Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Candid Talk With Karthik Lakshminarayanan

Thanks for being such a big support to our new venture. And congratulations on the wonderful success of Unfairy Tales. It was one of the most innovative concepts I have come across. 

How did you come across this idea? Why this twisted turns in your stories? 

            As a blogger, I used to write humorous stories for contests that were a parody of popular works. I had written at least 5-6 of them based on fairy tales. Then one day it occurred to me why not compile them as a book. But when I started writing I realized stories needed greater depth to figure in a book and there needs to be a coherent theme across the stories in a book. So, I rewrote all of them with the theme of various kinds of unfairness. By telling stories from different points of view, I wanted to highlight unfairness in the stories as well as use the stories as a vehicle to talk about the unfairness of life in general. That is how the book came to be.         

While writing this book did it ever occur to you that you are changing fairy tales? Tales that have been ingrained in our finds since we could make sense what words meant?

Actually, that is what works for my book. Since people know the original stories they know all the events. Now I take the same events and weave a different story out of them. So that gives the reader an idea of the power of drawing narratives. My stories have the same events as the original stories. But suddenly the reader starts thinking about the characters and events differently.

I found that you were very sympathetic towards the characters whom many of us felt go the raw deal in the story - any particular reason?

Stories are always narratives of the victors. So if somebody rewrites, it has to be the narrative of the losers, shouldn’t it? Giving voice to the ones who have been drowned out in the sea of time. Otherwise, what is the value the author brings to the table? 

What is the biggest criticism you have faced after the release of your book? How did you handle it? (if any)

Some of the things that work for the book also work against it. That’s where the criticism arose. For example, the initial stories are light and humorous and turn dark as we near the end. Now, this makes the books interesting for both audiences. But then the ones who liked the lighter stories were not particularly happy about the darker ones and vice versa.

I use a strong narrator with unique world views to tell the story. So the initial part of the story is required to establish the narrator. Now, this makes it interesting for some. On the other hand, some readers feel narrator should have been invisible and the author should have dived into the story from line 1. Also, the strong narrator has the voice of the author which is appreciated by some. Others feel all stories have a similar voice.

Some of my stories have powerful twists while in other twist is subtle. Now, this again comes for both appreciation and criticism. Some people like the stories with the subtle twist most because they make the reader think more while others feel they are not entertaining enough.

So at the end of the day, I have to reconcile all the feedback and go with my gut feel for what needs to change and what need not. After all, no story pleases everyone.

Karthik, you are known as the guru in the blogging world. You are a blogger at heart (my presumption of course) but was this a conscious, marketing strategy or things just fell into place?

Things fell into a place I would say. This is my 10th year of blogging. No one plans from so far back, no? Even my stories develop as I write. How can my marketing strategy be pre-planned? But yes, I did give my blog a bit of facelift to coincide with book release.

What does Karthik L do when he is not writing? 

You mean what Karthik L does. Karthik L doesn’t write. T F Carthick is the writer. He only writes. Karthik L works as an analytics and artificial intelligence consultant. 

Authors Recommended by T F Karthik

Watch this space for the above-mentioned authors soon. 

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