Interview with Shradha Khanna, author of What Went Wrong

14th August 2021
Booknerds Team

When did you first realise you wanted to be a writer?
Honestly, I don't remember my first realisation but when I look back I always had this thought that one day I would write stories that would be different yet somehow closer to the real-life circumstances.

What inspired the birth of 'What Went Wrong'?
My second book 'Emotional Connection' was about friends where characters Himanshu & Meera played an important role. While writing that book I realised that Himanshu & Meera needed a story of their own.

Is your writing often influenced by real-life instances and people?
The idea behind writing books is to leave an impression on people, a story they can relate to, which makes them ponder, so I try to keep it as real as it could be. 

What comes first for you- the plot or the characters, and why?
It's never the same. For my first book and the one I am working on, the plot came first but for my second and third, first came the characters then I wrote the plot. It's always an interesting journey.

What was the hardest scene to write in 'What Went Wrong'?
I would say it was the opening scene to Himanshu's monologue where I have to justify his anguish and love both for Meera. It took me almost a month to write that part.

The book frequently shifts perspectives between Meera and Himanshu. Was that planned from the start or did it come about organically?
It was planned from the start. it was a necessary decision as I felt the book would not have done justice if it was told from one character's point of view. Every story has two sides, I felt writing both gave the readers a full understanding of the characters and as well as the plot.

Do you think of 'What Went Wrong' as a romance novel primarily or as a journey of understanding oneself?
I would like to say both, because until and unless you fall in love you never fully reach your potential in a true sense. Also, I love reading and writing romance novels. Suffice it to say you cannot ever separate romance from my novels. 

Writing a book is such a vulnerable and emotional task. How often do you think writers unconsciously add their own personalities to their characters?
I believe the difficult part for writers would be not adding their personality or keeping themselves unbiased towards their characters. Not every character I write is one which I like.  Few of the characters are totally opposite of what I think and behave.

What can we expect next from you?
I am still working on the plot and characters, it is still in its initial stage. A Story that would highlight few ignored or taken for guaranteed realities of a relationship.