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Dear Readers,

Today, we welcome, first male author from the Indireads brigade, whom I have interviewed – Jazz Singh. Welcome dear Jazz. Hope you enjoy answering questions from Books News India.

So, let us start our journey voyaging through sail of questions.

BNI: Tell us something about yourself and your background.
JS: I write for a men’s lifestyle magazine and help with editing it.

BNI: So, What have you written / published to date?
JS: My articles are published regularly in the magazine. My published books – by Indireads – are Only a Dream and Against All Odds.

BNI: What inspired you to write your first book and or this book?
JS: A friend called and asked me if I was interested in writing romances for a new publishing house. She put me on to Naheed, who was clear that she wanted romances for the subcontinent by writers from the region. That was appealing.

Years ago I’d written a book (unpublished) and set it vaguely in England. This was in the Mills and Boon mold. When I read it now, the characters seem plastic. Writing the thoughts, feelings, reactions, etc., about Indian characters makes them believable. The nuances come naturally because the stories are all around me.

Against all Odds came about because the initial brief from my publisher at Indireads, was that there should be a social aspect woven into the romance. The central idea here is of a class divide – the rich and the not so rich, the snobbery and interactions across this seemingly unbridgeable chasm.

BNI: A tagline for your book
JS: Can Abhimanyu and Sanjana bridge the divide that separates them?

BNI: How did you come up with the title?
JS: Well, after I finished the manuscript, it sort of fell into place. Love triumphs against all odds.

BNI: Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?
JS: Ideally, I’d like everyone to read my books and love them all. This one is a quick read with a nice story and importantly, both this and the other one Only a Dream, have characters and settings a reader can relate to.

BNI: Give us an insight into your main characters. Why are they special?
JS: The main characters are both lovable. Abhimanyu is rich and arrogant and you don’t like him initially. As he falls in love with Sanjana, you fall in love with him. Sanjana is an adorable girl. She’s sweet and charming and kind hearted. She’s hard working and focused and doesn’t let him bully her or get his way. The chemistry between them is instant.

BNI: What was the hardest and easiest thing about your latest release?
JS: Writing is the easiest part and truly enjoyable. What is really hard is reaching it to readers.

BNI: Share some interesting story about the book writing/cover development.
JS: Abhimanyu and Sanjana are modeled on people one sees all the time. Ambitious people stream into the cities with dreams and the determination to make it – to succeed. They are willing to work hard to achieve their goals. Sanjana is one such character, while Abhimanyu has the typical disregard of the very rich for those less fortunate. His mother is the stereotype of women for whom no one outside the immediate circle measures up. Against All Odds is set against this back drop of class divide that exists in our society.

BNI: Is there a message in your book/novel that you want readers to grasp?
JS: I’d like readers to enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it. Romance is to be savored, right? I’m not writing for a message.

BNI: Do you hear from your readers much? What do they say?
JS: So far, all good things, like I have a flair for romance, that my stories are natural and easy to relate to. I love compliments. Keep ‘em coming.

BNI: Do you write full-time or part-time?
JS: I write when I get time, after I come home from work. Frankly, I write for fun because I enjoy it so much.

BNI: Which writers inspire you?
JS: So many actually. Currently one of them is Anuja Chauhan.

BNI: What draws you to this genre?
JS: It’s light and easy to read. For some, relaxation is watching a movie. For others, it’s reading in general, for some it’s reading romance. This is a genre where no matter the problem, you know it’s going to get sorted out in the end that love will prevail no matter what.

BNI: What is the hardest thing about writing? What’s your tip to get through the writer’s block?
JS: Once the plot and the characters are in place, the story virtually writes itself.
Every now and then, however, I get stuck on how to proceed with the dialogues or how to develop a situation. At such times, I leave it for a few days. Or I start to write an unrelated sequence. This works and helps me get back into the flow again and continue.

BNI: What are your ambitions for your writing career?
JS: I’d like be a well loved and popular writer, where my readers look forward to my next book.
BNI: What has been the toughest criticism and best compliment to you, as an author?
JS: Why, I await your comments!

BNI: What are your thoughts on sequels? Would you like to have one for your latest book?
JS: I’ve already written sequels to this book. Does that answer your question?

BNI: Any advice for budding writers?
JS: Since I’m one myself what can I say, except that if you have the urge to write, well then just write.

BNI: What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
JS: I enjoyed writing every bit of it.

BNI: How about a snippet from your book that is meant to intrigue and tantalize us?
The phone rang and she didn’t know what to do to it. As the ring persisted she answered without looking to see who it was.
Abhimanyu said, ‘Sanjana I need to see you. Where are you?’
‘Abhi,’ she whispered brokenly.
‘Sanju,’ his voice was sharp. ‘Are you OK? Sanjana answer me, are you alright?’
‘Abhi,’ Sanjana couldn’t seem to get beyond that.
‘Where are you?’ his voice was urgent now. ‘Are you at home?’
‘Yes,’ she whispered.
‘I’ll be there.’
When he reached her apartment she was still sitting at the door. He took in the scene at a glance and pulled her to feet. He put his arms around her and rocked her gently. He tried to absorb the tremors that shook her body. ‘It’s OK. You are safe. That’s all that matters.’
He put his lips to her temple and murmured to her softly. ‘Don’t worry. We’ll sort out the mess.’ He held her away from him and asked, ‘Did they…?’

BNI: What are your expectations for the book?
JS: I don’t know about expectations but I hope it will reach a wide readership and become a cherished favourite.

BNI: Do you think the cover of a book is important for its sale?
JS: Yes, often it is. On the other hand you are advised not to judge a book by its cover!

BNI: I thank you for accepting to be interviewed on the blog. I hope you enjoyed answering the questions as I enjoyed asking answers from you. We wish you success for your books.