An Interview with Kirthi Jayakumar: Author, Lawyer & Freelance Journalist
Sylvia: Welcome Kirthi. Please give our readers an introduction of yourself and a little about your book.
Kirthi: Hello Sylvia, my name is Kirthi, and I’m from Chennai, India. I am a Lawyer, specialized in Public International Law and Human Rights. A graduate of the School of Excellence in Law, Chennai, I have diversified into Research and Writing in Public International Law, Arbitration and Human Rights, besides Freelance Journalism. I work as a UN Volunteer, specializing in Human Rights research in pertinence to issues in Africa, India and Central Asia and the Middle East. I have worked extensively with grass root organizations that focus on women rights, and also run a journal and consultancy that focuses on International Law, called A38, with my Brother.
As you can see, I do a lot of different things when it comes to work, but I’m predominantly, and primarily, a writer. My book is a collection of short stories that celebrates hope and resilience – two things that are inherently embedded in the human spirit.
Sylvia: I am very impressed with your work, particularly, your focus on women rights. I am very passionate about empowering women. What inspired you to write your first book?
Kirthi: To tell you the truth, I didn’t think it would become a book. There were stories in me that just came out – sometimes while waiting for the dentist, sometimes while watching a movie, sometimes while eating with my family – and I just wrote them. With time, I realized I had a decent body of work – and I decided I’d give it a shot and seek a possible publication.
Sylvia: Well you obviously took a leap of faith and look what it has brought you… another accolade. I commend you on your effort. Is there a message in your novel that you want reader s to grasp?
Kirthi: Yes. That no matter how dark, how gloomy, how dismal, how difficult life may be, there is always hope. That audacity to hope stems from resilience, and that is what sustains us and takes us forward in life.
Sylvia: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Kirthi: I don’t think I’m in a place where I have earned any right to advice another person. But I’d always tell people one thing: believe in yourself. If you don’t invest in yourself, no one else will. Or can, for that matter.
Sylvia: I think that is good advice. What marketing techniques have you used to sell your books and which ones have been most successful?
Kirthi: I’ve been winging it, actually. Facebook is mostly the place that I’ve been using, besides Goodreads and clubbing friends on the head for their reviews
Sylvia: Ha Ha! Why should we buy your book?
Kirthi: Because these stories are anyone’s stories. True, they’re set in different parts of the world – and some, set nowhere at all that they’re everywhere – but the strength of human spirit and character are things that all of us have. The mother who lifted a whole car in a burst of adrenaline to save her baby is not wonder woman, but one of us. The person who ran into a burning house to save a little child is not superman, but one of us. All of us are capable of rising to the occasion: all we need is a spoonful of hope.
Sylvia: Is there a special place that you prefer when you write?
Kirthi: None at all. I think all I need is to be in tune with my mind. Being an introvert, I think I’ve been blessed with the ability to go within at whim. And I can do that anywhere.
Sylvia: What projects are you currently working on?
Kirthi: Right now, I’m working on my second book, which is a non-fiction assortment of interviews with women leaders across the world. This ties in with my initiative for storytelling and activism for women rights (The Red Elephant Foundation). That aside, I’m curating more stories of my own, scribbling and writing on my phone, whenever and wherever I get the time and the inclination. The news set, if I get lucky, might become another book.
Sylvia: What is your POWER WORD? Why this word?
Kirthi: Hope, of course. Why, because, well, we’re all inherently capable of it. All we need to do is to find it in us to use.
Sylvia: Hope… I love that word. Kirthi, thank you for your time and story. Please share your social media and book contact information.
Kirthi: Thank you, Sylvia. It’s been great speaking with you My book can be found in the following websites:
- Blog: http://www.kirthijayakumar.blogspot.com/
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/storiesofhopebykirthijayakumar
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/kirthijayakumar
- InfiBeam: http://www.infibeam.com/Books/stories-hope-kirthi-jayakumar/9788192022192.html
- Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7144995.Kirthi_Jayakumar