Kavitha Rao

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Author of ‘Everything You Wanted To Know About Freelance Journalism’


Quickies (One-word answer)  Have you ever Googled yourself? Often.  Pen or pencil? Pen.  Notebook or laptop? Laptop.  Foodie or health conscious eater? Neither.  Listener or talker? Talker. Get to know your author  Writers who have inspired you the most? PD James, Donna Tartt, Ruth Rendell/Barbara Vine, Sarah Waters, Richard Adams, Tana French and Ray Bradbury, and so many others. Amongst Indian authors, Vikram Seth stands head and shoulders above everyone. Overall, I have a weakness for dark literary fiction, historical sagas, and classic crime fiction with intelligent murderers.  What’s your writing routine like? When trying to get a book done, which I was doing the whole of 2015, I get up at 5 am and write at least 1000-1500 words a day for fiction, double that for non-fiction. I avoid all distractions: movies, social outings, domestic chores like cooking and cleaning… a book is a good excuse to get out of all the boring stuff you don’t want to do anyway!  If you were to write a book about yourself, what would you name it? I am already working on one, my first novel. It’s about a woman who loves books more than people and does things she never intended to do, all to save a heritage library in Mumbai. A more extreme version of me, if you will.  Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)? Not really. I am very much a “show up at your desk, write until your word limit is done, then leave” person. I think the most important requirement for a writer is discipline, more than talent. Anyone can start writing a book; not everyone can finish it. The finishing is key.  What is your least favourite part of the publishing / writing process? Waiting for an answer from publishers, and then waiting for your book to be published. All else pales before that. I will rewrite a dozen times if I have to, but I find this wait excruciating.  What literary character is most like you? Hard to answer this one, but like the doomed Richard Papen in Donna Tartt’s “The Secret History” I am very easily impressed--perhaps too impressed--by people who read widely. It’s a failing.