Kiran Manral

5 Books

Kiran Manral is a bestselling and acclaimed Indian author, TEDx Speaker, columnist, mentor and feminist. She has written books across genres in both fiction and nonfiction. Her books include The Reluctant Detective, Once Upon A Crush, All Aboard, Karmic Kids, A Boy’s Guide to Growing Up, The Face at the Window, Saving Maya, Missing Presumed Dead. She has authored a short series called True Love Stories for Juggernaut and co-authored 13 Steps to Bloody Good Parenting with Ashwin Sanghi.

She also has published short stories in various magazines, in acclaimed anthologies like Have A Safe Journey and Boo as well on online apps like Juggernaut. Her nonfiction book, Karmic Kids: The Story of Parenting Nobody Told You, was listed amongst the top 5 books on parenting by Indian authors in 2015 by the Sunday Guardian. One review called her the “Bombeck of Bombay.”

The Face at the Window, released in 2016, was listed amongst the top 30 books written by women authors in 2016 by The Ladies Finger, as among the must read books by contemporary women authors by BuzzingBubs and received much critical acclaim. The Times of India stated that “Manral may have very well pioneered the "Himalayan Gothic" genre”, about this book. She was among the six women authors nominated for the Femina Women of Worth Awards in Literature for 2017, and was awarded the International Women's Day award for Literary Excellence by Indian Council of UN Relations and Ministry of Women and Child Development, Govt of India in 2018.

An ex-journalist, she currently writes a column on feminism at, and has been a columnist on sexuality at DNA, on gender issues with Tehelka and on parenting at She was also on the planning board of the Kumaon Literary Festival, a mentor with Sheroes and an advisor on the Board of Literature Studio, Delhi. She has co-curated Festivelle 2016 and Women Writer’s Fest Mumbai by 2017.


An interview with author Kiran Manral

Hi Kiran Manral, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background? Please describe what the book is about.

Kiran : I was a journalist before I gave up full time work when I had my son.  I continued writing on my blog though and eventually it came to pass that two very dear friends badgered me into writing a book. And so I did. The first book, The Reluctant Detective was about a suburban housewife who gets involved in investigating a murder in her neighborhood, and the second book, Once Upon A Crush is about a single girl in the city looking for love, being pressured by her parents to get married and dealing with a career that is going nowhere.

Briefly, what led up to your books?

Kiran : There is really no exciting story behind what led to the first book, just perhaps the realization that if I really wanted to justify calling myself a writer, I needed to write a book and set myself a deadline to do so. My second book just naturally followed from writing the first, and getting, perhaps the confidence that I could do so.

What was the time frame for writing your books? 

Kiran : Difficult to set a time frame, but a book gets written in a first draft then there are revisions and stages of edits. So approximately a year and a half from first draft to final draft is what my books took.

Where do your ideas come from?

Kiran :  Life around me, as I am sure it does for most writers. We are at the best silent observers most times and put it all down in our writing.

Do you think that the title and cover plays an important part in the buying process?

Kiran : Absolutely. A title and a cover image can reel the reader in, followed of course, by the back cover blurb and perhaps a cover quote from another respected author telling the reader that this book is worth a read. I am a complete sucker for a well designed cover–I’ve been known to pick up a book just because the cover graphics were very interesting.

Which writers inspire you?

Kiran :  So many, so many. My anytime reads are anything by P G Wodehouse, The Lord of the Rings series by J RR Tolkein, Terry Pratchett, Erma Bombeck, Murakami, Ishiguro, J D Salinger, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Helen Fielding, to name a few. Of course, there are the old favourites –Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Leo Tolstoy, the Bronte sisters and Shakespeare.

What were your 1-2 biggest learning experience(s) or surprise(s) throughout the publishing process?

Kiran :  Perhaps the fact that a writer’s job is not done with the writing. There is the marketing of the book to be done, and that perhaps is more difficult than one could ever imagine it to be.

Best piece(s) of writing advice we haven’t discussed?

Kiran :  Write. Every single day.

What’s next?

Kiran :  I have a chicklit romance from Penguin due out in August, and a couple of other books in the works.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Kiran : They can follow me on twitter at @kiranmanral or like my Facebook page here:

All Kiran Manral's Books

View Another Authors