*** SPECIAL FEATURE - December'13 ***
About the Author
Ruchi Vasudeva is a doctor by profession, a teacher by vocation and, in her own words, an author by destiny. The writing bug has long resided in her and a contest held by Harlequin for Indian authors gave her a golden opportunity to have her dream realized. She debuted in August '13 with her book 'Bollywood Fiancé For A Day'. Her new release 'You Can't Fight A Royal Attraction' is her second book, both being published by Harlequin. She also won a contest for getting a short story published with Harper Collins which will be published in December. She writes romantic fiction with conflicted characters who come into their own in their quest of reaching out for love. She loves to write about spirited heroines getting hurtled out of their daily life as soon as they cross paths with their rather challenging heroes.
She lives with her husband and two kids. When not bent double over the laptop, she might be found with her nose in books or munching nachos at the movies or glued to the telecast of Team India or Chennai Super Kings in action! She likes to take long walks which help in brewing story ideas.
A Chat with the Characters from You Can’t Fight A Royal Attraction
Today I have Rihaan and Saira for an interview here at b00k r3vi3ws blog. Thanks, Debdutta, for the center stage and a chance to host my well loved characters. Thanks too, for the nice tea and thoughtfully provided chocolate cake. Looks yummy and so totally hard to resist while I wait for them to arrive. Ah, the wait wasn't long! Here is Saira!
(Saira walks in.)
Saira: Hi Ruchi, great to see you.
Me: Hi Saira, wonderful to see you as well and looking fab as usual. Orange and black, what a nice combo and I love the pleated chiffon skirt!
Saira: Thank you! Well, you know me (smiles and winks) Clothes are my thing.
Me: Where's Rihaan? Would you like tea while we wait? (Pours and hands her the teacup)
Saira: (accepts) Thanks, I guess it's early for cocktails yet. (grins) Rihaan? He's still working on his story. You know what he's like – well of course you do! You're to blame for his tendency to get lost in the story he's creating. Do you realize how much trouble it is? Last Sunday he walked out of Aragham's birthday party that we were attending at Vishakha's and I had to chase him down to the beach where he was working out his plot twists. And he got me thinking it out too, so we nearly missed the cutting of the cake!
Me: Oh oh that is bad. But look here, you didn't complain when he acted absentminded the last time he was thinking about his script? (widens eyes innocently)
Saira (Blushes) Now that was...what can I say...kinda cute! And don't make it sound so scandalous because you know it wasn't. It wasn't anything it shouldn't be!
Me: Mmm, do I sense a note of accusation in that?
(Rihaan comes in at that moment.)
Me: Hi Rihaan!
Rihaan (smiles a rakishly attractive smile): Hi Ruchi! (Leans over to peck Saira and takes a seat): I see you’ve started without me? When the man is away, the ladies love to get all chatty!
Me: Is that even a phrase? I've never heard of it.
Rihaan: I can create phrases. It's my job after all. Working on words, with words and through words. (Tips imaginary hat in an olde worlde gesture and gives another heart stopping smile.)
Me (in an aside to Saira): I can understand how you fell for him. Oh those sherry eyes!
Saira: (whispers back.) Pure wine and as heady in their magic. You have put me in trouble, haven't you? (sighs)
Me:I guess I totally have. (Clears throat and says more normally) So shall we start, Rihaan?
Rihaan: All set Ruchi. Though I have trouble understanding why you're interviewing your own characters. You're supposed to know us through and through and inside out. Isn't that how it goes?
Me: Know you? You particularly? That's something like climbing Mount Abu. You aren't that easy to decipher, my dear Rihaan. Not easy at all. You think it was easy to figure out and write what you were all about? Let me tell you it was like trying to peel the cover from the maize seed or trying to break into a chakravyoh out of the epic Mahabharata or delve into the deepest ocean...!!
Rihaan: I get the picture. (Holds up his hands) My apologies. I really had no idea I was being tough.
Me: Oh I forgave you when you finally began to talk. Anyway the purpose isn't for me to know you but to get you acquainted with the readers.
Rihaan: Go on then. What do you want to ask?
Me: How do you feel about getting to know her?
Rihaan: Well she's, you know, spicy, quirky, fun to be with. It's been a topsy-turvy ride trying to figure out what I felt for her and then it had just begun. But now looking back the uncertainty was all trivial. What matters is now. I feel my life totally changed knowing her. (Looks across at Saira with such feeling that I start to blink emotionally)
Me: Oh Rihaan! (Dabs eyes.) And Saira? What do you say about your life before Rihaan?
