Nicola Marsh is the author of Busted in Bollywood, as well as many, many Harlequins, so if there is one thing that Nicola knows, it is romance! She was able to drop by the virtual offices to discuss her new book, and to share her influences for the story. Check out the giveaway after the interview, too!
[Manga Maniac Café] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.
Devoted mum, focused writer, jill-of-all-trades: chef, accountant, domestic engineer, physiotherapist, crazy hectic!
[Manga Maniac Café] Can you tell us a little about your book, Busted in Bollywood?
BUSTED IN BOLLYWOOD is an eclectic mix of contemporary romance/romantic comedy/chicklit/women’s fiction. ‘Sex and the City’ meets ‘Eat, Pray, Love.’
I think the blurb best sums it up:
Shari Jones needs to get a life. Preferably someone else’s.
Single, homeless and jobless, Indo-American Shari agrees to her best friend’s whacky scheme: travel to Mumbai, pose as Amrita, and ditch the fiancé her traditional Indian parents have chosen. Simple. Until she’s mistaken for a famous Bollywood actress, stalked by a Lone Ranger wannabe, courted by an English lord, and busted by the blackmailing fiancé.
Life is less complicated in New York.
Or so she thinks, until the entourage of crazies follows her to the Big Apple and that’s when the fun really begins. Shari deals with a blossoming romance, an addiction to Indian food and her first movie role, while secretly craving another trip to the mystical land responsible for sparking her new lease on life. Returning to her Indian birthplace, she has an epiphany. Maybe the happily-ever-after of her dreams isn’t so far away?
[Manga Maniac Café] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?
I became hooked on Bollywood movies a few years ago and thought, wouldn’t it be great to come up with a book that encompasses colour, vibrancy, drama, music, romance, theatrics and downright spectacle of Bollywood? So I made Bollywood the central theme and the characters evolved from there.
I wanted Shari, the main character, to be of mixed race, so she could explore her Indian background and incorporate that into her development. The rest of the characters revolved around her and strutted onto the page, demanding their own stories, which I’ve interwoven throughout the story (Drew, Amrita, Rakesh, Aunt Anjali, the Ramas all have tales to tell!)
[Manga Maniac Café] What was the most challenging aspect of writing Busted in Bollywood?
The research! I wanted to ensure I got my facts straight so spent many hours interviewing Indian friends, poring over the Internet and cultural books, and jotting down notes.
Research is so interesting it can be a distraction and the more I learned about Mumbai, the more I wanted to go!
[Manga Maniac Café] What are two things Shari would never have in her purse?
A lawyer’s business card (courtesy of her hound-dog lawyer ex, The Toad.)
Diet pills (she’s hooked on laddoos & dahl & lassi.)
[Manga Maniac Café] What is your favorite Indian dish? (Can you share a recipe?)
This is way too hard! I love so many Indian dishes, from Prawns Malabar to masala dhosai, dahl to rassam, sambhar to seekh kebabs.
I’ve been posting recipes for dishes taken from the book as part of my BOLLY-BITES blog tour, so can I cheat and refer you to my blog, where I’ll have all the recipes in the sidebar?
[Manga Maniac Café] What are your greatest creative influences?
I admire prolific, successful authors like: Nora Roberts and James Patterson. I know how hard it is to write a book, and the blood, sweat and tears that goes into each and every one, so to see how many books these authors produce a year, of consistently good quality…well, it’s inspirational.
[Manga Maniac Café] What three things do you need in order to write?
Peace. Focus. Inspiration.
[Manga Maniac Café] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?
Enid Blyton’s The Magic Faraway Tree. From the moment I picked up this book as a child I was enchanted with reading and my love affair with books hasn’t abated with time.
[Manga Maniac Café] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
At the risk of sounding like a total geek, my limited down time is spent reading. I can’t get enough of books!
Oh, and I’m hooked on social media! Love Twitter!!! Can’t shut me up
[Manga Maniac Café] Thanks!
You can find Nicola online by clicking the following links:
Now for the giveaway!
I have one digital copy of the fun Busted in Bollywood up for grabs! This giveaway is open Internationally. This is an easy contest to enter – just leave a comment sharing your favorite cuisine. Please leave an email address so I can contact the winner. The giveaway closes December 26th. You must be at least 13 to enter.