Prajwal Parajuly is a wonderful novelist and short-story writer. The Gurkha’s Daughter was a finalist for the Dylan Thomas Prize and longlisted for The Story Prize. His latest novel is Land Where I Flee. Both are published by Quercus. Prajwal came to run an inspiring workshop at my school – I was struck by his sense of humour, his honesty (see answers below!), his authenticity and, of course, his wonderful writing. When I asked him where his home is, he said, ‘in airports’ – he has moved around so much that he claims not to have a home. This itinerant spirit is no doubt part of what makes him such an incredible writer.
What three words would you use to describe yourself?
Lazy, lucky, bored
What do you love most about writing?
What do you find hardest about writing?
What kind of child were you?
Where’s your favourite place in the whole world?
Do you have any quirky writing habits?
I eat chocolate when I write; I only write when I feel like it.
What book do you wish you’d written?
The Bible. It’d never go out of print.
If you could have any super power, what would it be?
The ability to be invisible when I felt like it, or the power to read people’s minds.
Do you have any writing tics that you’re forever editing out?
I repeat the same word 20 times in 20 sentences. It’s awful.
What’s your greatest fear?
Having kids. Yikes.
What are you reading at the moment?
My 3-year-old nephew’s Thomas and Friends books.
What song would you like to be played at your funeral?
I am indifferent to music, so no songs. Ha.
What’s the most important lesson life has taught you?
Things always, always, always work out.
Which writer do you most admire?
I admire J.K. Rowling’s life story.
Do you have a favourite snack you turn to when you’re writing?
What inspires you?
People’s ability to create something amazing out of nothing. Example:
What’s your favourite word?
I like PHLEGM for the sound of it.
When were you happiest?
Yesterday. I lost at poker. It was strangely liberating.
What keeps you awake at night?
Mindless American TV. I just binge-watched GLEE. Yeah, I need to get a life.
What three tips would you give aspiring novelists?
- Write what you want to write.
- There will be plenty of people discouraging you along the way. Try not to listen to them. Everyone I know told me no one would publish a collection of short stories by a debut author.
- Know what works for you and what doesn’t. I can’t write every day. I can only write when I feel like it. What works for me may not work for you.