Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Next Big Thing

Okay, if you are expecting conference tidbits, you'll just have to wait ... because Faith tagged me and I can't pass up a chance to talk about my book. This is the same one that got the third prize in the Carolinas writing contest.

What is your working title of your book?


EMERGENCY

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I lived through this period in India (1975-76) without really understanding what happened. Political opponents were imprisoned, journalists were censored, and personal freedoms of common citizens were severely restricted, and I just went along with whatever I was told to do. Years later, when I was a post-doc at Purdue, I picked up Rohinton Mistry’s A FINE BALANCE. I avoided reading it. But when I was finally ready, I could not stop reading and remembering and putting pieces of the puzzle together. I still think about those characters and their lives … and so it was very natural for me to turn to this period to ask the questions I am still struggling to answer.

What genre does your book fall under?

Historical Fiction.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I see all my stories as movies in my head, so I have definite ideas. I don’t watch many Bollywood films, nor do I know the names of various actors and actresses, but I’d love an Indian Kate Winslet, someone like Madhubala and Gopi Krishna (in their prime). I looked up some current leads and I’m leaning towards Kareena Kapoor and Shahrukh Khan. And if you’ve never watched Bollywood movies, go check some out. They are almost all musicals with tried and true plots.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

More than anything, Reshma wants to become independent, but the political climate in India forces her to endure toxic relationships until she finds the courage to not only escape, but take her family with her.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Traditional route.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Ahem, I don’t rightly know. This is a book that I wrote in fits and starts, because I was doing lots of magazine work and work-for-hire. I also scrapped the original draft midway because it had everything in it – political unrest, industrial accidents, prime ministerial assassination, along with love and betrayal, and religious conflicts. Did I mention time travel? It had that too. Thud! When I finally ironed out the plot, it took me a couple of years (yes, still sporadically) to write it. By the way, any writers out there looking for advice, this is how-not-to-write-a-novel.

May we see an intro?

Of course!

I left my childhood dolls behind and became a woman the year Faisal thundered into our lives on his blood-red Honda.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Hmmm, the only fiction set in this time period I know of is Rohinton Mistry’s book and it’s an adult book, not YA. The closest would be Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. However, if you like the books of these other authors as well – Arundhati Roy, Jodi Piccoult, Sara Zarr, and Khaled Hosseini – you will like my book.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Rohinton Mistry! I didn’t even know I was going to be a writer until I had my babies, but he (along with AJ Cronin) planted the seeds. Shortly after I bought his book, I took out a half-used biochemistry notebook and started writing random thoughts.

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?

Aspects of Hinduism, Islam and Christianity. Oh, and food. I have lots of food in my book. In fact, I am incapable of writing a book without food in it. Bring on the samosas, the jilebees, the naan, and curries.

I am tagging these five writers to have a peek into their books:

Marcia Hoehne

Bish Denham

Molly Blaisdell

Mystery Robin

Nelsa Roberto

Please play! And let us know when you do. Thank you. 

Conference tidbits coming soon! I promise.

***

Rules of The Next Big Thing:

*Use this format for your post
*Answer the ten questions about your current WIP (work in progress)
*Tag five other writers/bloggers and add their links so we can hop over and meet them.

Ten Interview Questions for the Next Big Thing:

What is your working title of your book?
Where did the idea come from for the book?
What genre does your book fall under?
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
May we see an intro?
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?

***

10 comments:

Marcia said...

These peeks into new books ARE fun. And thanks for the tag!

Bish Denham said...

Good one Vijaya! I'll be posting it at some point. Not sure when yet.

Alisa J Kaczor said...

Vijaya, your book "EMERGENCY" seems to be interesting to read. You have created the curiosity in me to read it and will definitely love to read it.

Qualifications on a resume

Mirka Breen said...

I'm a customer also, Vijaya.

Amy L. Sonnichsen said...

So fun to read more details about your book, Vijaya. It sounds amazing! (And mentioning the Indian food made me hungry.)

Faith E. Hough said...

I can't wait to read this! And, yes, I admit that you could probably suck me into any of your stories using only your confident writing and mentions of food...
Seriously, though, this sounds like one of those life-changing stories.

Vijaya said...

Thank you so much, ladies. It's both nerve-wracking and thrilling to talk about a wip, so I appreciate the support.

Carol Baldwin said...

I like the first line of your book. Intriguing! Hope your writing journey goes well.

Joyce Moyer Hostetter said...

I'm hooked, Vijaya. And not just because of the food either although I really want to read about that.

Vijaya said...

Thank you, Carol and Joyce.