First-time author Kalyani, of Bend Your Knees & Do Your Best expresses her quandary when asked to tell us something about herself.
“Should I mention what I do for a living since that is what most people talk about when asked to talk about themselves? Will it help if I talk about the books I read, the movies I watch, the news channels I follow, the music I listen to? Would that describe me?”
We did, however, get a glimpse of who she is as an author and a person, as you will see in this simple and beautiful author interview.
Who is Author Kalyani?
Kalyani is very witty and forthcoming when she talks about who she is and what she does, in the broadest sense of the questions.
“I’m just a regular person – 48, a loving daughter and sister. I live in Bengaluru and I work in IT. There are times when I like my work and there are times when I absolutely hate it. But my work is not who I am.”
Kalyani’s hobbies might be something that every one of us can relate to but not outwardly admit to anyone. When asked what she likes to do in her spare time, she tells us:
“I read all sorts of fiction. I like to watch drama, horror, mysteries, and thrillers. Might even sit through a romantic comedy if there is nothing else on. I don’t particularly like movies where animals behave like human beings. And I also don’t like stories where individuals destroy ‘evil’ institutions only to replace them with empty platitudes. I follow all news channels after making sure they are on mute and I love any music that puts melody and rhythm first.”
Why Does Kalyani Write?
Almost every writer has an answer when asked ‘Why do you write?’ Kalyani does, too. But unconventional answers seem to be her forte, because what else could make an answer interesting?
“I’ve written only one book, so it would be misrepresenting facts if I answered the question ‘Why do I write?’ If I change the question to: ‘Why did I write Bend Your Knees & Do Your Best?’ then the answer would be:
I started writing because I needed to talk to myself and writing seemed to be the best way to do that. I continued writing because it turned out to be such a fun thing to do. I finished writing because I like to finish what I start.”
The Process of Ideating, Writing, and Editing:
Every author has a different way of coping with the hassles of writing. After all, if you love writing, you’ll be willing to go to any lengths to do it. Right? It’s the same with Kalyani, too. Be it handling the untimely appearances of ideas in her head, the writing itself, or the most tedious part of the job – editing – everything came through to settle in a groove.
“My head buzzed with ideas when I started writing. They would strike me whenever and wherever they wished to – in the loo, on my way to work, on my evening walks, when I was eating, when I was working, just before I went to sleep, and as soon as I woke up. I was constantly noting down clever lines and plot details on any piece of paper I could find.
Ideas were the fun right-brain part, though. After them came the boring left-brain work – I had to diligently read through my manuscript from start to finish and fit in new themes and funny lines. I wrote and re-wrote and re-re-wrote and re-re-re-wrote till new thoughts and lines simply stopped occurring to me.
And then I had to clean up – spellings, grammar, words, phrases, and paragraphs. What has finally been published is probably the 197th version. I sort of hated this bit. But I am used to doing things I hate. I work for a living, remember?”
Bend Your Knees & Do Your Best:
Bend Your Knees & Do Your Best is a humorous slice-of-life drama that reflects the seriousness of life in a rather funny way. It is not, however, a comedy, says the author.
There are lot of reasons behind writing this book, Kalyani says.
“My miserable life, middle-age angst, a secret, hitherto unknown need to write. I don’t know what made me write any more than I know what makes me laugh when someone tickles me. I also don’t know whether I found the story or if the story found me. This is one of the many things that will remain a mystery to me.”
Stories, in order to endear themselves to the readers, need to be relatable in their own ways. Unless you’re reading fantasy or science fiction, of course. This book, the author says, does its own bit by telling us about why readers will love Bend Your Knees & Do Your Best:
“This is the story of an ordinary woman who lives a very ordinary life. And yet, she is the central character of a 540 page novel. I don’t mean to denigrate heroism and to celebrate anti-heroes, but I do feel that there are times when we need to make peace with ours flawed selves.
Bend Your Knees & Do Your Best is a heady mix of angst and humour. What makes it relevant to the readers is the imperfect protagonist, the true-to-life situations she finds herself in, and the less than heroic way in which she deals with them.”
Advice for Aspiring Authors:
With just one book under my belt, I am as lost as you are. But I can say this: writing is fun, editing is boring, publishing is tough!
Connect with Author Kalyani on email [email protected]
Author(s): Kalyani BV
Publisher: Leadstart Publishing
Release: January 2018
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