Once in a while, despite our utter lack of expectations, life delivers the most wonderful experiences that we had never even prepared for or dreamed of.
Somewhere in May, I received an email from My Chapter One, asking me to join them as a guest to launch the e-book containing stories written by the children who had attended their writing program. They would showcase my work and also interview me as part of the event.
My first thought was – this whole thing is a prank! How could anyone find me suitable for such an honour? And the organization looked legit too! The programme for both the children and the reading hosts looked splendid. I had a call with Suhasini from their team, and fixed up the sequence of events as well as agreed the script her team had laid out. I provided some details from my side and soon we were all set.
The big day rolled around. After a brief introduction and interview, I went ahead and formally launched the book! A tonne of applause went around, and then began the Q&A – the children hit me with a tonne of brilliant questions! I hadn’t expected it because even adults don’t ask such insightful queries.
The aspiring writers grilled me on a wide range of topics, like if I’ve ever written a serial short story, how long novels usually are, and even how to end a story if the first ending you have written is not satisfying. Each question inspired me to think before I answered. I dispensed the best advice I could, sharing all that I had gleaned from mentors and also gained by experience. They even quizzed me on which of my stories I liked the best, and why. I even read a snippet of my story Miss Quit, which everyone enjoyed!
The recording of the event is available in two parts – you can view Part 1 here and Part 2 here.
The feedback from the organizers was very positive – my nuggets of wisdom were well-received by the audience. They even sent me a token of appreciation! It’s been a while since I received such beautiful flowers!
Overall, it was an experience I will remember and cherish for many years to come. I look forward to joining more events for them if they ever invite me again for such an honour! You can view the My Chapter One website here as read more about their Reading Gym initiative. They’re on Facebook too! And while you’re about it, you can follow me on Instagram as well!
In other news, I have a new short story up at Agnes and True. Do check it out and let me know what you think!