Hello again, my Lovelies! Today we have the HUGE pleasure of
having the ah-mazing author RENITA D’SILVA! Renita’s
evocative stories about India and family secrets will capture both
your heart and your senses forever…!
She loves stories, both reading and creating them. Her short stories have been published in ‘The View from Here’, ‘Bartleby Snopes’, ‘this zine’, ‘Platinum Page’, ‘Paragraph Planet’ among others and have been nominated for the ‘Pushcart’ prize and the ‘Best of the Net’ anthology. She is the author of ‘Monsoon Memories’,'The Forgotten Daughter’, ‘The Stolen Girl’, ‘A Sister’s Promise’ and ‘A Mother’s Secret’.
And take a look at these covers! Aren’t they just gorgeous!
Hi, Renita and thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions- what an honour! Let’s start!
- Tell us a bit about your background and origins!
I grew up in the south of India and have worked in IT. When not writing, I tutor other people’s kids, chauffeur my own, and pretend not to see the mess my house is in, hoping it will go away if I ignore it long enough.
- Where do you live now? I live in the UK.
- What was your first story? A sad tale about a captain and his muse.
- What was your occupation before you became a writer? I worked in IT as a programmer and tester.
- What was your first published book? Monsoon Memories
- Can you tell us about when you submitted it and the feedback? It was rejected multiple times for a variety of reasons and sometimes for no discernible reason at all, as none accompanied the rejection letter. After each rejection, I would set the book aside, having decided to forgo writing. But after a few weeks, the urge to try one more time would assert itself and I would dig up my manuscript, work on it and send it off again. This pattern continued until the magical February morning when Bookouture said yes!
- What has changed in your life since then? It’s been a wonderful few years since Monsoon Memories was accepted for publication. I have published five books with the amazing Bookouture and am working on my sixth.
- How does your family see your writing- any particular schedules now? My children set word count deadlines for me every morning when they leave for school and that helps me focus on my writing and prevents me wasting (too much) time web surfing and on social media
- I saw the cool trailer your daughter made for your book- tell us about that. My daughter likes experimenting with the movie maker app so I asked her if she would make a trailer for one of my books. She did and I was delighted! It really is cool, isn’t it? So proud of her! Here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNbcLSu8q4Y
- How autobiographic do you think your novels are? The stories themselves are made up, a product of my imagination, but the descriptions of places are gleaned from my memories of the village in India where I grew up and its surroundings.
- We love the theme of stolen/ adopted daughters- so touching! Please tell us what inspired you to write such amazing stories! I am facinated by families – the complicated dynamics and convoluted relationships within the family unit, the intense love that can so easily turn into hate and upset, the secrets kept from loved ones in the mistaken belief that it is for the best. All these make their way into my stories.
- Do you promote often? Go to any book clubs? I don’t promote as often as I should. I have had requests for book club discussion questions for each of my books from readers. I have also gone to talks hosted in a few of my local libraries. And I am taking part in an online book club next week with readers in the US and Canada who will be discussing A Sister’s Promise.
- Are you working on a book now? Yes. I am working on the first draft of my next book.
- Who is your beta-reader? Who first sets eyes on your book? My editor Jenny Hutton. I write the first draft, read it back, make the changes that I think are needed, then cross my fingers and send it off to Jenny.
- What do you do as soon as you’ve sent your MS to your publisher? I read and read and read some more, catching up on all the books I’ve been wanting to read but haven’t had time to while working on my own.
- Tell us about your editor/ publisher- what’s it like to work with them?
Everyone at Bookouture is so helpful and always go out of their way to advice/answer any queries I might have. And in Jenny Hutton, I have the best editor – she is skilled at seeing exactly what I am trying to say, at taking the mess of ideas that is my first draft and pointing the way towards what it can become. I feel incredibly lucky to be working with Jenny. She truly is the best.
- How has becoming a writer changed your life? It has made me believe in myself more.
- Do you hob-nob with other writers either in person or on the internet? I waste far too much time on social media hob-nobbing (I love this word!) with other authors. Meeting lovely fellow authors like you, Nancy, has been one of the wonderful perks of being published.
- Awh, gee, Renita, thank you and I can assure you everyone feels the same about you! Who is your favorite writer? Harper Lee
- The publishing market today is ferocious! Do you have an agent/ someone to guide you along the way? I am lucky enough to be represented by the lovely Lorella Belli of the Lorella Belli Literary Agency. She is lovely, dynamic and all round amazing and I am so grateful and privileged to have her representing my books.
Thank you so much for stopping by, Renita!