A quirky and fun interview, giving us a peek into the mind of author Aarti V Raman…
Thanks for being here, Aarti… 🙂
Hey Bean, let me start by saying that it is such a pleasure to have a chat with you. Talking to friends is always fun.
How does a typical book get written in your world – what do you start with?
I firmly believe, that for every good book, my world needs a handsome and inspiring hero. Now this hero might not necessarily be eye candy, although, usually they are (think Hugh Jackman or Akhsay Kumar and the like) but what he does do is appear full blown in my head, smoldering looks and an attitude that just begs to be put down on paper. Once the hero makes an appearance, the story kind of falls into place for me. My heroines are not far behind in having their presence felt: strong, bold, fearless and kickass. And lest my readers think I give no thought to plot, none of my heroes start talking to me till I find something interesting to talk about, be they be the oil crisis or bomb defusal or the world’s most dangerous terrorist.
How would you compare the protagonist of some of your books with yourself?
(Laughs wickedly) Ariana White (White Knight, Leadstart 2012) is the woman that I can never ever be. She is bold, relentless and has the most amazing red hair. Writing her was like living in a different dimension with a guy who was, and I quote, “Hugh Jackman as James Bond.” In Kingdom Come (Harlequin MIRA, 2014) Noor Saiyed is someone I can identify with. She is bubbly and talks a lot (some of it gibberish) and has loyal ties. But in the end, these women are their own beings and any resemblance to living persons, dead or alive, is purely coincidental.
What classic piece of work do you wish you had written?
Oh my gosh! It would be such an insult and a privilege at the same time to inhabit the brains of the people who I grew up idolozing through their stories. The list is numerous, but if there was one novel that is something I might ATTEMPT to write in recent times (not touching the classics) it would be Sally Green’s ‘HALF BAD’ or Alice Hoffman’s “The Probable Future”. Oops, I cheated!
How do you deal with reviews?
Reviews are views by people who are willing to spend their time reading someone else’s work who has put it up for public consumption. Everyone will not like everything about my books. So I thank my reviewers and readers for being considerate enough to not only read my books but also share their thoughts about it, be they good, bad or ugly. And I look forward to entertaining them time and again.
If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?
Wow, won’t that be a dream come true.
As the dedication in my debut novel White Knight clearly states the divine Hugh Jackman is the reason Brandon Rice exists, a girl can definitely dream. For Ariana White, I think Scarlett Johanssen would be ideal.
Colin Farrell’s brooding looks or Theo James’ soulful but damaged eyes both would suit my Krivi Iyer. And for the girl, (sighs) gosh, I would write myself into the story. (Laughs). Nah. Ok, Ziya could be Emma Watson, strong and vulnerable at the same time.
What does it take to be a best seller author? 🙂
(Laughs and laughs) I wouldn’t go so far as to call myself a bestseller author quite yet, Bean. But the journey so far has been fun and different. Being an author requires a different skill set and mental makeup than being a writer. And with Kingdom Come (and my future books) I am trying to find the happy balance between the two. If you’re looking for a cohesive answer I suppose it would be Marketing, Reviews, Marketing Reviews! 😛
Is there any genre that you would never ever want to write in?
I don’t know about not wanting or attempting to write, but I am not sure I would be able to do justice to a full on horror story, a la Stephen King or Dean Koontz. Comedy is also another sphere that I am hesitant to jump into ‘cuz I just don’t think I am funny enough.
What awesome books and projects are you working on at the moment?
You make me sound like such a busy bee, Bean! (winks) At this moment I am trying to get Kingdom Come into the hands of as many readers as possible so it enjoys a long and fruitful moment under the sun. As for books, I just wrote THE END on a Romantic Caper set in the world of a gossip website in Mumbai and I am very excited to see where it goes. As for books, in plural, there are always seventeen different ideas roaming in Writer Gal’s head, its just a matter of finding the ‘right guy’ to fixate on, oops, I mean, write about.