My latest baby, Asmara

Sometime in early 2015, I was beginning to slightly panic. I hadn’t written a word in all of 2014. It was a self-imposed sabbatical from writing because I’d already written ten books by then, seven of which were published by the end of 2014. I thought I needed to stay away from writing, recharge my creative batteries as it were. The moment 2015 rolled along, I knew I had to get started, but I had no idea what I was going to write.

I scribbled random notes, tried to get excited about it but nothing really worked. So I thought that it will happen when it will and well, it did. The main character, her motivation and what really drove the story kicked in suddenly one day, and I had a very brief concept note for this new book. Normally, I’m super lazy about naming my characters. I usually name them whatever pops into my head at the moment. And just then, for some reason, the name that came to my head was Asmara.

I was excited and sharing my excitement was Pooja, my friend and colleague (who’s responsible for this photo by the way). I showed her the concept note, fleshed it out a little, and then sent it off to a couple of publishers. Let’s say I was pleasantly surprised when it was snapped up by Penguin. Okay no, make that ridiculously pleased and shout from the rooftop happy when Penguin said they wanted to publish Asmara’s Summer.

Of course, I still had to write it. And that was what I was secretly worried about. I was ending this year long drought of words, with a book that had already been signed up by a publisher. What had I been thinking! What if I couldn’t write it? Or what if they hated what I write?

If you know me, you know that I try and avoid thinking of all this when I write. I write firmly inside my bubble where no one can get in unless I let them. So I devoted most of March and April to writing it and I finished it like way before my deadline was due. Ha. I still had my writing mojo, bitches.

Editing for Asmara began and whoa – I realised that Asmara was being edited by the world’s most stringent/dogged/tenacious editor I’ve ever worked with. Niyati Dhuldoya. Wow. I don’t think I’ve ever worked *this* hard at a manuscript during the editing stages, in my life.

Anyway, like they say, bringing out a book is like having a baby and after all that labour pain, you kind of forget what the fuss was all about and you want to have another baby too. Same here. I got excited about another idea the same year, August to be exact. This time I decided I was going to write the book and then send it out. And that was how my contemporary romance The Crunch Factor came about. Ahem. I haven’t announced this anywhere else as yet, but The Crunch Factor has been accepted at Hachette and is being published in November, 2016!

A year that began on a doubtful note, ended with two books being written and accepted for publication. I can only hope things get better than this!

You can ogle away at Asmara’s gorgeous cover, designed by Abhishek Choudhary. And yes, Asmara is officially published and there’s a book launch on 30th April at Atta Galatta. Do drop by if you’re in the area!

Asmara's Summer Invite

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