Monday, July 9, 2018

Interview with debut romance author Shalini Dua

Author Shalini Dua is here today and we’re chatting a little bit about her new YA new adult romantic comedy, The Secret Lives of Royals.

During her virtual book tour, Shalini will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too.

An international upbringing and a love of stories laid the foundation for wanderlust. Shalini aspires to spend her time country-hopping and consuming pop-culture, comedy and good food but the reality is often frantically downing coffee, meeting deadlines at exactly the last second and working her unglamorous corporate job to fund all of the other pursuits.

The Secret Lives of Royals is Shalini’s debut novel. Her other work includes published poetry and scripts only she has read.

Welcome, Shalini. Please share a little bit about your current release.The Secret Lives of Royals is a contemporary fairytale about a royal secret society. Olivia is trying to make it in the New York publishing world and she is failing spectacularly. Until, out of the blue, she is handed her dream job.

As Olivia steps into the world of New York media, the secrets to her life upgrade are soon revealed. When Olivia learns of The Circle, a secret society with membership based on royal blood, she must decide if the cost of her dreams is worth the price she must pay. Can Olivia handle the weight of the crown?

The Devil Wears Prada meets The Adjustment Bureau in this YA/New Adult crossover tale.

What inspired you to write this book?
The Secret Lives of Royals has been rattling around in my head for years. Inspired by school history lessons, my travels and wanderlust for places I haven’t yet managed to visit, and by my love of food and art; Olivia’s story is a culmination of my journey thus far and the daydreaming I’ve done along the way. This novel is self-published, so I hope you will look past its raw state and enjoy the magic in this contemporary fairytale world.

Excerpt from
The Secret Lives of Royals:

We reach a pair of French doors that lead to the main event and they swing open as we approach.
“Welcome to the annual Royal Ball.” Our butler bows as he backs away.
We are greeted head on by music, lights and the brilliance one only finds at a Royal function. An usher directs us down a beautiful marble staircase, covered with a deep red carpet, to the party, which is already in full swing. We begin to descend and I gaze longingly at the gold banisters which would really help to navigate this obstacle course, heels on marble and carpet in front of many important people, as we are being announced.
I’m horrified and sure my face gives me away as I feel myself give in to my natural instincts and trip, about to plummet to a social death if just a physical bruising. Suddenly, I feel a hand around my waist steadying me and hear the announcer say,
“Miss Olivia Grace Thorpland and Mr. Alexander Windsor.” I gasp and find Alex by my side.
“The irony of your temperament and your name, Gracie.” He grins at me and winks subtly. “Don’t worry, I’ve got you. Look ahead, smile, no one noticed.” We glide down the staircase together, and I feel hot where his fingers are touching my arm. When we reach the bottom, I make my excuses and insist Sophia accompany me to somewhere else, anywhere else. But before I can escape, Alex takes my hand, kisses it and lets me go.
The music fluctuates between classic Hollywood and jazz styles applied to pop songs from the last three decades. It takes me a while to realize these are all being performed by Sheffield and Adeline. I’m at an event where the talent is a three-time Grammy winner and this year’s most trendy pop star. They are accompanied by what I’m sure is a very famous orchestra. To say this evening is surreal would be an understatement and the sensory assault is giving me a dizzying out of body experience. Connor introduces me to a lot of people I apparently should be knowing. However, I’m a little distracted, drinking it all in, and don’t get a lot of what he is telling me.
The most delectable hors d'oeuvres are passed, and I’m enjoying sampling all of them until I almost gag when Sophia says,
“The escargot is divine isn’t it?” and unintentionally informs me that I have just eaten a snail. Right, forgot I’m in France. Unfortunately, Alex chooses that moment to walk over, and I’m gagging as he is trying to get my attention.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m working on the follow-up to The Secret Lives of Royals, a new novel about a circus and a book of poetry.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When, after graduation while working in finance, I couldn’t bring myself to stop writing, even though there was no assignment, no deadline and no impetus for the work.

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 work in marketing and content production from 9-5 and I’m a writer 5-9. My day job does involve some copywriting work for a variety of clients. I have to make time to write. It’s very important to me so I have to really commit to it.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I doodle on myself, giving myself temporary tattoos, when I write.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A singer – quickly realized that would never happen as I do not possess even the remote ability to sing.

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Thank you for being a guest on my blog!

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Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Unknown said...

I enjoyed getting to know your book and thanks for the chance to win :)

Shalini said...

Hi Lisa - Thanks for hosting me today. I look forward to chatting with your readers. #AMA :)

James Robert said...

Thanks so much for this tour and the opportunity to find out about another great book my family can read. We have a list now and it keeps growing with so many loving to read. Thanks also for the giveaway!

Victoria Alexander said...

Thanks for sharing the great post!

Anonymous said...

I like the excerpt!