Kerala-born Tharun James Jimani lives in Mumbai. His debut novel, Cough Syrup Surrealism, has been published recently. He is currently holed up in Kasol, Himachal Pradesh, determined to tweak out a novel and a movie script in the next couple of months.
QDescribe your favourite writing space.I rarely stay in one house or city long enough to maintain a favourite writing space. I tend to write just about anywhere, when the inspiration strikes me. Since I’ve moved to Mumbai, I’ve taken to jotting down notes on my phone during commutes and expanding them later.
QDo you have a writing schedule?I try to put out at least three blog posts a month, but other than that I don’t really have a writing schedule. Which is probably because I’m always writing a couple of different things at a time.
QEver struggled with writer’s block?Haven’t we all? I don’t like the term though; it sounds like a terminal illness. I like to think of those phases as little internal labour union strikes that can be smoothed over with a bribe and a tipple.
QWhat inspires you to write? Do you have a secret trick, or a book/author that helps?Moving around a lot, travelling, cities, people, blogging. Most of the time, I have an internal narrative commenting on whatever’s going on around me, even on the most everyday things. I guess we all do. It usually boils down to whether or not it interests me enough to put it down on paper.
QCoffee/tea/cigarettes — numbers please — while you are writing?I drink more coffee than tea.
QWhich books are you reading at present?The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz
QWho are your favourite authors?Hanif Kureishi and Jeffrey Eugenides
QWhich book/author should be banned on grounds of bad taste?The reader dictates his own taste, right? I think writers and artists should be able to put out whatever material they want; it’s only right. If there’s too much trash in your nearest bookstore, go online.
QWhich is the most under-rated book?I guess it wasn’t underrated but I thought The Virgin Suicides kind of got snowed under in terms of attention because the movie adaptation and the OST (original soundtrack) were just so good.
QWhich are your favourite children’s books?I used to read a lot of Enid Blyton and P.G. Wodehouse as a kid, but one of my favourite child protagonists is the kid from The Curious Incident of the Dog in The Night.