Sometimes, if you aren't sure about something, you just have to jump off the bridge and grow your wings on the way down – Danielle Steele
I grew up on a staple of Amar Chitra Kathas, Enid Blyton, Nancy Drews, Mills and Boon and Danielle Steele. People may baulk at my choice of books but at that time I simply read whatever I could lay my hands on. In retrospect, yes, I could have chosen better books. But having read these I know they have shaped my emotions and the way I write for the better. I have picked up many gems along the way and they stay in the dark recesses of the mind serving as light when situations in life demanded it.
For instance Enid Blyton taught me to have fun and look for adventures along with all the picnics and the yummy food. Malory Towers has been an unforgettable part of my childhood and taught me to look at boarding schools in a different light, since all parents always threaten kids saying they’d be put in a boarding school if they didn’t perform well as if it was some prison. It also ingrained in me the fascinating idea of being independent and responsible for myself. Malgudi Days taught me that it’s okay to fail, be called a loser or be a dreamer. Sidney Sheldon’s beautifully intelligent women characters taught me that women are born with strength unparalleled and they have it in them to face life’s harshest trials and tribulations. They have guts of steel and can still retain their sense of passion and femininity. Mills and Boon taught me to bring out the passion one feels, acknowledge, bask in it, be the voice of the women characters and think of exotic locations in far off places while Danielle Steele, apart from teaching lessons about intense relationships taught me that men too have thoughts running through their minds and that a love story in the times of equality deserves a fair hearing of thoughts from both sides.
Apart from the books I have read, there are people I have met on my sojourn through life and certain, interesting but complex characteristics in them that make it compelling enough for me to want to fashion my characters on them. I find certain people and the way they live their lives fascinating. When they relate their heart-rending troubles, when I see their pain, it moves me and compels me enough to want to pen it down. Certain incidences, some learnings, stories of grit, fortitude, motivation and determination make me want to write as these are waiting to be told so that these may help others deal with challenges life throws at them keeping my basic objective and motivation for writing alive.
I have derived my inspiration from these and realise that when I write I need to do the same. Apart from entertaining, there ought to be some take home. Hence my books have a touch of all these – fun, love, passion, intrigue, drama, emotions running high, tenacious characters and the formulaic ‘happily-ever-after’.
I also take flight believing this is what I am meant to do and hoping it'd make a difference somewhere....