Thank you so much for such a lively interaction Prita, just like your book is.
PY: The pleasure is mine always :) :) :).