Posts tagged ‘Author interview’


Please welcome author Olivier Lafont on my blog today. Let’s get to know him through a question and answer session.

Q: How did you become a writer?
I knew I wanted to be a writer at a very young age, actually. My love for storytelling and writing was evident very early. Since then I had written a lot of stories, even five hundred pages of an unfinished novel in high school, but ‘Warrior’ was my first major publication.

Q: How did this book idea originate?
I wanted to write a Young Adult book, after ‘Warrior’. There were several ideas I had, but the one I liked most centered around Christmas, it being a holiday favoured by young people. For me Christmas is symbolic of hope, peace, community, family. So, thematically, anything that threatens that had significance. Then it became a question of how to express, plot-wise, this idea. The notion of a Santa Claus ‘dynasty’ was interesting, because I could take and evolve the myth in my direction but also humanise it in a way that fit with my sensibilities.

Q: What appeals to you about writing this kind of book?
‘Snowbound’ is the kind of book I would have loved reading when I was young. I think you have to write what what you like to read, I can’t imagine how it would genuinely work otherwise. I’ve always been passionate about fantasy and adventures, and blending our real world with a fantasy world has also been a personal favourite. ‘Warrior’ did a similar thing, in a different register. And taking a young person into a dangerous world, in fiction, is always fun. An adult may be equipped to handle things, but you just don’t expect that of young people, just because of their age. It’s always thrilling and inspiring to see a young, awkward person grow into their power, their personality, to surprise themselves and everyone else. There’s an aspirational quality to that kind of growth. That’s why we go to heroes in stories, to imagine ourselves winning in more explicit terms than in real life.

Q: What problems did you encounter in the course of writing and publishing this work?
No problems — those are the unmatched perks of publishing yourself in the new digital marketplaces!

Q: Share about your favorite fiction books and authors.
When I first became aware of my passion for stories, it was Lloyd Alexander’s ‘The Chronicles of Prydain’ and Brian Jacques’s Redwall series. Later I read Terry Brooks’s Shannara series, and Robert Jordan’s ‘Wheel of Time’. In more recent times I’ve enjoyed George R.R. Martin’s ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ (Game of Thrones on HBO) and Mark Lawrence’s ‘The Broken Empire’ series. Not to forget children’s works like Enid Blyton’s books and C.S. Lewis’s ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’.


Thanks for the answers, Olivier. The mention of Enid Blyton and Narnia took me back quite a bit. It was lovely having you here.

Readers, if you’d like to know more about Olivier Lafont’s latest book SnowBound, click on the previous post.

Get to know – Author Sumeetha Manikandan

I’ve been quite tardy at blogging. Let me extricate myself from the blame by putting it all on the session break! With kids at home and trying to keep them entertained plus supporting daughter in her studies by taking her to a study camp…well, you get the picture. I’m really thankful to Rubina for snapping me out of the tendency to lag.

Let me resume normal service by introducing you to a lovely lady who has got published by Indireads. Please welcome Sumeetha Manikandan. Let’s get acquainted with her through a question and answer session.

Q:Tell us something about yourself and how you got into writing?

I live in Chennai and I have been writing for many years now. I have been a bookworm all my life. And that’s what prompted me to try my hand at writing. Earlier I used to write for pleasure but never thought of posting them as blogs or stories. I wish I had started blogging early on in my life. That’s one of the biggest regrets that I have.

Q: Your experience of writing a book – easy as pie or hard as nails?

I would rate my experience as somewhere in the middle – between these two extremes 🙂

Q: What motivates you to write?

Mostly it is a germ of a thought or a feeling.

Q: What inspired you to write this book?

The Perfect Groom was inspired by a true incident that happened to a friend’s friend. I heard it as an annecdote from a friend almost ten years ago.

Q: Please describe your book briefly.

Perfect Groom is the story of Nithya, a young girl who wants to be independent but family circumstances and not-so-well-meaning relatives push her into an arranged marriage. Ashok comes with the tag of the ‘Perfect Groom’ – handsome, rich and an NRI. But Nithya soon discovers that her Perfect Groom was not so perfect after all.

Q: Tell us about the main characters in your book.

Nithya – a young girl, fresh out of college

Ashok – a handsome NRI who is wedded to her

Vasu – Nithya’s childhood friend and distant relative, whom she meets after many years

Q: How do you overcome writer’s block?

I read all my favourite books during this period and go for long winding walks while listening to Sting.

Q: Does writing get in your way of life?

No. Life gets in the way of writing 🙂

Q: What’s next in your writing plans?

