IndieView with Kirthi Jayakumar, author of Stories of Hope

Stories of Hope


I actually don’t have a writing process. I write everywhere – on my palm, in the text messaging application of my phone, on tissue paper, in a word document or in the spaces between newspapers. I write when something strikes me. 

Kirthi Jayakumar – 08 August 2013

About the book

What is the book about?

Stories of Hope is a collection of short stories. Each tale narrates the journey of a thin red line of hope that fights through adversity. Right from the heart of Nazi Germany in the thick of the holocaust to the collapse of the regime in Egypt in 2011, from the story of hunger in the core of Africa to the tale of Palestine’s recognition as a state, there are stories that celebrate the resilience of the Human Spirit. From stories of a mother turned out of her house by her son, to a mother who loses her newborn, to the young wife who must face a baffling truth, and the little girls who face adversities tied to their identity, these are stories that can be anyone’s narrative. Stories of Hope is a celebration of Hope and a celebration of the undying human spirit of resilience.

When did you start writing the book?

I wrote these stories at different times – some as early as in 2008, and some as recently as December 2012!

How long did it take you to write it?

About 4 years if you take all the time since the beginning to the end, but perhaps a couple of hours if you knocked the interstices in between.

Where did you get the idea from?

My ideas stemmed largely from life around me, and from all that I saw, learned about and worked on.

Were there any parts of the book where you struggled?

I couldn’t say I struggled really, but sometimes just finding the right word was a challenge.

What came easily?

The feeling and emotion in each story.

Are your characters entirely fictitious or have you borrowed from real world people you know?

Heavily fictitious, but some characters had attributes that I included simply because I saw them in someone I appreciated.

We all know how important it is for writers to read. Are there any particular authors that have influenced how you write and, if so, how have they influenced you?

Khaled Hosseini, Lloyd Jones, Jean Sasson, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Enid Blyton, Susan Abulhawa, E R Braithwaite…. And so many more!

Do you have a target reader?

Yes. The average human being. 🙂

About Writing

Do you have a writing process? If so can you please describe it?

I actually don’t have a writing process. I write everywhere – on my palm, in the text messaging application of my phone, on tissue paper, in a word document or in the spaces between newspapers. I write when something strikes me.

Do you outline? If so, do you do so extensively or just chapter headings and a couple of sentences?

None at all – I just write blindly.

Do you edit as you go or wait until you’ve finished?

I wait until I finish, although silly typos are taken care of instantly.

Did you hire a professional editor?

Yes indeed – I had an editor since it was published under a small press.

Do you listen to music while you write? If yes, what gets the fingers tapping?

A lot of times! Mozart and Beethoven do the trick for me, and some Sufi music, too!

About Publishing

Did you submit your work to Agents?

Nope. I was turned down by 25 publishers before my publisher agreed.

What made you decide to go Indie, whether self-publishing or with an indie publisher? Was it a particular event or a gradual process?

It was a gradual process – I sent in my work to the publishing house and they really enjoyed my work enough to agree to publish it.

Did you get your book cover professionally done or did you do it yourself?

It was professionally done, by a designer called Aditya Bharadwaj – who I will honestly say has been the creative mind for a perfect extension of the ideas I had in mind.

Do you have a marketing plan for the book or are you just winging it?

Winging it totally!

Any advice that you would like to give to other newbies considering becoming Indie authors?

Just believe, unconditionally, in yourself.

About You

Where did you grow up?

Chennai and Bangalore, in India.

Where do you live now?

I live in Chennai, mostly.

What would you like readers to know about you?

That I am just another person.

What are you working on now?

My second and third books – the second one is tied to an NGO I am running currently, and the third one is another set of short stories. 🙂

End of Interview:

For more from Kirthi, visit her blog or like her facebook page.

To purchase a copy of Stories of Hope, visit Infi beam.

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