*** 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 Quick Recap of the Posts this Month
1st December : Introducing the Author
8th December : Romantic Heroes Rule
15th December : Character Chat with Rihaan & Saira
22nd December : How Research Shaped My Book
A Chat with the Author
Your Bio says that you are ‘a doctor by profession, a teacher by vocation and an author by destiny.’ So tell us about your journey till you finally threw caution to the wind and decided to write…
Thanks for hosting me here, Debdatta.
All of these three roles are interwoven in me, so I think. I'm a professor and HOD now and I love explaining my subject. Interacting every year with a new batch of students is extremely fruitful, especially when you see them settling down in the next year. As for writing, it had been a distant goal on the horizon. What actually made me take the plunge was a story that came to me while I was travelling on the bus. In that the main character loses his chance because he procrastinates, thinking of things as 'might be done some time'. That was my view towards writing too and maybe it was my subconscious reaching out at that time. I began to see that like that character I was putting a goal on hold too. So then I decided to write and try to get published.
When and how did you first decide that it was time to take that chance to publish your work?
While I was struggling to formulate a story, I wrote to my target publisher Harlequin Mills and Boon. They're UK based and I wasn't sure they'll consider work from an Indian author. In reply, surprisingly I received a printed copy of their guidelines and a personal note from the editorial. Really, who and what could be more encouraging than that! I studied those guidelines by heart. Then I got to know about the Passions contest by Harlequin for Indian authors and it was just fortuitous.
Do you have some unpublished work, written before ‘You Can’t Fight A Royal Attraction’ that is closer to your heart?
Not one but many but I won't say they are closer to my heart. All stories and characters I've crafted are special to me. I wrote a total of about nine shorts, novels and partials before my story was selected for Passions lll. I believe it was good practice and helped me find my 'voice' as writers call it.
From conceiving an idea to marketing the book – it’s a long process. Which part of it did you enjoy the most?
Well, developing an idea is obviously interesting. It's a new germ, you're excited about it. The characters begin to say their piece... Then when you write, you begin to see what will or won't work but the words are adding up so it gives you the sense of exhilaration. Then comes the editing. That is the toughest process because you spend so much time debating over what should go where and if a particular sentence sounds better this or the other way. From then on it gets even tougher because your editor sends revisions. You make lists of changes, scratch your head over how to incorporate them while still keeping the flow of your original writing. As if that wasn't enough, there are the edits. So you can further delve into sentence re-structure and re-formation. By then you're almost exhausted re-reading the same manuscript. But all this is forgotten when you get the book cover and when finally the book is launched, it packs a wallop of excitement. Add to that sharing with friends and family. Nothing can beat that sense of achievement. Marketing, well I'm still learning the ropes so won't say much except it takes a lot of time which I would like to spend writing. So overall, I'd say writing the book and its launch is the best part for me :)
When you write, do you get into the character and decide the course of events or do you shape them as the plot requires them to be?
I do have the situation in mind when I start but when characters come on the page, they take over almost completely. Mostly I get surprised as the plot turns out something totally different from the one I vaguely planned.
Why did you choose this particular genre? And as a reader is this your favourite genre?
Yes, it is. I used to read a lot of Mills and Boon and as I said they were my target publisher starting out.
All writers are readers first… Who and what are your favourites?
My favourite authors are Georgette Heyer, Agatha Christie and Sidney Sheldon. I love to read Erle Stanley Gardner, P.G. Wodehouse and Sherlock Holmes too. My favourite book is Pride and Prejudice. I think it's the template for all romantic fiction. I read quite a few Harlequin lines as well.
Do you think your favourite authors have also had an influence on your writing style?
In the initial year, yes, it did quite a lot I think. I used to write like the late Penny Jordan (HMB author) as far as long sentences were concerned. She was the only author I've read who could frame a whole paragraph out of a single sentence and still not confuse the reader. Gradually the habit dropped off on its own.
Ever suffered from writer’s block? What is the best way around it – especially if you are on a deadline?
I think deadline in itself is the best recourse for a writer's block. At least for me! On occasion one does need to get recharged, so reading and taking walks helps one to get back. But most of the time, writer's block is nothing but uncharted characters. If your characters are in place, the writing will have momentum.
Some rapid fire questions:
Your favourite movie:
The Mirror has two faces and in Bollywood, it's Waqt (oldie one)
Your favourite genre of Music:
Pop...Enrique Iglesias style and melodious Bollywood film songs, especially by Atif Aslam
Your favourite Cuisine:
Your first celebrity Crush:
My mom used to tell me it was Rishi Kapoor but I don't remember that. Whom I do remember is David Hasselhoff of Knight Rider *smile*
Top thing on your Bucket List:
To write a book that would sell a million copies *laughs*
Poirot or Ms.Marple: Poirot
Ocean’s 11 or Die Hard: Die Hard
Tea or Coffee: Both but tea in the morning :)
Pizza or Pasta: Both again :)
Dystopian or Fantasy: Neither but if I had to choose then Fantasy
What would you like to say to the people who haven’t read your book yet but are contemplating on whether to pick it up or not?
Hmm, here goes...have you ever made a bad decision in your life? Have you had your plans upset and no idea of what to do next? In this book, Saira is facing some really bad consequences of her actions and trying to piece back her life. At this time, getting drawn to Rihaan is not a good idea. Especially when he refuses to share his past with her. Will they succeed in fighting this attraction? And what when Rihaan's revelation complicates things even more...?
So has your curiosity been piqued? Go buy this book then :)
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?
Stalk the Author
Here's your chance to win a copy of Ruchi Vasudeva's book for Yourself! Enter the rafflecopter below to try your luck and 'May the Odds be Ever in Your Favour'
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