There can never be too many romance writers or too many romance novels, says best-selling author Shravya Bhinder
Shravya Bhinder’s latest, ‘Something I’m Waiting To Tell You’, is a sequel to her earlier book, ‘Something I Never Told You’ and is based on a true story.
Saturday February 19, 2022,
7 min Read
Author Shravya Bhinder was raised in Delhi in a house full of books and says she fell in love with them even before she knew the meaning of the word love.
“My interaction with those books and fondness of reading soon made me a writer and I started scribbling stories mainly to entertain my siblings. It took me many years before I had the courage to send in a book proposal to a publisher. In 2015, I finally did it and since then I have been weaving stories for my readers,” she tells HerStory.
Shravya published her first book Something I Never Told You after it was rejected by every publishing house she had submitted her proposal to.
“I believed the story had the ability to stir emotions in its readers. It turned out that I was right, and the book was worth the pain. I, however, did not invest into publishing the book as I considered that foolishness. I opted for a free self-publishing platform and published it as an e-book. So yes, if you have a story that you believe in, do not listen to what others say. Put it out there and market it well,” she advises.
Something I Never Told You was later acquired by Penguin Random House. It was released as a paperback in 2019, and sold more than one lakh copies within the primary year and went on to feature in Nielsen Bookscan of top 10 authors more than 12 times.
Her latest, Something I’m Waiting To Tell You is a sequel to the earlier one, based on a true story. She speaks to HerStory about writing romances, and the premise of her new book.
Edited excerpts from the interview:
HerStory (HS): Were you conscious of writing only for a particular genre - romantic fiction?
Shravya Bhinder (SB): Not really. However, as a writer, I realised it early on that love is a very diverse emotion and when one weaves a story around a plot that is romantic, the story becomes more relatable and easily understandable too. After all, love is what makes our world go around.
HS: Your latest book is a continuation of your earlier one, Something I Never Told You… the premise behind both the books is a true story. Is it difficult for a book to be written from something that happened in real life, because of the emotions involved?
SB: When I pick up a plot from around me, there are many people whose emotions and lives get involved as I write these stories. Naturally, it becomes my responsibility to ensure that no one gets hurt and that I do justice to their story as I tell it to the world. This sometimes leads to sleepless nights and rewriting of many sub-plots. But in the end, when my readers love these stories, it is all worth it!
HS: Can you tell us about how you approached the writing process for the two books?
SB: Plot is the most important thing for me. So, the first thing that I always work upon is the plot. Then comes the characters. I believe that my books are like a ‘slice of life’ and are relatable because I sketch my characters based on people around me. I work on the plot and characterisation mostly in my head for days and months at a time and then finally jot everything down on the paper over the course of a few nights. My stories are living beings that nest in my head for long stretches of time and form the shape that the readers finally get to read.
HS: Tell us more about the protagonists of your latest book and what best you like about them?
SB: I am fond of both the protagonists of Something I’m Waiting To Tell You - Ronnie and Adira’s characters as neither of them are completely white or black. They are both individuals who are head strong and make mistakes. But they are in love, and they are growing up together. They are passionate about their work just as much as they are passionate about their lives together. There is a balance in both the characters, they are complete individuals even without each other. There is no quest of trying to find a missing piece of themselves in their partner. They compliment each other and have a strong bond. That is what a relationship is for me.
HS: According to the publishers, the new book will teach readers ‘a thing or two about soulmates’… What does love and writing about love mean to you?
SB: I think one can understand and feel love in a million different ways and we all have a different understanding of soulmates. Most people are always looking for the one that completes them. However, the book Something I’m Waiting To Tell You talks about the fact that there is no one out there who can complete you. You are a complete being. A soulmate is a person who brings calm and direction in your life. They are not the missing piece of your puzzle, but a person with whom you can sit and discuss the puzzle.
For me, love is the calmness we feel, love comes after the initial fireworks of infatuation dies down. It is not the butterfly in the pit of your stomach that flutters at the sight of someone, but the feeling that warms ones’ core. Also, the meaning of love changes at every stage of life. My writings reflect the stage of love that I experience while I write a book and my understanding of love grows as I grow.
HS: Would you say romantic fiction has come of age in India, especially with a number of authors in this genre?
SB: Love and romance are the most natural things. One cannot live without love. It is the basis of all life. So, I think that there can never be too many romance writers or too many romance novels. There will always be room for more. There are just so many stories around us that need telling and with the number of young readers in our country, there will always be many readers of the genre.
HS: How has life changed after becoming a best-selling author?
Thanks to the power of social media, I get to talk and interact with my readers almost every day. I love the feeling of warmth and joy when someone tells me how much they loved my story. That is a new feeling even though it has been a while that I have been receiving such messages. I am very grateful that I get to experience it almost every day. Apart from that, nothing much has changed in my life. I live in Australia so that keeps me away from seeing my books in a bookstore or in a reader’s hand.
HS: Who are your favourite authors?
SB: I admire the works of Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Agatha Christie, Margret Atwood, and Alice Walker. I also love books by Sophie Kinsella, Nicholas Spark, and many more. The list is endless.
HS: What next? Would you like to explore other genres?
SB: I am currently working on a thriller. It is still in my head; I hope it gets to print soon.
Edited by Megha Reddy