inKonversation With Romance Addict & Addiction – Ruchi Vasudeva

ruchipicWith two novels in her kitty, Ruchi Vasudeva has arrived and some. While her first novel Bollywood Fiance For A Day has charming Zaheer swooning the females off their feet, her second novel You Can’t Fight Royal Attraction has gorgeous Saira making every girl want to be her. In short, Ruchi Vasudeva creates some memorable characters.

Ruchi Vasudeva is a doctor by profession, a teacher by vocation and 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 made her debut in August 2013 with her book Bollywood Fiancé For A Day.

In conversation with Ruchi as she tells us how she creates these characters, makes them fall in love and finally they have a Cinderella ending… without the 12 o’clock deadline… 🙂

When had Ruchi Vasudeva first realized that she will become a writer?
Once upon a time long ago *smile* Writing crept up on me when I was a teenager and somehow the dream to get published took hold. I loved penning long essays full of quotes and would often compose characters in my head for my would be published novels. The latter tendency went on for quite many years before I finally decided to have a serious go at writing.

How did the journey start?
It started with my resolution to stop leaving the matter pending. This actually happened when I was plotting out a story. In that, the hero loses the heroine because he procrastinates proposing to her and meanwhile his family is facing financial ruin…you get the picture. The theme struck me forcibly and I thought why someday? Why not…today? So I took the reins in my hands so to speak and determined to find out if Indian authors were being published by Harlequin – the publisher I wanted to aim for. Then the golden opportunity in the form of Harlequin Passions India contest came along. With a bit of luck and hard work I won and one of the prizes was an opportunity to get published. So my contest story ‘Her Dream Date’ became the book ‘Bollywood Fiancé for a Day’.

Your book speaks of Bollywood and Romance – a sure thing to touch the Indian reader’s heart. What inspired you to write a story based on Bollywood?
Actually the Bollywood angle was incidental. I didn’t plan to put it in. I had the mental visual that the heroine is facing the hero under spotlights and cameras. So it rather grew from there. I’m fond of Bollywood movies so having the main character from Bollywood rather appealed.

bollywood-fiance-for-a-dayTell us something about Zaheer and Vishakha? What do you love about them most?
Well,  brace yourself for another long answer! Zaheer is on the outside a brash, arrogant, cocky Bollywood superstar with all the implied success. But beneath the glitz there is a person with human failings and desires. Is that a person someone like Vishakha can fall in love with? That’s a big part of the story question.

Vishakha is dedicated to her profession. A workaholic doctor, she struggles to forgive her sister who is the cause of her broken engagement while keeping her own pride intact. With rigid family norms that she has followed all her life, can she ever find common ground with attractive but flamboyant Zaheer?

Obviously I love everything about my characters. But what came across most admirable in Zaheer was his desire to protect Vishakha though that ultimately gets him into trouble. For Vishakha it was the growth she underwent and her ability to move forward while accepting her own flaws.

Apologies if I’ve tried your patience!

Five Naughty one liners for your Ruchi…are you game?
No, not really but well, bring them on 🙂

a) Love before marriage or after?
Hmm both have an equal chance of working,  I’d say. For myself,  it was mostly after. What matters is how much you’re willing to put into making the relationship work.

b) Marriage or Live in?
I don’t preach, it’s personal choice. But I do uphold marriage over live in relationship. That said, in my writing, sometimes my characters have to make their own choices.

c) Romance Novels or Romantic movies?
Both! I go for mush in a big way 🙂

d) Marrying for love or marrying for money?
Is that even a question? Of course love. Money can make you comfortable but only love can keep you satisfied.

[Rubina *smiling serenely and the cynic in her snorting. Wondering how many girls will fail this test. As the saying goes.. when poverty knocks at the flies off the window]

e) Blaze or Kiss?
Actually neither. I read mostly Modern and the Desire series.

What is next in the pipeline? Any sneak peak for the Pensievers?
I have two stories out in December. My second novel from Harlequin and a story being published by Harper Collins as part of an anthology.

EE19 COVER_1Here’s the sneak peek, the blurb of my second book titled, You Can’t Fight A Royal Attraction
“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?

Hope you like it!

[Rubina: We sure do, don’t we readers?:)]

How much do you think the Romance genre has changed in the last ten years? For better or worse?

A lot of things have changed. Of course the HEAs are the same and many of the well loved story premises too. What I would like to see changing is the sheer physical perfection the main characters always possess. Of course the heroines are more variable now and we do see some quite thin or plump heroines but I would like to see them be more ordinary looking. That’s why I opted to keep Vishakha grounded. She isn’t the centre of attention type but she can still hold her own or give back as good as she gets.

I do think speaking of Harlequin,  the older authors were more experimental with the heroes. I’ve read more bearded guys, moustached ones, even average height heroes in the older MBs than current ones.

But the themes have undergone quite a change which is a good thing. Issues like infertility, divorced mothers, even infidelity are being tackled by the bolder authors who are to be congratulated for opting to write them.

Do you think the writers of today are becoming very genre centric? Have you first thought of the genre you would write in or does your story come first?
Yes, genre has become important for authors to make a name. Readers have expectation of certain stories and styles and if you fill a slot you do find a readership relatively more easily. But of course the author has to maintain originality as well.

For me the characters develop first. They will lead the story. Usually the story begins as a kind of unfolding scene and then the characters materialise and take charge. I can’t tell you how many manuscripts I have in saved files which don’t fit a slot because of the unruly characters. *smile*

Your words of wisdom for newbie authors.
At the risk of repeating popular advice, write and then write more. Edit, revise and rewrite. If you want to get published, writing contests are great to try. Read extensively in the genre you aim for.

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