Inspiration for Mirror in the Sky by Aditi Khorana
Today I’m thrilled to have Aditi Khorana on the blog to talk about her inspiration for writing Mirror in the Sky, her sci-fi coming of age story, out now!
I am beyond terrified of the Unknown. I am also terrified of roller coasters, dark spaces, planes, blank pages, and the kinds of bridges that curve so you can’t see the other side. In fact, most of my nightmares revolve around things I can’t see, or things that blindside me: being lost in space, a la Gravity, or driving across the George Washington Bridge only to realize that it’s collapsed and my car is going to plunge into the Hudson River. Dark, I know.
I’m also deathly afraid of risks. And so for much of my adult life, I was a planner, minimizing all risk or possibility of confronting the Unknown as best as I could. I planned my day, my weeks. I planned what I needed in my pantry several months in advance. I planned dinners and parties and vacations. Friends came to me for advice and I strategized with them – whether it was the best way to ask for a raise or the most effective way of pursuing a crush or whatever. I believed the best defense against an unpredictable world was strategy, staying ahead of the curve, doing as much research as possible. And I also believed that there was always a solution to every problem. That everything was somehow fixable, if approached in the right way (I know). Needless to say, messiness, particularly the messiness of life was not something I was interested in addressing or even witnessing, in myself or in others.
So when I quit my job to begin writing, I did it with a nest egg in my bank account that I had saved from years of working in an office, and a plan to freelance on the side while I wrote. I would give myself a year, I told myself. And if it didn’t work out, I could always go back to work.
Except that I couldn’t have anticipated the various surprises that blindsided me over the course of that year: that I’d break up with my boyfriend of nearly a decade, that I’d have to move out of the home I lived in for many years into a sublet, putting my belongings into storage, that the manuscript I’d finish wouldn’t be very good.
I had arrived at this place that I thought would resemble the adulthood of my dreams: full of success, stability, and security that had been earned through my conservative planning. Instead, I was a mess. My life did not look neat and clean and organized and planned. I looked, even to myself, like the cautionary tales that Indian aunties make a point to tell you about (if you’re Indian).
This is what I have to say about the dark, sad, messy place that I resided within for the span of about a year and a half: I wouldn’t give it back for the world. I wouldn’t want to relive it again, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone else. But if it weren’t for that frightening space of the Unknown, I wouldn’t have written Mirror in the Sky.
I think that’s why the book came out so melancholy and atmospheric, and addresses so many Unknowns without really answering them. I learned, during this time that the answers mattered less than simply living, one day at a time and creating something every day, whether it as simply a page full of words or a flower arrangement or a pot of jam. I learned to find joy and solace and belonging in the things that weren’t planned, weren’t fixed, didn’t even exist just yet.
Mirror in the Sky is the book that made me an adult. It grew me up, brought me out of an extended childhood, forced me to address things about myself and about the world that were really difficult for me. I’m forever grateful to the book for this reason.
ABOUT MIRROR IN THE SKY: For Tara Krishnan, navigating Brierly, the academically rigorous prep school she attends on scholarship, feels overwhelming and impossible. Her junior year begins in the wake of a startling discovery: A message from an alternate Earth, light years away, is intercepted by NASA. This means that on this mirror planet, there is another version of Tara, a Tara who could be living better, burning brighter, because of tiny differences in her choices. As the world lights up with the knowledge of Terra Nova, the mirror planet, Tara’s life on Earth begins to change. At first, small shifts happen, like attention from Nick Osterman, the most popular guy at Brierly, and her mother playing hooky from work to watch the news all day. But eventually those small shifts swell, the discovery of Terra Nova like a black hole, bending all the light around it. Nothing on Earth—and for Tara—will ever be the same again.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Aditi Khorana spent part of her childhood in India, Denmark and New England. She has a BA in International Relations from Brown University and an MA in Global Media and Communications from the Annenberg School for Communication. She has worked as a journalist at ABC News, CNN, and PBS, and most recently as a marketing executive consulting for various Hollywood studios including FOX, Paramount and SONY. MIRROR IN THE SKY is her first novel. She lives in Los Angeles and spends her free time reading, hiking, and exploring LA’s eclectic and wonderful architecture.
© 2016, Anya. All rights reserved.