April 9th, 2014
Meet the SHEROES – Kiran Manral
Kiran Manral has worked as a journalist before she quit to be full time mommy. Her blogs, Thirty six and counting and Karmic Kid, are both in Labnol’s list of India’s top blogs. She blogged at Tehelka Blogs on gender issues. She is also considered a ‘social media star’ on twitter by the TOI and IBN Live named her as among the 30 interesting Indian women to follow on twitter and among the top 10 Indian moms to follow on twitter for 2013.
Post 26/11, she 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.
Her debut novel, The Reluctant Detective, was published by Westland in 2012. Her second novel, Once Upon A Crush, a rom com, is being released by Leadstart Publishing in April 2014. We talk to her about Once Upon A Crush and more.
What is Once Upon a Crush about?
Once Upon A Crush is a rom com about an almost 30 year old single girl, living in Mumbai, under pressure from her parents to settle down in holy matrimony with a suitable boy, and her seemingly unattainable crush on the resident office good looker. It is a story that most girls could identify with, about decisions, self doubt and the realisation that life always takes its own course.
What are the challenges you face as a writer?
Primarily, finding the time to write undisturbed. And then feeling motivated enough to put my nose to the grindstone and write. And thirdly, gathering the courage to send one’s manuscript out to publishers. There is always so much self doubt and belief that this isn’t good enough, and you need to work more on it, but at some point you just need to send your work out into the universe and trust that it will find an audience that appreciates it.
We see a lot of writers publishing books, how can a first-timer make sure their work stands out?
I wouldn’t be so presumptuous to give out advice on making one’s book stand out, but all I can say is write the best story you can, pay attention to grammar and spelling, and if you put your heart and soul into what you write, surely someone somewhere will connect with your manuscript. And yes, good presentation always helps. A good covering letter, a succinct synopsis, following the mandated submission format.
Message for all the SHEROES out there.
Follow your dreams. Don’t ever not believe in your ability to do what you want. And don’t allow anyone to tell you that you can’t do it. You have more power than you can ever imagine. But first, you need to believe in yourself. The only limitations are the ones you set yourself.
SHEROES is the career destination for women in India. It offers the largest OpportunityScape for women seeking options at various life stages. The SHEROES Community has access to high growth career resources, mentorship and support. SHEROES engages with businesses to help them connect with female talent in form of employees, partners, customers and business owners. Meet us at http://www.sheroes.in