Sunday 5 May 2019

Questionnaire with Kirthi Jayakumar

So this month's featured Author is 

" Kirthi Jayakumar"

   Can you tell us a little about yourself? Your profession and your hobbies!!
I was born in Bangalore, and grew up between my grandparents' home in Bangalore and with my mum, dad and brother in Chennai. I grew up with stars in my eyes, hoping to do medicine in the hope of "helping people", until I realised that I could do that with development, too. I studied Law in Chennai, mostly out of the fact that my father is a lawyer and if I failed in a career in development, I could still fall back on my father's practice. Once I left law school, I began working - I tried my hand out at the corporate sector and at litigation - they were all wonderful people doing some great work, but something about the system had me running out, kicking and screaming. It got me thinking that many cases that sat warming the benches in the judiciary could have been addressed had the people involved been aware of their rights at the inception. That led me to start volunteering with the UN Online Volunteering System and a couple of organizations in Chennai. To put money in the bank (because it did, at that age, irk me that my peers were earning and I wanted to save the world without a pie to my credit), began freelancing with a bunch of local publications and a bunch of legal journals and publishing initiatives. With time, I gained some understanding of the way things worked, and realised that one of the most common narratives in the journey remained tied to the gender quotient. If I worked with communities on awareness on their Right to Public Health, I noticed that women were kept out of it. If I worked with communities on their right to clean water, I noticed that women had little to no access. Similarly, for food, education, health care, infrastructure, jobs and what have you. That was when it hit me: there's so much sitting on one domino: gender inequality. If we knocked it, this enormously global burden of inequality could just, just be knocked out.      

 Questionnaire with Kirthi Jayakumar 

1. How did you first get involved in with writing, are you an imaginative person?
I think I got into writing when I was rather young - I don’t quite remember a single point in time that I “began” - but just remember, rather, always writing something or the other. I was an idealist as a child, I used to dream of a world where we would all sing songs together and eat muffins (food of choice then, haha!) and just be together without fighting. I try to hold onto that little girl's ideas even today, so definitely, yes, I am imaginative!    

2.  What do you find most challenging about your writing?
Taking myself seriously. I am most amused by myself trying to be all important.    

3. What do you do when you are not writing?
I suppose I’m always writing something or the other. So if not writing for fun, then writing for work, or writing for my peace of mind.

4. Where do you see yourself in the next 6 months, and 5 years down the road?
Doing new things, meeting new people, travelling to new places: just not the same person I am today!

5.How do you keep coming up with material / content for your story?
I don’t have a conscious process. I am an instinctive and reactionary writer - so it’s oftentimes a case of what I feel interested in writing that drives me to write. That said, once I begin writing, there is always room for research.

6. Any specific tips you have for new writers who want to make it big in the world of published books?
It’s important to remember that writing is actually truly more important than the marketing side: even though people do suggest otherwise, your truest readers reach out to books that are not aggressively marketed.

7.   What’s the best thing a writer can give to his readers?
A beautiful story.                                            

8. A lot of people are interested in writing for the money earning potential. What are some tips for people interesting in making money from writing? What are some realistic expectations in regards to what can be made?
This is a good question. I haven’t figured out an answer for it myself, though. Realistic expectations, however, are all I can offer. Always remember that there are people who will not like your writing. Take critique, don’t worry about criticism. 

9.  What motivates you most in life?
Every thing I come in contact with! Most everyone and everything has a story.

10. What is the story behind the name of your book?
I think it wrote itself out - The Doodler of Dimashq was a story of a doodler in Damascus J

11. What are your views on increasing plagiarism?
It is disheartening and hurtful, and really hurts a writer - of course I’m opposed to it!