Today I’m taking part in the blog tour for The Love Arrangement. I’m sharing my Q&A with the author with thanks to Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me on the blog tour and to Ruby Basu for answering my questions!
Have you always wanted to write?
Yes. My dad always gave me his spare notebooks because I was always scribbling away. I remember writing my first ‘book’ when I was around 8.
What were your previous jobs? Have they helped you with your writing process?
I worked as a lawyer and a policy lead in the Civil Service. I still am a freelance solicitor. These jobs require persuasive writing so I think they helped me learn how to develop a narrative in my books.
What was your inspiration for The Love Arrangement?
I love stories with the fake dating trope so the inspiration for The Love Arrangement developed from that trope. I loved thinking about the kinds of characters who would enter into a fake arrangement and their reasons. Once I had an idea of the characters, the rest of the story came naturally.
How do you construct your characters? Do they have traits of people you know?
Once I have the basic premise or theme for a book I think about the traits of the characters who would grow the most in the situation and, for their love interest, I think of who the worst person they could fall for would be.
I do use character questionnaires but I pick and choose from a few different versions for the questions I think would be most illuminating.
I also find the Emotional Wound Thesaurus (Angela Ackerman) a really helpful book for developing conflict and backstory.
I don’t consciously use the traits of people I know. I try not to base any of my characters on real people.
What does your writing process look like? Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I think I’m in the middle – a plantser? I know my main characters in depth and I usually know how the book starts, how it ends, and the main beats of the story. But I don’t know the in-between events which lead up to the beats and discovery write those scenes. I don’t write linearly so I will write whichever scene is clearest in my head and I use Scrivener so I can rearrange the scenes when I know their correct place.
How did you research? Did you enjoy it?
I just research using the internet. I do love researching but I try not to do any while I’m drafting because I easily find myself falling down rabbit holes, so I either look up what I need to know before I start or I leave a placeholder to fill on the next pass.
Who are your favourite writers? Are you influenced by them?
Kresley Cole, Jane Austen and Alisha Rai. I don’t think I’m influenced by them in my writing but I love their storytelling.
If you could invite three people, living or dead, to dinner, who would they be and why?
First I’d invite Leonardo Da Vinci. I’m fascinated by genius and he was a true Renaissance man. I would love to explore how his mind works. Next I’d invite Terry Pratchett. I think he’d be an excellent raconteur and I expect there would be a lot of laughter at the dining table. Finally, I would invite my granddad who died before I was born. He moved his family from Dhaka to Kolkata after the partition of India, leaving behind his whole life. I can’t imagine what that was like. My father was quite young when it happened and he didn’t like to talk about it. There’s a lot of history in my family I don’t know about and I would love to hear his perspective of events, as well as stories about my dad as a boy.
Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with and why?
I don’t think there’s a specific person. But I would dread being stuck with anyone who likes to make small talk. It makes me incredibly uncomfortable. If we could both read while we waited to be rescued then I don’t mind who I’m stuck with.
Who would play the main character/s in a film version of The Love Arrangement?
I don’t usually think of my characters in a movie, but if I had to choose I would probably pick Manish Dayal for Rav and Charithra Chandran for Annika
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I enjoy spending time with my family: playing boardgames or watching movies together. I do craft – cross-stitch, knitting and scrapbooking. I’ve also recently got into playing The Sims 4.
What is next for you?
My 4th book, Cinderella’s Forbidden Prince, comes out in January 2023 so I need to think about promoting that. I’m also currently writing books 5 and 6 so I’m going to be quite busy for the next couple of months.
Book? The Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas
Film? A Matter of Life and Death
Band/Singer? I don’t have a favourite. I like songs rather than particular artists and I don’t buy albums.
TV show? Recently ‘Abbotts Elementary’. I’m also enjoying the new series set in the Marvel and Star Wars worlds. Favourite rewatch is ‘Brothers and Sisters’
The Love Arrangement is available from Amazon.
You can follow the rest of the blog tour here: