Please welcome Shoma Narayanan to the virtual offices today! Shoma is here to chat about her latest Harlequin release, Secrets & Saris, which is part of the KISS lineup.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.
[Shoma Narayanan] Love writing, hate deadlines.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Secrets & Saris?
[Shoma Narayanan] "Secrets and Saris" is about a rather unlikely couple – Shefali, who’s beautiful, charming, and has been recently jilted; and Neil, who’s a young, gorgeous, single father. Shefali moves to a small town to escape the gossip after her fiancé doesn’t turn up for their wedding. Neil runs an award-winning TV show, and chooses the same town to shoot one of the episodes for the show. Sparks fly when they meet each other, and in spite of her vow to steer clear of men, Shefali finds herself more and more drawn to Neil….
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?
[Shoma Narayanan] The idea for the story came up during a visit to Jabalpur, the town where most of the story is set. I thought it would be interesting to explore the reactions of a rather conventionally brought-up, slightly spoilt big-city girl when she’s forced to adapt to small town life. And what happens when she meets a man who seems to have adapted perfectly to his surroundings, but is actually carrying a huge amount of baggage.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Shefali?
[Shoma Narayanan] Beautiful, determined, and just a little spoilt
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Neil had a theme song, what would it be?
[Shoma Narayanan] Difficult to say
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Shefali is never without.
[Shoma Narayanan] Her handbag – she carries half her life around in it
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Neil’s bedroom?
[Shoma Narayanan] Cigarettes; a clock; flowers
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Shefali’s greatest regret?
[Shoma Narayanan] Having blindly followed the plan her parents had chalked out for her without trying to figure out what she wanted for herself
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?
[Shoma Narayanan] The books I’ve read over the last 30+ years, right from the classics to detective fiction, to romance and chick-lit. Even non-fiction is an influence in a way.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?
[Shoma Narayanan] My laptop, my bean bag, and a good night’s sleep. Silence would be good as well, but with two kids I’ve forgotten what its like to have a quiet house.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?
[Shoma Narayanan] Romance: "The One That Got Away", by Kelly Hunter
Non-romance: "The Rational Optimist"
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?
[Shoma Narayanan] The first book I ever read – it was called "The Enormous Turnip", and I read it over and over and over again! And "To Kill a Mockingbird", which I read when I was considerably older.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
[Shoma Narayanan] Reading; various vaguely ‘artistic’ hobbies like painting cartoon character murals on my kids’ walls; sewing, knitting and crochet (the most fun part is bullying the kids into wearing what I’ve made). I work full-time in a bank in addition to writing, so I don’t really get all that much free time
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?
[Shoma Narayanan] Through Goodreads, or through my Facebook page:
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!
Print version available now, eBook releases June 1
About the book:
A secret that could cause scandal!Jilted at the altar, Shefali Khanna should be humiliated. Instead she takes the opportunity to start again. Top of the priority list: do not tumble headfirst into another relationship!
But even moving from the city to the country can’t keep Shefali out of trouble—especially when she catches the eye of local celeb Neil Mitra! There is no way she can risk a scandal already! He might be gorgeous, but he’s totally off-limits…right?
Extra bonus: included is The Wedding Dress Diaries by Aimee Carson, the prequel to our fab new quartet!
Read an excerpt here