Hi folks, today I have with me author Divyata Rajaram, whose book If You Only Knew Me is just out. Let us get to know her through a question and answer session.
Do you think reading is a must for writing?
My Mantra really is Read More Write More. Reading fuels your imagination , adds to your vocabulary and sparks a love for the written word!
What is the next book about?
Its an unusual love story between two people who are at opposite ends of the spectrum. Fate conspires to throw them together in the most unlikely of circumstances but not before some twists and turns in the plot that neither one of them could have ever seen coming.
What inspires you from reality to translate into fiction?
Everything inspires me but most of all it is people and the thin line between fantasy and reality.
What is your advice to new authors?
To be relentless in your pursuit of writing. Even if it is just a few pages in a diary every day or a few notes scribbled down . One day it does all come together and begin to make sense.
Why do you write?
I write because I have always seen myself as a story teller. Stories fascinate me , whether telling them or listening to them ever since childhood. Writing is a natural progression of my love for story telling.
Thank you, Divyata. Wish you success with the book.
“Ha … I’ve crossed over to the dark side, Ma. Too late to return home again,” she thought. The black coffee she sipped did nothing to clear the confusion in her head.
Dipika pushed her limp, dank hair out of her eyes, struggling to make sense of the menu in front of her.
That bastard was stringing her along, she knew it. All his false promises meant nothing, she thought wearily while gazing at the menu.
She looked up to find Rupali rushing over to the table.
“Dips, darling, so good to see you,” said Rupali, trying to sound upbeat and cheerful. She almost recoiled as she hugged Dipika.
The stench of body odor and some other strange pungent aroma permeated the air around her.
Dipika looked awful; her usual dark circles worse than ever, hair dank and limp, and lips cracked and blistered. She never used makeup, but this was truly the worst Rupali had ever seen her look in a long while.
“Are you okay, babe?” she asked in a soft whisper. The answer seemed apparent – she was not.
Dipika made a superhuman effort to sound and act normal.
“I haven’t been too well, Rupa. That’s what I had called mom about. Hope she didn’t worry you girls. I’m sure it’s nothing serious. I just haven’t been sleeping much lately and it’s telling on my health.”
Rupali was sure that Dipika was depressed about her father’s upcoming death anniversary.
“Listen, baby … you are going through a tough emotional phase right now. It will get better, I promise. Meanwhile, we are all there for you, okay?” She hoped she sounded more confident than she felt.
Dipika nodded listlessly. Poor Rupali, such a good friend, always looking out for her. Dipika felt a million miles away from her right now.
They finished their coffee and made their way over to a few shops. Rupali could tell Dipika was having trouble walking and put it down to her mystery illness. Psychosomatic symptoms, probably, given her bouts of depression. All she could hope for was that whatever it was, it would clear up and her friend would get back to normal.
Dior, Valentino, Lanvin; there was truly no dearth of high-end brands in the latest styles in the Dubai malls. The girls finally agreed on a stunning Chanel dress, stark and beautiful, in black and white. When Rupali tried it on with the blue turquoise earrings the shop assistant provided, she loved what she saw in the mirror. The hunt for matching shoes took them to the Shoe District where even Dipika was seemingly revived by the stunning collection of Christian Louboutin. Rupa convinced her to pick up a pair of strappy stilettos in hot pink with a gold trim.
Rupali hesitated for a few seconds before charging her card. Sometimes she felt guilty about spending Rohit’s money. However, he had always told her that appearance meant everything – sleek, sophisticated and expensive clothes were his natural choice and, now, hers as well.
Finally, exhausted with their shopping, the girls headed to the parking lot where Rupali’s driver was waiting for them. She asked him to first drop Dipika off at her apartment on Sheikh Zayed Road before heading to her own home.
On her way home, she quickly called up Anjali.
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
Today I have on my blog author Sunanda Chatterjee who’s on the blog tour of her book Sins of the Father. Here’s my question for Sunanda and her answer for the guest post for the tour.
How do you choose the setting for your book? What inspires you to make it the background for your story?
The settings of my books vary with my mood. Having lived in India and USA, most of my books feature both countries. Southern California is featured in many of my stories. But when I visit a new place, sometimes I decide to include it in my books. In Shadowed Promise, the story starts during the riots in Bombay in 1993, when I happened to be in Bombay for an exam. In Fighting for Tara, the setting is in Rajasthan (I visited years ago) and Northern California where my sister lives. The Blue House of Bishop is based in the Sierra Nevada mountains in California where I vacationed a few springs ago, and in Bhilai, India, where I grew up.
My current series is based in a fictional exclusive neighbourhood in Southern California and parts of Nashik in India where I worked for a while and where my cousin lives.
I decide the timeline based on the story. Shadowed Promise started in the 1990’s because riots had an important part to play. It traversed the 9/11 terrorist attacks and were featured in the story. Most other stories are contemporary.
What inspires me to make it a background of my story? Sometimes the story demands it, as I explained above. At other times, it might simply be a lovely sunset, or a cute bakery, or a college campus or just a picturesque street I see that sparks a scene in my mind. I’m sure other authors do the same.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Sunanda. I agree a picturesque scene lends itself readily to interpretation in the story. When we use setting in an impressive and blending way with the story, it enhances the plot and becomes a part of the narration. Wish you the best for your book.