Recently I had a fantastic opportunity to interview author Aarti V.Raman in person as part of her promotional tour for her new book – Kingdom Come.
For some reason, I thought the event was for a group of bloggers who would be shooting questions at her. I got pretty nervous when I reached there and it dawned on me that it was going to be a 1-1 session and I hadn’t even read her book.
OK, Embarrassing Story Here
I had actually received an email about a possible book review for Kingdom Come sometime around March. At that time I was pretty tied up with a huge book backlog, plus regular work (I do things other than read and review books 😀 ) that I didn’t accept it, not only did I not accept it,I didn’t even respond to the email.
It was the most embarrassing moment when Aarti actually remembered that I had been approached and that there was no response from my side. Sheesh, I wanted to go and bury myself somewhere. Thankfully, she was very gracious about it, and we soon moved on from my slip to talk all things bookish.
Reminder to me that I really need to be more on top of blog-related emails.
So What Did We Talk About?
Since I hadn’t read the book, we kept the discussion general talking about how and why she got into writing, her fascination for thrilling romances, and the worst villain ever.
Read on for some interesting bits and bobs from our convo.
Sources of Inspiration
The Place. It’s 2011. Winter in Kashmir. Aarti was sight-seeing in Srinagar and the beauty of the place just blew her mind. It would be fair to say that the roots of the story were set then, and the story itself took another year to come together.
Books and Movies. The idea of a protagonist who was a bomb disposal expert came from the movie – The Hurt Locker. Other authors she loves and was inspired by are Nora Roberts and Sidney Sheldon.
Of course, almost immediately the conversation got side-tracked. I asked her whether she enjoyed those books that Roberts wrote under the J.D.Robb pseudonym (you know, those In Death sci-fi thriller ones – reviewed a couple here and here), and am happy to report that she loves them, only not as much as her regular romances.
So, She’s a Romantic
Hard-core that too. Her teen favorites were Mills n Boon novels, and she still loves them till date. So much so, that she has even started working on a couple of Mills n Boons as part of a contract writing for Harlequin Publishers.
Her Publishing Journey
I think that’s a question that every new writer is asked. How did you get your work read and accepted by publishers?
It looks like serendipity played some role in that. Aarti has always wanted to be a writer. She started off writing Mills n Boon but never got published since her stories didn’t fit the regular Mills n Boon template. Next came the participation in an Amazon break-through novel contest which didn’t quite pan out either.
So, third time is lucky right? She managed to snag a phone number of someone in Harlequin, actually got to talk to her and sell the idea of her book, et voilà – she got a publishing deal with her dream publishing company (remember, she loves her romances!)
Once the story idea entered her head, jotting it down was a challenge. She sat down and wrote with a vengeance. The character of the Woodpecker – the main villain was also hard to get down. How much villainy was too much?
All too quickly, our time was up and she was off to the next interview. Chatting with her was a blast and though I look terribly serious in the photo below, it was actually more like chit-chatting books with an old friend.
Have you read her book Kingdom Come? What’s your take? I came away from the interview with a signed copy and I am starting on it this week. After speaking to her, I am really looking forward to reading the book.
Here’s a synopsis…
Kingdom Come – Book Synopsis
Set against the serene beauty of Kashmir, Ladakh and Tibet, Kingdom Come is a gripping story of death and loss, vengeance and retribution, love and life.
Krivi Iyer is an embittered former spy and bomb defusal expert with only one regret. That he couldn’t catch The Woodpecker, a dangerous, mentally unstable bomber who ended his partner’s family. He has a second chance to go after his arch enemy with the arrival of Ziya Maarten, the manager of ‘Goonj Business Enterprises’ in Srinagar, Kashmir, who is alleged to be The Woodpecker’s sister.
Except, Ziya is a beautiful distraction and not a terrorist’s sister. When a tragedy in London tears Ziya’s life apart, she can only rely on Krivi to give her the absolution and vengeance she needs to move on. Between training to be an anti-terrorist squad member and finding The Woodpecker, Ziya uncovers the secrets of Krivi’s tormented past. But will two tortured souls find the courage to love?