I have been reading about Amulya and her work for some time now. A few months ago I contacted her and asked if she would like to be interviewed for the site and she agreed. She has written some very interesting stories so, without further ado, here’s Amulya Malladi.
Aneeta: Amulya, thank you for agreeing to this interview.
Amulya: It’s my pleasure.
Aneeta: Amulya, please tell me a little about your life – where were you born, what did you study in school and college, what do you do now for a living and where do you live?
Amulya: I was born and raised in India. I moved to the United States to study when I was 20 years old. I have a bachelor’s degree in engineering and a master’s degree in journalism. I have always worked as a marketing writer/manager in the corporate world. I now live, work, and write in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Aneeta: I know that you’re a published author and naturally, by extension, a storyteller. Before we go into detail about your books, tell me please, when did you start your career as a writer and why?
Amulya: I started writing when I was 11 years old. There really was no specific reason to start writing—it was just something I felt I needed to do.
Aneeta: What kind of books do you write and why have you chosen to focus on this genre?
Amulya: I don’t think I have a genre and I don’t choose to write a type of book. I choose to write a different story each time without thinking about the genre or type of the book. My old editor, Allison Dickens, always said that I wrote books about women who are trying to find their place in society—I guess that rings true for most of my books.
Aneeta: Let’s consider your books in detail now – tell me about your first 4 books, please – The Breath of Fresh Air, The Mango Season, Serving Crazy with Curry and Song of the Cuckoo Bird. Please give a short description of each one and what is, to you, special about each book.
Amulya: A Breath of Fresh Air was about the survivor of the Bhopal gas tragedy and this story was important to me because I was a child in Bhopal when the gas leak took place.
The Mango Season is about a young Indian woman coming back home to India from the United States to tell her parents about her American fiancé. This was a fun story to tell because it allowed me to look into the dynamics of a large south Indian family.
Serving Crazy with Curry is about a family dealing with the attempted suicide of one of the family members. I enjoyed writing this very much—I think this is most my style as it is dark with a very dry sense of humor.
Song of the Cuckoo Bird is about an ashram in southern India and very close to my heart because I used to go to this ashram by the Bay of Bengal when I was a little girl.
Aneeta: Now, I know from you website, http://www.amulyamalladi.com that you have a new book which is due to be published soon, The Sound of Language. Please tell me what this book is about and when it’s going to be published.
Amulya: The Sound of Language is my first book that is not about Indians or India. It’s about the friendship between an Afghan refugee and a Danish beekeeper. This story is about finding your place in society and it’s also about how refugees struggle to make a life in a new country as they battle learning a new language, deal with racism and suspicion, and try to find home.
Aneeta: As you know, this website caters for storytellers. What advice would you have for those who would like venture into storytelling?
Amulya: I have the basic two: read and write. I meet writers sometimes who say they don’t have the time to read and that always strikes me as odd. If you don’t read how can you write?
And once you do write the book, I say to you what everyone says: edit, edit, edit, and then edit some more.
Aneeta: Amulya, this is all I have to ask. Is there anything you’d like to add?
Amulya: My latest novel, The Sound of Language comes out on 26 December 2007, so you know what to do with all those Amazon and BN gift certificates you find under the Christmas tree. I look forward to hearing what you think of the book.
If you are in a book club, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and invite me to your book club meeting. I will probably not be able to attend by person, but I will call into your book club meeting and answer all your questions.
Aneeta: Yes, I shall look forward to reading a copy of your newest books. Amulya, thank you for agreeing to this interview. I wish you luck in the publication of your latest book.
Amulya: Thanks, Aneeta for taking the time to interview me and read my books.
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