Please welcome author Shobhan Bantwal to Reviews and Interviews. She's in the midst of a virtual book tour for her novel, The Reluctant Matchmaker.
Shobhan Bantwal is an award-winning Indian-American author of several multicultural women's fiction books with romantic elements, branded as "Bollywood in a Book." Her articles and short stories have appeared in The Writer magazine, Romantic Times, India Abroad, India Currents, and New Woman. The Reluctant Matchmaker is her sixth novel. Visit her online at www.shobhanbantwal.com to learn about her books, trailers, contests, photos, recipes, and more. And also visit her on Facebook.
Welcome, Shobhan. Please tell us about your current release.
The Reluctant Matchmaker starts with a bizarre accident.When young and petite Meena literally collides with her strikingly tall boss, Prajay, she takes a nasty fall, but doesn't count on falling in love with him. So imagine her dismay when he makes an astonishing request: He wants her to craft a personal ad that will help him find a suitable wife—a statuesque, sophisticated Indian-American woman who will complement his remarkable height. Despite Meena's attraction to Prajay, she can't refuse his assignment, or the generous fee. While balancing the complications of work and her "marriage consultant" role, she comes to some surprising realizations about love, tradition, and the sacrifices she will—and won't—make to win over her giant.
What inspired you to write this book?
Being a very petite woman and happily married to a small-statured man for over three decades, I have always wondered what kind of a relationship a tiny woman would have with a giant of a man.
All my stories have their roots in the concept of "what if?" The Reluctant Matchmaker started with "what if" a diminutive woman fell in love with a big man. To raise the stakes even higher and add some conflict to an already unconventional match, I needed my tall hero to want a suitably statuesque woman to complement his remarkable height, even though he is somewhat attracted to the tiny heroine. The Reluctant Matchmaker became the story of just such a conflict.
What exciting project are you working on next?
At the moment I don't have any books under contract since I am taking a hiatus from writing. I am enjoying my two small grandchildren and a retired life right now, but I probably will resume writing sometime next year.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Writing was never on my radar and I had never considered myself anything more than a mediocre writer as far as school essays and dissertations were concerned. However, at the late age of 50, when my husband and I were empty-nesters, my husband started work on a long-term project out of town. As a result I took up creative writing to keep my evenings pleasantly occupied.
Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I took early retirement from my day job a few months ago so my husband and I could move to Arizona to be closer to our married daughter and her family. Nonetheless, my day job used to be quite demanding, allowing me limited time to write. My days used to start at 4 am in the morning and end at 11pm each night. Juggling two full-time careers was very challenging. Now that I am retired, I am taking time off from writing as well, just so I can recharge my creative batteries, so to speak. In any case, writing will continue to be a strictly part-time occupation.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I never have an outline when I start on a project. I am what writers refer to as a "pantster" and not a plotter. A plotter is organized and regimented, while a pantster works by the seat of her pants, and that is precisely what I am. I have a basic plot in my mind and I keep on writing, winging it as I go along, hoping that the end result will be a good story with credible characters, intriguing plot, and enough emotion and drama to keep my readers turning the pages.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
As a child I had assumed that I would grow up to be a doctor, because my father, grandfather, uncle and older sister were doctors. But once I entered my teens, I realized that I just wasn't cut out for the medical profession. I majored in sociology instead, and later got a master's degree in public administration. Ultimately I worked in a government agency in New Jersey for many years before retiring.
Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
For more information about The Reluctant Matchmaker and my other books, visit http://www.shobhanbantwal.com or http://www.amazon.com/The-Reluctant-Matchmaker-Shobhan-Bantwal/dp/0758258852 to get your copy today. Here's the book trailer.
The full virtual tour schedule is available at: http://bookpromotionservices.com/2012/06/03/reluctant-matchmaker-tour
Thanks for stopping by Reviews and Interviews as part of your tour!