Interview With Author Kanchana Banerjee

Today, Paul’s Fantasy Writings has the honour of an interview with author Kanchana Banerjee. Kanchana is has written A Forgotten Affair and Nobody’s Child, both of which are in the thriller genre.

Recently, Kanchana and I got in touch with one another and she kindly agreed to an answer the following questions:

Where do you live and has this place influenced your writings at all?

I’ve lived in Bombay for many years; currently, I stay in Gurgaon. Nobody’s Child has a lot of Bombay in it and my stay in the city has enabled me to incorporate the city and its essence into the story.

Both of your books, A Forgotten Affair and Nobody’s Child, are in the suspense/thriller genre. What made you decide to write in this genre?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by thrillers. Movies, TV series, books – I enjoy the genre immensely. Evil is fascinating. How does an evil mind work? Is one born evil or is it circumstances? And then the thrill of not knowing what’s coming next. I’m a thriller writer at heart.

This blogger: It certainly sounds like it (*grins*.)

Your second book, Nobody’s Child, is an exhilarating (yet chilling) story of the dark side of fame. What was the spark or inspiration that made you choose this topic? Was it an event that happened to you, or something that you read or watched?

I read an agony aunt column in a magazine years ago. It was from a young girl who had written about her predicament. She had confessed to premarital sex to her husband during their honeymoon and he rejected her. This stayed with me through years.

Then another incident hit TV news about a decade ago: a drug addict walking around the streets of Mumbai, who was actually a supermodel who had fallen to bad times. This also stayed in my head. I write about what I see, hear and read about in the world around me.

This blogger: Well, I am relieved to learn that your books are predominantly based on what you see, hear and read rather than incidents in your past. The examples you mention for what inspired you to write your second book are fascinating as well. Instinctively, I thought to myself: How could a supermodel fall on such hard times? What could lead to be a drug addict on the streets of Mumbai?

interview with author kanchana banerjee - synopsis for her book.
The cool book cover and synopsis for Kanchana’s latest thriller, which came in August 2019.

If someone asked you to recommend three books or films from the ‘thriller’ genre (including any of its subgenres) for someone who knows nothing about the genre, which books or films would you recommend? And why?

Devotion of Suspect X is one of the most amazing thrillers I’ve read. You know who the culprit is and it’s all about if he is going to get caught. The writing is brilliant too.

The Child by Fiona Barton. A fantastic thriller written very well and a mind-blowing twist at the end.

The movie Wait Until Dark staring Audrey Hepburn as a blind woman trapped in the house with 3 goons.

This blogger: You should be the PR/marketer for thrillers as you could make anyone read or watch them. As it happens, you’ve made me want to read The Child right now!

In your opinion, what three features are required to make a novel come under the ‘thriller’ genre? (In other words, what three features make a novel thrilling?)

A captivating beginning that hooks the reader from the word go. This is very important. A thriller can’t have an insipid start. Every chapter must end in a manner that compels the reader to turn the page and read on.

You have to take the reader on a ride and not let go of them. Twists & turns in the story are also very important. And, finally, the ending has to be OMG. The final twist should be one the reader didn’t see coming.

In two of my blog pieces, I discuss how to create an engaging main character. What key characteristics make the main characters in your novels engaging?

I think in Nobody’s Child the antagonist, the villain is the main character. Though the protagonist, Asavri is very important, Kamini Pratap Singh (the villain) is very interesting. Though she is extremely evil, cunning and scheming, almost all readers have loved her. I guess people love evil and darkness… at least it’s fascinating to read and see, so long as it doesn’t affect them.

This blogger: (*Laughs hard*.) That is a fantastic summary for why audiences love great villains! I love it! Kamini Pratap Singh comes across as the sort of villain/antagonist that makes readers want to read more of.

Out of all of the characters in your novels, who is the most like you? And why?

None. There are bits of me in some of my characters. Like me, Asavri loves biryani and has frizzy hair. But that’s all. I create the characters and sometimes inject a bit of me in them. Nonetheless, it’s more for me and my closest friends to know, and the readers to guess.

What part of the writing process do you find the most challenging?

The talented thriller authoress, herself – Kanchana Banerjee.

I don’t find the writing process challenging at all. Yes, there are road bumps, but writing is the most exciting and fun part of the entire book journey. The challenges begin after the book is written. Getting a good publisher and then marketing the book. That’s a huge challenge and a very frustrating one.

This blogger: Arguably, publishing is part of the writing process. I think many authors will empathise with your frustration, regarding publishing.

What is the most discouraging thing someone has told you about writing?

“Why do you write? There’s hardly any money in it.”

I don’t write for money. I used to, when I wrote for publications and companies. Now, I write for myself. I create stories that I’d like to read. I love what I do.

Are you writing another novel at present? If so, could you please tell us a bit about it?

Yes I am, but I don’t like talking about it. I’m very superstitious about my work and believe if I talk about it, the work will fall through. All I can say it’s another thriller.

This blogger: That’s fair enough and I completely respect that. Still, your fans will be delighted to read that you are in the process of writing another thriller.

Lastly, what do you like to do when you are not writing?

I enjoy playing with my dogs. I cook and I garden. Plus, I enjoy travelling with my husband. We travel a lot.

End of Interview

Thus, our interview with author Kanchana Banerjee comes to an end. I would like to thank Kanchana for her time, and to say that it has been wonderful talking to her. I wish her all the best in her future writings, her dogs, and her travels.

You can purchase Kanchana’s books A Forgotten Affair and Nobody’s Child on Amazon. For those of you who love thrillers, get them now!

Otherwise, like Kachana on Facebook; follow her on Instagram and Twitter; and visit her website. This way, you will be able to keep up to date with her and be the first to know when her next thriller will be coming out.

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