Art & Culture

“Art Has Always Been My Solace , Fortress And Empowerment”, Says Penguin India’s Youngest Author ! Megha Rao With A Dash Of love And Art

“Poetry is the edible part of my soul, and it’s through art that I link my imagination to my reality”

Meet Megha Rao, an impulsive poet, author and artist. She was born and brought up in Singapore and then she moved to Kerala in her sixth grade. She studied English Literature in Madras Christian College and did her Masters in the University of Nottingham. She is a very famous author and has charmed her readers with her notable work as an author and a poet. Her two popular novels are ‘A crazy kind of Love’ and ‘It will always be you’. Apart from writing novels, she also writes short verses of poetry. At eighteen years of age she became the youngest author to have signed a two book deal with Penguin Random House.

In conversation with Megha :

megha rao penguin india wrtier
The young and talented Megha Rao

Do you want your each book to stand out or do you want to interlink your books ?

I think it really depends on the book itself. Some stories can be told quickly and some have to be presented as a link to another one. It is actually the story and the characters that build the book up and not the other way around. I want my books to be realistic and bring joy in other people’s lives.

 Do you feel that if you had taken a different path in your career you could have made much more or less of a difference?

I am sure this is a very clichéd way of putting it, but I didn’t choose art, it chose me. It has always been my solace, my shoulder to cry on, my fortress and my empowerment. All I know is, I have what I had ever wanted. I believe art is my best friend and it is there for me when I need it.

If you had to do something differently as a child or as a teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what is the first thing that comes to your mind?

I would have started reading non-fiction much earlier. I have always been weird at starting things. I started writing before I started reading properly, as crazy as that sounds. But for a writer and a reader, picking up books of all genres is very vital. I believe all this would have helped me to better my craft and present it in a better way as well.

After Alice: The Netherworld in 2012, what motivated you to move forward with its sequel Alice: The Inferno Conspiracy in 2014 ?

Even before I wrote my first book I had made up my mind on writing the another one. It seems very funny, when I think about it now. As a writer I love to play with words and characters and don’t mind writing hundreds of books to achieve that kind of satisfaction as a writer and as a author.

You started writing short speech bubbles which soon turned into short stories and then novels. What struggles did you face during this transition and how did those speech bubbles turn finally into novels?

There was a short story phase in between and then I guess, I began writing novels. I struggled to increase the word count. I would drag the beginnings and would elongate the endings to fit into the word count needed. I have never followed any certain set of rules when it comes to writing my stories and books. I want this part of my life to be very free and open.

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 “If I told you all my insecurities. Would you still love me?” How do these quotes come to your mind and what do you actually think of which helps you in bringing such prime ideas?

I write when I’m overwhelmed. I cannot rest until I have penned all my thoughts down. I think as far as the insecurities are concerned, it is important to realize that one of the major struggle in today’s modern relationship is opening up and revealing your flaws because after a certain point you have to be yourself and you cannot keep impressing someone.People are usually afraid to be real these days. They like being fake all the time and expect the same sugar coated sweetness from their partners at the same time. You cannot always have your rose tinted glasses on and believe me nothing in this world is perfect.

Megha Rao
Megha Rao at the launch of her book- It will always be you

Mention some of your achievements for our readers.

At eighteen years of age, I became the youngest writer to have signed a two book deal with Penguin Random House India. I will always be grateful to my agent, Mr. Anuj Bahri for that. I don’t know how much of an achievement this is, but what I’m proud of is my perseverance. I keep going even when my feet is sore. I never stop anywhere to get a drink. I love making it till the end and see what is the end result of all my efforts and hard work.

What are your views on the fact that emotion plays a prime role for the authors and the poets?

I think art is about honesty and if you fail to express how you feel, then you cannot expect the reader to feel anything either. I am not saying you have to be sad or have a negative view about life but there is no harm in being sensitive and feel things. And just because you are a sensitive person does not mean you are not strong. These two things are not related with one another at all. It is possible to have a soft and powerful voice and it is possible to be strong and yet be kind.

 ‘A crazy kind of love’ and ‘It will always be you’, your titles have always something connected to love. What importance does ‘love’ play in your life?

It is probably the only real thing and my generation is kind of forgetting it. Relationships nowadays are not real anymore as there is no love left in them. People are forgetting that we were created out of love and it’s very important that we spread the same love around. I would like to tell our readers that no matter how hard life gets or the situations become, you should always handle them in a manner that reflects your own true self. Never ever settle for anything less when you know you are worthy of something more but also never overlook opportunities around yourself.

Read more about Megha on Tumblr

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