Today on 'On Writing', we have Amazon bestselling author, Ruchi Singh. Winner of TOI WriteIndia story contest, Ruchi Singh is a novelist who writes in two genres; romance and romantic thriller. She has a degree in Electronics Engineering and works as IT Quality Consultant. All her novels have been #1bestsellers on Amazon.
Today we will talk about her latest Novel 'Bewitched' which is already creating waves on Amazon.
Welcome to On-Writing, Ruchi!
When did you first get the idea for your latest book ‘Bewitched?
RS: During Covid lockdown, I chanced upon the mythology tale of Menaka and thought what if similar events unfolded in contemporary times? Of course, the circumstances and motivations would defer, but the underlying theme was about two dramatically opposite characters coming together and taking responsibility for their actions.
Did you spend agonizing hours deciding on the names of your protagonists?
RS: Yes. I can’t start writing fluently unless the name is right. It has to suit the character’s personality in the plot. For my female protagonist in Bewitched, I already had a name, but for the hero I needed something which did justice to his larger-than-life background, hence I picked up Rudra, which is another name of Lord Shiva.
What was your writing process like for this book? Did you write every day?
RS: With the lockdown imposed, I had plenty of time at hand without the social commitments, so wrote almost daily and since this story was clear in my head the writing was faster.
What is special about ‘Bewitched’?
RS: ‘Bewitched’ is special for me for two reasons; this is the first time I was attempting to integrate mythology and contemporary genres, drawing parallelism between the two threads. Secondly, I was able to finish the first draft within three months of conception, which is a record of sorts for me and quite a morale-booster.
Who is your favorite character in the book and why?
RS: Apart from the two main ones, I liked Mansi a lot, she is gutsy and fearless.
How long did it take to finish writing ‘Bewitched’?
RS: This was one story which, just flew on from my mind onto the pages. This is the first time I have been able to write the draft of a full-length novel in three months’ time, give or take a couple of weeks. Of course editing and further polishing took another month, but this got finalized super fast.
Please share a passage or quote from ‘Bewitched’ for our readers.
Far away on earth mankind suffered another kind of manthan. How to attain what devas had? I could hear it—the struggle. Everywhere, there was chaos created by desires and ambitions. I looked at Brahma watching the events unfolding. ‘When will it all end?’ I asked.
‘Never,’ he said.
‘Will they go to any extent to get what they want?’
‘Depends on the pull of the want. The manifestation of desire gives the energy to acquire its object.’
‘I don’t like the word “acquire”.’
‘Ignore the semantics,’ he said with an enigmatic smile.
‘Why did you create desire? Isn’t that the root cause of all problems?’
‘Yes, but it is the seed of all innovation and development too.’
In the current scenario of the global pandemic, what do you think is the role of a good story?
RS: With the lockdown and social distancing, people have time at hand. More and more people have taken to watching and reading. In current circumstances, I think a good story, with happily-ever-after, spreads positivity and optimism, lifting boredom and loneliness.
You have used mythology in your latest book. What exactly made you remember the story of Vishwamitra and Menaka?
RS: I read almost all the genres, and growing up reading Amar Chitra Katha series, mythology was my first love, so when Kindle threw up a book about Menaka Vishwamitra on my screen, I couldn’t help but pick it up. And then there was no turning back.
What are the three things readers can look forward to in this book?
The plot of the story. Based on my research from various sources, I have tweaked the mythology saga a bit for Vishwamitra. I think readers would love that.
As I studied the motivations of characters, I realized that both Gods and humans are governed by the same emotions. I’m sure this is something that will be of interest to the readers.
Dialogues and strong and interesting characters, especially the heroine.