EP #71: Tanya Selvaratnam – Emmy-Nominated Producer, Writer, Abuse Survivor & Social Justice Champion

Tanya Selvaratnam (@tanyaauthor) is an Emmy-nominated producer, writer, abuse survivor and social justice champion.

She joins Ara on this week’s episode of #TheTamilCreator to discuss reading at the age of 2, her last book Assume Nothing and the impact she hopes it has along with her upcoming book Leaf Me Alone, her first film getting into the Sundance Film Festival and the opportunities that came out of this, having a photographic memory, her creative writing process, being a survivor of abuse, and so much more.

Follow Tanya:
– Twitter (https://twitter.com/tanyaauthor)
– Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/tanyaauthor/)

*TAKE THE QUIZ – “What Type of Creator Are You?”**



00:19 – Ara introduces this week’s guest, Tanya Selvaratnam
00:50 – Growing up in California; her early passion for reading
02:31 – Tanya speaks on being a storyteller and teases her current novel
04:22 – The trajectory that a women’s conference in China in 1995 led Tanya on
06:38 – Deepa Mehta’s Anatomy of Violence
07:56 – Being recruited to work for the Pop Culture Collaborative
08:52 – Her experience growing up with Tamils; discrimination stories (colourism)
12:54 – What it means to be a Producer; how Tanya secures big opportunities
15:20 – Initially wanting to be a Diplomat or Academic; Sundance
17:20 – How Tanya overcame knowledge gaps and her views on success versus luck
19:22 – Tanya’s creative writing process, being an avid notetaker, and how she wrote two books
23:19 – What her book Assume Nothing is about, what she hopes the impact of it is
25:09 – Stories she’s heard, and the importance of talking about abuse
27:20 – Why Tanya doesn’t read the news, and if there’s any value in forgiving an abuser
29:38 – Spending very little time on social media
31:13 – Training herself to be a good extrovert
31:49 – Having her book optioned by ABC and Disney, how much creative input she has
33:00 – Tanya wants to write 3 more books in the next 5 years
34:03 – Her most painful experience and what she’s learned from it
35:29 – Advice she would give her 16-year-old self and the legacy she wants to leave behind
36:16 – Creator Confessions
38:28 – Tanya gives a shout out to a Tamil creator
44:32 – The Wrap Up

Intro Music

Produced And Mixed By:
– The Tamil Creator
– Yanchan

Written By:
– Aravinthan Ehamparam
– Yanchan Rajmohan