Author Aniesha Brahma
The Backyard Tales is the story of the bond shared between 17-year-old Mia Basu Roy and her beloved cat, Pippo. She seems to understand him far too well for a human. And he seems to have another life that Mia begins to suspect. She follows her cat to their backyard and down a very dangerous road which leads her to witches, talking animals, and a story that’s much bigger than what she initially suspected.
Read this story to discover all of Mia and Pippo’s secrets, be enchanted by magic, and get the answer to a question that has haunted us for ages: does a cat truly love their owner?
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About the Author’s Journey – In her own words
How Does One Find the Inspiration to Write Stories?
I sincerely believe that inspiration can be found anywhere if you are brave enough for it. As writers we are constantly writing stories in our head. Whether the other person realizes it or not. To me personally, sometimes inspiration walks on four paws, has a tail and says ‘meow’.
Jack London once said, “You cannot wait for inspiration to strike. Sometimes you need to go after it with a club.”
In this article today, I thought I would talk about how I was inspired by the most unlikely of things to write either a full-fledged novel or a short story.
Let’s start at the very beginning. The novel that has proved to have a life it’s own. And despite being published back in 2012 is one of the most beloved of my stories till date – my debut novel, The Secret Proposal.
I remember talking to one of my best friends from college about crazy, childhood crushes and the effect it had on us. While hers was intense mine was seasonal. I got over it with time…but a part of me couldn’t help but wonder what would have happened if things had been different. It would have been fun, right? Maybe the person would help me dodge idiotic parties too. I remember being at a party bored out of my mind when the story of Jasmine and Veer took root in my brain. I wrote it like an episodic novel, sharing it little by little, with my readership on FictionPress. It was fun. When I tried to publish the next year – it found a home with General Press.
A lot of the short stories I wrote on my blog in the subsequent years were also born for this little whispers of ‘what if’ and what follows has been me telling the story to myself first. My short story, Written in the Stars, was inspired by the thought of people being friends in the virtual world and having no idea who they were in the real world. But the story, The Walk, was inspired by an actual walk I had taken, via the actual routes mentioned in the story, with a friend of mine.
Sometimes, inspiration comes from dark places. And that’s why my story, Something Wicked This Way Comes is a shade darker than my usual purple-pink skies, roses and sunshine, stories. I was annoyed. I wanted to kill someone. So I did. In a story, of course.
It was in a similar vein, that I wrote The Strangest Thing as well. I had a few emotions I needed to process and writing through them is how I know how to work through things.
Earlier this year, I wrote the short story, How to Say I Love You Out Loud. A short story set in the When Our Worlds Collide/Meet Again universe. That was inspired from my desire to revisit where my characters could be right now, and the subtle desire to write something cutesy and romantic.
Finally, it was the love for my cat, Pippo, that made me dream up the world of The Backyard Tales. I fictionalized a lot of what happened during the initial years of adopting him and our journey forwards in this novel. It honestly is a piece of my heart. My last gift in memory of a cat snatched from this world too soon. If you read it, I hope you are transported into the world that Mia and Pippo have inhabited in and made their own.