Right now waiting for my second book to see the light of the day 🙂


And here comes our rapidfire round:

Your favourite movie

Last of the Mohicans

The worst movie you’ve seen

RGV’s Aag (remake of Sholay)

Any secret habit?

Keep guessing 🙂

Actor you’d fall for in a heartbeat

Daniel Day Lewis and George Clooney (Hollywood)

Hrithik Roshan

Favourite book.

Huge list of books starting from Pride and Prejudice

Fallback option when the fridge is empty 

Pizza and garlic bread

What comforts you when things go bad?


Your most comfortable outfit


Hope you all enjoyed getting to know Sumeetha as much as I did. Sumeetha, thank you for sharing your experience of writing with us. So happy to Pride and Prejudice is topping your favourite list too…it sure tops mine 🙂

Do check out Sumeetha’s book. You can know more about it and read some reviews of it if you check out other posts in the Book Club Tours. Details and buy links below.


The Perfect Groom by Sumeetha Manikandan

The Blurb
Very little has gone right in Nithya’s young life. So, when a proposal from a young, handsome NRI comes along, her mother jumps at the opportunity and packs her daughter off to the US with her perfect groom.
Nithya seems to have settled in with Ashok, ostensibly happy, if as yet childless, in her new life. When an old flame comes back into her life, however, the cracks in her perfect marriage begin to show…
Buy @
Watch it


Meet the author
The Author’s Thoughts
An author and a freelance writer, Sumeetha Manikandan has been writing for many years now. After working in dotcom companies, like Sulekha for over a decade, she started freelancing from home. 
Her debut novella, ‘The Perfect Groom’ was initially written in a script format, which was later converted into a novella for Indireads. The Perfect Groom touches a taboo subject that is most often shrouded in secret whispers and exclamations in the tambrahm community. Inspired by a real anecdote, ‘The Perfect Groom’ is in parts the true story of a girl who rose above myriad challenges to make her own way in life.
Stalk her @

Get to know author Andy Paula

Hi everyone! Today I have author Andy Paula on my blog with her new release, Love’s Labor. Let’s get to know her via a question and answer round 🙂

Q: Tell us something about yourself and how you got into writing?

AP: My childhood was spent in various places of Bihar and my glory lay in the fact they people said I wrote good letters. J  Those were the days of snail mail and I was commended by friends and family as a great letter writer. They tell me they were transported to the place that I’d described in the letter, and these remarks (I learnt the word compliment later) made me feel like a great writer. Also, when my essays were read out in class, it boosted my morale. But I never really envisioned that I would be a writer.

I wanted to grow up, major in English and teach the subject so I did that. I was the most job satisfied person around me and could never understand why people didn’t choose a career they were cut out for and stop cribbing about all things work-related. After teaching for over nine years, I moved to corporate training. The company was looking for a trainer with a language background and I glided into my new role.  Here, I was happy training and sending mails to colleagues that cracked them up. The occasional article that got selected for the office magazine made me feel like a Pulitzer winner.

And then London happened. My husband, an IT professional, was headed to UK for a year and I was not to be left behind. I quit my corporate job and happily flew to meet The Queen. With no job to go to, I felt like an explorer and soaked in the English environs. After I’d had my share of cheese cakes, fish & chips and Stratford-upon-Avon, I got into blogging. Not without relentless online pestering from my mother in India about why I was ‘wasting time’ and ‘at least not writing’ about my experiences, if I hadn’t taken a job there! Blogging put me into a strict writing regimen and when a friend told me about Indirom, the flagship of Indireads, I’d gotten into the habit of sitting at the laptop and typing away. It is a fattening job, I tell you, and I’m grateful that my Love’s Labor was not lost.

Q: Your experience of writing a book – easy as pie or hard as nails?

AP: I’ve written only one just now and it was hard. I hadn’t expected that! I thought writing came easily to me- I was blogging and wrote short pieces all my life- but a full-length book is a different ball-game, I realize. The edits that came forth squashed me completely and I’d almost given up, till, with divine intervention, Love’s Labor saw the light of day.

Q: What motivates you to write?

AP: Everything. I don’t know too many other things that make me as happy as when I’m involved in the writing process.

Q: What inspired you to write this book?

AP: I could never understand the fuss surrounding love and inter-caste marriage in our society. Love’s Labor is a story that I saw unfold in my family. The drama that ordinary people are capable of, the politics that unrelenting parents play with their rebellious children and the resentment that brews in young hearts are all that I am privy to. The saga needed telling, more for my own catharsis than for the reader to critique. You can read more about the background of Love’s Labor here.

Q: Please describe your book briefly.

