CHENNAI: You might have heard of teens unwrapping their creativity by writing short stories or fantasy novels but how about a crime thriller?
After being inspired by her favourite crime TV series, 13-year-old Aksharaa Agarwal decided to write a book. Titled Lost: The Capture, her crime-fantasy book was released in December and has been receiving rave reviews, leading to her being awarded one of the ‘Inspire and Conquer Brew Women Awards 2017’ yesterday. CE caught up with bubbly 13-year-old.
Taking a break between her exams, the student of Bhavan’s Rajaji Vidyashram is ecstatic about being on the list of awardees along with silambam champ Aishwarya Manivannan, ace shooter Sandhya Winfred, Aishwarya Dhanush and many more. “I’m surprised and overwhelmed that I was chosen as one of the awardees…what an honour!” she beams, and adds that the book was conceptualised through her affinity to crime TV series.
“It wasn’t planned in any way! At first, I didn’t even know what I wanted to write about. Ideas just came to me when I was watching crime shows like Castle, The Mentalist, Blacklist and so on,” says Aksharaa.
“I wondered what would happen if I put together a story like those and wrote it in my free time.” From being unsure to having published the first book in what she plans as a trilogy (The ‘Key’ Series), she has become probably one of the youngest crime novelists in the country!
Aksharaa says that she reads a lot of Enid Blyton and Nancy Drew, the quintessential mystery thrillers for teens, but she has also tried her hand at reading Sherlock Holmes. “But the language is a bit complex and old-style, so it was a tad hard!” she laughs.
Her book has received lots of praises from stalwarts, including Dr Radhakrishnan Pillai and Ashwin Sanghi who gave her valuable feedback.
“I especially love the way that Ashwin Sanghi has described the mythology and the research he has put in,” she says. “Earlier I used to think that research was something you do when you’re bored, but I realised when I started writing that there’s so many things I didn’t know and that I could only find that out through research!”
Aksharaa also says that it was her parents who urged her to get her book published, and the organisers of the Brew Women Awards agree that it is that aspect that got the jury to award her.
“Encouragement always starts at home, and it is a big thing to support a teen on her way to publish a book, which is why we felt Aksharaa and her parents deserve to be honoured,” says Sameer Bharat Raj, curator of the awards.
Meanwhile, the young novelist says she is already working on the second book of her trilogy, and that though she hasn’t set a date for it to come out, several of her friends have ‘threatened’ her to release it soon!