Guest Post: Varsha Dixit on the Right and Wrong series coming to an end

Varsha Dixit is a writer who I am, as a reader and reviewer, totally proud of! Her Right and Wrong series (Right Fit Wrong Shoe, Wrong Means Right End, and Rightfully Wrong Wrongfully Right) is one of the most enjoyable series I’ve read and I’ve loved all three books, especially the last. Her books have so many emotions floating around that it’s hard to escape the whirlwind.

With Rightfully Wrong Wrongfully Right, her very popular series has come to an end. As a reader, departing from characters that I’ve been connected to for so long is very emotional experience. And I’ve always wondered how it is like for the author, who has given life to these characters!

Well, Varsha was kind enough to let me know her experience!

Here’s what I asked her: 

You’ve come to the end of a really fun-filled series. How do you feel about it? How easy or difficult was it to come up with the series? Was this how you had planned it always or did the stories come as divine inspiration?

And this is what Varsha has to say:

When I started writing Right Fit Wrong Shoe in 2006 it was more of a cathartic process. Grieving over my father’s demise whom I was extremely close to, I needed something to bring equilibrium. Something that was far removed from the emotional turmoil I was undergoing. Thus I started writing random thoughts and disjointed story ideas. The idea that appealed most to me was a story of best friends. Friendships have always played a very important role in my life and continue to do so. Friends are the family we choose and I have to say I chose well. Just like my two pivotal characters – Sneha and Nandini.

Aditya Sarin was not supposed to feature so largely in the book. However with Nandini and Aditya’s first meeting, on paper, I realized that these two need a book of their own and so did Sneha. Thus a series was born.

When I envisaged Gayatri I thought of her as a quintessential vamp but with a back-story. Even my bad had to have some good, some logic. Thus came Gayatri’s strong bond with Nikhil and why it existed in the first place. That is how ‘Right and Wrong’ series became about three women in three different phases of their lives.

Now that I have written, ‘Rightfully Wrong Wrongfully Right’, the last book in the series, I feel exultation that all my characters have found their happy ending. However, somewhere inside of me there is a certain ache that I will no longer be writing about the shenanigans of – Gayatri and Viraj, Sneha and Nikhil and Nandini and Aditya. These characters have lived with me since 2006 so there is definitely a void. But I’m an optimistic person and cursed or blessed with an overactive imagination. Thus even though, I will never forget Nanindi, Sneha and Gayatri and their better halves, my journey as an author is far from its end. There will be new characters, crazy plots and more books. For every end is a new beginning.

Thank you Nikita for inviting me to do a guest post on your blog and I wish you the best in all your writings. Good luck to you and your wonderful readers.

Varsha Dixit is the bestselling author of contemporary romance. ‘Rightfully Wrong Wrongfully Right’ her latest book released in August 2016. To find out more about Varsha and her books visit her website www.varshadixit.com or her author page on Facebook. Twitter: @Varsha20

Guest Post: Sundari Venkatraman on what she’d like for the paparazzi to ask her!

Sundari Venkatraman is undoubtedly one of my very favorite authors. She has everything that takes for one to be a celebrated author: talent, dedication, discipline, passion; all of this is proven by the breakneck speed at which she publishes her novels.

As her beta reader for many of her projects, her reviewer, and an ardent fan, I know for a fact that it isn’t long before she becomes a hot shot celebrity author. 

And it was this that inspired my question when she graciously agreed to do a guest post for my blog.

Here’s what I asked her:

We all dream about being those hot shot celebrity writers someday who the paparazzi goes crazy for. What’s the one question you’d like to be asked when you are interviewed on a national platform one day? And of course, what’ll your answer be?

Over to you Sundari:

Thank you for the thought-provoking question Nikita. And yeah, it’s a tough one 😀
I agree with you when you say that we all aim to be hot shot celebrity writers. The question that I am looking forward to answering the paparazzi is:
Journo: Why did you go independent? Isn’t being an indie author more difficult?
Sundari: To begin with, I didn’t have a choice. I had my books first on my computer and later on my blogs as serials, as I kept receiving rejection after rejection from publishers around the world. Luckily, that never stopped me from writing. 
All this time, the Universe had a different plan for me and it fell into place when I met Rubina Ramesh online. After reading a couple of chapters from a serialised novel on my blog, she asked me if I had ever thought of self-publishing and even pointed me towards Rasana Atreya, a famous indie author. As they say, the rest is history. 
The journey has not been easy. But then again, I wouldn’t call it difficult. Yes, it has been extremely challenging. I have a host of people to thank for my success. My beta readers, my cover artist, all the bloggers who have patiently read and reviewed my books honestly and most importantly, my readers who have made me what I am today – a world famous author. 
I am extremely thankful to Amazon for having made this possible. Life for an indie author has been simplified due to the advent of Amazon. They are the best partners to have on your side. 
Blog tours by The Book Club have been a powerful support for marketing. I realised along the way that I also have a flair for social media marketing. When the marketer and author work shoulder to shoulder, they can create magic is what I see from my experience. 
Yeah, being an indie author is an exhilarating journey, one that I completely relish. 

Guest Post: Author M V Kasi on her badass heroine Mahi

Manya’s book That Same Old Love is certainly something that would be on the lost of most romance readers. Mahi, Manya’s heroine in the story is not your conventional heroine-she is as bad as your regular vamp! I was intrigued by why Manya created Mahi the way she did, and here’s what Manya had to say:

Nikita: Your book’s blurb introduces your heroine as someone with a bad past. A heroine with a dark past isn’t conventional. What made you go down that route?

