Today I'm hosting Shoma Narayanan on my blog. Shoma is an author for Harlequin Mills and Boon and also holds the prestigious position of senior vice president in HSBC. She has three books published till now, one under publication, releasing in November and is currently working on her fifth book for Harlequin.
Her most recent release is 'Secrets and Saris.'
Let's get to know more about her and the book through a question and answer session.
Q1. Tell us something about yourself and how you got into writing.I got into writing completely by accident. I used to write a little in school and college – nothing serious, and I gave it up when I started working. I saw an ad for a writing competition organized by Harlequin India in a bookstore, and sent in an entry on impulse. I was one of the contest winners, and got a shot at writing a book for Harlequin. Then the book got picked up for a global release, and the next thing I knew, I was offered a four book deal with Harlequin….
Q2. What was your experience of writing your first book? Easy as pie or hard as nails? *smile*
Somewhere in the middle! I loved most of the experience, and my editor was a dream to work with. But there were still bits of the story I struggled over, and even after I’d re-written those bits, I’d still keep coming back to them, wondering if I could have done a better job!
Q3. What motivates you to write?
The high I get from the writing process – and the quiet feeling of satisfaction when I hold the first few printed copies of a book in my hands.
Q4. What inspired this story?
The initial idea was sparked off by a conversation on how lots of people move from small towns to big cities, but very few do the opposite – that made me think of writing a romance novel set in a small town.
Q5. Please give us two lines describing the book.
It’s about two ‘big-city’ people thrown together in a small town. Neil is a TV celebrity, and also a single dad. Shefali was brought up to be the perfect wife and mother - but after she was jilted on the day of her wedding by the man her parents had chosen for her, she decides to strike out on her own. The book is about the two of them finding happiness with each other (after their due share of fights and misunderstandings!)
Q6. Do share two prominent traits about each of your two main characters in the book.
Neil is half Indian and half British and combines very traditional Indian sensibilities with a fiercely independent outlook to life. He’s a single dad, and is far more mature and responsible than most twenty-eight year olds, but he has a quirky side to him - of course, he’s stunning to look at as well! Shefali is a little stiff and uptight at the beginning of the book. As the story progresses, she loses a lot of her hang-ups, and comes out as a strong, loving and independent woman who’s not afraid of the depth of her own feelings.
Q7. All writers dread the writer's block. How do you overcome it?
I’ve not had a bad case of writer’s block yet (fingers crossed!) but there have been days when I’ve found it tough to write more than a few pages – on those days, I just stop working on the book and go off and do something with my kids. When I come back to the book after a couple of days, it’s a lot easier to pick up wherever I stopped.
Q8. Does writing get in way of 'life'?
No, but my life gets in the way of my writing often enough L
Q9. What's next in your plans?
I’ve just signed a contract for another four books with Harlequin – now I need to sit down and actually write those books!
Q 10. What's the best thing about writing – other than it gives you a great excuse to avoid housework? *wink*
Well, I don’t do much housework other than cooking the odd meal with my kids…. The best thing about writing romance novels is that they are as much of an escape for the author as for the reader.
Q11. This last is a rapid-fire round. Brace yourself to give some quick responses. Say the very first to come in your mind. Be honest! *gives a stern look*
- Most hated movie:
Jeepers Creepers – I watched it on a trip to London with a bunch of colleagues – it was so bad, it wasn't even funny
- Your one secret habit no one knows about. (getting tough here?):
I tell myself stories every night before I go to bed
- Actor you'd fall for every time (don't worry we won't tell hubby J):
- Book you would laminate to preserve it:
“To Kill a Mockingbird”
- Fallback option when the fridge is empty:
Salads from Subway
- What comforts you when things go bad?
-What sounds better? A party or a quiet evening at home?
Depends on my mood
- Your most comfortable outfit?
Shorts and a well-worn T-shirt
-Which is a better pastime – a book, a movie or a game?
Always a book.
Thank you so much, Shoma for the interesting answers.
Here's the blurb, excerpt and the buy links for the book. Go enjoy! :)
Jilted at the altar, Shefali Khanna should be humiliated. Instead she takes the opportunity to start again. Top of the priority list: do not tumble headfirst into another relationship! But even moving from Delhi to a small town can't keep Shefali out of trouble—especially when she catches the eye of TV celeb Neil Mitra. To add to the complications, Neil is divorced and a single dad, and his four-year-old daughter Nina is one of Shefali's students. There is no way she can risk a getting into another relationship. He might be gorgeous, but he's totally off-limits…right?
Excerpt: Please follow this link to the Harlequin website to read the excerpt
Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.in/Secrets-Saris-ebook/dp/B00D41LVNC/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1373993496&sr=8-4&keywords=shoma+narayanan