‘Most of My Characters Came to Me Fully Formed’

Express News Service

What made you set The Death of Kirti Kadakia: A Temple Hill Murder Mystery in a posh Mumbai neighbourhood?
Temple Hill, the fictional neighbourhood, is an affluent area in Mumbai that still retains a lot of the city’s old-world charm. It is based on an area where I grew up in and has one of the lowest crime rates in the country. When I was toying with the idea of ​​writing the book, it made sense to set it there. Its sanguinity offered the most perfect juxtaposition for a crime.

Are your characters based on people you’ve known?
Some writers talk about nature beautifully, others are great at describing action. I believe my strong suit is people. Most of my characters came to me fully formed. I didn’t really make
a sketch with a list of attributes. They are not based on any people
I actually know. They are composites of neighbors and relatives whom I’ve known all my life.

How did the Temple Hill story evolve? Did you have the plot chalked out beforehand?
Before I started writing, I’d planned the cliff hangers, red herrings and clues. Somewhere, however, along the way, my characters began to take on a life of their own. I realized that there was no point in sticking to the original twists or force-fitting the original character arcs.

In the book, you make passing references to Agatha Christie and Nancy Drew. Have their writings inspired yours?
And it is! To say that I was inspired by them would be an understatement. I was seven or eight when I read my first of her Nancy Drew and became instantly in love with her. Prodigiously talented, Agatha Christie has singlehandedly given us 66 mysteries with such stunningly devious plots.

Of late, murder mystery, as a sub-genre, has been trending with OTT shows. What is your take on them?
I love consuming murder mysteries in every format. On TV, I have thoroughly enjoyed Monk, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, Broadchurch, Mare of East Town and more recently, Only Murders in the Building.

Are your characters based on people you’ve known?
Some writers talk about nature beautifully, others are great at describing action. I believe my strong suit is people. Most of my characters came to me fully formed. I didn’t really make
a sketch with a list of attributes. They are not based on any people
I actually know. They are composites of neighbors and relatives whom I’ve known all my life.

How did the Temple Hill story evolve? Did you have the plot chalked out beforehand?
Before I started writing, I’d planned the cliff hangers, red herrings and clues. Somewhere, however, along the way, my characters began to take on a life of their own. I realized that there was no point in sticking to the original twists or force-fitting the original character arcs.

In the book, you make passing references to Agatha Christie and Nancy Drew. Have their writings inspired yours?
And it is! To say that I was inspired by them would be an understatement. I was seven or eight when I read my first of her Nancy Drew and became instantly in love with her. Prodigiously talented, Agatha Christie has singlehandedly given us 66 mysteries with such stunningly devious plots.

Of late, murder mystery, as a sub-genre, has been trending with OTT shows. What is your take on them?
I love consuming murder mysteries in every format. On TV, I have thoroughly enjoyed Monk, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, Broadchurch, Mare of East Town and more recently, Only Murders in the Building.

Stay connected with us on social media platform for instant update click here to join our Twitter& Facebook

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.