Today on 'On Writing', we have the gorgeous Sonia Kundra Singh.
Sonia Kundra Singh hails from Hyderabad, a city that nurtured the writer in her. She has a Masters in English Literature and has worked as an IELTS trainer for some time before turning to writing full-time She has authored three romance novels LOVE ME IN THE END, HOPELESSLY IN LOVE and A SOLDIER’S LOVE STORY. Her short story has been featured in an anthology- MOONLIT MATINEE. She has also contributed as a short story writer for children in the very prolific magazine Chandamama.
Besides writing, she loves to travel and explore new places where she draws her inspiration. Music holds a special place in her life. She is also a part of Simply Give Foundation, a Non-Profit organization. She supports and promotes awareness for Autism and often volunteers for various awareness causes and events.
She is also an enthusiast blogger.
Welcome to 'On Writing' Sonia.
How did your journey as a writer begin? Do you have a specific reason or reasons for writing each book?
In college, I was a Gold medalist in English and honestly, I never expected that! I used to scribble a lot at the back of my notebooks- scenes after scenes. And when at home, I just typed it all. I wasn’t a very social back then. My professors greatly influenced me and my dad motivated me to write if that’s what I wanted to do. There was no pressure of becoming so and so in life. Hence, writing became a natural stress-free process for me.
Love Me In The End, began with a lot of expectations. That was my first book and received a lot of criticism because it was not a typical college romance and the hero was just so flawed!
But the publishing scene in India was at its best place and as I started writing my second novel- Soldier’s Love Story, I didn’t bother what was expected of a book because while writing you cannot actually bother what ‘other’s would think about you. You have to follow your heart.
It was refreshing when I actually found my second received so enthusiastically. Hopelessly In Love just happened. I was writing a novel on a love triangle and a hero that was plagued by his own notions than believing the truth-the publishers loved it. My novels are as much about the hero as it is about the heroine. But the only reason for me to write each book is to spread love and hope of that one true ‘someone’ out there despite the ups and downs.
What does your writing process look like? Do you have any strange writing habits or rituals?
I have a habit of jotting down my plot in points. Sometimes I don’t even use what I write. And I buy pretty stationary for it. My desk is always cluttered with pocket size books and pencils and sometimes I don’t write for days, just plan everything out. And that works well for me when I actually sit down to type it all. I know what I want to write and I am never stuck. I am good with writing late in the afternoons because I am done with taking care of my kid. Sometimes I don’t have a choice to write on a whim because being a stay at home mom, you write whenever you can.
All three of your novels are romances. Is romance your favorite genre in writing? Is your next book also a romance?
Yes, I started out writing Romances being a die-hard fan of ‘Happily ever afters’ and I would definitely love to write more of them. I have begun to experiment with short stories on my blog that is dedicated to travel and short stories. It certainly has given me a lot of artistic freedom because I really get a lot of readers there.
There are two genres I would love to write on- Psychological thriller and chick-lit. I am working on the life of army wives and their struggles and it’s shaping out quite well.
Who is your favorite among all the characters you have created till now and why?
I love all my characters. I have tried to make each and every character different from the other because while writing a romance, you tend to get carried away with similar characteristics. Although Ranjeet- the hero, of my second novel A Soldier’s Love Story is close to my heart. He is deeply committed, caring, a dutiful son and a passionate man. He is not perfect and battles with his battered ego and his love throughout - now that’s a great package!
You are an avid reader and reviewer. Do reviews help you to write better?
Reviewing helps me read and document my reading list. It also helps me know a little more about the writer behind each book. It helps me build my vocabulary and I try not to get influenced by their writing style because it’s easy to do so when you have so many good ones out there.
Mostly, it’s a hobby and getting to connect with the writer on a personal level is simply a bonus. I also plan to promote books that are worth a read and do not accept just anyone for a review.
Who inspires you most?
There are just so many writers that have inspired me. Diana Palmer, Betty Neels, Judith Mc Naught, Julie Garwood among a few I read and re-read.
Also when I write, I always have music playing in my ears. And it sets the right kind of mood of a scene. I think great music and reading inspire me the most. Traveling with my partner is another part of my life that has given me a fabulous experience about life and people.
How important do you think marketing is for the success of a book? What is your best marketing tip?
Marketing is great if you can do it and are ready to spend from your pocket. What I did to promote my novel was to promote it at book fairs. You get to meet a lot of readers there who want to try out new genres. Then, blogging and connecting with others on social media greatly helped sell my books. Organizing book giveaways and contests are other ways which give a book a lot of attention.
Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? If yes, what is it?
No, I don’t think there is a subject I wouldn’t like to experiment with. But I am not cut out to write a non-fiction or a sci-fi. The subjects do not interest me as much.
What kind of scenes is harder for you to write than others? How do you manage it?
It’s always when the hero and the heroine cannot resolve their issues because sometimes I get a feeling that they really do not get along and need to find other people. But then romance is not about that, it’s about working out through the differences and coming out a winner. Romance is all about optimism in the end.
What are the three tips that you have for readers of this interview, who are aspiring writers?
1) Write as if no one’s going to read it. Then edit, edit and edit!
3) Marketing is as important as writing these days. So don’t be shy to put your book out there!
Thank you, Sonia. That was an interesting chat. Wishing you all the best in all your future endeavors.
Check out her books here:
That is all for now, folks.
Until next post,