Saira: I was lost, you know. I mean I knew myself and I've stood up for my beliefs. But then a part of me, the loving part, had been through a frightful experience. I'd forgotten how to trust. Even distrusted my own decisions. Meeting Rihaan wasn't problem solving. Far from it. When you're determined not to open your heart and then you find the doors are cracking up... (Smiles back at Rihaan.) Well, suffice to say I led him quite a dance. Yes, I acknowledge it!
Rihaan: She made me dance in more ways than one, it's true.
Me: And do you agree you've both quite different in temperaments?
Saira: Sometimes we think quite alike. In all the ways that matter anyway. (winks) But yes I do see that at times our wavelengths collide. For instance he's so protective and traditional. But then he comes with surprises that leave me breathless. There's a different side to him too.
Saira: Ruchi, don't pretend as though you haven't an inkling! You haven't forgotten when he went doing something like kissing me in front of his family?
Me: Yes well, that surprised me too. They're so starched collar too. So Rihaan what do you say to that?
Rihaan: Being nontraditional? (nods towards Saira) She brings that side out in me.
Me: Ah, so you were all good before she came into the picture. Is that so?
Rihaan: Noo, I don't deny, I have sowed my share of wild oats. Wild parties, late nights. Yes, been there done that. So it wasn't being disapproving of having fun. Or being stuck up in my thinking when I frowned at her. It was just maybe...having remained without fun for quite long, it kind of grew on me like a blanket of creeping moss and I couldn’t shake it off until she came along.
Me: Awww. Those days are so over. But you had to make some tough decisions, didn't you?
Rihaan: Yes, this was war against my deep seated emotions. This was something I had to come to terms on my own. So the process happened and...(looks across at Saira)...it was all worthwhile.
Me:*sniff* (Gets misty eyed again)
Saira: (speaking softly looking at Rihaan) He is used to hiding his feelings. A lot reserved nature so it was difficult trying to figure him out…
Me: I sympathized a lot with her then. Now tell me Rihaan. Why do you keep yourself so closed up? Always with fists shut tight. Totally unrevealing.
Rihaan: It's a thing of past. It all had to do with what happened in my life at a certain time. The shock had subsided but not really worn off. So I'd become used to keeping myself aloof. As I said it's all gone now. Not a part of me any longer.
Saira: (gasps) That's a lie! Just last week you had something with you and you haven't told me about it at all. It's lying in the bottom drawer. And you locked it. You're still keeping secrets, Rihaan...!
Me: Oh really? Interesting. Are you?
Rihaan: You think? (cocks an eyebrow at Saira) And you have no idea what it is?
Saira: None at all. Is that you call being open and sharing? I swear I thought the secrets were all done between us.
Rihaan: So you want to know what it is.
Saira and me together: Of course!
Rihaan: Okay but there's a caveat. It's a sharat. You have to promise you won't yell when you see it.
Me: (eye roll) Oh not that line again!
Saira: I know from past experience he won't relent so I might as well agree now. (to Rihaan) Okay, I won't.
Rihaan: Well, I thought I had got a bit too busy working on my latest script so we’d better take off for a few days, so I got us tickets to the Amalfi coast. Thought you’d like to taste some Italian wine. (winks at Saira)
Saira: Oh my God! Oh my Gawd!
Rihaan: (touches ears gingerly) She never was any good at keeping rules!
Saira: Oh Rihaan! (clasps him around the neck and begins to get teary )
So might as well leave these two love birds, what do you think? So I get up and walk out of there. Tactfully. At the door, I must pause and take your leave.
'Bye. Hope you enjoyed meeting Rihaan and Saira. Well matched, aren’t they? I'll just take one more fond look at them clinched in embrace and exit the scene.
So did you like getting to know Rihaan and Saira? What are your impressions of them?
Do you keep secrets? Do you get irritated when someone keeps one? :) Let me know in the comments!
Her Latest Release
The last thing Rihaan needs in his life is to play host to a woman who drives him crazy! Saira is gorgeous, yes, but she’s also wildly infuriating. Yet every time she comes within an inch of him he finds his normally iron-clad control slipping further and further away…
Wanting to protect herself from more heartbreak, Saira knows she should keep her distance from Rihaan —but there’s something about him she just can’t seem to resist… Little does she know that Rihaan is hiding a secret! When it comes to light will it tear them apart —or raise their passion to new, more majestic heights?
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