After two nonfiction books, a Young Adult novella, and lots of short stories for children, I am letting my first ever romance book out into the world. And I’m excited. Plus, a little scared. My beta readers are romance authors who liked the story and I’ve generally never heard terrible things about my books or writing BUT this is a completely new genre for me. Yes, the woman who refuses to grow up and prefers to stay in a Peter Pan like environment is letting her readers see a new side to her writing.
There are authors who like sticking to a specific genre. With book after book, they usually get better because readers and critics give them an idea of what they’re doing right/wrong. But there are some of us who want to risk stability by venturing into a new space. Hell no, I was never a risk taker until recently. I was also not much of a romance reader. But now my shelves (both virtual and physical) have a healthy mix of romance, non fiction, humor and literary fiction. I like it that way.
So here’s why I stepped out of my comfort zone to bring you My Singapore Fling.
- New Friends in the Genre: Since last year, I have found myself surrounded by romance authors from all over India. Some are based in the UK and the US as well. They’d discuss romance writing and romance books in our group chats, leaving me bored. Then I found out that romance is a bestselling genre in the publishing arena. I wondered why and bought myself a few. Then a few more. It became a habit until I was immersed in the romantic world or protagonists living in different cities. I was already feeling old and bored at that point, but these books made me crave some fun an excitement. Very unlike me, I must say.
- Somebody Said the Word ‘Impossible’: Most people who know me can vouch for the fact that I don’t like being told what to do. In fact, if somebody tells me to do something, I will probably do the opposite thing. So when somebody remarked that I would never be able to write a romantic story, I knew I’d just have to do it. And so I did.
- My Love for Singapore: Just like my protagonist Dipa, Singapore is my favourite travel destination near Kolkata. When I started writing My Singapore Fling for 2016 National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), I was not happy. Actually, I was writing after a long time because deaths of loved ones that year had me depressed and anxious. Writers on Twitter were going on and on about their NaNoWriMO plans and I felt that rush of inspiration after ages BUT I had no plot outline or even a vague idea about what I’d write! At the same time, I was wondering if I should book a ticket and fly off to Singapore for a few days to get away from sadness – alas, I couldn’t afford it then. So instead, I wrote a novella mostly set in Singapore!
Five more days till you can read it!