An interview with Preeti Shenoy, and a signed copy giveaway

Preeti Shenoy is a dear friend, a wonderful, warm person, and also one of India’s best selling authors. Her books have all been on the Nielsen top selling books list, and her latest It Happens For A Reason is on the Crossword Bestseller list and also on Nielsen in the top 10. Here’s a quick interview with Preeti on her writing, her influences and her readers.

preetiIt_Happens_For_a_Reason (1)

How did the plot come to you?
Honestly I don’t know! At any given point of time I have a hundred plots running through my head. I can make up a story about anyone I see. (In fact I am doing that many a time. Thank God, they cannot read what goes on in my head!). But I can tell you that Vee is a lot like me! She loves dogs, fitness and her relationship with her son is exactly like what I have with my own son.

What is your writing process like?
My writing process depends on what I am writing. If it is a blog post that I am writing, it is mostly spontaneous. Something strikes me and I badly want to share it. I open blogger and start typing it out on the blog itself. I just read it once and then hit publish. After that I go back and recheck typos and grammatical errors that I might have made, in a hurry to get my thoughts out!

If it is a newspaper column, then I draft it in word and it would be revided at least 8 times before I send it off. Touchwood, I have never missed a deadline. (I write a regular column called Sex and the City in the Financial Chronicle)

If it is a novel I am working on, then it is planned in detail. I usually have whole chapters outlined in advance. I would know exactly what the end would be and what other things would happen in the book. Once I start writing, it flows freely.

I can work only in complete solitude. I can’t work when people are around.

How important is discipline for a writer?
The importance of discipline depends on what the writer wants to achieve. Discipline is essential in any field if one wants to excel. A champion swimmer is at the pool at 5.00 am, come rain or sunshine. An athlete does the same. So does a dedicated yogi. A gardener has to tend to his plants every single day if he want the garden to bloom. Why should it be any different for a writer?

Who is the reader you write for? Describe him or her for us?
Anyone who believes in friendship, love and who likes to read contemporary fiction. All my books are set in places I have lived in. Many readers tell me that they know someone exactly like the characters in my books. Sometimes they see themselves in my characters.

What has been the most interesting book you’ve read recently? And why?
I just finished ‘Nadia knows best’ by Jill Mansell—a very light read,a romance. I wouldn’t say it was ‘most interesting’ but it took me back to my UK days and I could so relate to everything she was describing. The most ‘interesting’ would be Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman as he effortlessly blends reality and fantasy and kept me hooked right from the beginning to the end.

Synopsis: When Vipasha, Vee to friends, eighteen and single, makes the decision to have her baby, she does morethan give up her promising modelling career. Sheends up cutting ties with her family and with Ankush, the man she thought she was in love with. Fast-forward sixteen years and she now has two unusual careers: she runs a dog-boarding facility and is a gym instructor. Aryan thinks she is the coolest mom in the world and hopes she will one day find her Prince Charming – exactly what her best friend Suchi has in mind for her. But Vee secretly has a thingfor Saurabh, the quirky vet.Then, out of the blue, Ankush comes back into their life. But can a decision that was taken at eighteen – more in the throes of lust than love – be the basis of a lifelongrelationship? Is there a future for Ankush and Vee? Vee, Aryan and Ankush are in for the ride of their lives. No seat belts, full speed and a very bumpy road ahead.

Two lucky readers get a chance to win a signed copy of It Happens For A Reason. Ask Preeti any question in the comments section here, she will choose two of the most interesting questions to answer and they win signed copies. India addresses only, and Preeti’s decision is final and binding.

The giveaway ends two weeks from today on January 26, so send in your comments/questions before that.

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54 thoughts on “An interview with Preeti Shenoy, and a signed copy giveaway

  1. Dear Preethi, Do you ever had ‘Writers Block’? If so how did you dealt with it? Block could be that words were not coming or the medium / time for writing was unavailable. Most of the times for me, when I have content to write either I am tied up with some work or I don’t have my laptop. By the time I get all things, the moment of writing is gone and I am blank..

