Dear Summerita,

Thank you for taking time out to talk to me.

I enjoy reading what you write, most especially the historical love stories, but also your office romance – Against All Rules.

And it is lovely of you to offer a copy of your book to one of the readers who comments on this post - but more of that later!

Hi Reet! Thanks for having me on your blog.

1. How did that notion come about, an office romance? Was it a tight rope walk? I must say you handled it quite sensitively.

This office romance story had been on my mind for a long, long time - in fact, right when I first started writing. I began to pen it down in my teens but found that when I took it up again, the characters evolved a lot from those I had envisaged earlier.

I really began to understand why authors say, ‘they took on a life of their own’ when they talk about their characters - because they really did! Still, because of that early attempt, this story is quite close to my heart.

Thanks for the kind words. Once I started on it, I had to take stock now and then on their perspectives but it’s really an escapist romance and I generally went where the characters led.

2. You've chosen to go indie with the last three books. Care to tell us about that decision? How scary was it?

I knew when I started that a lot of work would be involved but really, I had no idea how much! The real drawback in self-publishing is the amount of promotion you have to take up because the onus is just on you. But then in today’s trad publishing, the same scenario is emerging. It’s not that I haven’t thought of publishing some of these traditionally. I have. But most of the publishers have a set brand image and they are averse to taking risks. With the first book, I got sick of hearing, ‘Love your characters and storyline but they are not what we are looking for at the moment.’ Most romance publishers have very well defined guidelines and even reading those, I knew my book would not find a home with them because the story would just not fit in a mould.

3. Tell us something about your hero? Why do you think we will adore him? Will we?

Absolutely! Tahir is your quintessential Alpha, arrogant, rich tycoon. You will adore him because - besides the looks and the physique - he’s quite vulnerable beneath the grouchy exterior.

4. Do you look for images to inspire you when you are creating characters? Care to share some of those images here?

All the images are created in my mind. I have a hard time fitting images of actors to my characters.

5. I love the way you handle sensual undercurrents between the protagonists. The atmosphere sizzles – how do you manage that? How hard is it to write about the physical relationship?

Thank you, but It’s not my doing. The characters take over...and the rest is history...

6. What is your favorite genre to read? How has it influenced what you yourself write?

Of course, romance. I write what I love to read. I also like whodunits. I guess it has influenced me because for me a romance is like the unfolding of a good mystery too.

7. Has any real-life event, personal or public, ever begged to be written into one of your stories? Could you share it with us, please?

I don’t pick up events from real life. But I do chart out the characters from what I see happening. For example, I may see two girls taking an autorickshaw. One is wearing traditional dress and has her head covered. The other has a more modern look with styled hair. But it's the traditionally dressed girl who pulls her friend forward and haggles with the driver. You’d think she’d be shyer one out of the two. I begin to think about what might have made her that way. I might chart out a story around her by the time I reach home. Unique and different characters trigger my right brain.

8. Of all the attributes of a well written story, which is the one that pleases you the most?

The one that depicts a happy ending and ties all the threads. I can’t abide half baked cookies – or stories.

9. What one or two things absolutely irritate you in a book, and would most certainly make you put the book down immediately?

Lack of conflict for one. If everyone is cheerful and there’s no visible path for the characters, that is boring. Poor writing and twists and turns without proper reasoning also put me off reading.

10. When do you write? What is your writing space like? What do you use, pencil/pen and paper, or a gadget?

I write in fits and starts. I can write anywhere if I’m excited about the story. I have written in the bus while travelling, in the kitchen while waiting for the meal to cook – it might have got overcooked in the process though. I write mostly on my phone.

11. Your advice to starting authors - one thing they MUST do and one that they should NEVER.

What they MUST do is start a story with a clear idea of what it is about. I don’t mean plot it scene by scene but do have a clear idea what you what to convey with it. What they should NEVER do is leave a work unfinished. Every finished work, whether published or unpublished, is a step nearer your goal. That’s my humble opinion.

Lovely talking to you, Summerita!

And now for the icing on the cake - Summerita is giving away one copy

of "Against All Rules" to one lucky person out of all who comment on this post! Take it away, folks!

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