Blog Tour: Authors on the Edge: Savita Kalhan

Today, as part of the Blog Tour for Stories from the Edge, I have Savita Kalhan on the blog with a fab post that relates to her story in the collective novel.

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Hi Laura! Thanks for inviting me here today to tell you all about the exciting new book of short stories from The Edge, Stories from The Edge, and about my short story, Aladdin’s Lamp.

As you know I’m one of the Edge authors – there are eight of us: Sara Grant, Dave Cousins, Miriam Halahmy, Katie Dale, Paula Rawsthorne, Bryony Pearce and Keren David. We’ve been running the Edge Blog together and doing events across the UK in schools and libraries for a over five years now. We all write fiction for teens and young adults, and middle grade too.

A short story anthology was an idea we talked about early last year. We are all very busy working on our own projects, but the idea took hold of us and we decided to try and give it a go. Well, the book finally happened and we’re all excited about it! Stories from The Edge is a collection of cutting edge and very topical short stories by The Edge writers and we hope that the book inspires reading in schools and generates discussions and debates.

I read lots of short stories – and I enjoy writing them too, because although short stories are similar to novels in many ways, they are also very different. Short stories developed from the traditional art of oral story-telling, which is present in every culture, so by definition they have to be short. Modern short stories often focus on a pivotal moment or emotion or mood, whereas in the past they were more rooted in parables and ethics with the stories having a beginning, middle and end.

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Aladdin’s Lamp is a combination of both with an element of magical realism thrown in! The story is about a sixteen year old Indian girl called Priti who wants to go to college, to travel, to have a career and eventually to fall in love and marry. But her parents have decided that it’s time for her to get married. So they start to look for prospective suitors for her. One of these suitors is a man called RP who Priti takes an instant dislike to, and as the afternoon progresses and she learns more about him, she begins to worry. He has impressed her parents with his lies and silvery tongue. In desperation, Priti rubs the little brass lamp her best friend Jyoti has given her, and inadvertently summons the genie of the lamp. He grants her three wishes.

We all know that genies can be tricky. If any of you have read Jonathan Stroud’s Bartimaeus Trilogy then you’ll know exactly how tricky genies can be!

Priti is a regular girl who wants what most girls her age want. What she knows she definitely doesn’t want is to get married to a virtual stranger in an arranged marriage and have to go and live in a foreign country. There’s another element to the story too, something that most readers might not get until they reach the end of the story – but I won’t tell you what it is so I don’t spoil the story for you!

The stories in the anthology are diverse and thought-provoking, ranging from stories of doping in sport, online stalking, terrorism, gender issues, loss and grief, and that’s the wonderful thing about an anthology – you can dip into it and find something different each time.

Thanks for inviting me here today, Laura! I hope your followers enjoy reading the book as much as we enjoyed writing it!

Thanks to Savita for this fab insight into Aladdin’s Lamp and I can highly recommend all the stories in this book!  For more information, check out the website!

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