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    1. Hi sandhya,
      I have never had a writers block! The thing is I write only when I feel like it. Else I have my other pursuits like art and photography. And at any given point of time I have a hundred things to say! So for me, it is like I am fighting with what ideas I should use.
      I think going out for a walk, doing something you do not usually do, exercising–all of it will help deal with writers block.
      good luck with your writing!
      preeti

      Like

  2. I have read “Once upon a crush” and have loved it. Yes, I tweeted about it too! I wish I could get my hands on “It happens for a reason” too!
    Preeti – I loved Scattered Windows, Connected Door. It was so much different knowing you through that. Will part 2 ever come? Share a bit about your experience there. Thanks!

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    1. Hi Parul,
      What did you like about that one? Do let me know. I am curious!
      I have no idea about part 2.
      ‘Knowing me through that’ I guess is subjective to what was shown in that. I still think the best way to know me is through my books 🙂
      preeti

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Once Upon a Crush was a fun book to read. I like the way it progressed – friends, crush, boss, love and such cute things.

        Through SCWD, I got to know you (Preeti) as a person – how much you value family, how you moved to writing after your greatest loss in life, how blogging and writing heals you and such good stuff. I am sorry, I haven’t read your books (and I hope I get a signed copy here) but I got to know about you when SCWD was screened at my office. Since then I have followed your blog and your twitter handle. Only a good person can be a good author and think that is the reason you are such a good and famous author.

        Parul

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Preeti,

    My question is You have been listed in the Influential People of India by the Forbes, thats a great achievement. Congrats.

    How did you feel when your first book was published ? Have you been rejected by the publishers for any of your books ? What was your feeling when your name was listed in Forbes ? Your advice for the upcoming writers ?
    Thanks.

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    1. Hi Fraon.
      I haven’t thought of collaborating at all. I think that will take a huge amount of matching of wave lengths, writing style and many other things.
      If I collaborate, it is likely to be with satish!
      Thanks
      Preeti

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    1. Hi sid.
      There is no one worst review. There are so many. All you have to do is go and see it on flipkart or goodreads. The thing about bad reviews–it makes you introspect and see if there is truth in what the reviewer has said or if it is coming from a place of jealousy and hate. If it is the former, i work hard on improving my writing. (and I think I get better with each book). if it is the latter, i say a prayer for the poor soul. 🙂

      preeti

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  4. Dear Preeti, my question is that as you make up the characters, can you relate to them at some point of story of their life. Do you cry with them too and laugh when they do funny things. Your characters are part of yourself, so this is just a simple question of how much are you attached to your characters? 🙂

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    1. Hi Aayushi,
      Yes I very much do. For a little while I am inside their world. I laugh with them, i cry with them and I have a great time when they do, and when they are going through a problem, it affects me too. I am very attached to them, during the process of creation.
      But once they are out in a book, they are on their own and then I am involved with a new set of characters. My world is fun, intense , chaotic at times! And I wouldn’t have it any other way!
      Preeti

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  5. Congratulations for the success of It Happens For a Reason.
    I had gone for a vacation to Kerala and I had your book with me. I don’t know why I had not started reading it. Probably it was not the right time. But then on the third day of the vacation a strange thing happened. I was trying to reach someone I am close to. But he was preoccupied with something and had no clue that I was worried back in kerala about what was happening at another part of the country in Kolkata.
    I did not know what to do. That’s when I started reading the book. And I could relate to the part where Aryan went for the trip and how Vee thought she had lost him. I finished the book that night. It was the 24th of December and this is how I had spent christmas eve. Next morning things were better. You were there through bad times. Thanks 🙂
    Write soon. Already waiting for the next one.

