Avni is such a girl. When the man she loves and cares for wholeheartedly, throws her a curve ball, she chooses to walk away. What comes next for Avni?
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About the author
Let us get to know author Sunanda Chatterjee today. She’s on my blog, answering questions about her writing and her book, Sins of the Father.
When did you decide to become a writer?
I have been writing stories from a young age. In fact, I recently discovered a story I had begun to write in my diary as a fifth-grader and had a great laugh about it with my daughter. I wanted to write and paint. That’s all. But growing up in a small town based on the Steel Plant, everyone in my neighbourhood was an engineer or a doctor and the social and family pressure to conform was immense. So I became a doctor, joined the Indian Air Force for five years, then did my PhD (6 years) and my Pathology residency (four years). I was always busy with academics and work, and only when I started working as a pathologist did I decide it was time to take the plunge, so to speak. My first novel took me ten years from start to publication, with many hurdles along the way. Since then I’ve published 3-4 books a year and hope to keep going despite my full-time job.
Which is your favourite genre to read?
My favourite genres to read are women’s fiction and thrillers. Romance is not my favourite genre to read, but I do read a lot so I know the tropes. I think switching up genres as well as indie and traditionally published books keep me interested at all times. When I’m not in a mood to read my usual genres, I read short stories or non-fiction. I recently read a book called ‘Economics for Dummies’ and enjoyed it a lot. Sometimes I pick up a book my daughter’s High School English class is studying. I also read a lot about writing itself. My nightstand is full of books about creative writing. When I’m tired of it all, I re-read Harry Potters. Yes, I’m a Potter fan through and through.
Do you believe authors should read extensively? Why?
I am biased on this topic because I believe everyone should read extensively. Simply put, whether you’re reading fiction or non-fiction, it opens your mind. This applies to authors in particular. There are so many benefits that I cannot begin to list them. You learn new vocabulary, syntax, grammar, literary devices, tropes, effective use of voice, points of view, locales, local lingo and traditions and cultures. In fact, not only should authors read in their own genre, they should read in other related or unrelated genres to constantly expand their boundaries. That’s how niche and subgenres take root.
Tell us something about your book? Any forthcoming book releases?
Wellington Estates is my first series. I expect there to be five books in the series, each being a stand-alone saga. All the stories are based on characters with connections to an exclusive community in the foothills of San Gabriel mountains in Southern California. They are privileged and wealthy, and of course, they fall in love with people who are deemed unacceptable in their social circles, for money, race or profession. Each family has secrets, vices, and pasts that prevent the members from leading fulfilling lives.
These stories are not straight-out romance, although the romantic element is strong in each novel and it drives the story. But other characters also get the spotlight and parts of the stories are told from the parents’ or friends’ point of view. I like to call this genre as romantic saga, bridging romance and women’s fiction.
Book 1, Sins of the Father deals with Harrison, a cop, who is the ex-heir of a Wellington Estate. He falls in love with Laura, a budding therapist and the daughter of a thief. Unacceptable all around. Laura’s friendship with Juhi is highlighted in this book.
Book 2, Old Money deals with Connor, who shuns his Wellington Estates wealth to become a photographer. He falls in love with fashion designer Juhi who comes from a middle-class family with ties to his own and with secrets that prevent them from being together. Connor’s sister Danielle is introduced here.
My upcoming release is book 3, The Trouble with Love. This is the story of Danielle who has grown up without want and falls in love with a poor athlete. But instead of her family rejecting him, it turns out that he rejects her for lack of purpose and direction. Danielle travels to India to find purpose. Danielle’s friend Lily is introduced in this book.
I am writing Book 4, The Wish to Belong, will highlight Lily’s story with Arjun, the heir to a vineyard estate.
Next will be Book 5 (as yet unnamed) will be about Arjun’s sister, who is married to an Indian Air Force Officer but circumstances lead her to Wellington Estates where she finds love again.
Thank you, Sunanda. It was great having you here and getting to know about all your books. Wish you success with Sins of the Father and more.
Hi all, today I have on my blog, author Rubina Ramesh. She’s on the book blog tour of her latest romance novella, Destined. Let us get to know more about her through this guest post.
Hi Rubina, it’s lovely to chat with you here. My question is: This is your second romance novella. You have also written short stories. How does it feel to be a multi-genre writer?
Over to Rubina.
Thanks for having me on your blog. Honored. A multi-genre author. Sounds so grand! Yet when I sit down to write – genre is the last thing on my mind. I love telling tales so when and how they come I pour it out. Knitted Tales was not written at a particular period of time. It took me years to string those stories. So every story has a mood pertaining to the space I was in.
I am influenced greatly by multi-genre writers too. The name that comes to mind first and foremost is Nora Roberts. Whether her Romance or her Fantasies or be it her Thriller, every one of them has her signature and yet she has readers waiting for her next. So I don’t think we should be tied to any genre, any word count. That is the beauty of being an indie author too. We have the whole world out there to explore. Just because one particular genre is selling more – I don’t have to write it. There are readers out there who are waiting to read every genre. Forget being a writer – I am a multi-genre reader too. Give me a YA fantasy to a horror to an erotica – I can read all books. From a Murakami to a Nancy Drew – I think every genre caters to one particular emotion. My Murakami soothes the soul, Nora Roberts brings out the fire in me while Enid Blyton leaves a whiff of innocence. So curbing my writing to one particular genre will be such wastage of time and talent – when we can have it all.
