Akriti is a journalist with aspirations of being the next Mindy Kaling. She can be found spending all her money on buying books or buying pizzas.
Her story ‘Biting Apples’ has been chosen as the Editor’s Pick of the Week. Read it here .
Juggernaut had a conversation with Akriti about her story.
Your story is Editor’s Pick of the Week. Please tell us more about it, and its inspiration.
As a fully grown adult, I’m still suspicious about the existence of ghosts and scared of them at night. So I wrote this story to get over my fears! I have also always loved comedy as a genre and there is such little comedy in fiction that I knew I wanted to keep my story lighthearted and fun. It’s also an interesting genre to experiment in because unlike sadness which everyone feels over the same things, not everyone has the same sense of humour. So it was fun to write things that I thought were funny and hope they would connect with the audience too.
Do you have any particular rules or rituals you follow as a writer?
No matter what time of day or place, I always keep a notebook or my notes app handy to write things down. Sometimes, I write entire articles and short stories on my phone, not waiting for a laptop and the “right environment”. Creativity can strike anytime! Most importantly, I try to keep myself disciplined and write something everyday – even if it’s an article or news report, writing everyday gets my brain ticking and ready for fiction.
What got you interested in becoming a writer? Where do you go for inspiration?
Reading JK Rowling when I was 9 years old CONVINCED me that I wanted to become a writer. Days when I feel listless and sapped of my creativity, I still reach for my battered copies of her books for inspiration. My grandmother is also a writer and listening to her stories as a child also made me want to write. I also wrote my first story at age 8 modelled after the bedtime stories she would tell us.
What’s that one piece written by you which is your all-time favourite?
A few political poems I have written are among the work I really like. I don’t think I have a favourite work yet because I feel I haven’t written enough fiction to choose from!
Your story could be part fantasy- how do we define the lines of reality in fiction?
I think till the narrator tells you it’s real life, anything could be fantasy. Since I only know everything about my life, any one else’s life can be fantasy to me. Same with fiction, till you tell me it exists in the real world, who am I to say it isn’t fantasy. Because isn’t all fiction a figment of our imagination and fantasy?
Your bestselling authors and books list. Why do they make it to your list?
The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas
City of Djinns – William Dalrymple
Reading Lolita In Tehran – Azar Nafisi
Call Me By Your Name – Andre Aicman
Why Not Me – Mindy Kaling
All these books have made me look at my surroundings, my home, books, literature and life in different ways and I would highly recommend reading these to everyone!
Any writing tips you’d like to share with fellow writers?
Write a lot so that you get the bad writing out of you first, so you can focus on the good writing after that. Whenever you write, wait a while before you revisit your work, because there will always be some scope for editing, which you will thank yourself for doing. With that in mind, write because even if one person is affected by your words positively then you have created some good.