An interview with Pia Heikkila, on her experience at Jaipur Literary Festival

by Satadisha Saha Bhowmick on January 26, 2013

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When in Jaipur, with books and words…The author of "Operation Lipstick", Pia Heikkila

What is it like to be a strong, feisty woman in the big bad world outside? Pia Heikkila writes it all in her latest creation. Excerpts from an interview where she talks about it and much more:

1. Congratulations on the publication of your latest book Operation Lipstick. The book has an interesting plot that puts forward an example for today’s woman. What in the present context was the strongest motivation behind building a character like Anna Sanderson?

Thank you. I think chicklit needed a new strong character because many of them are a bit pathetic and simply not ballsy enough. Plus I wanted to mix genres like war writing and adventure with chicklit to create a new type of story that would get female readers interested in Afghanistan. Anna Sanderson is a strong female lead, who – whilst on a mission for Mr Right – is very focused but at the same time she is vulnerable and has an ability to laugh at herself, which I hope readers will like.

2. We understand you’ll be visiting the Jaipur Literature Festival. As a writer, what’s the most exciting part of the festival you’re looking forward to?

Can I say all the parties? Ok, seriously – meeting fellow authors, exchanging ideas and generally soaking up the atmosphere.

3. Is there any particular author you’re especially looking forward to meet?

All the Random House Ones. I’m hoping meeting Rujuta Diwekar, the author of ‘Lose your weight’ will help me magically lose ten pounds overnight.

4. In the larger scheme of things, what kind of role do you think a literary festival, such as the Jaipur one, plays in society?

Incredibly important because it brings books to a wider arena, engages readers with the latest happenings in literary world and brings a spotlight to wide variety of issues. It also a good forum for honest open discussions that are needed in India.

5. One parting question – if you had to write a story with the Jaipur Literary Festival as a backdrop, what kind of story would it be?

It would be a raunchy and sexy love story between a journalist and an international writer who lock eyes across a crowded room and who then embark on an adventure across India looking for secret government….

Thank you very much, Mrs. Heikkila for taking time out from your busy schedule for this interview with Indiabookstore. We wish you all the best for your future endeavors.

 

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