I have known Ruchi for almost as long as I have been writing, having met in the virtual sense in a writers' support group on Facebook, so I am delighted to see that her journey to publication is going from strength to strength.
ACT ONE – all about you…
Ruchi Vasudeva is a doctor by profession, a teacher by vocation and, in her own words, an author by destiny. The writing bug has long resided in her and a contest held by Harlequin for Indian authors gave her a golden opportunity to have her dream realized. She debuted in August '13 with her book Bollywood Fiancé For A Day. Her new release You Can't Fight A Royal Attraction is her second book, both being published by Harlequin. She also won a contest for getting a short story published with Harper Collins which will be published soon. She writes romantic fiction with conflicted characters who come into their own in their quest of reaching out for love. She loves to write about spirited heroines getting hurtled out of their daily life as soon as they cross paths with their rather challenging heroes.
She lives with her husband and two kids. When not bent double over the laptop, she might be found with her nose in books or munching nachos at the movies or glued to the telecast of Team India or Chennai Super Kings in action! She likes to take long walks which help in brewing story ideas.
1) Have you always been a writer or is it something you fell into?
I used to love writing even during school years. While in college I was almost conflicted whether to give up a medical career for a literary one. Medical won that round and naturally writing took a backseat. I did steal a bit of time now and then to pen down story ideas but that was about it till, with the kids growing up and some time on my hands, the writing germ began to grow again. The Harlequin Passions contest for Indian author came along and the rest is history :)
2) Do you have a particular writing style or ritual?
Have to confess my writing has no order let alone any style. I pen down the dialogues between the characters to get a feel of where the story is likely to go and then write it in short form before filling it up during the rewrite. I can write anywhere if the story is going well. The kitchen, backseat of the car, a quiet room, a crowded bus, practically anywhere!
3) Is there a book or an author that has influenced you in your writing?
I used to be a proliferative Harlequin reader, still read them, so I think the natural bend to write happy-ever-afters comes from that. Authors who have left an impression are many, the foremost being Jane Austen, Penny Jordan, Georgette Heyer and Sidney Sheldon.
4) Is there one piece of writing (or life?) advice that has stuck with you, or that you would like to share?
I read somewhere that Penny Jordan's editor gave her this advice : always ask 'what if' and 'why not?' I think of these words a lot. Makes me think of new avenues when a story gets stuck.
5) Can you tell us three things about yourself that we probably don’t already know?
Hmm, I'm an incessant worrier, I worry about everything! I get part of the exercise I need while waiting for lentils to boil ;) I love junk food...now I can't look kids in the eye ever again!
6) What five luxury items or gadgets would you hate to be without?
My smartphone, my BlackBerry, laptop, food processor and washing machine!
ACT TWO – all about your new release…
Playing with fire. Who says it isn't fun?
The last thing Rihaan needs in his life is to play host to a woman who drives him crazy! Saira is gorgeous, yes, but she’s also wildly infuriating. Yet every time she comes within an inch of him he finds his normally iron-clad control slipping further and further away…
Wanting to protect herself from more heartbreak, Saira knows she should keep her distance from Rihaan —but there’s something about him she just can’t seem to resist… Little does she know that Rihaan is hiding a secret! When it comes to light will it tear them apart —or raise their passion to new, more majestic heights?
7) Congratulations on your recent release of You Can't Fight A Royal Attraction; what was your inspiration for writing Rihaan and Saira's story?
The inspiration came while I was writing my first book for Harlequin, Bollywood Fiancé For A Day. Saira was the heroine's stepsister in that book. I couldn't help thinking of her point of view and gradually she became a character who had to have her story told. She was such a fiery and fearless character, a woman who had her share of mistakes and growing out of them, it was fascinating to go along with her on her journey.
8) Did the story flow from your finger tips or did some scenes take a bit of cajoling?
The beginning took a few rewrites but after that the book really took off. I was on a deadline which might have accounted for the jetspeed writing! :)
9) How long did it take for the initial spark of the story to make it onto the page and then onto the publisher’s desk?
The story idea came in December but I wasn't really paying much attention to it then. When my editor and I were discussing ideas for my second book then the story began to form. The first three chapters took about two weeks. I think I wrote the rest of the first rough draft in less than a month. Then after polishing and revising for 15-20 days, it became presentable enough to be submitted. So around two months in total.
10) Do you have a favourite paragraph or sentence from your story that you would like to tantalise us with?
Here it is. It happens when Rihaan grows distant to her and she is incensed about it.
‘Even you don’t find it easy to ignore it, do you?’ she asked bluntly, facing him in a moment of defiance, then she went forward. ‘Show me how one reasons with this.’ She flung her arms around his neck and brought his head down till she was kissing him.
Anger. Desire. Frustration. Everything mingled in the kiss. The need to make him understand. The need to vent her anger because he didn’t understand. And then there was another need. The need to just experience…11) Over to you, what can you tell us about You Can't Fight A Royal Attraction to make us rush out and buy it?
If you like fiery heroines who stand by their believes and grow stronger from their mistakes; if you like enigmatic, hard-to-read heroes protective towards those they love, you'll enjoy every second of reading You Can't Fight A Royal Attraction.
12) What can we expect from you next? Is there something you are working on right now?
I have one story out in an anthology being published in May by Harper Collins India. I'm working on a couple of other projects which are in the first draft stage.
QUICK FIRE ROUND – it’s pop quiz time…
13) Plotter or pantser?
Plotter till the charting of characters and situation; pantser for rest of the book.
14) Digital books or print books?
Both but slightly inclined towards print.
15) Tea or coffee?
Both again! but tea is more my cuppa tea ;)
16) Extrovert or introvert?
Introvert. But like the company of family and friends.
17) Facebook or Twitter?
Twitter. It's quick and makes you value your words. That's not to say I don't dally on facebook all too often :)
18) Christmas or birthday?
19) Morning person or night owl?
Night owl reformed into morning person :)
20) Sweet or savoury?
Sweet. Love chocolate desserts!
And that’s a wrap!
Thank you so much for taking part, Ruchi, I wish you every success with your new release.
Thanks, Aurelia, your questions were so fun, though the choices were tough to pick I can tell you! Enjoyed being here a lot.
To discover even more about Ruchi Vasudeva, and to keep up with her latest projects, you can visit her at:
Buy it now....
|Add to Goodreads|
Released: 3 December 2013
Amazon UK / US / Germany / India
What was it about that cool hauteur that made her want to play with fire?
‘Of course you’re no danger to me in a...’ deliberately she let her gaze run over him ‘...a sexual way, are you?’
He didn’t miss it, and nor did he miss the insolence she project- ed. She could see his mouth tighten in controlled annoyance. For a wild minute she wished he’d let loose, and the unreasoning thought made her heartbeat pick up.
‘Are you trying to challenge me?’
Her heart jumped up at the deep voice laced with mockery. Coward, she derided herself. Surely she wasn’t frightened of him?
‘No challenge for you, surely? You can hardly stand the sight of me,’ she reminded him.
‘Am I supposed to jump on you in fervent denial of that statement, swearing that I can’t keep my hands off you?’ A dark eyebrow rose. ‘Sorry, but your little game won’t wash, Sehgal.’
Irritatingly, he’d addressed her by her surname again. ‘Oh, how astute you are, Khehra!’ She widened her eyes. ‘You catch on so fast I guess I’ll have to watch myself more around you.’ She formed a pout, aware of his gaze moving to her mouth, feeling an unreasonable thrill as it did. She must be mad. Or starved of fun. But somehow she couldn’t not try to get a reaction out of that stone monument.
His eyes narrowed. ‘Whatever you’re trying to do, I’m not looking for trouble—and I’d advise you not to go poking around for it either.’
‘So disappointing!’ She shook her head sorrowfully. ‘Here I was, getting thrilled to bits that we’re going to have this week-end. Just us. Lonesome. Twosome.'