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  6. Dear preeti,
    Eagerly waiting to get my hands on it happens for a reason.
    My question is.. An author in her authors note wrote that she went through too much of depression and her family even consulted a psychiatrist and the treatment even lasted upto two weeks. Have you ever gone through such things.. Have you ever cried while writing or reading an emotional scene(of course your books!).. 🙂
    And a person someway or the other can relate themselves to any one character from your book..does It happens for a reason r it happens just like dat. :p
    Hope she answers.
    And thank yu kiran manral

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    1. Hi Abirami,
      I have never mentioned anything like that in any author’s note of mine. So i am presuming you are speaking about another author who did that.
      Yes, I do get involved with my characters and laugh and cry with them. (Not physically of course–just inside my head)
      Glad you can relate to my characters!
      preeti

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  7. Firstly I will say you are one of my favourite writers.(Not Flattering) Your two books- Secret Wish List and Life is what you make it inspired me like hell.
    As I have already read lot about writers interview, books reviews and of course books too.
    I have always one question in my mind, what kind of influence writer needs to write about, or why the Girl or boy is so perfect, flawless and best. We know 90% of people are not best in their own lives, they don’t fit best in their own relationship, an they about others.
    Why writer prefers to write about so perfect people and prefect relationship ?

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    1. Hi Shaila,
      My characters are never flawless or perfect In fact each and every character of mine has a little bit of grey in them. They are never faultless. That is what makes them human.
      I don’t think a perfect relationship can ever exist. My books are deeply rooted in reality and they do reflect that.
      I don’t know about other writers but my characters live in a flawed world with their flawed selves!
      preeti

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  8. I won’t lie….this novel..”It Happens For Reason” is the book I read written by u. I had heard a lot about u and ur novels. But I was waiting for this one which could be my first read novel written by u.
    I simply loved it. I was totally addicted to it. After studies….I used to read it late night, in middle of my classes etc.

    I too have a fascination of writing fictions. They r actually movie scripts rather than fictions. I write stories with interval, end, characters etc. People say I have good ideas and imagination for stories.
    But my problem is that I am not able to transfer my entire imagination and ideas into WORDS. I have typed my stories.

    My question is little wierd. I just want the BEST writer to read my fictions at least once and give their reviews.
    Plzz ma’am, this is my only wish I have. How to mail my fictions to u?

    I know u may be a busy person. But plzz take time and think about it. Plzz answer me.

    Finally….all the very best to u for your upcoming novels…

    thanku… 🙂

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  9. Hello! First of all, congratulations for yet another best-seller! Read all your novels and really like your writing style and the way you craft and define identifiable situations and characters.

    My question to you is “As an artist (Not just a writer), what does Creativity mean to you? And how do you think about implementing it in various fields of life (I have noticed it many times)?”

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  10. Thank you Kiran Manral for the wonderful interview and this opportunity to get our question answered by Preeti Shenoy and win a signed copy. My question is would you like to share a few dos and don’ts (what/how to and not to write) that you have learnt over the past years as a writer. Thank you 🙂

    Like

  11. Hello Preeti,
    Congratulations on all your achievements. I have been following your blogs and articles and have read most of your books. I feel that you write on topics that most of them consider a taboo. You have been honest and outspoken on your blogs / articles.

    My question to you is “Being a woman, Have you ever been criticized or condemned for writing on such topics?”

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    1. Hi Solomon.
      What are the topics considered taboo? Extra marital affairs? Older woman-younger guy? sex? Bipolar disorder?
      I have no idea whether people ‘condemn or criticize’ behind my back, because I am too busy working on my next one! Also I get such a lot of praise , so i guess my words must be resonating with many.
      preeti

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Ma’am, do you face problems with specific characters or situations while writing? For example, you may be writting a situation but after writing 80% of the situation you are not sure how the characters should react while maintaining consistency with their characterization upto that point? If so, how do you deal with such problems? Thanks.

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    1. Hi shreyas,
      I plan everything when I am writing. So I am well aware of how the story will pan out. I do find that at times, my characters will not listen to me. They take a life of their own! It is always interesting when that happens as it is a problem that I like solving.
      In the end, I make them listen to me 🙂
      Always.
      preeti

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    1. pratikshya,
      My agent is in talks with production houses. So let’s see who plays them eventually!
      But if I were to do the casting— Bipasha Basu for Vipasha 🙂
      Ranvir kapoor for Aman.
      preeti

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  13. Our schools end, memories do not. And those sweet memories always succeed in making us smile. So mam, please share one such incident of your school time that manages to bring a smile on your face no matter what.

