Anjali Kirpalani was born in Mumbai, and her family moved to Lagos, Nigeria when she was one, they stayed there until Anjali was six and eventually moved to India. While Anjali had written poetry and a bit of Radio Drama back in Africa, the writing bug had not completely bitten her. She wanted to become an Anchor and a Journalist but something made her write her first book ‘Never Say Never’ post which she went ahead and wrote ‘Written In The Stars’ and the recent one ’19 Till I Die’.
Anjali is currently writing her 4th book which is under the wraps and she wishes for it to remain a surprise for us all. We chatted up with her and the following interview happened. We were really amazed at the expecting mommy who comes with a bundle of energy and is still writing the book in her 3rd trimester. Read on to know more…
1. So Anjali, tell us something about yourself. We have heard that you grew up in Africa.
Yes, I did. I completed my schooling in Durban- South Africa and while I was there, I just participated in a Poetry writing competition, To everyone’s surprise, I ended up winning it and even my mom was surprised to find out that I was the real writer behind the same. Also during that same time period, SABC had a short story writing feat(South African Broadcasting Commission) & I participated in it and also won the same this lead to me writing 20 episodes of Radio Drama on Lotus FM in Durban. It was here that I even met my mentor Rahessa Mohammad who was instrumental in promoting my writing. These were the good old days in Africa.
2. How did writing happen?
I eventually moved to India and became an Anchor with ET now, this was something I always wanted to do in spite of my mom encouraging me to take up writing, I always felt like falling back on writing when I was old types.
(Laughs) It so happened that I was 22/23 and in between jobs. This is when I started writing ‘Never Say Never’ I wrote the manuscript and it got selected by Grapevine India. So the book was published in 2013. I even wrote my second book, ‘Written in the stars’ which was out in 2015 published by India Book Distributors. My third book which I am still promoting is known as ’19 till I Die’ and it is by Harper Collins.
3. They say that writers are generally not paid well! What is the real scene?
Ammmm.....Yes...To be very frank, It does not pay that well until your book gets selected to be a movie or a web series.
Book sales and Royalty in India is not very good. So, If someone is considering to be a writer, then I would advise them to keep their full-time job and eventually decide.
4. Now that you are expecting, how has it been to write the book along with the pregnancy?
It has been great, except that I am Hormonal, Hungry, Frustrated on a few things but I am trying to use this all in the book I am writing. Hopefully, it will turn out well.
5. How does marketing play an important role in the success of the book?
The publishing house will only do one event for the Author and that is the launch event and rest of it all has to be then done by the author. I had my own company by the name of Epic Communications, and it was a PR and Marketing Agency so I know this world and it is so important to market yourself.
6. Any ‘fan’ moments that you recollect?
Now that everything is based on Social media, emails etc…I get many fan emails and messages and it feels great to receive them. But I would like to narrate this one time when my sister took my book to Ghana- South Africa and gave it to a few library spaces out there.
I got an email from a girl based in South Africa once describing how much she loved the book and even circulated it within her entire class.
It was so good to hear that the emotional connect could reach across continents via a book because the book is based in India. I really felt great.
7. What do you think about Piracy?
Ohh…Piracy has really come down with Kindle and Amazon and Flipkart delivering great books to your doorstep within a matter of days.
But...I would take it as a good way to reach more fans if at all I find out that my books are selling on the signal or available for free download on the internet.
8. Do you follow a process of writing?
Nah…I just write anywhere I think I can pen down my words, Home or a cafe anything fits my taste. I just follow a schedule and give myself a deadline as to what are the minimum number of words for the day.
9. What are you reading at the moment?
I am reading two books at the moment, Places of Illusion by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni and Art of Happiness by Dalai Lama.
We wish Anjali all the best for her bundle of Joy and her upcoming book as well. We will stay tuned to see her book get adapted into a movie or a web series and we are damn sure it will.
Keep on rocking mommies.