New Client Alert — Divya Kernan
- By: Naomi Davis | Date: Nov 04 2022
What you Write:
I love BookEnds’ commitment to representing diverse creators, and how approachable and supportive they’ve made themselves through their blog and video series. But first and foremost, Naomi understood what I had set out to achieve with my book and gave me deeply meaningful feedback, which ultimately helped me better realize my vision for the story (we signed after an R&R).
Tell us a bit about your writing process. Where do you write, and how often?
I write better in the morning, in particular if I’m drafting (I’m a little more flexible with editing) and try to write as often as 5 to 6 times a week, for two to three hours. My place has limited space, so I just work from my couch or the dinner table.
Being on a several-years-long break from my day job, I have the luxury of this schedule, though having small children, I had to learn to work around naptimes.
Where can readers find you on the web and social media?
I lurk under @DivyaKernan listening in on everything publishing and drinking in all the memes.
Do you have any writing rituals? (e.g. burning a candle if you’re having trouble getting started at the computer or writing longhand first if you’re feeling uninspired.)
The shower is where I get my best ideas. Something about the sound of running water, the total absence of distractions and being completely present in the moment: all that purges my brain so I can hear my characters’ voices loud and clear. Then I rush out to write it down before I forget anything!
Other than that, I’m a very practical person and my writing space is my laptop: I sit down where I can, open it and here we go.
What do you love about writing Speculative Fiction/SFF?
I love sitting down with a “What if” question and rebuild the world from it, seeing how each new element trickles down into consequences. I also love how by shifting the essence of the world we get to illuminate aspects of our own world and deepen our understanding of it.
Why did you choose the genre you’ve chosen?
I grew up on magic and technology. My mum narrated an abridged version of Dune to me as she read it, when I was still in kindergarten, and as a kid, I watched movies like Back to the Future and The Black Cauldron, and later shows like Sliders and Quantum Leap.
Today SFF’s still my first choice as a reader/ viewer.
What is the hardest part about writing Speculative Fiction/SFF?
Knowing how much worldbuilding to include, how much detail is necessary for readers to suspend disbelief, to feel grounded and yet, still be subtle enough that the world fades into the background and the focus remains on the characters and their stories.
Do you get inspiration from any TV shows or movies? If so, which ones?
All the time! Often it’s the vibe of a character or a relationship between two characters, sometimes it’s a what-if-this-had-happened-instead question. When I struggle with a character, I also like casting a specific actor in my head to get a new angle into who they are, something that feels more external to me.
Do you belong to any writing organizations?
Nothing official, but I belong to a writing group, called The Electric Eel, formed by alumni of the 2019 Novel Generator Program at GrubStreet, a nonprofit creative writing center in Boston. We workshop pages and we share and critic completed novels. They’ve known me and my book since the early pages and I am truly grateful to have found this community.
How did you know your book was ready to submit?
Maybe I didn’t? But at one point I’d gotten it as far as I possibly could based on my writing group’s feedback so I started querying. I queried in small batches and revised between batches, as new feedback trickled in from non-writer friends and agents that reframed my understanding of what might still be weak. Then I queried Naomi, and well… revised again!