Interview 19- Prayaag Akbar
Prayaag Akbar is the author of Leila, an award-winning novel that Netflix is now developing into a series. It will be published in the UK and much of the English-speaking world in July 2018. He is a consulting editor at Mint.
Michelle D’costa: In Leila, from the first page, the reader is aware that Leila is missing and that her mother is haunted by this all the time. Manu Joseph’s Illicit Happiness of Other People has a hook too, in which the reader knows Unni has taken his life and his father looks for closure. Do you think a story needs to have a hook among other things like good language, memorable characters, realistic dialogues, etc.?
Prayaag Akbar: There are different approaches to how you want to transmit information to your reader, and there is certainly no right or wrong way. Even the same writers don’t usually repeat the same technique in different novels. Take Miss Laila Armed and Dangerous, also by Joseph, in which many key revelations only appear in the latter part of the text.
The consideration was simple for me. More than “hooking” the reader, I had to be true to Shalini, my narrator. Finding her daughter was her obsession beyond all else, so it made sense that she would discuss this first in her narrative.
Read the rest of the interview on Cafe Dissensus
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