On Wednesday 1st April at 12.20pm-1pm Kanbi author Manoj Kerai talked about his debut novel, The Burning Bride, on BBC Asian Network. You can listen to the interview following this link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05nhwv5 (Interview starts at 2 hours and 43 minutes).
SKLPC caught up with Manoj and asked him a few questions:
What inspired you to write?
It’s actually quite lame, but I started writing when I was 13. I was lame and used to write EastEnders fan fiction on their official forums. It was just for fun, but the stories I wrote got a lot of views and I didn’t expect to get so much positive feedback. I printed the stories out and showed some of to a teacher at school who suggested I should consider a career as a writer. So the feedback and comments I got on my work as a teenager inspired me to pursue writing as a career.
I actually never considered writing books until a few years ago. I didn’t think my talent was in writing prose because I felt I was better at writing dialogue. But it’s so difficult to become a scriptwriter and so I decided I would write a few books instead and see how that goes. Maybe one day after I establish myself as a writer, TV producers will be more willing to look at the ideas I have for TV series’.
How did you get the idea for The Burning Bride?
I keep a scrap book where I write down any ideas that occur to me. The idea was formed during Navratri 2011. I fast for nine days and I remember being hungry. I saw a programme about female infanticide in India and thought it’s so strange that people all over India are worshipping goddesses but still commit so many acts of violence against women. I wrote this thought down and then by June 2012 I had a fully formed concept. I thought it would be a good idea to tell a story about violence against women in India, told through the eyes of nine women. I thought the nine women symbolised nine forms of Durga, the most commonly worshipped goddess.
The initial story I started to write focused on female infanticide. When I finished working with Macmillan Cancer Support, I went to India, did some research and decided to write about dowry instead of female infanticide. However, the initial story of female infanticide is still incorporated into The Burning Bride.
Have you got plans to write more books?
I currently have six more ideas which I will write about one day. I’ve started writing my second book which I hope to release sometime in 2016.