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Friday, March 20, 2015

BOOK CLUB FRIDAY--GUEST AUTHOR ADITE BANERJIE

Today Adite Banerjie sits down for an interview. Adite, who lives in New Delhi, India, is both a screenwriter and an author of contemporary romance and romantic suspense novels. Learn more about her and her books at her website. 

When did you realize you wanted to write novels?

I started exploring the idea of writing fiction about ten years ago. Back then, though, I was more interested in writing screenplays and did a bunch of online courses to learn the craft. It was a fascinating and rewarding experience and I ended up writing several spec screenplays. I was also commissioned to write a drama feature based on a true life story. Writing novels happened quite by accident when I came across an ad for a romance writing contest organized by Harlequin India for aspiring authors.

How long did it take you to realize your dream of publication?

Much faster than I expected! After winning the Harlequin India contest, I was mentored by one of their editors to turn my short story entry into a 50,000 word book. Soon after I was contracted to write four books for Harlequin. Two of these have been published.  My debut book, The Indian Tycoon’s Marriage Deal, came out in 2013 and the second book, Trouble Has a New Name,  will be out as a Harlequin Special Release e-book in N. America in April 2015.

Are you traditionally published, indie published, or a hybrid author?

So far I’ve been traditionally published but I do have plans to go hybrid.

Where do you write?

At the dining table amongst all the chaos of everyday life.

Is silence golden, or do you need music to write by? What kind?

I don’t need music to write or silence. Thankfully, I can turn on whatever I’m in the mood for in my head. ;)

How much of your plots and characters are drawn from real life? From your life in particular?

All my characters are inspired from real life in some way. For instance, I had been on a trip to Kashmir where I met a lady who had the annoying habits of the interfering, advice-spewing Agra Aunty who features in my book Trouble Has A New Name. Apart from that particular aspect to the character, everything else about her is fictionalized.

Describe your process for naming your character?

My characters so far have mostly been Indians and therefore their names, too, are Indian. Sometimes I tend to name my characters depending on their personalities. For instance, in Trouble Has A New Name, the heroine is called Rayna (which means Night) because of her dusky complexion and the hero’s name is Neel (which means blue). Since the story is set in the beautiful Andaman Islands, the name Neel also has a resonance with the setting.

Real settings or fictional towns?

I prefer real settings but sometimes it could be a fictional place within a real setting. The ‘Emerald Isle’ in Trouble Has A New Name is a fictional island, which is set in the real archipelago in the Indian Ocean.

What’s the quirkiest quirk one of your characters has?

Rayna has foot-in-mouth disease.

What’s your quirkiest quirk?

Reading the last ten-twenty pages of a book first!

If you could have written any book (one that someone else has already written,) which one would it be? Why?

I would have loved to write Gone with the Wind. I love the canvas, characters, dialogues, description, historical setting…everything!  You can never forget the book or its characters. If I were to write GWTW, though, I would set it in South Asia.

Everyone at some point wishes for a do-over. What’s yours?

I don’t like do-overs. If things have gone really badly, I don’t want anything to do with it anymore!

What’s your biggest pet peeve?

I wish I had more hours in the day to write more books and all the books on my humungous TBR pile. Sigh!

You’re stranded on a deserted island. What are your three must-haves?

My Kindle. My hubby. My dogs. (In no particular order)

What was the worst job you’ve ever held?

I have been a journalist, a content writer, a screenplay writer and now novel writer and have enjoyed every one of my jobs.

What’s the best book you’ve ever read?

Too many best books on my list. My top favorites are: GWTW as already mentioned, Amitava Ghosh’s Sea of Poppies, Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner, Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak, William Dalrymple’s The White Mughals and many, many more.

Ocean or mountains?

Ocean

City girl/guy or country girl/guy?

City girl

What’s on the horizon for you?

Am currently finishing up a romantic suspense for Harlequin. After that I will be writing another romantic comedy.

Anything else you’d like to tell us about yourself and/or your books?

Someone once asked me what is your “brand of romance”? My answer: heartwarming romance with a dash of Bollywood. These two-hour-plus movies, with their blend of traditional family values, changing mindsets and romance, make for a unique mix, which unfold through a combination of song, dance and plenty of action. A typical Bollywood flick is a mix of romance, comedy and full-on drama. And of course, a hot hero and dreamy heroine. I try to bring in these much loved elements of Bollywood films into my books.

Trouble Has a New Name
Will you pretend to be my fiancé for the next few days?

Recently single model RaynaDutt does not feel like flying to her friend’s big fat Indian wedding. But she does—and when a mix-up with room allocation forces her to share a luxury villa on Emerald Isle with the gorgeous owner of the hotel Neel Arora, best man at the wedding, things begin to look up.

Until Rayna’s ex turns up with a new girl on his arm!

Hitting the panic button, Rayna searches for a solution. Surely Neel wouldn’t mind being her fake fiancĂ©…? In an instant the attraction they share is at fever-pitch, but when scandal comes calling Rayna soon finds herself in more trouble than she can handle!

2 comments:

Angela Adams said...

Enjoyed the interview, Adite. And, I love your book cover. Especially, considering that where I live in the Northeast, snow is coming down.

Charmaine Gordon said...

The joy in your life is reflected in this interview. Best wishes from New York where the snow is welcoming spring.