A lot of authors are making debut these days and it is always interesting to read their books. Seasoned writers are preferred by anyone and everyone but accepting a book by a new author is always a tricky decision. I read Untruly Yours by Smita Shetty and liked it. The appearance of the book is a pleasant and so is the content. I got a chance to interview Smita and here is what she had to say
Ques. A lot of praise for your first book, how does it feel?
Ans. Thank you Yatin! It feels absolutely surreal. It’s an unimaginable high. I’m humbled by all the positive reviews and feedback that have been pouring in, I am going to try and soak in the moment.
Ques. What inspired you to write a book?
Ans. I stick by every word when I say – ‘Write what you’d like to read’. I’ve always struggled to find light reads by Indian authors. I started writing to escape from some real life pressures, it was such fun to slip into the fictional world and live the life of these quirky characters.
Ans. Untruly Yours is a simple contemporary romantic comedy novel. I’ve also attempted to quietly raise awareness on social and gender issues that exist in our urban society. It was a challenge to try and do it through humor. I could have quite easily got it wrong but I am happy with the way the book has shaped out.
Ques. I personally loved the cover of the book, who has designed it
Ans. Mishta Roy, from the creative team at Leadstart. She was a joy to work with. It was a challenge to try and get my brief across from long distance. For me, it was important to capture the essence of the book through the design cover and the title. Being from a creative background myself, I had visualized the image on the cover, font style, colour, etc. I think that helped us to reach an amicable agreement on the final version.
Ques. How much time did you take to write this book? From where did the phrase “Godzilla of Godzillas” for protagonist’s mother in law came from?
Ans. It took me a couple of years as other commitments took precedence at the time. Godzilla of Godzillas phrase has been coined by me. When one of my friends read this phrase on the manuscript he almost fell off his chair laughing. To be quite honest, I didn’t think it was that funny and seriously doubted the authenticity of his laughter at the time. I thought he was politely trying to encourage me to keep writing!
Ques. Natasha Iyer, the protagonist of your book, tell us more about her. Is the character inspired from some real person who you know or came across?
Ans. I am so glad I was able to connect with the readers and make the characters very believable. I would never base my stories on real people. It won’t be fair.
Natasha is a very relatable character. I tried to make her as real as possible. Her issues are real. Bad hair day for instance! We all go through it, some more than others.
She might come across as being a bit judgmental and condescending. But in complete contrast she is endearingly naïve in her thinking.
Ques. Tell us more about yourself, you as a person, mother, wife and author?
Ans. I would like to think I am organized but my son will try and quickly set the record straight by reminding me of the time I’d forgotten to pack him school lunch! I was harshly reprimanded for this major oversight!
I have a hectic family and professional life. I don’t have a social life (which helps). There aren’t enough hours in a day! But I do try and get myself involved in community work, it lifts my spirits when I do.
It’s early days yet to acknowledge myself as an author. If you’d met me two years ago and said I will be interviewing you for your debut novel, I would have probably keeled over laughing hysterically.
Life unfortunately doesn’t come with a handbook, so I just make things up as I go along and hope I’ve done my best.
Ques. If there are 3 things that you want to tell a reader about your book? What would they be?
Ans. 1) Its exactly what it says on the tin – it’s a contemporary romantic comedy novel
2) Light, breezy, feel-good read
3) Raises awareness on some social and gender issues
Ques. Finding a publisher for any new author is extremely tough, how was your experience?
Ans. Crushing! Nobody warns you of the uphill struggle of finding a publisher. It was heart breaking sometimes to face rejections. But when you look at your cherished manuscript staring back at you, you invariably find the strength to keep going.
Ques. Who got to read the first draft of your book?
Ans. A friend, who is an established author.
Ques. What was your reaction, when you saw the first printed copy of your book?
Ans. I kept reading the title of the book and my name under it, numerous times over. It was such a buzz! But you soon get over it, because the real high is when your efforts are being appreciated.
Ques. When can we expect your second book?
Ans. I have a story in mind (which is always a good start(!)) and work on it will commence early next year.
So, that was Smita Shetty, honest and to the point with her interview. I personally loved the book and here is my review of it
Pick this book up if you want a quick, feel good read. Its just 150 pages and fast paced!
Also, connect with Smita on Twitter at @UntrulyYours1