Manya: Most of the popular romances are about tortured heroes with a dark past whose life is brightened by the love of the heroine. But I’ve always been more fascinated with complex heroines who have had a bad past, and have various hang-ups and issues. When I watch a movie or a TV series, it’s the vamp or the supposed baddie who fascinated me more than the too sweet, bubbly or perfect heroine. I always kept thinking—why was she like that? Did something or someone make her that way?

And so I wanted to write about someone different. Someone a little wild and maybe a little crazy. Someone with a dark past. My lead character, Mahi deals with her past in her own way. The things that happened to her in the past have shaped her thoughts and behavior. They made her stronger in certain aspects and weaker in some.

My hero, Samrat falls in love with an imperfect but loveable character like Mahi, rather than simply take the easier route.

Read my review of this intense and passionate romance here.

Guest Post: Summerita Rhayne on the dos and don’ts of writing romance fiction

Nikita Jhanglani:
According to you what are the dos and don’ts of writing a romance novel that every aspiring author should stick to.

Summerita Rhayne:
Hi Nikita. Thank you for having me on your blog and giving me the opportunity to share my views here.

The absolute dos that a romance novel needs are these:

Two main characters. My books are M/F romances so they involve a male and female but that is up to the author.
A happy ever after. That is a must. In all romances, things must be resolved and the couple must confess their love and the desire to be with each other forever. Nowadays, a happy-for-now is replacing the HEA in some lines but speaking of personal preference, I go for the mushy endings, both in reading and writing romances. The happy-for-now mostly works if the story is in series form.
Emphasis on emotional conflict. Romance novels are character driven and not plot driven. There’s nothing more off-putting in a romance than characters jumping from one event to another without rhyme and reason. What I find gripping in a romance is the emotional ups and downs. The core question in any fiction is how a character chooses a particular path instead of another when the personal stakes are high but it’s asked most eloquently in romances.

The don’ts are all relative in my point of view. You need them according to the publisher you are working on. Some publishers require Alpha males who are filthy rich so that the fantasy element is fulfilled. Some will require you make the heroine beautiful so the attraction-at-first-sight trope is fulfilled. The list is endless.

Here are the don’t s which I follow:

Use secondary characters sparingly. In romance novels, secondary characters are distracting. Especially if you’re writing a novella upto say 50k words, you just don’t have space to do justice to your main characters let alone complicating it with others. However, secondary characters add fun to the story and provide support to your main cast. So be judicious in their use. If you get over-involved you lose sight of your story goal that is to provide a convincing resolution for your protagonists. Secondary characters are also tempting because they provide inspiration to the author to pen their individual stories. In that case be careful you don’t spend too much time in introducing them in the current book. You might lose reader interest as they are not so familiar with the characters who are occupying a large apart your headspace.
Another heads up: don’t name every person who is present in your story. It’s easy to confuse the reader especially in the beginning. Just stick to naming a few secondary characters who are appearing quite a few times in your story.
Don’t depend on external factors to work out the trouble of their characters. Make the hero or heroine the ‘hero’ of your story. They have to work on their problems. Let them sweat it out, let them lose, then have them win through their own efforts. For instance, if the hero’s recalcitrant mother agrees not to trouble her future daughter-in-law, what’s the hero done here that’s worth achieving? Let it be seen that the protagonists takes the courage in both hands and take risks to get success. Hero is someone who beats the odds to come out winning. At the last moment don’t make somebody else the hero of your story. To be extra emphatic, don’t turn your characters into puppets. Keep them in charge.

There are a lot of other factors which make a story work but they are beyond the scope of one post. I’m myself discovering many of them. Follow me at http://www.summeritarhayne.com where I share what I’m learning during my writing journey.

Romance lovers, writers and readers, what are your dos and don’ts for romance fiction? Do share, I would love to hear your point of view.

If you love romance, do check out Against All Rules.

Thanks again, Nikita. I enjoyed being on your blog.
Ciao! 

 

Liked this? Then maybe you’d also like to hear what Summerita has to say about switching genres. Read what she shares on Jami Gold’s blog here.

Guest Post: Sundari Venkatraman on her journey, as a writer, so far

Nikita Jhanglani: In all this time of your journey as a writer, how would you describe your graph? What are the areas where you think you’ve grown well and which are the ones where you think you’ve come to be a bit laid back?

Sundari Venkatraman Thank you for the question Nikita Jhanglani! I was not a writer till I was 40 years old. I couldn’t string two sentences together on paper while I could talk hundred to a dozen in the Queen’s language since age three. Once I began writing, I couldn’t seem to stop. I wrote three full-fledged novels – The Malhotra Bride; Meghna & Sangita’s Dilemma (to be launched Valentine 2015) in the span of five months. I tried my best to get them published contacting a number of publishers in India and around the world without any success. Discouraged, I stopped writing and hunted for a job. I got one in Mumbai Mirror in 2005. After that, I worked till 2011 (for Network18 from 2007-2011), still not successful in finding a publisher. I realised that I wanted people to read my books and began to blog away my novels in a series called “Cupid Strike Series”. That is where I wrote one more novel The Runaway Bridegroom and half of another novel Simha International before Double Jeopardy happened with Indireads. Double Jeopardy kept me busy for almost a year with a lot of back and forth. It was also during that period that I honed my skills as an editor and proof-reader, when I worked on nine novels for Indireads. With no luck trying to publish my earlier novels via Indireads, I jumped at Rubina Ramesh’s suggestion of self-publishing on Amazon. Beginning February 2014 when The Malhotra Bride – my first self-published novel was launched Amazon – I must say my journey as a writer has taken off like a rocket. Between writing, re-writing, proofing, publishing and marketing, I must say that I have come a long way and have not had the time to remain laid back. My plan is to publish four books per year with an anthology of romantic short stories titled Cupid Strikes to be published in December 2014 (the fourth one this year). I have chalked out the four books to be published till end of 2015 too.