F-Page – Kavita Kané



Kavita Kane


Facts

Born 5th August
Place of BirthMumbai
City of residencePune
Books authored

  1. Karna’s Wife: The Outcast’s Queen (2013)
  2. Sita’s Sister (2014)

Bio

A senior journalist with a career of over two decades, which includes working for Magna publication and DNA,  she quit her job as Assistant Editor of Times of India to devote herself as a full time author. A self-styled  aficionado of cinema and theatre and sufficiently armed with a post-graduate degree in English Literature and Mass Communication from the University of Poona, the only skill she knows, she candidly confesses, is writing.

Karna’s Wife her debut novel, released in 2013 was a bestseller. Her second novel – Sita’s Sister – out in December 2014, also deals with another enigmatic personality – Urmila, probably the most overlooked character in the Ramayan.

Born in Mumbai, a childhood spent largely in Patna and Delhi , Kavita currently lives in Pune with her mariner husband Prakash and two teen daughters Kimaya and Amiya, with Chic, the Cocker Spaniel, a friendly rottweiler named Dude and an unfriendly cat called Babe with her kittens Macho and Sexy.


Fantastic Five – Five of my favourite books

I cannot enumerate my favourite authors for I have none but all! Each author I read I have loved and has influenced me to a varied degree. Also, what you read and who you read depends largely on age, maturity and mood. In college I used to dislike reading non-fiction except for the essays by literary greats. So listing books and authors in terms of hierarchy and prioritising them is unfair to them!


Face-to-face

Tell us about your earliest attempts at writing. When, where and from whom did you learn the nittygritties of writing?

Earliest attempts would be the essays at schools! I am a journalist, a profession I had decided since college. The technical art, or rather craft of technical writing in journalism I studied as a student of Communication and Journalism. This did help when I took up to pen a novel. After years of such hard, non-fiction writing, Karna’s Wife, my debut novel was officially my first attempt in creative writing. And it’s success as a bestseller dared me to attempt another – Sita’s Sister.

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

I find mythology fascinating in general and the marginalised characters more so in particular. Tweet

Karna seen through his wife’s eyes was more intriguing than profiling him as the tragic, ill-fated hero. His wife becomes his voice, the words she speaks are those he could never reveal to the world. Likewise, Urmila in Sita’s Sister is not just Sita’s younger sister or Lakshman’s wife or Janak’s daughter. She is more than the tags attached to her. But who is she? What happened to her when Lakshman left her as a bride in the palace of Ayodhya when he accompanied Ram in the 14 year exile? That forms the premise of the book.

The ideas come naturally, but they need to be worked on in terms of rationality, sustainability and a strong sense of conviction. They have to last through a book. Most don’t and have to be dismissed.

What does your typical writing day look like?

Writing however creative, also needs discipline. I see to it that I write for a minimum five hours every day except Sundays and festivals. I quit my job as Asst. Editor of TOI to devote more time and effort as a full time author. I enjoy it more and can also spend more time with my family.

What is one habit / trait of yours that makes you effective / productive as an author?

An unbiased view helps in fleshing out both the narrative and characters. Tweet

What is the one thing that you recommend every aspiring author should do?

Write regularly as a daily discipline. Tweet

Tell us something about yourself that very few people know?

My life is an open book!

Does technology (the Internet, software tools) help you in your writing process? If yes, can you tell us about them?

Certainly! I cannot do without it. The net is the biggest vehicle for my reference work and technical reading. I don’t use the typewriter or longhand but my tablet to write both the novels. There are apps for writers which help hugely.

Is there any other way in which technology can help you in your work as writer?

I did the entire marketing- promotion of my book largely through social media. Also it forms an excellent inter-active platform with the readers who I believe are the sole reason for the success books. They have the final word.

What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others? (include websites, blogs or Twitter profiles, etc).

Influence is an on-going process – parents, teachers mentors, friends, books, cinema even strangers can stamp their influence. It is a dynamic experience where one absorbs the thoughts, beliefs, philosophy of all what’s around you.

Can you tell about what you are currently writing and other works in the pipeline?

I am on my third novel, again about a character from mythology. I won’t say much except that it’ll do the talking once it is out!

With reference to “Karna’s wife”, what made you create a non-existent character Uruvi rather than looking at the story from the point of view of the wife Vrushali (referred to in the Mahabharatha) ?

I could use more dramatic license with Uruvi than I could have with Vrushali. Also Vrushali was part of a collective imagination and I did not want to tamper with her image. I wanted a character who could mingle at an equal stature and question the mightiest and the noblest personalities in the Mahabharat be it be Karna, Bhishma or Kunti.

“Karna’s wife”, “Sita’s sister”. Is there a pattern and logic behind the titles? Why are the protagonists referred to in relation to another character?

Actually the titles are simple and straightforward. Also they make the readers react with -‘Oh Karna had a wife? Who?’ Or ‘Sita had a sister? Who?’ Those answers lies in the respective book. The protagonists are marginalised characters often overlooked in the tomes of the epics. If not Sita’s sister, Urmila is known as Lakshman’s wife. That sadly is her introduction. Not more, much less.

What do you think about this new wave of retellings of the Indian Mythology that are being written in the recent days? Why do you think there is a sudden interest for this genre?

Mythology is our living past. We always have had it around us – as childhood stories, folk songs, bhajans, theatre. In contemporary times, we have teleserials, cinema, games and apps and of course books. By doing so, mythology is being re-introduced. It’s universal identification makes it so popular. Or how would the epics have sustained for thousands of years? We love them because we live our lives through them.


Find me at

Facebook:  Kavita Kané

Twitter: Kavita Kané

Linked in: Kavita Kané Author / Former Journalist


PlusMinus’n’More: Thank you Kavita, for being our guest on F-pages and sharing with us your experiences as a writer. Our best wishes for your forth-coming book.


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