A Conversation with Author, Kirtida Gautam
Today we’re very excited to be able to welcome the wonderful Kirtida Gautam, who recently had her debut novel entitled #IAm16ICanRape published. Read on to find out more about Kirtida and her background, to learn about her book and what inspired her to write it.
Hello Kirtida, and welcome to e-Books India! We’re delighted to have you join us for this interview. Please tell us about you. Where are you from? What is your work experience? What was your journey to becoming an author like?
Thanks Hiten for having me here at e-Books India. I am a clinical psychologist turned author. I finished my post-graduation from Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Vadodara. I also finished a diploma in Dramatic Arts from Faculty of Performing Arts, MSU. Later I went to study screenplay writing at Film and Television Institute of India, Pune.
I worked in Indian television industry for three years. I was the broad story writer for Balaji Telefilm’s show Jodha Akbar. I also wrote a show called Dharampatni for DJ’s Creative Unit.
I never thought I would write a novel. I started writing the book #IAm16ICanRape as a screenplay because I was deeply disturbed by Nirbhaya rape case. As a psychologist, I felt strongly about the argument for the government to amend the laws regarding sexual crimes. In the present state, the laws are encouraging the youth to commit certain kinds of crime. The state is misleading the youth to get involved with crimes, which can destroy their own lives and the lives of other people. The state breeds gender violence.
But as the writing progressed, I decided to write the story as a novel. I wanted to have the uninterrupted voice, which the medium of novel writing provides to the author.
You’re the author of the book entitled #IAm16ICanRape. Can you please tell us about this story? What inspired you to write this book?
The book #IAm16ICanRape- The War AGAINST rape culture, tells the story of one family around a tragic incident of rape in which the prime accused is the 16 year old boy from this family. This boy Aarush Kashyap is raised with great affection and dedication by his grandparents, Rudransh and Gayatri, and was showered with love. The story is told from 15 different points of view and tries to depict the incident from all the possible angles, to give the reader a bird’s eye view of the situations that breed gender violence and misogyny in Indian society.
Are you working on any other books(s)? If so, can you please tell us what we can expect to see from you in the future?
I have finished the final draft of the second book in Yin-Yang Series. It’s the sequel of the book #IAm16ICanRape. The book is being read by Beta Readers at this moment and soon will be given to my editors.
I have also started writing the third book, which is part 2 of the second book. So, the second book is essentially in two parts.
The theme of this psychological thriller is also the power struggle between feminine and masculine energies and the deeper socio-psychological factors which encourages gender violence.
Can you please tell us about your approach to writing? For example, do you follow structures and writing rules? Or do you write in a free flow way? Do you have any particular time of the day you like to write?
I employ a writing method which is kind of best of both worlds. 🙂
My first draft is written following a strict method I learnt at FTII under the guidance of Anjum Rajabali Sir. I call it Method Writing because it has systematic steps, which help the writer bring out the intuition in writing just the way Constantin Stanislavski’s Method Acting made the actors live the lives of the characters they were playing.
Once the step outline is completed, I let my characters tell me the story. I record most of my books on voice recorder and then transcribe what I record, sometimes word by word.
From your experiences of being a published author, could you please share 2-3 top tips to help beginner authors who are new to the business?
1- Scribble out your soul in the form of your book on paper. In simple words, write a book in which you have 100% belief. Take your time to find out your core value systems and write a book that resonates to those core values. Only in that case, will you be able to stand with your book. The book might receive praise or criticism, but it won’t affect you as an author if your belief in the book is unshakable.
2- This is an advice I borrow from Stephen King. Don’t discuss your work in progress. Writing is a subjective experience, almost like meditation.
You can either talk with your characters to know more of what the story they have to tell you, or you can talk with people in a writing group. As a writer, choose to talk with characters. They know the story- THE BEST.
3- Write every single day- I repeat- EVERY SINGLE DAY- even if it is 500 words of stream of consciousness writing- no problem. But write, write, write. No other activity can make a writer but the discipline of writing.
How can people find out more about you?
Following are the links to my profiles-
3- Amazon Author Page
4- Links to the book
5- Goodreads profile
6- Facebook profile
7- Twitter profile
8- Indiblogger profile