AP: Love’s Labor is a story about Piali Roy, an English teacher, & Sathya Nair, an animator, who are brought together by circumstances, and despite behavioural and communal differences, end up falling in love. All very well. What is not is the reaction of the two families, and a third’s. That of the girl’s who Sathya was slated to marry, when Piali took his life by storm.

Staring from a hill station in India, the book takes you on a flashback to a Steel township where the lead pair belong, to another hill station where their love blossoms, to a city in the South of India where Sathya goes away to put his beloved’s insecurities to rest to another mountain town where the heroine herself lands up. In a tale spanning over two years, Love’s Labor takes you on a journey of India and, more importantly, of the human heart.

The journey of the lead pair both inward & out is what forms the crux of the story; what adds spice to it are the deep-rooted & firmly held traditions that the families refuse to budge from and the couple’s unceasing attempts to overcome them.

Q: Tell us about the main characters in your book.

AP: Piali Roy: Twenty five year old Piali Roy is a beautiful and confident English teacher. She heads the teachers’ group that is going on an excursion to Panchgani, where she meets Sathya, the Director’s son. Not the one who believes in ‘love at first sight’, she chides her palpitating heart for playing wanton. But life has other plans for this dutiful daughter.

Sathya Nair: With his dashing looks, part- philosopher -part –academic demeanor and smouldering eyes, Sathya makes the teachers go weak. He is the Director’s son, the heir apparent, to the chain of schools his father has founded. The trip to Panchgani is his initiation into his future role. Sathya is engaged to the Principal’s daughter, Vinitha.

Vinitha Krishnan: The friendly and composed IT professional who can differentiate the grain from the chaff is betrothed to her family friend, Sathya.  Her reaction when Sathya calls off the engagement takes everyone by surprise.

Piyush Roy: A dignified government official who holds family honour above all else is Piali’s father, Mr. Roy is appalled that his loving daughter has falling for Sathya, a man from a different community.

APJ Nair: The School Chairman, Piali’s boss, is infamous in the small town of Jamshedpur for questionable practices. He smells a fish that a mere teacher in his school has ‘hooked’ Sathya, his son, the future Director. His dreams of tying his empire with the Principal’s, by marrying his son to her daughter, seems to be crashing.

Q: How do you overcome writer’s block?

AP: I read so that I can be inspired to write. Sometimes, I can’t differentiate between writer’s block and laziness, honestly!

Q: Does writing get in your way of life?

AP: Life gets in the way of my writing. There are too many other areas that demand attention and writing is relegated to the background oftentimes.

Q: What’s next in your writing plans?

AP: A novel that revolves around relationships. And Then It Was Dawn is the working title of my second.

And here comes our rapidfire round:

Your favourite movie – Shawshank Redemption

The worst movie you’ve seen – Jaani Dushman. (Yes, I sat through the whole of it.)

Any secret habit? – Won’t remain a secret if revealed!

Actor you’d fall for in a heartbeat – George Clooney

Favourite book – Soul Prints by Marc Gafni

Fallback option when the fridge is empty – Zarda Pulao

What comforts you when things go bad? – A tight hug

Your most comfortable outfit – Long skirts & top in summer, tracks in winter.

Great interacting with you, Andy! Zarda pulao – sweetened rice – sound yum! You got away from sharing your secret habit very nicely! Spoilsport 😉 🙂


Love’s Labor by Andy Paula

The Blurb
Piali Roy has run away from home and the two stubborn men who love her. One is her beloved Baba; a rigid traditionalist, he refuses to accept anyone from outside her caste and community. And then there is Sathya, the unsuitable outsider. He loves her truly, madly, deeply and has even called off his marriage for her sake. Neither man will budge, and the small town of Jampot, where everyone knows everything, is not big enough for the two of them.
Away from their unreasonable demands, Piali strives to find peace in the mountains. But within six months, her lover tracks her down. Once again, she betrays the one by trusting the other.
Will her labor in the name of love be in vain, or will love transcend all differences?
Buy @
     The Book Club Presents Andy Paula’s Love’s Labour

Meet the Author


Andy Paula is a corporate trainer by profession and a writer by vocation. After the innumerable essays, poems, articles, editorials, congratulations & condolence letters she wrote for herself and others refused to satiate her writer’s Self, she finally put herself seriously to the task and wrote Love’s Labor,a romance novella that is now on Goodreads. 

To know more about the versatile author click here.

