An Interview with Kumari Kanchanji
What a Girl to Do When Life Throws a Curveball author, Kumari Kanchanji, is currently the C.E.O. of a medical devices company. After her M.B.A. in finance and marketing and a B.A. in liberal arts and science, she worked for several Fortune 500 companies. Swimming with the sharks and rising the corporate ladder was challenging, but her passion for writing challenged her the most. Consequently, she quit her executive job and established her own company so that she could find some time to write. Unfortunately, she became busier than ever before. When the pandemic hit, she found the time and dedicated herself to pursuing her dream. Ms. Kanchanji is all about women’s empowerment. The message she hopes readers gain is that women can achieve anything they want with perseverance and dedication.
Tell us about your background, and what inspired you to write your first novel? Writing has been my passion for as long as I can remember. But in my ever-busy life, I never had enough time to sit down and write the stories my mind weaved or complete the stories I had started and were left unfinished in my desk drawers.
After getting my M.B.A. in finance and marketing, I got a job with a Fortune 500 company. Swimming with the sharks and trying to climb the corporate ladder was exciting and challenging, but finding time to pursue my inner passion, challenged me the most.
Consequently, I quit my executive job and established my own company, hoping I would find time to write. Unfortunately, I became busier than ever before. Still, I continued to write short essays on human relationships and articles on Sudden Cardiac Arrest, which were published.
Recently, during the COVID-19 pandemic, I found some spare time because I didn't have to commute and go to the office. Since I worked from home, I managed to complete the mystery thriller I had researched and was lying in my work-in-progress file, awaiting my attention.
After, only God knows how many all-nighters, and Java jolts, I was able to complete a 700-page novel. If I have to sum it up, what inspired me to write my first novel, I would say in one word. Time.
How would you describe your book?
This is a story of one woman's fight against a powerful, rich evil man, knowing fully well she might not win and end up six-feet under the ground.
It is a mystery thriller set in India and the U.S.A. A true story fictionalized. It is about the dogged determination of a young woman reporter who must exact revenge from a powerful industrialist who wronged her family in his pursuit of wealth. Because of his soulless greed and nefarious actions, her parents had to live in poverty, and she, at age sixteen, had to work as a sex slave to survive.
This shrewd man is--well, as cunning as they come. He is a darling of Delhi's political powerbrokers, and half the judiciary and law-enforcement is on his payroll. She knows he hates journalists because they expose corrupt, influential people. And she also knows that more than two dozen journalists have been killed while reporting collusion between crime figures and government officials in India. And the killers got away in nearly ninety percent of the murder cases. But she is unafraid because she holds a deep dark secret about this man that can bring him down.
Tell us a bit about the title, "What a Girl to Do When Life Throws a Curveball."
The novel's title refers to the hurdles my two main characters encounter in their lives and how they handle the unexpected blows.
How do you relate to the main character in your book? In what ways are you similar? In what ways are you different?
I relate with my characters in two ways. One: They are strong-willed. So am I. Two: I believe firmly that with perseverance, any woman can achieve anything. I wrote, edited, and formatted my 700-page novel in less than 6-months (since the start of Covid-19).
I am different because I value honesty, compassion, human life. Which my two-woman characters lack. What message would you like for your readers to take away?
That the women, if they persevere and are determined to achieve what they want from life, they can. Prime examples are late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg and T.V. talk show host Oprah Winfrey. And above all, as Mahatma Gandhi has said, "Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will."
What challenges did you face when writing this book?
Mostly it was finding the time out of my work schedule, the grueling research needed for the complexities of the plot, and of course, fictionalizing the real incidents, names of the characters, and places.
Is there anything surprising you learned about yourself when writing the book?
Yes. That I could write a fictional 700-page mystery murder story novel based on, mostly, actual events.
8. What can we expect from you next?
God willing, another 700-page novel, and a couple of sizzling movie scripts. One for Bollywood and one for Hollywood.
For further information visit: https://www.kanchanji.com/