Hello, Summerita, can you tell us something about your childhood, growing up years and family.
Hello and thanks for having me here. My childhood was spent in Punjab. Quite a lot of my summer vacations were spent at my grandparents’ village. My grandmother was an avid storyteller and that probably accounted for the love of fiction that grew in me later on. Even during early childhood, I was a compulsive reader. All my pocket money was spent in buying comics and later on, novels. During teens, these became the quintessential Harlequins and were hidden inside textbooks so I could devour them while pretending to study 🙂 My mother had quite a time tearing me away from novels. But, as they say, you can take the book away from the author but you can’t take the book out of them! Well, they don’t say that actually. I just made it up. *wink* You must agree that’s true 🙂
How and when did you start writing?
I really started writing when I came to know that Harlequin accepts manuscripts from all over the world. But I was seventeen then and without a clue about the craft of writing. I sort of doddled with stories but nothing much came of it. Years later, I was drawn to writing again. I began to learn about writing. I participated in a few contests. I won the Get Published Harper Collins India – Indiblogger contest. I worked hard and wrote about nine books and sharpened my knowledge and skills of writing fiction. Then I learned about publishing. Finally, based on the encouraging feedback I got from some traditional publishers, I decided I could write and launch a book. That’s how contemporary romance Against All Rules came into being 🙂
What is that one thing you love about being an author?
Being swept away in a totally different world. When you write, for that time, you are inhabiting another skin and another universe. It’s wonderful to allow your imagination to soar and spread its wings.
Can you tell us something about your book?
The Eligible Princess is quite close to my heart. It’s a passionate historical romance. The heroine Lakshaya is a princess in a province in ancient India but she’s quite like any girl today. She doesn’t bow to tradition. She has a mind of her own. She wants to be an engineer. But, rather like happens in Indian society today, she’s being pressured by her parents to get married. She’s attracted to the king who has come to offer for her hand. But then she discovers he has secrets hidden from her. What does she want from her life? Can marriage bring her closer to her goals? Will she discover love or find heartbreak? These are the story questions.
How does it feel like being a part of Tornado Giveaway?
Absolutely awesome. It’s the hugest giveaway I have seen and credit goes to The Book Club for supporting such an array of fiction.
What do you think is the future of reading and writing in India?
Full of possibilities. Story telling is poised on the brink of revolution. Not saying traditional books will ever go away but definitely you will see more innovation in it. That said, readers have never been so eager to read or been so receptive to all kinds of fiction. That’s great for writers. A word of caution though. The craft of writing should be studied thoroughly by anyone attempting to write. One needs to be familiar with, if not practiced, in character building, story structure, language etc. even before envisioning a fictional piece.
What are your other passions apart from writing?
My family. Teaching. Reading. I love to connect with new writers and aim to help them by drawing from my own experiences. I’m a fan of the golden oldies Bollywood music 🙂
What is your advice for aspiring writers?
I think every writer is an aspiring writer, especially when working on a new book. I would like to say that you must read in a wide variety of genres and discover what you want to read. Then you will find what you love to write. Don’t write for the market. Don’t write to sell. Don’t aim to be a bestselling author. Write to express the story that you’re bursting to tell. Tell it with love and dedication. Get feedback. Hate people who criticise. Then cool down and decide what is worth learning from that advice. Apply it to the book. Edit n number of times. Then think of getting published.
Yes, writing is hard. If it’s still worth doing for you, then you’re born to be a writer.
Thanks again. It was lovely to be hosted by you.
#TornadoGiveaway is an initiative of The Book Club.
FB Page of THE BOOK CLUB:
Please follow the link for THE ELIGIBLE PRINCESS : http://thetornadogiveaway.blogspot.in/2015/08/tornado-giveaway-2-book-no-27-eligible.html
Interview Co-ordinated for IWI: Rhiti Bose