Sumeetha Manikandan, a freelance content writer is an English literature graduate with a journalism and mass communication diploma. She lives in Chennai with her husband and daughter. After a decade long career in dotcom industry, she started working as a content writer from home. She wrote her debut novel, ‘The Perfect Groom’ as a script for a serial, which she converted into a novella for Indireads.
Thank you, Sumeetha, for this interview.
From a dotcom industry to writing a novella, Sumeetha, could you please tell the readers about yourself?
I live in Chennai, Mylapore with my family. My husband is a film director and an ad-film maker. We have a six-year old daughter called Rakshah. I am home maker/freelance writer/hands on mom/cook/cleaner all rolled in one J I am like any other home maker except for the fact that I write J
You work as a content writer, what inspired you to write a book?
I have been writing stories, scripts (plays) for a long time. Most of them are tucked away in my laptop J I was inspired to write Perfect Groom because of a phone call from a relative who gushed about her soon-to-be-son-in-law in many glowing terms. When I kept the phone, I kept wondering what if the son-in-law turned out to be like ‘Ashok’ who is inspired from real life. Years ago, I had heard an anecdote from a friend of mine who told me about the not-so-perfect marriage of a friend’s friend. What would happen if your ‘perfect groom’ turned out to be someone like that? That’s when I started writing.
Did graduation in English literature with journalism and mass communication diploma help you writing?
It certainly did. I got into the habit of writing thanks to my Lit professors in college.
Is the book based on someone you know or heard of?
Nithya and Ashok are based on real characters. About 85% of the book is based on the real story of this couple.
What were the challenges faced while writing the book?
Many. One of the main things was the length of the novella. Ideally it ought to be within 100 pages but mine is around 150 pages!
The cover of the book is very nice, did you have a say in designing it?
Yes. I was very particular about the Southern flavour, as the book delves deep into the Tambrahm culture of Mylapore.
What kind of books do you read? Who are your favourite authors?
I have been a bookworm since I was young. I read across different genres; Historical fiction, Historical non-fiction, science fiction, romance, historical romance, crime thrillers etc. I have a huge list of favourite authors – J.K. Rowling, George R.R. Martin, Cecelia Ahern, Marian Keyes, Sophie Kinsella, Gerald Durrel, Mary Jo Putney, Mary Balough, Erik Von Deniken, Zecharia Sitchen.
Which author has inspired you the most?
I love Marian Keyes for the depth of her characters.
Which book are you currently reading?
Right now, I am reading Robert Galbraith’s (Aka J.K.Rowling) new book, Silkworm and Zecharia Sitchen’s The Wars of God and Men.
What is the next project that you are working on? When is the next book scheduled for release?
My second book is with the editor. It will be published by Fablery and Half Baked Beans as a paperback sometime this year J
Any word of wisdom for aspiring authors?
Keep reading, writing and reading.
Thank you once again for sharing your thoughts with your readers.
Social Media links of Sumeetha Manikandan for people to find/follow/like
Here are the links for Sumeetha’s book:
Next in Author Interview Series: Interview 10: Tanu Jain on 19th July 2014