Aarti always wanted to be either a lawyer. Or a writer. So she tossed a coin and picked writer. Or rather, it picked her. Since then, she has valiantly struggled to put words to paper and bring characters and stories alive that make people sigh and laugh and enjoy every moment of. She has studied Journalism from Mumbai University, Creative Writing at Deakin, Australia and considers herself a student of life. Her three favorite words are, Happy-Ever-After. She is a Contemporary Romance Writer who has written several novels and published two. Her first book White Knight was published by Leadstart Publishing Pvt Ltd; in 2012 under the name Aarti V and her second book “Kingdom Come” was published by Harlequin India in 2014. She has written a short story in An Atlas of Love published by Rupa Publications. She loves Haagen Dazs ice-cream and dreaming up new plots for new heroes.
Thank you so much Aarti, for agree to this interview.
At the outset please tell us something about yourself.
At the outset, I would first like to thank you so much for having me on your blog. I adored your review of KC. Everything there is to be said about me, you’ve already said in the lovely intro you’ve given me, Arti. And it is a double pleasure to talk to a fellow Arti, albeit with different spelling. But if you do insist on knowing something about me, I adore French Fries. And I have given up on them for now because they make me sleepy when I should be writing.
How did you think of writing a book? Who/ What inspired you?
Kingdom Come was a labor of laziness, and then a frenzy of writing that happened in under one month. 27 days to be exact. I had always been fascinated with Kashmir and after visiting J&K in 2011 I was obsessed with setting a story here. But the story had to be equally special as the place and so I lazed around for a year before finally hitting on a hardened Bomb Defusal expert named Krivi Iyer and Akshay Kumar and Edgar Ramirez who are very much the inspiration behind the shaping of his character.
What were the challenges faced while writing the books?
White Knight is a story that is very, very close to my heart because it was the first novel I wrote that I decided was even close to “publishable”, if such a term exists. The challenging in writing it was that I stopped writing it back in 2008, while pursuing my Master’s in Australia. I only revisited it in 2010 after I had gotten my degree and started on a day job as a commercial content writer. Once I revisited it, all it required was a few weeks of diligent research, brainstorming with a pal of mine over the plot and I was off and running with the first draft.
With Kingdom Come, the challenge was time. The novel was to be submitted for the 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award by January End. And I heard about it on Christmas Day, 2012. Luckily, the plot came fully formed into my head once I really sat down to figuring it out and I could just get on with writing it as soon as my fingers hit the keyboard. And of course, the other challenge to writing KC was The Woodpecker. How far is too far, was the question I kept thinking of, when I wrote those parts.
I know it is difficult for an author to choose between her books, but which of the two, is closer to your heart?
You’re wrong, Arti. It’s impossible for an author to choose between her books. It’s like asking me if I want French Fries with salt or ketchup! Both of them are special to me in their own way. With White Knight I got to see my name as the writer of a book. And with Kingdom Come I got to tell a story that I loved, from beginning to end. But, gun to my head, I guess I WOULD have to say that it is Kingdom Come which is more dear to me, simply because it has been published with my favorite publishing house, Harlequin India. Two birds, one stone and all that.
Between all the characters that you have created, who is your favourite?
You don’t ask easy questions, do you, Arti? (laughs) If I have to pick an absolute favorite, it would be a tie between Ariana White from White Knight and Noor Saiyed from Kingdom Come. Ariana White is a red-haired firecracker of a foreign news reporter, she is my alter ego in a lot of ways, right down to her love of high heels. And Noor Saiyed is bubbly, chipper, vivacious and intelligent on a variety of topics from Fashion to Faust. And my heroes Brandon and Krivi are both yummy enough to be the man of any girl’s dreams, including their creator.
The covers of the books are very nice, did you have a say in designing them?
Well, Arti, I was asked to think about what I wanted the cover for White Knight to look like and I sent them a movie poster of “The Adjustment Bureau” And as for, KC, I believe the technical term used is “iterations” and the end result was the fabulous cover everyone adores, including.
What kinds of books do you read? Who is your favourite author? Has any author influenced your writing?
I read mostly fiction. Thrillers, romances, chicklit, fantasy, young adult, young adult urban fantasy and the classics too. My most favorite author in the entire world would have to be Nora Roberts. I read her when I was 16 and I have been hooked onto her words ever since. She is the epitome of what all good writers should achieve with their writing. To not just write, but to inspire a generation of future writers.
When you pick up books to read, what is your favourite genre?
I am afraid, the answer is romance. I absolutely adore romance of every kind.
Which book are you currently reading?
I am reading India was One by An India, Paul Hoffman’s “The Left Hand of God” and contemplatingpicking up Adite Banerjie’s next without meeting her, because of your lovely review.
Both your books are thrillers, what is your next book like? When is it scheduled for release?
Both my books are romantic thrillers, not just mere thrillers, Arti. And as for my next book, there are two that I am currently writing. One a romantic thriller for Harlequin India, and another a traditional romance for M&B, as well as one in the pipeline with Rupa. Releases for all of them should happen as early as next year. 2014 belongs to Kingdom Come.
Any words of wisdom for aspiring authors?
It’s hard. It should be. All good, worthwhile results comes from toiling hard. But if you have an irrepressible imagination and access to a keyboard, get started on it today. It’s never too early to start typing “Once Upon A Time…”
Social Media links of Aarti V. Raman for people to find/follow/like
Goodreads: Aarti V Raman
google+: +Aarti V Raman +kingdomcomethebook
At Crossword, Landmark, Granth and other Bookstores
Next on the Author Interview Series: Interview 14 Shuchi Singh Kalra 0n 27th July 2014