It is not every month that we come across a child prodigy, but when we do, we are almost always bowled over by their innocence, enthusiasm, passions, dreams, and ambitions.
Anagha Ratish is a twelve-year-old child, who to us, feels exactly like her protagonist, Adaire – bubbly, vivacious, brave, and bold. A voracious reader herself, one of her favorite things to do is scribbling in her notebook. Fantasy, horror, and murder mysteries are among her preferred genres.
Though she loves writing short stories, writing a full-fledged novel had always been on her mind. Her debut book, Celestia Chronicles – Fire and Water, which is book 1 in the Celestia Chronicles series, was initially written as a short story for her English class.
But what she started writing at the age of eleven years, months later was beginning to take shape of a novel. Finally, it took her four months to complete it, but once done, there was no turning back.
Not the one to waste time procrastinating, the talented young writer has already started work on Book 2 in the series.
But what many people don’t know is that Celestia Chronicles is not her first book, it is just her first published one. Before this, she had also penned a novella titled Half-Metal, which was written as an amalgamation of sci-fi and fantasy.
Anagha loves to dabble in poetry and is quite active on her Instagram account @anagharatish where she frequently shares updates about her writing. She can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We at bookGeeks got incredibly lucky when we had the chance to interact with the young and talented Anagha Ratish. After all, she, with her passion and determination, has been a source of motivation for many of us. Here’s what she has to say about books, her writing, and life in general.
|Tell us something about yourself. What are your likes and dislikes?|
|I am a bibliophile and I love all things books! I enjoy knitting, singing, and writing depressing (but realistic) poetry. I dislike fixed routines.|
|Your first book isn’t Celestia Chronicles but a novella titled Half-Metal. Tell us about the novella and how did the idea of writing it came to you?|
|Half-metal is a novella set in a future universe, following the story of a fourteen-year-old cyborg. It has slight elements of magic, as well as dystopia. I’ve always had a fondness for fantasy and sci-fi, and when the peculiar idea of a young cyborg encountering magic came to me, I couldn’t resist turning it into a novella.|
|Are you planning to publish Half-Metal anytime soon?|
|No, I will probably never publish Half-Metal, for two reasons. The first reason being that it was utterly ridiculous, as I wrote it when I was about ten years old and it was my first novella. Besides, I may or may not have used some of the less-ridiculous ideas for Celestia Chronicles.|
|Talking about your latest fantasy novel Celestia Chronicles, we see a likeness between the protagonist Adaire and you. How much of Adaire’s character is inspired by you? or did we get it wrong?|
|Like all of the other characters in my book, Adaire is based on me. Every single character in Celestia Chronicles is inspired by one of my own traits. For example, Adaire is based on my bookish side, Faye is inspired by my sarcasm, and Sereia is based on…well, you’ll have to see in book 2!|
|What part of the book was the most difficult to write?|
|Fire and Water was fairly easy to write, but I did struggle a bit at the end. I wasn’t sure how to end the book, and I delayed writing the final chapters for as long as possible.|
|As an author, where do you see yourself five years from now?|
|I hope to have published a few more books. The whole Celestia Chronicles series will certainly be published by then, and maybe even some more poetry collections, similar to my latest work, A World of Intricacies.|
|What are some of the other things that you enjoy in your leisure time?|
|I enjoy listening to music and singing. I spend most of my spare time reading or writing. Sometimes, I’m also fond of knitting and embroidering.|
|What was your parent’s first reaction when you told them you are writing a book?|
|My parents knew of my interest in reading and writing and they have always encouraged it. They were not very surprised when I informed them that I was writing yet another book, but I think they were surprised at the quality of my work; it was better than anything I had written, at that age.|
|As a child author, do you think you have an advantage or disadvantage compared to other writers?|
|I would say I have both, an advantage and a disadvantage over other authors. Some people would refuse to read a book written by a twelve-year-old or they wouldn’t take it seriously. Others read it just because it is written by a twelve-year-old.|
|How many books do you read in a year? Take us through some of your favorites.|
|I try to read one book per day, although I haven’t managed to meet that goal every single day, because of my schoolwork, writing, and other classes. However, my goal for this year is to read 360 books, and I am mostly on track. My favorites change all the time, depending on whichever book I’ve read recently. But, at the moment, I am particularly fond of the Shadowhunter Chronicles by Cassandra Clare. My favorite standalones change constantly, so I couldn’t say.|
|Who is your favorite Indian writer?|
|I don’t have a particular favorite, but I like Supriya Kelkar’s work, especially American As Paneer Pie.|
|Your biggest inspiration and your most ruthless critic?|
|My parents, to both questions. They always encourage me but never hesitate to critique me.|
|Have you started working on part 2 of the Celestia Chronicles? When do you plan to release it?|
|I started working on Book 2 almost the moment I finished Book 1, a little over seven months ago. This has been a surprisingly difficult book to write, so I am not certain how long writing it will take. I expect to be done within a month or two, at the most.|
|One most important tip for child authors?|
|Never let people tell you you’re too young! When it comes to writing, there is no such thing as too young. Also, be careful to make sure that your work doesn’t implicitly reflect whichever book you are reading at the moment. Your work can be inspired by other authors, but keep it original.|