Kiran Manral previously worked as a journalist with The Asian Age and The Times of India. Her blogs have been listed on various platforms as top blogs in parenting. Kiran has achieved various awards like:
- Listed in 10 non-celebrity ‘social media stars’ on twitter by the TOI
- IBN Live named her as among the 30 most interesting Indian women to follow on twitter
- top 10 Indian moms to follow on twitter in 2013
- Fashion 101.in named her as amongst the most stylish authors in India
- Womensweb.in listed her as one of the 20 women authors from India to be followed on twitter
She also founded India Helps, a volunteer network to help disaster victims post 26/11 and has worked on long term rehabilitation of 26/11 Mumbai terror attack victims and 13/7 Mumbai bomb blast victims, amongst others. She was part of core founding team behind Child Sexual Abuse Awareness Month and Violence Against Women Awareness Month, two very well received social media awareness initiatives.
Her debut novel, The Reluctant Detective, was published by Westland and her second novel Once Upon A Crush, was published by Leadstart a couple of years later. Her third book All Aboard! was published by Penguin Random House in August 2015. Karmic Kids is her fourth book and first nonfiction book. She has one more book due for release in 2015.
She is on the planning board of the Kumaon Literary Festival, an advisor on the Board of Literature Studio, Delhi, an Author Mentor at sheroes.in and a columnist at iDiva.com. She was awarded the Women Achievers award by Young Environmentalists Group in 2013.
What inspired you to start writing?
Reading. I was always a voracious reader, and somewhere along the way, it was clear that I was to be a writer. Although I took my time getting there, start with journalism, advertising, feature writing and content writing before I finally wrote my first book at the age of 40. So, it was the magic of books that very singularly was responsible for getting me to try to write one of my own.
What did you like to read when you were a girl?
As a child, I read anything and everything that came my way. From Enid Blytons to Roahl Dahls and the classics. I especially loved the Amar Chitra Katha series and must say that nothing was so much of an education into mythology, history, culture and the life of iconic persons as the AMC collection I had.
What is the greatest challenge in writing a book?
Putting one word after another. Seriously. Sitting down and writing is the greatest challenge. Squashing down that niggling sense of self doubt that says You’re not good enough, you cannot write a book for the life of you, is the greatest challenge.
How much research do you do before writing the book?
That completely depends on the location, the theme and the subject. For my first book I did negligible research because it was all about the life of a suburban housewife, which well, one is well acquainted with. For my latest, All Aboard, I did very detailed research because it was set on a Mediterranean cruise and I needed to be sure I got as much as I could right about every little thing I mention. I think the research took as much time, if not more, as the writing for this one. And everytime someone tells me they don’t believe I haven’t been on a cruise or to the Western Mediterranean I am overjoyed, because it means the research has been on point.
What motivated you to write the book “Karmic Kids: The Story of Parenting Nobody Told You”?
Karmic Kids was actually a very popular parenting blog, based on humorous anecdotes about raising my son, from the time he was born to when he was ten. I shut the blog down when he turned ten and then decided to make it a book.
Can you tell us more about your latest book “Karmic Kids: The Story of Parenting Nobody Told You”?
The book isn’t a book only for parents, it is a book for anyone who loves a good, fun read. It is humour told in anecdotes, no advice, no preaching. Just a lot of laughs and some emotional moments.
How did you come up with the idea of writing non fiction genre book focused on parenting?
Well it is non fiction, anecdotal humour, and based completely on my blog.
Who are your favourite authors?
P G Wodehouse and Haruki Murakami. To name just two.
How much time do you dedicate to writing on a daily basis?
As much as I can. But more than time it is the effort of sitting down and writing that is important. One isn’t always working on a book, but one must write something everyday as a form of exercise for the writing muscle, whether a blog post, an essay, exploratory draft chapters, letters, anything to keep the writing muscle limber and in peak form.
What words of wisdom would you like to give to aspiring writers?
Be a reader before you become a writer.
You can buy her book now: