Serving Hot – Sizzling September Stories

Aloha Readers !

We bring you a sneak peak into our sizzling hot releases of September- fill your shelves !

 Indian Writing – Mills & Boon Romance 

A Perfect Mismatch- Leena Varghese

 What’s The Story…

 Once, Armaan Malhotra was Zara’s secret teenage fantasy. Now, they find nothing right with each other! Zara is a spirited woman, fiercely guarding her hard-earned independence as a chartered accountant. An orphan, her mother’s indiscretion has haunted her life. Armaan is a celebrity artist, with a deep-rooted aversion to commitment. Born in an old business family, his father’s infidelity has rocked his beliefs. Zara finds Armaan callous and insensitive. Armaan finds Zara stubborn and rebellious. Both find it impossible to trust anyone. When under pressure from Armaan’s mother, they agree on a short term arranged match, things turn chaotic. Soon the undercurrent of tension and attraction turns into skirmishes, flaring up into a full-fledged battle on their honeymoon. Could they let go of their fears and let desire transform into deep abiding love forever?

 

 Meet the Author

Leena Varghese lives in Mumbai with her husband and two boisterous kids. Amidst the cacophony of a tumultuous household and managing her illustration work, she squeezes in the time to give vent to her creative passions such as writing and painting. She loves to experiment with various media including oils, watercolours and pastels. Leena firmly believes that everyone comes into the world equipped with an umbrella for the rainy days. Anyone can be creative enough to turn lemons into lemonade, topped with iced pragmatism. A life spent in learning and doing new things even when failure stares you in the face, is a life well lived indeed. So trying your hand at just about everything that comes your way is a good idea to keep yourself alive and kicking! Her mantra for happiness is to never be complacent and always keep evolving. This is Leena Varghese‘s debut book for Mills & Boon®!

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Easy to read but tough to write – By Shoma Narayanan

The topic I started with originally was “Easy to read books are the toughest to write”.  Never having written a tough-to-read book myself, I didn’t feel up to making comparisons, and decided to stick with the challenges involved in writing a quick-read book.

Most easy-to-read books fall into a genre – thrillers/ romance/ detective fiction/ chick-lit.  Authors may argue with the labels all they want but they’re stuck with them.  And once you’re slotted into a genre, there are expectations that readers have from a book.  Obvious ones like not being allowed to kill off the hero in a romance novel, or have the heroine run away with a policeman.  Also not so obvious ones, like not making a character’s life and motivations too complicated.  Being realistic without being too grim.  Not encroaching into another genre.

Then there’s the writing style itself.  While most writers of popular fiction have a light style, there is the always the temptation to show people that you can manage something a lot more ‘literary’ if you want to.  I honestly don’t think that writing needs to be ‘heavy’ to have literary merit – similarly, the chances of a book winning the Booker do not increase exponentially with the number  long words and complicated plotlines.  What distinguishes popular fiction from other types of fiction is that it caters to a specific audience, and is written keeping that audience in mind.  It’s not the same as a book that ‘comes from within’, and is the creative outpouring of a literary mind, with no thought to ‘who’s going to read this’ or ‘how many copies will I sell’.

“How many copies will I sell’ is a pretty big thing for a popular fiction writer, and other than the writing itself, there’s a lot that goes into making the book a success.  But it still starts with the writing – no amount of PR or trade discounts will help a book that doesn’t have intrinsic merit.  Also, catering for a specific audience isn’t as simple as waking up in the morning and deciding “Oh, books on Indian mythology sell well, I should write one immediately”.

When I write, I usually have a few typical readers in mind, and I keep stopping to ask myself the question ‘Would so-and-so like this?’ Or “Is this section dragging – should I delete it?” Also, because my books sell in countries other than India, “Will this make sense to a non-Indian reader?”  Editing is crucial – often my editor will spot something that hasn’t occurred to me.

Making characters realistic yet appealing is another challenge.  The perfect hero of a romance novel is an incredibly hot alpha male who in addition to being tall, dark, handsome, sexy and rich, also needs to be capable of deep emotion and understanding.  It’s a bit of a tall order for the average male.  For the character to be believable, he needs to have flaws that make him seem more human but don’t detract from his overall appeal – if possible, they should add it to it!  So he can be reserved but not arrogant; impulsive but not immature; hot-tempered but not violent.  Endowing him with a sense of humour helps!  Similarly, the heroine can’t be seen telling lies or being overly insecure or whining about her lot in life.  If a reader stops sympathizing and identifying with the protagonist, the book loses its charm.

The last thing about writing popular fiction is the sheer volume that most authors of popular fiction churn out.  To retain reader interest, it’s important to keep up a steady stream of books in their favourite genre.  Switching genres, or having a big gap between two books doesn’t work very well, because you need to build up your readership all over again.

Having said all of this, there is something singularly satisfying in writing the kind of book that a reader looks forward to reading after a long and tiring day.  So while easy-to-read books might be tough to write, they bring a little more zing into both the author’s and the reader’s life.

Happy reading – and writing!

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