Parinieta Ahuja’s Imagination Runs Wild in Her Debut Novel
From the time she was very young, Parinieta Ahuja had always dreamed up imaginary worlds in her mind. Now, she is finally putting those daydreams on paper. In her debut novel, Imaginations Wild, Parinieta explores her own personal experiences with a fictional lens.
Tell us a little bit about your book.
“Imaginations Wild - a person often meets his destiny on the road he took to avoid it” --Jean De La Fontaine.
Zealous and adventurous ever since she was born, Anam’s life was always happening and unexpected. Being adopted by an American couple, the Smiths, on their visit to India, her entire life was a sum of struggles and nuances to settle down and familiarize herself in a world that was hers, but did she really belong there? Passionate about writing, Anam always used to write in her journal expressing her desire to meet her birth parents and her life in the United States, not even realizing how her hobby just became an ambition.
Very accurately defining the protagonist’s journey in this book, Jean De La Fontaine sums up Anam’s wild ride in college, where she chose to pursue becoming a lawyer, a practical dream to be successful and fulfill her birth mother’s dream, disregarding her dreams of becoming a writer while finding her first true love and her first mentor who guided her every step of the way.
While in college, Anam decides to revisit her childhood memories through her writing and her journal. In a rush, Anam loses her journal that happens to be found by Mr. Warper, part of the largest production company in the country. Will Anam get Mr. Journal back? Is she able to accept what re-finding her journal brings? Is she even mentally prepared for the eager journey that comes with her best friend, Mr. Journal? Let’s find out.
Tell us about your personal journey to write the book.
It was the lack of control around me that pushed me to write it. I was nervous because there was a sudden bump in my life's journey and a change in my career path. What remained unchanged was my desire to be successful- which in my definition was to make a difference, an impact, to leave a mark. I just started jotting my dreams and aspirations into the story of this person that I didn’t know and while our goals might be different, our journey is similar.
Eventually, I started figuring out things over the summer and started accepting that control is dependent on interpretation, that no matter what I do I am beyond my levels and limits in my desire to control everything. It was a fun little project until someone read it. My literary agent, The BookBakers, thought it was a different story, something unique, and decided to represent me and the book.
Were you influenced by personal experiences?
Every single concept, from classes to dinner settings, to friends, to the imagery in the book, is all derived from my personal experiences. Ever since I can remember, I have used my surroundings to dream of a world, a new one of how I wished it would be. The junction of my life that I was at when I started writing the book was not perfect. I was figuring my life out just as any college student does at one point in their college journey, especially with changing things and desires.
I have always expressed myself the best when in writing. Had I ever thought I would write a book off it? Nope! But I guess some things are expressed better when I write about them, and this book is the biggest representation of that. That life isn't perfect, and it might not always be the way you expect it to be, but it is fun. The 'Not Knowing' is what makes it fun and exciting. One might not feel it every day but there is a certain exhilaration in the unknown and my personal discovery of that is through this book and piece of writing.
What surprised you the most about the writing experience?
How natural it felt. Everything flowed when I sat down to write. Nothing was forced, nothing was stressful, it was fun, it was simple, and I was getting to know myself even better. I was shocked initially of how easy it felt to just write and come up with backstories for my characters as if they were a part of my life. I have always been good at making up scenarios, daydreaming new things, but it still came as a shock of how easy and fun it was to do it when I was writing.
What writers have most influenced you?
I would say, more than a particular writer, a specific book has influenced me. The first real book I read when I was in high school. I had read books before that for example, The Hardy Boys, Famous Five, Harry Potter, etc., but it was Animal Farm by George Orwell that was my first experience of reading about the real world, outside of a 13-year-old's mindset. Animal Farm is a book that applies to so many stages of life and that is the first piece of writing that is an inspiration to my thinking, what I write about and how I write it.
What is one message you hope readers take away from this story?
I guess the biggest piece of information I would like my readers to take from this book is 'The Appreciation for Uncertainty' and to explore for their imagination. Every single one of us has an imagination, and the ability to dream as big as we want. Let's explore it, let's look for it, even if we feel it is unachievable, let's try and find it. Because acceptance is the first step to getting anywhere close to it.
Are you working on another book?
Yes absolutely! I have been exploring different ideas and working on them. Hoping to write a sequel and explore more about Anam's journey. I am super excited for my readers to see Anam grow not just as a person but as a part of the reader's life. I want my readers to find their own Anam within themselves through the next book.
To learn more about Parinieta’s book, Imaginations Wild, click here.