Anagha Ratish may be just 13 years old, but this eight-grader has already published two books. And many more are on the way. In her debut novel Celestia Chronicles: Fire and Water, published last year, Anagha conjured up a world of fantasy and mythical beings. Her latest book—A World of Intricacies—is a compilation of poems.
Anagha describes herself as a bibliophile who loves all things books. A Keralite, she lives with her parents in Gurgaon. Besides writing, Anagha says she loves to read, sing and compose ‘depressing, yet realistic’ poetry.
Q: Tell us about your latest book 'A World of Intricacies'. What are the themes covered?
A World of Intricacies is a compilation of 38 long poems and 15 haikus. The topics range from hope, to the idea of good and evil, to time. All of them are rather philosophical, yet logical.
Q: Among multiple themes that inspire your writings, what is your favourite?
One of my favourite themes for writing is ‘good and evil’. Ambiguous morality intrigues me, and several of the poems in A World of Intricacies are based on this idea. I am also fond of rewriting myths, popular fairy tales and questioning the descriptions of widely known fantasy creatures. The protagonists of my first book, Celestia Chronicles; Fire and Water, are pixies, who are not exactly represented as they are usually pictured.
Q: Your first published work was fiction. Tell us about the book (Celestia Chronicles) and the world you created in that. Also, when are you bringing out the next part?
Celestia Chronicles is a fantasy trilogy, following the story of Adaire Quicksilver, a 14-year old girl. The tale is set in Celestia, a seemingly perfect world; but all this beauty only hides a thirst for power that rages within the lands and threatens to tear it apart. There are four kingdoms, each ruled by pixies with different elemental powers. Queen Zyra, the ruler of the fire-wielding pixies, has shrouded her kingdom in magic and mist and the barrier is now seeping further into the other kingdoms. It is up to Adaire to defeat the queen in a battle between good and evil, hope and fear; fire and water. The second part should be out in a month or two.
Q: You said you are mostly drawn to fantasy. Does that influence your interests as a reader, too?
Certainly; the first full novels and series I read were fantasy. Most of the short stories I write are also from the same genre. However, I am fond of historical fiction and horror as well.
Q: What are you reading currently? Who is your personal favourite author?
At the moment, I am reading the first book of the Firewall trilogy, A Girl from Nowhere, by James Maxwell. I don’t really have a particular favourite, but I enjoy the works of Cassandra Clare.
Q: How has the pandemic and lockdown affected you? Was it difficult, or did it help you find more time to focus on your works?
Without the lockdown and pandemic, I don’t think I would have been able to write a book. I was always fond of writing, but I never got a lot of time between all of my schoolwork and classes. Over the lockdown, I believe I have really evolved as a writer and a reader, which is the reason I was able to write my books.
Q: What are your future projects? Any other interests besides books?
Currently, I am working on the second part of Celestia Chronicles, as well as a prequel to Fire and Water. Apart from that, I am writing a historical fiction book. I enjoy singing and knitting, but to be honest, reading and writing take up most of my time.