Thank you for dropping in to talk to me.
I really enjoyed reading ‘A Royal Affair’ – let’s talk about it since it is my favorite from you so far.
Hi Reet. Thank you so much for having me over. Great to hear that you loved ‘A Royal Affair.’
How did the idea come about, to write an inter-racial romance? Was it a difficult one to write?
I don’t know how I got the idea to write an inter-racial romance as most of my story ideas seems to come in from nowhere. But the origin might have been somewhere in the ‘Who do you think you are’ series that I binge watched a long ago. It is a show on BBC where celebrities go in search of their lost ancestors. In ‘A Royal Affair’, Jane is coming to India in search of a lost relative. Her being the ex-girlfriend of an Indian Prince added a romantic flavour to the story.
Tell us something about the Prince – the hero of “A Royal Affair”? Why do you think readers will adore him? Will they?
Vijay is the contemporary Indian royal. Upright, loyal and still longing for the girl he had once loved and lost. He is different, yet, like any other man, he is vulnerable when it comes to the matters of the heart.
Do you look for images to inspire you when you are creating characters? Care to share some of those images here?
I do. For ‘A Royal Affair’ I used the images of a younger Akshay Kumar for Vijay and the actress Odeya Rush for the role of Jane Worthington.
I have a Pinterest board dedicated to the book as well. Do check it out.
Preethi, I found that the conflict and sensual undercurrents between the protagonists was well handled. How do you manage that? How hard is it for you to write about the physical relationship?
Thank you! It means a lot when an established author like you says so. It comes with the flow I feel. Some scenes come fully formed while some others demand tons of rewrites.
We have to feel what the characters feel and put ourselves in their shoes to do justice to the writing. It is not at all easy.
Rightly said, Preethi. What is your favorite genre to read? How has it influenced what you yourself write?
Romance. I guess that genre made me a romance writer. I believe what we like reading is what we can write easily. The words/scenes kind of get embedded into our brain and comes out in different combinations and permutations.
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?
My first published short story, ‘The Arabian Dream’ was based on a true story. It was the story of my Indian manager at Dubai Metro who had struggled a lot initially in Dubai. He narrated the story to us Indians during a party and explained how he was trying to give back the happiness the desert paradise had bestowed on him. Years later, when I was searching for a real-life story to pen down for an anthology, it was his story that popped into my mind first.
How interesting! Anything else?
Also, the Mangalore plane tragedy was the trigger point of my novel ‘Without You.’ The plane and the route were the ones we had used many times in our travels.
Tragic, but that’s what writing is about – the muse can come from anything, anywhere…
Of all the attributes of a well written story, which is the one that pleases you the most?
Beautiful narration. Even if the plot is awry I can read a book entirely if the prose is beautiful.
What one or two things absolutely irritate you in a book, and would most certainly make you put the book down immediately?
Characters lacking depth and redundant paragraphs.
I couldn’t agree more…
When do you write? What is your writing space like? What do you use, pencil/pen and paper, or a gadget?
I write whenever I am free, which is a rarity nowadays. I use my laptop for writing. For plotting, I use pen and paper. Plotting happens better on paper.
Your advice to starting authors – one thing they MUST do and one that they should NEVER.
One thing they must do: Read more books.
One thing they should never do: Never lose hope or your writing mojo just because you’ve received a vitriolic review.
Thank you so much Preethi, for giving us a glimpse into your life as an author.
Here’s where you can find Preethi Venugopala