Two books down and many, many more to go, Falguni Kothari, is home maker-turned-author, currently based in New York and I am very grateful to her for agreeing to this interview. It’s your move Wordfreak was published in 2012 by Rupa & Co and Bootie and the Beast by Harlequin India in 2014. She has also written a short story, Scrabbulous Impressions in Femina. Thank you so much, Falguni, for agreeing to this interview.
Hello! I am happy to be here, answering these questions 🙂
How did you think of writing a book? Who inspired you?
I didn’t think at all. It happened quite by accident. What I mean is that several factors tumbled together that led me toward writing. Like my children demanding less and less of my time, my mother insisting I “do something” that will “fulfill me” in a positive way and, last, my need to at least try and attempt to get a degree. (I dropped out of college in my second year and got married, hence no degree. I know. Yikes!) So anyway, I decided to pursue my interrupted education, slow and easy, try a few online courses that would set me on my path of credentialed brilliance. What I found and took was a 6-week course on “Romance Writing Secrets”. It really was as fun as it sounds and long story short, I became hooked on the character that I’d written for my “Introductory Scene or the Meet Cute” assignment. The character was Alisha “Worddiva” Menon. And the rest is her and his story J
Regarding who inspires me…every author I’ve ever read, every movie I’ve ever seen, every story I’ve ever heard. I’m easy that way.
You are a homemaker. How do you manage to find time to write?
Dereliction of kitchen duty? No, I’m kidding…sort of. I write when the kids are at school or get up insomniac-ally early when the mood strikes…sometimes at 2 or 3 in the morning. Best time to write, I believe. It’s a noiseless world in the middle of the night—just my crazy tales and me.
The plot of your first book revolves around an architect, a lawyer and scrabble. How did this come about?
Well, it all began with Scrabble. I’m addicted to online Scrabble and have been known to play 30 to 40 games at a stretch. So, when I got the Introductory Scene assignment for the Romance course, I knew I wanted it to be about Scrabble. Secondly, some of my friends were dating people they had met virtually and the idea of anonymous chatting fascinated me. So, now I had the “Meet Cute” of the story sorted out. Then it was just a matter of imagining what type of people might meet over a game of virtual Scrabble, flirt outrageously enough to impress one another, and impress one another enough to actually want to meet. My then obsession with interior design led to Aryan’s being an architect. I also felt…feel very strongly about Earth’s environment and you’ll find references of that nature in most of my work. I wanted my heroine to be empowered and almost mannish in her thoughts. A divorce lawyer seemed to meet those requirements.
Scrabbulous Impressions- a short story is actually a preview into Wordfreak. Did you ever think of adding it as a Preview into the book?
That’s up to my publisher whether they might add it to a future reprint or not. I wrote SI after Wordfreak was released, and specifically for Femina as part of Wordfreak’s publicity. And I believe several readers were quite put out that I hadn’t shown the scrabbulous bantering between Wordfreak and Worddiva and felt cheated that the book began with them already meeting.
Your second book, Bootie and the Beast, is a kind of continuation to the first one, but can be read even without reading the first one. Did you think of the second book, while writing the first one?
Absolutely! Diya popped out of the pages of Wordfreak and refused to fade into the background. J She’s that kind of character and I had to give her a story. Also, I personally love reading book series. You know that dialogue from Om Shanti Om? “Picture abhi baki hai, yaar!” I think it’s true for books too. I hate it when some books end and wonder what might be happening beyond the last page.
The covers of both the books justify the saying, “A picture speaks more than words”. How much say did you have while designing the covers?
Quite a lot with Wordfreak. My editor at Rupa Publications asked me what I envisioned on the cover and I gave her my views, three of them, and I have to say, the cover designer came pretty close to one of my options. With the Beast I was asked for no input at all and even then Harlequin Mills and Boon India managed to get into my head and design an incredibly attractive cover.
I know it is difficult for an author to choose between her books, but which of the two, is closer to your heart?
Well, Wordfreak, because its my first and because it was such a surprise. I never intended to write a whole freaking novel, remember? And when I did…it was like OMG! I’ve written a whole freaking novel! Now what do I do with it? See, I hadn’t even thought about publishing. I was literally dared into pitching Wordfreak for publication. I am so glad I took the dare. But while Wordfreak is my first baby, Bootie and the Beast was far more fun to write because, really, Diya is such a crazy character and so completely my opposite that I had a blast bouncing about in those Lady Gaga heels for a time J
You have mentioned that you are an avid reader. Can anyone who is an avid reader write books?
I don’t believe every avid reader can write books. But every avid reader will know exactly the kind of books he or she might write if they could. There is some small skill involved in crafting a story, even a simple love story, ya?
Who is your favourite author? Any author who has influenced your writing?
I have many, many favourites and they have all influenced me. Instead of choosing from the humungous list, let me tell you what I’m reading right now:
An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon. It’s my second time reading the book in preparation for the release of the eighth book in the series: Written in my Heart’s Own Blood.
What is the next project that you are working on? When is the next book scheduled for release?
I cryptically refer to my work-in-progress as LUHU, which is a story about fated love. Or ill-fated love, in this case. It’s not a traditional love story as it’s threatening to turn into a huge sob fest—Nahin! I write happy stories and I should stick to them. When the heck did a sob fest take root in my head? Anyway, we’ll see how much of a sob fest I can handle in the next two months.
As to what’s scheduled next…I have begun pitching a kickass urban fantasy—Book 1 in The Age of Kali series. I have a few nibbles on that rope and will let you know as soon as someone bites.
Any words of wisdom for aspiring authors?
Don’t take short cuts. Be determined and feel the compulsion to not just FINISH writing your story but writing it well. Be patient. Publishing is not a quick spin around the block, it might take years for you to get published so be prepared for that. Writing is hard work on most days but if you love words, it won’t be work.
Thank you once again for sharing your thoughts with your readers.
It was a pleasure J
Social Media links of Falguni Kothari for people to find/follow/like:
If you are interested in Falguni Kothari’s Books, here are the links:
- Harlequin India: http://www.hqnindia.com/series/indianauthor
- Flipkart: http://www.flipkart.com/bootie-and-the-beast/p/itmdv3drqmxjgqsk?pid=9789351065067&otracker=from-search&srno=t_1&query=bootie+and+the+beast&ref=9e18052b-a541-42a8-b58e-3eff2b9a7ade
- Amazon India: http://www.amazon.in/Bootie-Beast-Falguni-Kothari/dp/9351065065/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1398098298&sr=1-2
- Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bootie-Beast-Indian-Author-Collection-ebook/dp/B00KM0ZQ4S/ref=pd_rhf_eebr_p_t_1_RZEY
- Mills and Boon UK: http://www.millsandboon.co.uk/bootie-and-the-beast
Next in Author Interview Series: Interview 5: Bhargavi Balachandran on 9th July 2014