New Delhi: Teenage writers no longer keep their ideas bottled up. Be it writing or any other form of art, students are increasingly going public with their talent.
Such is the story of seventeen year old Shriya Sekhsaria who after debuting with a suspense-filled book is now planning a sequel.
"The story came before the idea of my first book did. I was eight when I started to imagine the characters and for seven years I grew up with them. I felt these characters were so strong that I wanted to put them into words, wanted others to read about them," says Shriya.
Her book titled `One` and brought out by Leadstart Publishing was launched at the Landmark store here recently.
It all began in the year 2012 when Shriya, to keep her friends entertained during the board exams began writing a page every day. Soon, her friends were so enthralled by the story that they wouldn`t go to bed without reading a page or two. This is when her first book happened.
Shriya says she always knew "One" would be a fusion of Spanish and Greek cultures thus; the book is set on a small island called `Ibinia`, something which came about from Ibiza and Sardinia.
"Thanks to my grand mom who first introduced me to Greek mythology. The two cultures are so fascinating that I knew it had to be the backdrop of my book," she says.
The plot of the book is centred around Adratesia (Tessie) a world-known celebrity who`s not afraid to get her hands dirty, and Alejandro (Aley), an uneducated but compassionate bar-owner. The two are trying to find their best friend Kiara who has vanished without a trace.
Things unfold when the two rope in almost the entire world; from Singaporean film festivals to Ibinian super-brains to find their friend. Aboard this journey, Tessie and Aley unveil secrets which make them doubt the world.
The book - a mix of suspense, romance and drama often touches upon elements of mythology.
Shriya says she feels her book is not laden with detailed descriptions which may put off non-avid readers.
"It doesn`t have a lot of description. There is cut-to-cut action and a lot going on simultaneously with no element of fantasy. So, people who don`t like reading are also loving the book because it has pace," she says.
The characters in the book are not tied up with the idea of morality. Interestingly, as the plot moves forward, the characters `Aley` and `Tessie` begin to believe less in the world.
About challenges she faced while writing the young author says,"It was particularly difficult to incorporate Greek and Spanish cultures in the book. It took me about two months of research to procure thorough information on descriptions and references I would make in the book. I researched a lot about Sardinia and Ibiza too."
The book is titled so because the authoress says she could not find an alternative so powerful that would speak volumes about what she is trying to convey to the readers.
"One can describe a fusion of two souls into one but it is mainly about the desire to become one, the best. It can either take you places or completely ruin you," she says.
Shriya is currently penning a sequel christened `Implosion`, which will work as an anti-thesis to `One`.
"Whatever you read in `One` changes in `Implosion`. The book is said to be a mix bag of genres, delving deep into mystery. If deception is the central idea of my first book the second is mainly about betrayal," reveals the writer who is based in Coimbatore.
Unlike her first book, Shriya plans to take readers throughout the world in the sequel. The teenager has also received numerous fan-mails about how they can relate to characters Aley and Tessie.
Currently a class XII student with an inclination towards Psychology, Politics and Economics, Shriya says she wants to pursue a combination of the three.
"Still writing will always remain a hobby. Writing is a lot of fun," she added.
Other than prose, short story writing also tops her list. She is also an active part of a language conservation drive.
The budding writer also loves reading the classics and terms `Wuthering Heights` by Emily Bronte as her all-time favourite.