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BookChums interviews Ritu Lalit
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BookChums interviews Ritu Lalit

Post by: Kabita Sonowal








Ritu Lalit is an Indian novelist and short-story writer. Her short stories, titled My Daughter’s Stricken Eyes Haunt Me and Hidden were featured on Ripples: Short Stories by Indian Women Writers. In this exclusive interview with BookChums, she discusses her inspiration behind the short stories in Ripples, her novels that are slated for release this year, her fascination for the human mind and her advice to aspiring authors.


Thank you for the interview with BookChums. Tell us about where you grew up and how you turned to writing.

I grew up all over the country and parts of U.K.  My father was in government service.  My education was in Kendriya Vidyalayas all over the country, mostly north-eastern India.


What made you write a stark, real and difficult-to-digest story, My Daughter’s Stricken Eyes Haunt Me?

I went through a rather low period in my life and turned to a social service called Sanjeevani for help and support.  They counseled me and during the period I was there, I saw things.  Let us say I saw certain victims of violence and perversion.  It gnawed on me and that resulted in this story written so many years later.


What was the inspiration behind Hidden?

I love the human brain; it is the freakiest thing in all creation.  Plus I love the idea of the soul transcending the physical body.  In Hidden, I took the case of a man who is a voyeur of violence but does not know why.  And then he has a chance meeting with a girl who puts things in perspective … where does he go from there?  Does he slide into violence – or does he just stop with self realization?  I left it open.


How many hours do you write for on a regular day?
Writing is a full time occupation.  Either you are writing, or you are plotting, or observing life and building characters.  Of course I have a home to run and a full time job – but writing dominates my thinking all the time.  I normally try to put in at least three hours of actual writing in a day.


Which authors and what genres have influenced you?

Far too many to list.  I did my graduation in Eng Litt (Hons) and Post Graduation in English Literature.  I am addicted to reading fiction.  Currently I am re-reading Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough.  It is a fascinating book.


Are you working on non-fiction too?

No.  I like the imaginary world too much.  It is far more adventurous. I may write non-fiction some day, I do not rule it out.  But not right now.


What do we read from you next?

Two novels are scheduled to be out in 2013.  One is a fantasy thriller which be out in early 2013.  Later in 2013 a murder mystery will be published.  Both are at the editing stage.


Any tips for aspiring authors?

Read a lot.  I cannot emphasize it enough. Do understand that editing is what makes all the difference between a shoddy final product and a polished one.  So invest in a good editor. Make writing a habit.  Do put in at least two hours on the laptop.  You may delete it all, but write a few pages each day.


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