Friday, 23 March 2012


I consider 'Unexplained Disappearances' an original work. However, it would be unfair to say I didn't draw inspiration from certain sources. All my life, I've read books and watched movies- it's bound to rub off at some point.

1. Winter's Bone
This movie which came out in 2010, is about a girl in poverty-stricken Ozarks who goes out to look for her meth-dealing father. Even though both books are about missing persons, that is not the part I was inspired by. It was after I came up with the plot that I watched the movie. The character of Ree Dolly amazes me. Her single-minded pursuit to save her family is something we can all learn from. One similarity between Aria and Ree is the motive behind their search isn't to bring back who's gone, but to save those who still remain.

2. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
Wonder how the story of four best friends and a pair of jeans can have anything to do with an action-packed mystery? If that's the case, you know nothing about Bridget Vreeland, one of the protagonists. Following her mother's death, her family assumed an unending silence. That's kind of what happens to the Suris in 'Unexplained Disappearances', except that it manifests itself in an entirely different way. As Tolstoy said, 'All happy families are the same, all unhappy families are unhappy in their own way'.

3. Entrance to the Galaxy
You'd think you've never heard of this one. And you'd be right. That's because this was never published. It's the first book I wrote. It had a subplot about a teen looking for her missing parents. I guess it was time to revisit old time ideas. In the end, the teen gets her parents back, but that won't happen in 'Unexplained Disappearances'. Or will it?

4. News
I drew inspiration from real life. I know a lot of people who've lost someone close. I read the papers everyday. Sometime last year, TOI Crest ran a cover story about missing persons. Most people who go missing in India are never found again. Their families don't just look for them, they mostly look for closure. Most families preserve the rooms and belongings of those who go missing, thinking they'll come back and holding on to that thought with heartbreaking resolve. Some of the stories in the issue made it clear that the missing person's were dead. Some left no such clues- anything could have happened to the victims. They could've been sold into some form of slavery or been killed. A week after the issue came out, I started writing 'Unexplained Disappearances', although I still wasn't sure how I'd shape the plot.
I write for the YA demographic. This demographic either needs things they can directly relate to (school, friends, college admissions, boys, relationships) or something which allows them to live out their fantasies (all the dystopian and paranormal stuff swarming the market these days.) So, I couldn't just write something about missing persons. It had to be dramatic, larger than life. It had to have a beginning, a middle and an end. When I finally decided the frame of the novel, the rest of it just came out.


  1. I have never seen Winter's Bone- but I read The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and enjoyed it. I also remember the news article you mentioned. A friend of mine lived near the home of the girl who disappeared and tole me about all the helicopters she heard looking for her! Great places to draw inspiration from.

    I am a new follower through Book Blogs.

  2. Hi. Such a great post- I draw inspiration from a lot of places as well (especially TV shows. Supernatural is, like, a major source) and was just wondering if I should do a post like this :) Never seen Winter's Bone either, but now you've got me curious about your book.
    New GFC follower:)
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