Author Interview Thanishka Reddygari

1. Can you tell us a little about your book? 

My book is about a 13-year- old girl who has Asthma but doesn’t let it stand as a reason for her not being able to do something. I always wanted to convey some message and from this book what can be taken is that though how many things she faces; when she thinks that it is because of her asthma; when she blames her asthma- she gives herself a second thought. She didn’t want to be weak or blame other things for her not being able to achieve something; she wanted to be strong and brave and in fact, she is a very determined girl. She stands up strong and believes in herself. So, this is the message I wanted to put forward to every 9-year-old and above, whoever reads my book that things when are not in our favor, we tend to blame it on others things around us as a reason we couldn’t do a particular task just to satisfy our own self. 

As her qualities of courage are predominant than the other qualities of her’s, she believes in herself and goes on a dangerous mission with her brother and comes back with success. And that doesn’t mean every nine-year-old has to go on a mission like that to prove that they are brave and courageous. The above I mentioned in the previous para is the take-in.

Coming to the title - ‘Counting on Valiancy’. The general meaning of it is - ‘relying on courage’. And the meaning of it is: Emma had Asthma and was bound to a few things that she couldn’t do. She wanted to prove she was strong but somewhere in her, she felt weak because of her surroundings. And about the Liconite, she wanted to save people from its hypnotizing effect and with that strong desire, she went along with her brother though she wasn’t sure enough but was relying on her courage. This is understood better while reading the book.

2. Is there a specific event that inspired this story or was this an out of the blue idea? What got you writing in the first place? 

This story was a totally out of the blue idea. I started writing with a small phrase and it turned out to be 200 pages. To be honest, I was not at all into writing before. Last year, when everything was virtual and when we had the Covid-19 pandemic all over the place, my school principal, Shailaja aunty, and other teachers of my school, were urging us to do something new and pick up a new hobby as it was a lockdown and we had plenty of time. That’s when I thought I could try out something new and that’s when I chose to write. I started writing in the month of September and later, was passionate to complete it and now after writing 200 pages, I can say- I love writing. I’m truly thankful to Shailaja aunty and other teachers as well for getting me into this. 


3. What was your impression of your first draft when you read it?

After reading my first draft, my impression was like- Not bad. When I first started writing/ typing I wasn’t sure to publish it or not. Like I was writing the story keeping in mind to publish it but wasn’t sure if I would actually complete the book and if the story would be relevant. But after going through it I was convinced. There is obviously scope for more improvement but as the first official writing, I am satisfied. 


4. Which part of your story connects the most with you? Why?

The part where the message is set forth. Sending out relevant messages which would start making people realize is what I was aiming for. But as it is my first book, I couldn’t put forward a strong message. I thought a bit of adventure and a bit of mystery along with a light message would do good for ages above nine. 


5. What makes your book the one to read?

Normally, talking about storybooks, they hook up the readers perpetually throughout the whole story and I think my book has the capacity to bring up interest among the readers. 


6. What was the best advice you got while writing?
I didn’t get any advice, Tbh. Like nobody even knew I was writing and I told my parents after almost being halfway done with the manuscript. I was just focused for how much ever time I wrote each day. 


7. Who’s your all time favorite author? Which book of his/hers made you fall in love with them? 

Frankly speaking, it changes as I read different books. Like before, it was J.K Rowling when I was of some 5th-6th grade, and now, it’s John Green. My favorite book is ‘The Fault in our stars’. The story is just amazing. When I started reading it, I couldn’t stop till I finished it. It was like I was in its trance. 


8. What is your evergreen tip to the writers out there?

Start with a sentence and the story keeps wiring up by itself. Be very conscious about your surroundings- you may never know if they help you weave your story. I believe everyone out there is creative. All they need to do is unleash their creativity to captivate minds with their stories. 


9. Do you have another plot brewing?
Yes, I do have another one in mind, but wouldn’t start now.

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