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.
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.