One thing that I’ve learned while writing Never Say Never is that impossible is nothing. If you can dream it, you can certainly do it.
“Who wants to become a writer? And why? Because it’s the answer to everything. … It’s the streaming reason for living. To note, to pin down, to build up, to create, to be astonished at nothing, to cherish the oddities, to let nothing go down the drain, to make something, to make a great flower out of life, even if it’s a cactus.” ~ Enid Bagnold
Young, confident, talented, and witty; that’s Anjali Kirpalani for you. The young author of ‘Never Say Never‘, the book that has gone on to win many hearts with its witty dialogues and hysterical situations and fast-paced story.
All of 26 year old, Anjali Kirpalani has worn many hats right from being a corporate marketing executive, RJ, voice over artist, TV anchor, fashion website editor and more.
Writing has always been her passion and she has contributed to various esteemed publications such as O-The Oprah Magazine in South Africa, Beyond Sindh and Yuva in India.
Her first novel ‘Never Say Never‘ received huge praise from book lovers for excellent story-telling, interesting yet believable characters and hysterical situations.
Learning And Creativity caught up with the author as she talked about her inspirations behind the novel and what helps her keep her Never Say Never attitude intact!
Excerpts from the interview:
L&C: The market is flooded with several novels that are light-hearted, hilarious and fast-paced. How do you intend to make ‘Never Say Never’ stand out from the rest of the chick-lit novels?
Anjali: The USP of ‘Never Say Never‘ according to me is the realism in the book. Even though Nikita, the protagonist of the novel, finds herself in hilarious situations, it is all plausible and believable.
Most readers have commented on how relatable Nikita as a character is. She’s like any girl in her 20s; confused and sometimes insecure. The dialogue in the novel is witty and the story has many twists and turns. And I think all of this has helped NSN make a mark and stand out.
L&C: Are some incidents of your book ‘Never Say Never’ borrowed from real life? How similar or dissimilar are Nikita of ”Never Say Never’ and Anjali of real life?
Anjali: It is said that an author’s first novel will always borrow closely from his or her life. Nikita and I have similarities in our looks and personality. We’re both 5’2 and have frizzy hair, for example!
Also, some of the incidents mentioned in the book are inspired by the incidents I have experienced. For example, the wedding where everything is going wrong at the end of the novel is inspired by incidents that occurred during my sister’s wedding. That said; the plot is entirely fictional.
L&C: You hold a Business Science degree and worked as a management trainee. But you left the corporate world to work in the media. How did the transition happen? When did you realize that writing is your calling and the corporate world in not exactly your cup of tea?
Anjali: I won a poetry writing competition at school when I was 12. That is where my writing journey truly began. I began contributing articles to an international magazine called Beyond Sindh when I was in college. I quit my corporate job while I was living in South Africa in 2008.
Thereafter, I became an RJ with Lotus FM (part of the South African Broadcasting Commission). Then I wrote three radio drama scripts for Lotus FM. I’ve also written freelance articles for O-The Oprah Magazine. So writing has always been a constant in my life.
My mother always encouraged me to write a book but it seemed like such a daunting task when I was younger. However, when I got the idea for ‘Never Say Never‘, I had to put it down and it took shape as a book.
L&C: Which authors influenced you in your growing up years?
Anjali: As a child I was a fan of Enid Blyton. I absolutely loved The Famous Five and The Secret Seven series. When I was thirteen, I got introduced to Jane Austen’s work. I have read Pride and Prejudice a number of times.
As a teenager I read anything and everything I could lay my hands on. From Charles Dickens to Marian Keyes. I think it’s very important for aspiring authors to read books of various genres.
L&C: ‘Never Say Never‘ is catchy and optimistic title. Is that your life philosophy? What keeps you going?
Anjali: Indeed! One thing that I’ve learned while writing ‘Never Say Never‘ is that impossible is nothing. If you can dream it, you can certainly do it. Once you see a dream come true, you just want to keep going and set new goals. I aim to write more novels that my readers can enjoy and that’s what keeps me going!
L&C: Writing a book is an exhaustive experience? Were there times when you felt like its just getting a bit too tough or was it a journey where every step came effortlessly after the other?
Anjali: There were many times while writing the book when I wondered if my book would see the light of day. But I had to keep telling myself to just complete the book and worry about it getting published later.
I was working while writing the book so I also procrastinated quite a bit. I think I could have finished the book much sooner but I also believe that everything happens when the time is right. So it’s all good!
L&C: ‘Never Say Never‘ is popular and has won many hearts, what are your after thoughts about it? Is a sequel to Nikita’s story in the offing?
Anjali: I have purposely left the ending of ‘Never Say Never‘ open for a sequel. I wanted to keep the option of a sequel open. However, when I sat down to write my second novel, I got the idea for a brand new story. I had also spent so much time with the characters of NSN that I wanted to create fresh, new characters. So I haven’t written a sequel yet but perhaps my third book will be a sequel to ‘Never Say Never‘.
L&C: Any words of wisdom for the aspiring authors?
Anjali: It may sound clichéd but it is very important to believe in yourself. It is also imperative to work on your craft. So use the feedback you receive to consistently improve your writing. Writing requires practice. The more you practice, the better you get at it.
As mentioned above, reading and being aware of what other writers are writing is essential too. Last, but certainly not the least, never say never to following your dreams!
A Rapid Fire round
A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth,
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho and
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Without a Doubt, Marian Keyes
The world is your oyster. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t achieve your goals because you are a woman. Women can do it all; it’s a known fact that we are better at multi-tasking than men! So you go girls!
Conceited people! Humility is the true sign of greatness. I absolutely hate it when people rub their achievements in peoples’ faces.
Talented women writers like Jhumpa Lahiri, Helen Fielding and Marian Keyes
Parineeti Chopra would be the ideal Nikita, Imran Khan as Raghav, Siddharth Malhotra could play the character of Siddharth and Kuldeep Randhawa as Aziza (because Aziza has hazel eyes and dimples!)
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