Hi Monika, thank you for your time. Welcome to the virtual tete a tete. You are ever so energetic. What makes you maintain your energy?
Thank you for the compliment. Life these days can be hectic for everyone, as we all have so many demands on our time. Eating healthy and keeping regular habits such as walking, jogging, yoga and meditation help to maintain good energy levels.
What is your experience with Indian sculpture?
I have travelled across India and during these travels, visiting important historical and architectural sites has always been on the list of things to do. Without being a technical expert on the subject, I have always marvelled at the majesty and beauty of these creations. What art and labour of love must have gone into carving these graceful figures in stone. They have the capacity to draw us into their long lost worlds, even today.
Do you believe that there could be supernatural powers in the unearthed treasures?
Well, we sometimes believe that some places, objects and people are imbued with good energy or a particular kind of energy. We like to believe that good things or certain kinds of things, result from association with them. For example, some places may be associated with making money, others with art and creativity etc. People say there is something in the air of such places. So, the story in my book draws on such ideas.
Our traditional stories are full of supernatural beings and events and they are enjoyed by many people. They are also an inspiration.
When did you realise that there is a writer in you?
There are many books that I have enjoyed reading. There are the classics, the masterpieces and also the commercial fiction which I read quite happily. Yet, I feel that there are still many more stories to be told. Therefore, I decided to make the attempt to write stories myself.
The beginning of the book gives an impression of the beginning of an out and out love story but later it was not developed much. Was that intentional?
Yes, that was intentional, as I set out to write a fantasy adventure. Initially there was no plan for a romance angle. But I was advised to have one and I also felt that it would be a natural part of the life of youngsters to be interested in romance and have such experiences, so it is there in the story. However, I did not want it to be centre stage and distract from the suspense or sense of adventure. Another reason for keeping it light is that too often, the presence of a female in a story is explained in terms of a romance, but I did not want that for my protagonists. Being the central characters, it is necessary for their story to encompass more than that.
That’s a novel idea which many of your contemporaries lack.
The climax is open for a sequel. Are you planning one?
Yes, there is a sequel. Some things come to light at the end of the book, others remain hidden in the shadows. The protagonists must find their way and unravel the secrets in more than one book. Hopefully, the next one will venture into territory that explains some things the first one did not.
What is your advice to the aspiring authors?
The only advice I can give is to go ahead and write if you enjoy writing or feel you have a story to tell or that you are witty etc.
How can the readers reach you?
I am present on social media – @MonikaTHKR on twitter and FB and as @monikaauthor on Instagram. I am also a goodreads author. I will be happy to take questions from readers, though I am unlikely to reveal anything about my next book except that the journey continues.
That was wonderful. Thanks once again for your time.