I n the beginning of this year, 24-year-old Kavipriya Moorthy never imagined that she would have a book out in time for her 25th birthday. That day is less than a month away by the way, on July 2. And unlike most youngsters of her age dreaming about the perfect car or mate or both, Kavipriya will have her present — a 150-page debut novel, out in stores. Who cares about gift wrapping when your name is on the cover right?
Titled I Don’t Wear Sunscreen, the book published by Notion Press is about a girl who falls in love with a misogynist, loses her job, and triumphs depression in order to find her rainbow on the other side. And this business analyst by day, writer by night tells us, “I spent most weekends working on it, writing from 2am well into the wee hours.”
Given that her protagonist is from Chennai, there are quite a few familiar references for readers here such as Mount Road for instance. “And oh Amethyst,” she adds. “That’s Laksha’s (the central character) favourite place to go, and mine as well. I did most of my editing there, sitting with a coffee and my laptop.”
While this is Kavipriya’s first time penning an entire book, you may have already come across one of her two blogs — one on business ethics (yoursprofessionally.com) and the other a chronicler of her random thoughts and short stories (preethinakshatra.wordpress.com). So she admits, putting words to paper wasn’t completely a foreign concept given her 9 to 5 work office days for the larger part of the week. “But I did have writer’s block for about a month,” she admits. “ Fortunately for me, I had one friend who read every single chapter as I wrote it and pitched ideas and suggestions back and forth, so that was helpful,” she says, offering a tip for those attempting the daunting task of a first time novel.
As for how she came up with the book’s standout title, the author shares, “It was kind of random. I was trying to think of a way to say that this girl in my book is not like most girls.” How different she means, we’ll just have to wait and see. “One day I was driving and I looked out of the window and everybody was wearing sunglasses or gloves except me.... It just clicked,” she says with a smile. While the name does catch your attention, she shares there’s a metaphor there that goes well beyond skin deep.
Sunscreen or not though, here’s hoping for some good summer reading, under a merciful sun.
Priced at Rs 190, I Don’t Wear Sunscreen will be available at Oxford and Crossword as well as online on Flipkart and Amazon, come July 2.