One of my favorite, romance author, lovely human being, a lady with a magic pen for how else can she write with so much love, about love, with so many love stories and yet have a fresh take on each?
A forever young, talented, a die-hard book lover, voracious reader and an equally prolific writer. I am so happy to share with my readers the very dynamic Sundari Venkatraman as she happily answers questions about her latest book, already a best seller! (Thank god! I got my copy J ) The Runaway Bridegroom.
Not only does she touch upon an evil prevalent in our society, ‘child marriage’ but she also spreads awareness and the effects of such a practice on all the parties involved as well as the children who are married off.
THE RUNAWAY BRIDEGROOM
Chanda Maheshwari’s family is shaken when her thirteen-year-old bridegroom Veerendra runs away immediately after the wedding. The eight-year-old child doesn’t even understand the impact on her life. Unable to face their neighbours and friends, the Maheshwaris move from their village to Jaipur and begin a new life in the city.
Fourteen years later, Chanda is studying in a Delhi College. She takes up a temporary job at RS Software Pvt. Ltd. and falls head-over-heels for the boss of the operation. But what about Ranveer Singh? Is he interested in her?
Ranveer’s secretary Shikha is desperate to make him fall for her. All she wants is life-long security with a rich man. But it’s nerd Abhimanyu who keeps getting in the way. Abhi is Ranveer’s second-in-command and Shikha isn’t keen on him as she’s eyeing the main chance.
When Ranveer appears to show interest in Chanda, she’s faced with a new problem. Astrologer Vidyasagar insists that she would get back with her husband Veerendra. Does anyone want to know what she wants?
Chanda feels torn between the man she has fallen for and the family values that have been instilled in her. Will she ever find happiness?
Saying nothing further, I ask Sundari to share her thoughts on the book, romance, characters and much more!
Welcome to my abode! Sundari.
Thank you so much Inderpreet Kaur Uppal for hosting me on your blog! J
1. What has been your motivation for writing this book The Runaway Bridegroom as it has a social message and a good romance as well?
Ans: The predominant notion for my writing a book is romance as I love the genre, especially the ‘happily ever after’ ending. What inspired me to write The Runaway Bridegroom was a TV serial that had child marriage as its subject. Not an avid watcher of TV dramas, I happened upon this programme while browsing through channels. I was astounded to see a small girl getting married as if it was the absolute norm, especially as she goes to live with her in-laws immediately after the ceremony.
The subject struck me with morbid fascination and kept working on my mind. Checking the internet, I realised that child marriages are prevalent in a country like India even today in the 21st millennium. I could not but write about it. At the same time, I just couldn’t face a scenario where parents send their little girl to live with strangers even under the guise of marriage. That’s when I decided that the bridegroom must run away in my story.
2. The cover is worth a thousand words, how much of the cover did you choose or was it designed by someone else?
Ans: I was very lucky to get an artist like Unaiza Merchant. She’s barely twenty and just out of college. She took it upon herself to read my novel and came up with the idea. She chose images from an Indian images portal and I bought them for the cover. After that, Unaiza gave me the completed version of the cover in just a couple of days.
3. If you could cast your characters of TRB in the Bollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?
Ans: Actor Ranveer Singh as Hero Ranveer Singh & Deepika Padukone as Chanda Maheshwari. I would choose Mallika Sherawat for the role of Shikha and Randeep Hooda as Abhimanyu. What do you think?
4. How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names (Chanda and Ranveer) based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?
Ans: The main characters kind of fall into place with their names. Like when I imagine a character, a name pops up and works fine. Chanda, Veerendra and Ranveer came up that way. The rest of the characters also fell in place all by themselves. Recently, I have taken to checking on internet websites for Hindu names as there are too many novels and short stories and I would rather not repeat the names of at least the main characters.
5. What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing it to life?
Ans: I wrote The Runaway Bridegroom (originally called The Wedding Game) for my romance novel series blog. I began blogging my novels when I realised that I had no other inspiration to write. This way, I know there were at least a few dedicated people who were waiting for Fridays when my series were published once a week. While I started publishing the series with fully written novels, I wrote TRB on a weekly basis.
I have to mention here that I am not trained to write. I didn’t know of any specific method of writing – to form plot outline, characters, etc. I recently have learnt a lot interacting with like-minded people. I used to write in a haphazard fashion. I started the series when I just had four chapters ready. I was working full time those days and couldn’t find much time for writing. It was some kind of stubborn will power that drove me. I used to sit in front of the computer every Thursday night and pray for inspiration. And that’s how The Runaway Bridegroom was written, chapter by chapter. The scenes and characters just fell in place. I have not made any major changes to the original story that I blogged.
Any other research required I made on Google search – like place names, hotel names, distances, etc. I also use the online thesaurus a lot.
Thank you Inderpreet for those lovely questions that gave me an opportunity to share my thoughts with your readers!
It has been great talking to you Sundari. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us. I will be asking you for another interview regarding all your other books that have been equally popular.
All my readers and I look forward to many more romance laden books from you. Keep Writing!
Meet the Author
Sundari Venkatraman has authored four ebooks so far, The Runaway Bridegroom being the latest. Three of her books, namely, The Malhotra Bride; Meghna and The Runaway Bridegroom have all been self-published on Amazon under the banner of Flaming Sun. All three books are regularly seen on Amazon’s Top 100 Bestsellers’ Contemporary Romances list.
A great fan of Mills & Boon romances over the past four decades, Sundari has always believed in ‘Happily Ever Afters’ and all her books promise happy endings.
The Runaway Bridegroom talks about ‘Child Marriage’, an evil perpetrated even in the 21st century in a country like India. While a large number of the country’s population live in the cities and lead modern lives, there are many who follow old customs unaware of the negative impact on the lives of the younger generation.
The book is a work of fiction and of course does not preach. The author has but made an attempt to bring this ancient custom to the eyes of the modern public around the world while bringing a simple solution to the protagonists, the victims of child marriage.
“I hope you enjoy reading the book as much as I loved writing it,” says Sundari Venkatraman.
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