Today on ye old blog I’m so happy to have my RWA chapter-mate and friend Falguni Kothari here to speak about her writing, life and her latest release Bootie and the Beast. Hi Falguni Thanks so much for being here today. It’s a real treat.
First off can you tell us a bit about your latest work work Bootie and the Beast?
Thank you for having me here, Kwana. The treat is mine, believe me, as I’d love to tell you all about the Beast.
As you can probably tell from the title, this book is a delicious metaphor of the traditional “Beauty and the Beast” with a voodoo/fate-tweaking bootie thrown in instead of a rose. (There is a rose involved but only as body art.) So, Bootie and the Beast is the story of Diya “Beauty” Mathur, a slandered Indian supermodel, who on her father’s angry insistence must hideout for a couple of weeks in Krish “the Beast” Menon’s Dallas lair. Beauty and the Beast have a long, bickering history and this cozy little marooning gives them a chance to deal with past issues.
For supermodel Beauty Mathur, life is one giant pink-colored party. For numbers man Krish Menon, life is all about control. She is vivacious, winsome and has a devil-may-care attitude. He is balanced, beastly and abides no nonsense. She jets about the globe, drenched in designer labels and inspires princely men to act out fairytales for her. He growls instead of talks, snarls instead of asks, and no one on the planet makes the Beast growl or snarl louder than Beauty Mathur.
Yet for all their differences Diya and Krish are friends—the rarest of friends.
When Diya gets embroiled in a shocking scandal that not only threatens her reputation but her single-and-fabulous status too, Krish steps in to protect her like he always has. But something is different this time. The Beast has a secret and Beauty will not rest until she peels it off him. The meddling has an unexpected result: it changes the status of Beauty’s relationship with the Beast forever.
What inspired you to write this story?
Diya is a secondary character in my debut romance, IT’S YOUR MOVE, WORDFREAK!
Even as an MC’s BFF, Diya Mathur was amazing and fun and the minute I put her in Wordfreak, I knew I had to give her a center-stage story. When Krish Menon (brother to Diya’s BFF, Alisha Menon) made his appearance, it was like a gong went off in my head. OMG! I thought, the BFF and the brother…the fashion model and the numbers man…how perfect. And it was…is perfect.
Do you feel your works are more character or plot driven?
Definitely character-driven. I always imagine the characters first. Flesh them out in my mind and the plot/issue they have to deal with comes in after.
What made you choose this genre to write in?
I love to read about HEAs and get unrealistically ticked off when a book refuses to give two people who are perfect for each other a happily-ever-after. It’s fiction, for heaven’s sake! You can allow fictional characters to be happy no matter what insane thing you have to do to get them there. I think it’s the Bollywood diet I’ve been on all my life. Bollywood cinema is big on romances and Shah Rukh Khan, the King of Romance, gives me the shivers.
This is a favorite of mine. Care to share the story of your “overnight” success with my readers?
I don’t know about “overnight” but yeah, sometimes it feels like that. About 5 years ago, my mother shook me out of my I-am-a-homemaker-and-mother-of-two-and-therefore-satisfied-with-life bubble by insisting I DO SOMETHING for myself. I got married young and did not finish college, so I thought why not jog down that road as I love reading and learning anyway. I decided to start with a couple of online classes at the community college, see if I could in fact study and give tests again. Surprisingly, all the online classes that I liked had something to do with literature or writing. I started with short and sweet courses, not too taxing. One of them was “How to Write a Romance Novel.” It was so much fun that I took another one on Grammar. By this time, I was hooked and had about half a manuscript down. A year later, I finished the manuscript and a friend who had read it pushed me to publish it. “There’s no harm in trying,” she said. “At the most, you’ll get rejected. What’s the big deal in that?” Other than my ego, nothing was wrong with that. But I put on my “brave woman” pants and looked into publishing protocol and found that in the US, I’d need an agent first. I didn’t consider e-pub or self-pub only because I thought until I know the business I’d rather have someone else deal with it. Of course, I was rejected—23 times for Wordfreak—but I did not get dejected as it was all too knew for me. Sometime amidst those rejections, I visited family in India. There, another friend suggested I chuck my manuscript at publishers in India, as my book was so “Indian” even if it wasn’t written in a typically Indian way. So, I did. And a few months later, Rupa Publications, India’s leading publisher, sent me my first contract. And that’s my success story. I know I have been luckier than most in many ways and believe me I do not take my fortune for granted for a minute.
What a wonderful story is perseverance. I love it! Lastly, can you share with my readers what we can expect next from you?
I am in the process of finding a publisher for my Urban Fantasy, a project that speaks to my soul, and is quite aptly called Soul Warrior: The Age of Kali. This story is what I got when I injected the Indian epic, the Mahabharata, with a heavy dose of the Avengers.
What am I working on? My current WIP is an unconventional love story between three soul mates.
Three soul mates! That sounds really exciting. Thanks so much for being here today and best of luck with Bootie and the Beast!
Folks you all can keep up with Falguni here:
All the best,