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    1. Hi Kirti,
      What a sweet request!
      I have used an incident of a bag being exchanged in the book ‘The Secret wishlist’. That happened to me while I was in school and it still makes me smile 🙂
      preeti

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  14. We would love to have your autobiography to appreciate the journey you have undertaken to be what you are today in this fiercely competitive world. I know it would be an inspiration for many.

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  15. Hello, I was wondering if I could ask more than one questions. If not, then it’s okay but if yes, I’d like to post two more questions.

    My question is:

    “Things that can ruin a story/writing.
    And “Is there any particular genre you find difficult to write? If yes, which one? And why?”

    Thank you! Best wishes…:)

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  16. Thanks for this opportunity Kiran. Question for Preeti – Do you write scenes as they come to your mind & later do the stitching as appropriate or the whole flow happens sequentially ?

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  17. Hello ma’am 🙂 being a 15 year old,your books be it life is what you make it or secret wish list wish list bery book has helped me grow a little more 🙂 your books have been such an inspiring array of pages that taught me that hope is alwaus stronger than fear.:)
    I have two questions..
    1) if you lose your memory and all you know is that you’re a writer by profession,what kind of a novel would you pen down? ( you have no clue about your previous novels genre either)
    2) if you were asked to write a novel about how you met your husband and the journey till here what would be the title of the novel and what would be the ending lines of this novel? 🙂

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    1. Hi Deeksha,
      You are only 15 and you like ‘The secret wishlist’ ! Why? Is it because you have the same name as protagonist (although a different spelling) ? 🙂
      My answers to your questions
      1.Probably dark, depressing, scary with absolutely no hope at all where the protagonist has lost his/her moral compass.
      2. Title would be ‘How I met your father’ 🙂 Ending lines would be ‘Amen’ 😀
      preeti

      Like

    1. Hi meera
      Never would I want to change the ending of any of my novels. I am very happy with the endings of all my novels. They were all carefully thought of and planned.
      I do want to take out a few stories from ’34 bubblegums and candies’ (It’s a non-fiction book) because so much has changed since then.
      preeti

      Like

  18. It happens for a reason is really amazing.I loved and enjoyed it.

    My Question is-Why the crime by Damodar was left unpunished?Was justice done to Zoobi & Shiro?A crime left unpunished always has sad and regrettable feeling.At some point of time,I felt I may come across Damodar facing the consequences for his actions.We sometimes want to read a bit out of the real world also.

    Thank you

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    1. Hi Halima
      Glad you enjoyed it.
      Maybe damodar got infected by a horrible incurable disease and suffered a lot.
      What justice to Zoobi and shiro? Didn’t get that.
      yes, it is very much rooted in reality. The perfect story doesn’t exist. If it was a perfect story, it wouldn’t be a novel. It would be a fairy tale!

      Like

  19. Thank you all for the wonderful wonderful questions .
    I have made every effort to give you all answers to the best i could. Hope it helped.

    A big thanks to Kiran for hosting this. Kiran as always is generous, kind and such a sweetheart.

    The winners of this giveaway are Deeksha and Aayushi
    Do send me your full postal addresses with phone numbers on ps(at)preetishenoy(dot)com
    Congratulations and a big thanks once again to all of you who took time to ask me questions.

    Like

  20. Warm Greetings Preeti ma’m ! I’m a great fan of your work and I eagerly wait for every book of yours and also follow each of your blog post …. I have a question for you ma’m… As most of us have seen , Indian writing involves an understanding a totally different culture from the rest of the world and most of the contemporary Indian writings tend to receive a wide appreciation on a national level rather than at an international level.. My question is what is the scope for Indian writings on an international level ?

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  21. Parul–I totally loved ‘Once upon a crush’ too! In fact have tweeted and blogged about it. I wasn’t asking about that. I was asking about SWCD.
    Thank you for your kind words. That one shows just one side of me–the side they chose to portray. 🙂 Glad you liked it.

    Like

  22. Hi, I am Sandy. I Have read “Life is What You make it”. In that novel Ankita was the protagonist. You are describing about Ankita in Epilogue.Who is Ankita? whether she is a real character or it your autobiographical element………..Please reply……..Thank you…….

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