Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Inside the Writer's Mind - Interview with Kirthi Jayakumar

Synopsis: Stories of Hope is a collection of short stories. Each tale narrates the journey of a thin red line of hope that fights through adversity. Right from the heart of Nazi Germany in the thick of the holocaust to the collapse of the regime in Egypt in 2011, from the story of hunger in the core of Africa to the tale of Palestine's recognition as a state, there are stories that celebrate the resilience of the Human Spirit. From stories of a mother turned out of her house by her son, to a mother who loses her newborn, to the young wife who must face a baffling truth, and the little girls who face adversities tied to their identity, these are stories that can be anyone's narrative. Stories of Hope is a celebration of Hope and a celebration of the undying human spirit of resilience.

Same DiNamics: Writing can be a daunting prospect, what made you decide to share your story with the world?
Kirthi Jayakumar: Writing was more cathartic for me than daunting. Truth be told, I haven’t shared my story with the world – I shared the stories of every character that came alive to me in my mind’s eye.

SD: Who has influenced you as an author?
KJ: Every person I’ve met! We’re all rolling stones, gathering moss like nobody’s business. Being a product of all the things I’ve seen, heard, met, known, felt and experienced, I’d say that every moving picture I saw through the window of my life train has been a huge influence on who, where and what I am.

SD: What is your writing method? Do you outline first or do you purge your brain on paper until your story is told?
KJ: I like the sound of your phrase – “purge your brain on paper until your story is told”. I believe that’s what I did. Purged my brain and summoned every word of the story that lived on silently inside my brain until it was coaxed out.

SD: How long does it take you to write your story, from getting it down on paper to publishing?
KJ: I took four years to write it – mostly because there were long gaps between each story. But when you come down to calculating the actual time it took – putting the time taken for all the 28 stories together – it took nothing more than a day. Publishing it was a breeze – my publishers were super awesome in getting the book out with lightning speed.

SD: Can you tell me a little bit about your book(s) without giving away too much? Why should I read it?
KJ: Well, it’s a bunch of short stories that highlight one thing: Hope. Some stories are downright dark, some stories are easily relatable, and some seem different – at least to me. Why you should read it is because these stories were written for you. As much as they were written for me, and for everyone else.

SD: How much of yourself is in your character(s)?
KJ: I think a fair amount of it. All the flaws you see in the characters are mine. All the good things you see in the characters are those that I liked in other people around me.

SD: What advice would you give to an aspiring author?
KJ: If I could do it, so can you.

SD: Is there anything else that you'd like to share?
KJ: Just that I’m thankful to you for thinking of me as worthy enough of this space in your website J And to every person who has, and who will read the book: Thank You! J


Author Bio: 
Kirthi is a legal researcher and lawyer. A Peace and Conflict studies enthusiast, Kirthi is a volunteer with the UN. She is presently a Senior Commissioning Editor with e-IR, an online International Relations portal, the Logistics and Constituents Head at The Channel Initiative, working for post-conflict reconstruction in the DR Congo, specifically targeting women. Kirthi works with DeltaWomen, as the Head of Digital Campaigns and Social Media, and as a writer. She also holds a position with CAAGLOP, as the Editor-in-Chief of the eJournals, and as a writer on African Policy. Recently, Kirthi was part of the UNICEF-UN Women Global Thematic Consultation on Addressing Inequalities through her paper titled The Rule of Law to combat Sexual Violence in a Conflict Environment. Kirthi dabbles with Intelligence and Security Analysis with Open Briefing, as an Associate Researcher, at the Asia-Pacific Desk, and runs an International Law Consultancy and Academic Journal called A38. Kirthi has written ad-hoc features for forums that include Insight on Conflict, TransConflict, WorldPulse and PeaceXPeace and is a member of the TrustLaw Network. Her interest and experience over all lie in Peace and Conflict, Public International Law, Gender issues, International Humanitarian Law, and in terms of a regional focus, in Afghanistan, the Middle East, DR Congo and South-Asia. ‘Stories of Hope’ is her first book.

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