My love affair with books began when I was a tot. A fabulous mother, who recognized the power of the written word, read to me and my sisters every night, introducing us to the wonderful world of the imagination.
I am a doctor, but make time for my other passions – reading and writing stories, watching romantic comedies, and doing creative things with wool and a crochet hook. I also love solving the cryptic crossword, and - when my muse is elusive - I enjoy pitting my wits against my husband's at Scrabble®. When I have no other choice, I can be found in the kitchen putting together my 'world-famous' one-pot meals.
I’ve been published traditionally by Mills and Boon® after I won a two-book publishing contract courtesy of Mills and Boon® India's ‘Passions’ Contest in 2013. 'Scorched by His Fire' was followed by 'The Cure was Love', both in 2014. ‘No Escape from Love’ is my first attempt to publish independently on KDP
Reet is giving away TWO eBooks to lucky people who leave a comment. Thanks for stopping by!
Thank you for joining us today, Reet. Let's see what you are sharing with us.
I ask our guest five questions, then they choose three of their own from my list.
Here's my five:
I’m always asked ‘where do you get your ideas’. So, where do you get yours?
Angela, thanks so much for hosting me. I’m thrilled to be here. I get my ideas from life mostly, but also from the weirdest of places. For example, a random television show turns up quite by accident when I’m flipping channels, and its about the nearly-obsolete trams of Kolkata. I decide to send Mita and Tanay (Scorched by His Fire) to Kolkata just so they can ride in a tram before the archaic transport is phased out. It wasn’t in the original plan at all.
Another time, my sisters and I were reminiscing about our childhood holidays in the countryside, at my maternal grandparents’ village, and I said – hey! Why don’t I base a story in the village – I went and changed the setting of the romance that I was already writing - you’ll see that ‘No Escape from Love’ is all about Mohini and Aalok finding themselves, and finding love, in a (fictitious) village in the state of Punjab, India.
Which comes first, the story, the characters, or the setting?
I’ve written three romances so far, and it has more or less been the same – a scene plays out in my head first, and the protagonists are just ghostly figures because I know nothing about them just then. I know broadly what the scene is about, but I have no idea how the protagonists are going to behave.
The fun starts after that as I get to know my people - I watch as they react to the awkward situation I’ve placed them in. Their behavior in this first ‘test’ sets the tone and I’m in a better position to plot the rest of the story after that. I guess, to answer your question, for me the setting comes first, then the characters, and finally the story.
Which of your heroines most represent you, or the ‘you’ you’d like to be? Why?
Wow! I’ll have to think this one out carefully. Let me see, now...
Mita (Scorched by His Fire) is naive and is my youngest heroine, at 24-years old – she might have been me, as I was decades ago, but I would never dream of setting off alone across the oceans to a foreign country to tie up the loose ends of a family mystery.
Mohini, (No Escape from Love), is creatively inclined and she probably gets that from me, but it’s Simi (The Cure was Love) who most represents me - she is independent, like me, but is also rooted to family (like me) and is a doctor (sigh - like me) – so, there’s the answer! Simi could be me but for the fact that she’s way more accident prone than I am – Murphy’s law gives me a miss sometimes, but Simi, never!
What is the single most important part of writing for you?
The dreaming that precedes it, the wonderful worlds of the imagination that open up – just staring at my Scrivener is inspiration enough for the words to come tumbling out. About half of them have to be edited out during the second draft, I won’t pretend, but the pre-sleep and post-sleep hours, when I fantasize about my work-in-progress, are critically important. I have solved a few knotty problems this way, and keep a notebook and pencil handy by my bedside to jot down any sudden inspiration.
What’s the most romantic thing a guy can do (or has done) for you?
The most romantic thing my guy has done for me is to support my dream to write, and to support the genre I choose to write in, and to just generally be adorable even though he is the most non-romantic person in the world (even when measured by the most lax standards of assessment)!
Here are the three you chose:
If I was a first time reader of your books, which one would you recommend I start with
I’d recommend my latest, No Escape from Love, for two reasons: One, the first two books are being re-done even as we speak. I got my rights back from Harlequin and am preparing to go Indie with the stories, hence, am making some changes prior to that. The second reason is that I’ve learned a lot about the craft of writing and I’d like to think that my story-telling skills are getting better with each story that I write. So, definitely, if you want to read me, please start with No Escape from Love.
What is your writing routine once you start a book?
My routine is scarily erratic. Some days I’m on fire and I tap away at the laptop (on my bed, usually) for hours; other days, I procrastinate, or catch up on chores, or busy myself with marketing my books, or read, or go visit the in-laws, or the parents, write a poem, crochet...anything but work on the book. I plan to do better at structuring my time...mañana!
My way is probably slower, but if it gets the work done, I guess it is okay.
What do you do to relax and recharge your batteries?
I do crochet – you can catch me on Pinterest salivating over patterns I simply must try, and I cannot pass by a wool shop without yearning even though I have a whole trunk-full of wool at home. I also love solving the cryptic crossword, and playing Scrabble against the computer.
Now, let's talk about the book:
Will the demons from their past tear them apart?
After personal tragedy strikes, Mohini Kapoor runs away from the city to her grandparents home in a village in Punjab. Though she manages to pick up the pieces of her broken self, and even builds a life for herself, the horror of her experience is difficult to forget. She buries it deep down inside her subconscious mind until the arrival of a stranger threatens to resurrect the old demons.
Reputed photojournalist, Aalok Ahuja, has to hide out for a few days to escape circumstances beyond his control. When his friend recommends Tejopur, a remote village in Punjab, Aalok expects life to be simple there and, perhaps, even boring - instead, his world is thrown into chaos by a woman more desirable, and vastly more complicated, than any he has ever known.
When their destinies collide, attraction flares, but secrets threaten their new found feelings.
This close up, in the silvery light of a full moon, he looked quite beautiful. Harmless even. Mohini crept closer, ostensibly to pick up her cell phone, but she couldn't look away from the sleeping form of the man who plagued her so much.
Although she wasn't even remotely interested, it was silly to pretend that Aalok wasn't a fabulous specimen. Now that she could stare without fear of embarrassment, she noted spiked lashes that fluttered ever so slightly as he slept. His jaw was strong and square - at this late hour, his chin was shadowed with the hint of a stubble making him look raffish - very bad-boyish and rather more attractive than was strictly fair.
Mohini itched to know the truth. Was he running away from something? How absurd for a city slicker to come out all the way to a village he had never been to before. Even more absurd was for him to come unannounced.
The city slicker muttered something unintelligible, and Mohini nearly fell over backwards, perched perilously as she was on knees and toes. Her heart sped up - but he didn't waken, and she took in a heaving gulp of air.
As her pulse settled to a more placid rate, Mohini's gaze moved willy-nilly to his mouth. She gulped - if she were to grade it, it would merit a ten as far as sexy mouths went.
Whoa! She closed her eyes. So she was a voyeur now?
Sounds like a hot and intriguing read!
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