Thanks for your descriptive response, Rubina. I agree that books are of many and multi fascinating genres and if you can be flexible, don’t let thoughts of genre constriction hold you back.
Lovely to have you here. All the best for your book!
Hi everyone! A very Happy New Year! Hope it will bring us all luck, prosperity and success!
Today I have author Rubina Ramesh on the platform. Let us get to know her through a question and answer session.
Tell the story of Destined in your words.
Destined was a story that was born from an incident in my life. Without going into the details all I can say is that the woman is often standing at a fork road where she is given a choice between her family and that of her husband’s. And sometimes it might be her role as a mother standing on the path which she would have otherwise taken as a daughter. There is nothing right or nothing wrong about this – it’s just a momentary intense pain which is often swept under the carpet and remembered in private moments. Esha is a young girl faces with the challenge of taking care of her father who was suffering from cancer sans any financial support. She is engaged but her fiancé finds her father a hurdle in their future. So Esha has to decide which path she needs to take in order to live with dignity in the future.
Would you say Indian readers are now more inclined to read a romance than say ten years ago?
I think Indian readers are always ready for romance. It’s just that we never came out in the open about it. 50 shades of gray had a huge market in India – that definitely tells us something about us. 😀 I remember those days when we had to hide Mills and Boon and read. Not because of the society but because of my age. I was eight or ten. That means a previous generation had a huge collection of romance in the household. But slowly the damsel in distress was no longer appreciated by the Indian women. They wanted that fight back quality in their women, someone who would stand and fight our battles without swooning just by looking at the muscles of the men. This changed the quotient on which romances were based on and they started being called more of a drama rather than pure or adulterated romance.
How much do you keep your audience in your mind while writing?
Being a debut author has its own advantages – we don’t have an audience to cater to. Once we do gather that audience, there is a moment and an author has to think what they are catering to. I don’t think any author writes from their audience. They gather audience because they are writing a particular book.
Your favorite authors in genres other than romance.
I love paranormal thrillers. Stephen King in that. Thrillers would be Sidney Sheldon and my all time favorite of all genres is Nora Roberts. There was a time I would hog on Charles Dickens too. The pain and pathos he brings about in a single character, often a child, I am yet to see another author doing that. The list is endless Summerita, as you would know, being a voracious reader yourself.
Is it Amazon or nothing for today’s indie authors?
Yes and no. I, for one, am very comfortable with Amazon. Being in the USA, my paperbacks are taken care of too by Amazon. But there are many author friends of mine who have chosen to spread wider with Barnes and Noble, Kobo and iTunes. The world is our oyster now – many don’t like those picket fences. I suppose that is the greatest asset of an indie author – we love our independence. As you would know it too being a successful author yourself.
Thank you, Rubina. It’s lovely to hear about your point of view. I am a fan of Nora Roberts myself, and also like the non stop flow of a Sidney Sheldon book. Many thanks for the compliment, I agree being an indie author has the biggest advantage that you can write what you love without being caged in by branding.
Readers can check out the book spotlight of Destined here.
Esha laughed. “Do it in your real wedding.”
Rohan felt a jolt at her words though his feelings had stopped making any sense at all. He found her pajama-clad wet avatar very sensual. Her hair was wet from the shower and a few droplets fell on her collarbone, like dew drops on a rose petal. Now that he was finally alone with Esha, he wanted to further muss up her hair and kiss those wet pearls away. But never had he imagined that he would be alone in a room with her amidst roses and that her intoxicating perfume would drive him crazy. Theirs wasn’t a marriage in the true sense and yet her lips were calling out to him to feel them with his own.
But he was sure that she wouldn’t appreciate it. He forced himself to lean back on the pillow and give her an easy smile to fight his raging hormones. “So, which side of the bed is yours?”
She looked at him sharply to check if he was laughing at her predicament. She then went to her purse and took out a tape—a big, brown one.
“Naughty, naughty,” he said sitting up, suddenly feeling the air crackling between them with an invisible electric thread that was slowly pulling them towards each other. “What’s your intention darling?”
Esha gave him an evil grin and sashayed towards him, all the while opening the tape. “You didn’t think I would be prepared?” she asked, her voice husky. Any hot-blooded man would find this a big turn-on but Rohan sat up straight, wondering if she was drunk.
“Esha, I think we should go to sleep now.” He gave her a sheepish smile. “It’s getting very late.”
She threw back her head and laughed, “The night is still young, darling.” She opened the tape further and climbed on the bed, inching slowly towards him as she rolled it out. Rohan could feel his heart skipping a few beats. He wanted her no doubt, but he was not expecting this and her strange behavior made him uncomfortable.
“Do you want something to eat?” He sounded lame even to himself. She threw her head back and looked at him, her sherry colored eyes darkening into molten chocolate, and the light breeze from the window caught her silk tresses and made them dance to a tune of their own. She bit her lower lip and leaned in front of him, staring deep into his eyes. “Are you nervous?”
“Why are you behaving like this?” he asked, trying to get out of the bed. He felt an invisible hand clutching his stomach but he kept his tone breezy. “Are we taking this night to mean what it is meant to be? I’m ready if you are.”
If she took another step forward, her breasts would touch him. What the devil was she playing at? He couldn’t even lean back further since the head rest was stopping any further movement. She leaned forward but instead of coming towards him, she went beyond him and stuck the edge of the tape to the middle of the bed post. She then pulled the tape down – further and further and a line was drawn along the middle of the bed.
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About the author