Shahrukh Husain speaks with Amanda Whittington about the enduring presence of myths and fairytales in her writing, how Jo from Little Women became her first literary heroine and why Princess Diana is the greatest mythic figure of our age.
'Immersed in domains of magic and adventure, I wondered how these story people tackled the great unknown. What did they feel at a given moment? Why did strangers choose to help or hinder them?'
'Like her heroines, Rumer Godden refused to be packaged as one kind of writer, and smother her spark. I decided to follow suit. I would dream crazy dreams.'
'I invented a couple of characters, stocked up on stationery and wrote every night. A few months later I submitted a completed manuscript. The rejection letter that followed was the nicest I ever received.'