You can stalk her @




My interview on the Readdicts’ blog

My interview with one of the Readdicts, Janhvi

Author Interview- Ruchi Vasudeva (Bollywood Fiance For A Day)

Hey guys! Today we have with us Ruchi Vasudeva, the author of Bollywood Fiance For A Day for a fun interview. Do check it out 🙂
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m a medical professional who lives in Punjab with my husband, two kids and in-laws. Somehow I fell into writing and after much churning and rechurning out of words, my debut book was released this year. I also turned Professor of Physiology and thus August ’13 has become a landmark for me in both my careers. It feels really exciting to have made this far.
2. Describe your book, Bollywood Fiance For A Day in 140 characters or less.
She’s been jilted. He’s a superstar out for fun. He drives her crazy with annoyance till she  discovers that he has vulnerabilities too…
3. How did you decide to write Bollywood Fiance For A Day? What inspired you?
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly how it came into my mind. I was writing a story for the Passions contest held by Harlequin. I had this mental image of a girl who is facing an actor under the glare of cameras and is scared of them. Then the background of another story in which the heroine had been jilted merged into this and poof! I had the heroine true to life in my mind. I sent in the story and luckily I won the contest! Along with other prizes, came an opportunity to develop the story into a novel….read more at the blog http://thereaddicts.blogspot.in/2013/10/author-interview-ruchi-vasudeva.html

Get to know Adite Banerjie

Please welcome Harlequin author and dear friend Adite Banerjie. Adite is looking forward to the release of her debut book ‘The Indian Tycoon’s Marriage Deal’. Let’s hear more about the book and the writing journey from the author herself by the way of this question-answer session.

Q: Tell us something about yourself and how you got into writing?

Thank you so much, Ruchi, for hosting me on your blog.

I have been writing so long that I don’t remember a time I wasn’t! Soon after I graduated from college I did a course in journalism and I knew that I wanted to be a writer. After a fulfilling and exciting career in journalism I decided to switch to content writing and researching/writing about social development issues, and consumer and marketing issues. I tried my hand at fiction writing and got hooked to screenwriting. For several years I would crunch numbers and write reports during the day and lurk on screenwriting forums to learn the craft at night. Writing a novel was the only thing that I hadn’t planned to do.  LOL.

Q: Your experience of writing a book – easy as pie or hard as nails?

Actually a bit of both. There were times when I was writing up a storm and the book was virtually flying off my fingers. And there were times when I struggled to write even 500 words. If I wrote 100 words I would cut out 150!

Q: What motivates you to write?

My life pretty much revolves around writing. If I’m not writing a book, I’m working on a script or an article or my blog.

Q: What inspired The Indian Tycoon’s Marriage Deal?

I have always been a fan of Mills & Boon novels that had a revenge theme. And I knew that I had to write a story about a girl who wants revenge. The rest just followed.

Q: Please describe your book briefly.

Here’s the back cover blurb for “The Indian Tycoon’s Marriage Deal”.

 “Krish Dev needs to find a bride—and quick! With a marriage arranged by his father looming, Krish finds the key to his freedom in Maya Shome, but is this dazzling beauty really all she seems? Maya has only one thing in mind: revenge. But when the host of the most exclusive high society party asks her to dance what is meant to be an innocent tango leads to an engagement to Krish—her enemy’s son! Arranging their own marriage could work to their advantage…if they can resist mixing business with pleasure!”

 Q: Tell us about the main characters in your book.

Maya Shome is an independent young woman who has had a pretty tough life. She works as a landscape designer. After the death of her only parent she vows to wreak revenge against the man who ruined him. Krish Dev is the reluctant heir of his father’s business empire. But he has serious issues with his dad and besides he is setting up his own business project. He knows how manipulative his dad can be and will do anything to stay out of his control.

Q: How do you overcome writer’s block?

I have come to realise that a bad case of writer’s block usually means that there’s something in my WIP that’s not working. So I try to look at the problem from different angles and brainstorm different approaches and then go with the one that I think would work best.

Q: Does writing get in your way of life?

Someone very wisely said, “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” I think, in my case, the first one is infinitely easier than the second! LOL.

Q: What’s next in your writing plans?

I plan to finish a script that I have begun and am very excited about. I have just finished my second book for Mills & Boon which is set at a big fat Indian wedding.

And here comes our rapidfire round:

Favourite movie

Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (Hindi) and Casablanca (English).

Worst movie


Any secret habits?

They are best kept secret! J

Actor you’d fall for in a heartbeat.

George Clooney.

Favourite book

Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh.

Fallback option when the fridge is empty 😉

Domino’s pizza or any other takeaway!

What comforts you when things go bad?

Playing with my dog.

Your most comfortable outfit

T-shirt and jeans. 

Great answers, Adite! Lovely to have you here and looking forward to reading your book.

You can find her at:

Website :  http://aditebanerjie.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AditeBanerjieWriter

Twitter: @adite

Buy her book at :



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