Thursday, December 14, 2017

On Writing: Interview with Romance Author Reshma Ranjan

 Today on 'On Writing', we have romance author Reshma Ranjan, a former Public Speaking and English teacher, who worked at Brookfield High ICSE School in Bangalore before moving to Denver, Colorado. Now she is settled in Miami, Florida.
She is a passionate romantic who loves literature and has been driven by the romance around her. She has made up her own happy endings in her imagination for every movie and for every book with a sad ending. 

Welcome to 'On Writing' Reshma!

Was becoming an author always your dream or was it a particular event or incident that gave birth to the author in you?

I believe it was always in me, though I was not conscious of it. I remember watching Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak and becoming completely depressed for weeks. Then, in my mind, I changed its ending. In my version, the characters fall off the cliff and manage to reach a hospital and finally get their happy ending. Similarly, after watching Mr. India I was heartbroken when the little girl died. I made my own version where she returns, my reasoning being her death was staged to provoke Mr. India. So, I believe a penchant to produce happy endings was there in me. I started making stories when travelling, doing chores, watering plants, in fact always. It took me to be twenty-five years old to finally put these stories on the paper. I had journalism as a subject in my graduation, but I guess writing was my calling.

How important are names of the characters in your books to you? Do you spend agonizing hours deciding on their names?

Not really. I do ponder over names, but I usually end up picking them up soon. I have picked names from the TV serials my mother watches. I guess for me, any name is fine. I build the character and a name is to identify that character. And soon, the name becomes the character for me.

What is your writing process like? Do you write every day? Is there a favorite place to write?

No, I wouldn’t say every day. There are times when I can sit and write for days to finish what I started. But I do have days where I can’t or don’t. I do have a favorite place and I’m a habit-forming person. This November, for NaNoWriMo, I was finding it difficult to as I was spending about three to four hours in a car, picking up and dropping my kids and my husband. And one day, just out of the blue, I started writing on my phone at the parking space in my kid’s school. Now I am continuing that. If at one place I can manage to write, I try to stick to it until the flow is broken and I’m forced to find another spot.

What is special about ‘Yours To Love And Yours to Take’?
Many who read my first book 'Love Sees No Reason' wanted to know the story about Suraj and Ria, a very important character and the protagonist of my first book, in detail. I didn’t want to use the part removed from that book. Instead, I thought of penning down a different story inspired by them set in 1950’s. Soon it began to grow into a huge series and I thought to release this story first.

It is special because it is the first of the series, a grand saga of a big family with royal connections. The Verma Clan is how the family is known in the story. I delved in-depth into other members of the story through Salim and Anita’s story. The concept is having people with completely diverse backgrounds, from different parts of the world as one family. A family that stands together without the need for any blood ties.
It is absolute fun to be in that space, right in the middle of The Verma Clan.

Who is your favorite character in the book and why?

Milind. He is not the protagonist of this book, but just like for the readers, Milind is a character taking time to reveal himself to me. 'In Yours to Love, Yours to Take', Milind is the only one who could tell Salim about the darkness lurking in him. He was the calming and soothing presence in the book for the characters. I would soon complete Milind and Sia’s story—another book in the series. As of now, two other books of the same series are to be released soon. 'A Promise, Togetherness Forever' and 'Cherished as My Queen'. The cover of A Promise has been revealed on my social networking sites.

How long did it take to finish writing ‘Yours To Love And Yours to Take’?

I wrote it in November 2016 in about 17 days. I had sprained my ankle during a Taekwondo class and was literally bedridden. So, with nothing but a laptop at my disposal in my bedroom, I finished writing the novel in 17 days.

Please share a passage or quote from ‘Yours To Love And Yours to Take’ for our readers.

A painful sob broke from Anita’s lips but she tried to stifle it with her other hand. The man came forward and placed his hand on Salim’s shoulder. “She is not Ananya. She is Anita, Ananya’s twin.”
Salim looked at Anita without any reaction. He stood still as a stone and with a sudden movement his hands clutched the back of her neck and pulled her to him.
“Stop playing games with me! What are you trying to achieve, Ananya?”
Her eyes widened, her hand went around him and the other clutched his shirt. There was pain in her eyes but she didn’t make a sound.
“Leave her alone.” The man’s voice boomed through the hospital room.
The nurse stood frozen by the bed, fear written all over her face. The man held Salim’s arm in a tight grip. When the woman in his arms turned ever so slightly to the man he let go of Salim’s arm. The reality slowly started seeping in.
“No!” His painful denial was audible to all. “Why couldn’t you be dead instead of Ananya?”
Anita moved back as if he had slapped her but she didn’t make a sound. His voice was barely audible but his words had seared through her like he had engraved them on her being.

Which do you prefer as a reader? EBook or Paperback?

I would pick both. For the last couple of years, I’m reading more e-books than paperbacks. But paperbacks are always a weakness and I love to collect them. It was heartbreaking for me to leave my collection of two thousand books in India while moving to the US.  I have kept them in a storage facility in Bangalore. I miss them, especially my Barbara Cartland collection.

How important do you think is marketing in today’s world for any book?

It’s the major deal-breaker. With so many books releasing every day, I must pitch in completely for my book to stand out. I know that first hand. Since my second novel “Blind, Certainly Is Love,” I have taken it on myself to market my books, shamelessly.

What are the three tips you have for readers of this interview who are aspiring writers?

  1. Read, Read and Read some more. Unless you read, you can never write.
  2. Write, write and write some more. Unless you break that barrier and write, it won’t materialize. Never compromise on the quality and packaging.
  3. Whether you opt for traditional publishing or you-self publish your novel, without marketing the chances of your book reaching the targeted readers is bleak. So shameless self-promotion is a must.
Thank you for having me over at your site, Preethi!

It was a pleasure chatting with you Reshma! Wishing the very best for your books.

Featured book: Yours To Love, Yours To Take 

As if losing her parents and her voice in a childhood accident wasn’t cruel enough, Anita Batra now has to come to terms with her twin’s death and help her sister’s partner get a new lease of life.
Adopted by the Verma Clan after his parents died in an accident, Dr. Salim Verma finally finds love and a chance to be happy only to lose it in an accident he himself survives.
When fate strikes a final blow and brings two strangers together, Salim can’t help but punish Anita and make her tread through the hell he himself was in, while all Anita wants is to help her sister’s partner start afresh, no matter what the cost.
Will Salim ever be able to ignore Anita’s resemblance to his dead girlfriend and fall in love with her instead? Will Anita be able to reveal the real Salim hiding behind the monster? Will they be able to embrace their tumultuous attraction for each other despite their terrible start?
Yours To Love Yours To Take is a heartwarming saga of love and sacrifice that will reinstate your belief that love conquers all.

Purchase link:

Check out other books by Reshma:
BlinD, Certainly Is Love  

Upcoming release: A Promise - Togetherness forever


  1. Thank you Preethi Venugopala for featuring me here, in your blog.

    1. It was a pleasure having you here, Reshma!

    2. Congrats Reshma ! Really a proud moment.continue the good work..

  2. Preethi you are bringing together a great collection of authors. I am finding it extremely interesting.

  3. Beautiful book cover. Seems to be an interesting book.