“Good fiction can help us to expand our circle of empathy to include people unlike ourselves.”
― Eitan Levy
I have always been inspired by fictional characters, sometimes (mostly) more than real people. It took me a long time to understand that the creation of authentic characters is as important as the plot of the story. This especially became challenging when I started writing stories of my own. When reading about women characters, it always struck me how most authors stereotype them, giving them personalities that would be likable and acceptable, rather than making them go into a gray area. Times have changed and we do have contemporary fiction where women are portrayed as uniquely as their male counterparts. But there is still scope for improvement, at least in my opinion. So, when I recently read a story where the female lead made me frustrated but later grew on me because of her character growth, I knew I had found a writer who understands these complexities the way I do.
I am talking about the book titled Behind the Closed Door. And the author, Shalini Ranjan who has previously appeared on the #AuthorCollaborative agreed to join me as a guest yet again, tonight. Before we go ahead, here’s a look at my short review of the said book.
Shalini too read Under the Mistletoe & Other Stories and here’s what she had to say about it.
Because the female lead and her growth are what struck me the most about Shalini’s book, I decided to focus our chat on the same topic.
My questions to her were along the same lines.
Of course, the topic was something we could both relate to, being avid readers and also authors ourselves. Hence, Shalini too added her own questions that she wanted to get answers to from me.
After an intense talk about women in fiction, we decided to end on a lighter note. Of course, as always, the rapid-fire round proved to be helpful.
Here’s a look at Shalini’s questions to me in this round.
You can have a look/see at the entire conversation in the video below:
Books discussed in the session:
- Behind the Closed Door by Shalini Ranjan
- Under the Mistletoe & Other Stories by Manali Desai
Thank you for reading.