Sundari Venkatraman has graced my blog on various occasions and I welcome her to my blog once again as we talk about her latest book An Autograph For Anjali. With this book Sundari has chosen to write a romantic thriller.
I have always loved her sweet romances with a social message and strong heroines and #AAFA and Anjali is no exception! Welcome to my blog Sundari!
- Murder, deceit, and romance – how different was the experience of writing this thriller #AAFA?
Writing a thriller doesn’t come naturally to me – not like the way I write my romances. Though a bit of thrill element is fun to have as part of my books. You might recall reading about the “gun-shot” scene in The Malhotra Bride and the “plane hijack” sequence in Meghna. I took one step further with a “murder” in my latest book.
“Deceit” has no part to play in An Autograph for Anjali. I haven’t keyed in deceit in any of my books so far (I think). If I do, that will probably be the most difficult thing to write. Most of the characteristics and emotions that appear in my novels, I pick up from my own experiences and those of the people I know/have met. I haven’t associated much with deceitful characters, and hence that would be the most difficult to deal with.
Nor have I come across a real time murder, but I could manage that from all the reading that I have done. I like all ends tied up in my story. I didn’t want Jayant hanging there once Anjali left him. While wondering what to do with him, it suddenly struck me that “murder” would be an ideal way to deal with his character.
- Your protagonists in this novel are middle aged with a son who is in college, how different or difficult was it expressing the emotions of “mature individuals” instead of young love?
I couldn’t see any difference in expressing the love of characters in their forties. I think we humans are capable of experiencing love till the day we die. Age has nothing to do with it. During Vedic period, man’s life was divided into four ashramas – Brahmacharya, Grihastha, Vanaprastha and Sanyasa. I think this age limitation of love and sex has sprung from this concept. Today, our lifespan is shorter. Hence, the four ashramas overlap more often than not. Once I understood this underlying concept, it wasn’t all that different to write about love between Parth and Anjali.
- You have always had very different titles and names for your books and their characters. This title “An Autograph for Anjali” does not reflect anything about the murder. It reads like a story of a fan instead of a wife….. What made you choose this title?
Yeah, I do my best to have different titles. For one, I want them to be easily searchable on Google. More here about choosing my titles on this guest post that I have written: ReadMuse
Murder is a small segment in my story that predominantly is about Anjali. So, you have her there on the title. The other man in her life in an author. Put the two together and it’s not difficult to have An Autograph for Anjali. As to the exact connection, one will have to read my book till the end to know. 😀
- From traditional romance to short stories to the romance of substance “The Madras Affair”, you have written many different books, is there any specific genre that you would not like to write? Apart from romance what do you love to write?
Thank you for those lovely words. I can’t relate to blood & gore or horror. I will steer clear of those two genres in my writing for sure.
I love paranormal – the positive ones. I have watched films like Ghost (starring Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore & Whoopi Goldberg), Bhootnath & Bhootnath Returns (starring Amitabh Bachchan) and Talaash (starring Aamir Khan, Kareena Kapoor & Rani Mukherjee) multiple times and loved all of them. I am hoping to write a paranormal romance soon. I have included one short story in my anthology Matches Made in Heaven. It’s called Rahat Mili. This one is a paranormal romance.
Then, of course, my long-standing dream is to pen a historical romance. It’s still only a dream. I have not even begun the research for one. Hopefully in 2018!
- What can your fans look forward to next? What are you writing now?
I have planned a trilogy called The Bansal Sibling Series. These can be read as standalones and will be the stories of two brothers and a sister, all hoteliers. The first in the series is called Simha International and is about Rohit Bansal. I am targeting to having it published on June 9, 2016.
I have to mention here that these are romances meant for total entertainment. I don’t want to be labelled as a writer who takes up social causes in all her books. To be truthful, my novels touch upon social issues, but they are fictions with a view to entertain.
The second in the series is called Rose Garden International and it’s the story of Rhea. This book will also come out in 2016.
Another book that’s in the pipeline for 2016 is a collection of 5 novellas. These are stories about characters that you will recognise from The Runaway Bridegroom. I am not going to say more.
Arjun’s Penance is the sequel to An Autograph for Anjali. This should be out in 2017.
I have a few more planned. I will announce as they get ready for publishing.
- Any specific writing quirk or writing ritual you follow that helps you write these sweet, fun best sellers?
“Sweet, fun bestsellers” – I superlike! Thank you so much!
The best thing that works for me is when I have a deadline. I announce the date for publishing and get to writing. I realise that I write bestest and fastest when I am pushed into a corner. Otherwise, I am distracted all the time. There’s enough distraction with marketing my books and having fun on social media. Yes, I am guilty of playing a lot of online games.
On one day, the maximum number of words I write is 3000. It’s very rarely that I write more. I find that the story quality suffers if I write more than that.
I always go with the flow of the story, not bothering with grammar and other rules of writing (not that I know any 😛 ). It’s later when I read it back – it’s usually one day later – that I correct those.
I keep dreaming up stories when I go to bed. This keeps me awake half the night.
Thank you so much Inderpreet, for asking me such lovely questions and having me on your blog. I hope I have managed to give you the answers you seek.
A Good Day to your blog readers!
Thank you for this lovely interview Sundari. My best wishes for your future books. I look forward to reading them.
Don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the end of this post!!
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