Chit-chat with a YA fiction Author!


Jash Sen is a popular Young adult fiction author, with Wordkeepers trilogy to her credit. Here, Jash talks about writing for YA genre and more….

Jash Sen’s first memories of reading were of leafing through a hard-bound copy of her grandfather’s illustrated Ramayana on his four poster bed. Ignoring an opportunity to read English, Jash graduated in Statistics, then completed her MBA from IIM, Calcutta. She worked in the IT industry in Bangalore and the US before opting to teach Mathematics in a London High School. This was when she started writing in her free time. Jash began The Wordkeepers Trilogy in December 2010. The Wordkeepers, first in the series, was published in January 2013 and its sequel, Skyserpents, in October 2013. She is currently working on the third and final book of the trilogy – Soul Army. Jash Sen is pen name of Jashodhara Chakraborti. Here’s a brief chit-chat with this popular Young Adult (YA) fiction author.

Varsha: When and how did you start writing for young adults?

Jash: I started writing in end of 2010, but of course, I just wrote a story. My publishers told me I was writing for Young Adults. So, I didn’t start out thinking I’d write for a specific age group. I still don’t keep that in mind. But, my trilogy is for young adults.

Varsha: In your opinion, what is the hardest part of writing a book?

Jash: The hardest part is getting into the momentum of the story. Once you are in, it is smooth sailing. Writing daily helps a lot.

Varsha: What factors are kept in mind while writing for young adults as there is a thin line between children and young adults?

Jash: Well, in the young adult genre – I have some personal taboos – for example, explicit sex or too much violence or incest, although these are issues that many young adults come across. In this genre, I prefer a lighter touch. I do not make my vocabulary simpler, though, as some writers prefer to do.

Varsha: Are your characters inspired from life or are they fictitious?

Jash: They are both, and at the same time, I take quirks and characteristics from real people; but I add my imagination to that and keep the characters if I like the way they turn out.

Varsha: What writing/publishing advice do you give to aspiring writers of any age?

Jash: Start writing now and write every day. Start reading now and read every day, too. Read everything you can lay your hands on – an age group (children’s, young adult) is just a guideline, not a boundary. Read the classics, they are still popular after so many years because they’re very well written books.

Varsha: Your likes and dislikes…

Jash: Shhh – I dislike noise – noisy music and noisy people stress me out. I like soft spoken people, soft music and birds.

I enjoy reading, writing, watching films, bourbon biscuits, libraries and well stuffed armchairs.

Varsha: Which is the next book that readers can look forward to?

Jash: Soul Army, the third and final part of The Wordkeepers Trilogy, is my next book.

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