Manuscript help, book reviews and author interviews
tgbc: What would you cook up for a romantic dinner?
Shilpa: The first time I cooked my husband a romantic dinner I gave him a mild bout of food poisoning. Ever since all romantic dinners have been planned at restaurants to make sure I don’t ruin the mood that spectacularly again. ☺
tgbc: On a date – would it be a chiffon sari and bindi, or a long sexy gown?
Shilpa: While I do wear both saris and gowns, on a date, I think I’d wear the classic little black dress and team it with killer stilettoes.
tgbc: What’s your personal brand of romance?
Shilpa: Romance to me is tenderness, concern and above all else laughter. The first time my husband said ‘I love you’ to me, I sneezed in his face (In my defence, I have dust allergies). We burst out laughing and haven’t stopped ever since. Having a sense of humour in a relationship is, in my opinion, the difference between living and existing.
tgbc: Where do you get your inspiration from?
Shilpa: My over active imagination constantly dreams up my characters and stories for me. Sometimes a situation or place will trigger an idea but mostly it’s all in my head. ☺
tgbc: How do you do your research?
Shilpa: I talk to people. A LOT. I hound family and friends to introduce me to friends and acquaintances in professions and situations I want to research. Over and above that I’m a voracious reader, across all possible mediums. The wealth of information and knowledge available to us nowadays is incredible and easily accessible.
tgbc: Difference between love and lust?
Shilpa: Love covers a gamut of emotions from tenderness, affection, attraction and a whole host of feelings that come together to form a confusing, exhilarating and heartwarming attachment to the other person. Lust is a strong, intense physical and sexual attraction to another person. Love in a romantic relationship always has a healthy dollop of lust which is not necessarily true when the reverse applies.
tgbc: Who is your favorite character in your book/books?
Shilpa: That’s probably the toughest question of all. It’s hard to choose since they’re all so special to me but I think Arjun from Rescued by Love is such a larger than life character that his persona steals every scene he’s in. Honour, integrity, stability and loyalty are just a few words that describe the incredible person he is. To be loved the way Naina is loved by him is to be blessed.
tgbc: Does Tall, Dark and Handsome work for India? Or would it be Tall, Fair and Handsome?
Shilpa: When you fall in love with someone, true love, the person is all that matters. Dark, fair, wheatish, tan or any shade that falls in between, is just that – a shade. So I guess my answer is both work and so do a hundred other variations ☺
tgbc: Your favorite M&B author or a memorable one you read years ago!
Shilpa: I’m a huge fan of Marie Ferrarrella and will snap up any of her romances the minute they hit the bookshelves.
tgbc: In what way (apart from the Indian characters and Indian setting) are the Indian Harlequin/M&B’s different from their western counterparts?
Shilpa: One thing I’ve noticed that stands out is the much more prominent role played by family and friends in our Indian novels. I think our lives are so enmeshed in all our relationships that it’s hard to imagine writing a story that doesn’t have well fleshed out secondary characters playing strong, influential roles.
tgbc: The nicest gift you have received from a loved one!
Shilpa: My first birthday after marriage, my husband bought me a Kindle and loaded it with all my favourite books. Considering they were all romances, a genre he’s not familiar with, I can imagine how much effort and research went into it. By far the best gift I’ve ever received.
tgbc: Your favorite fragrance.
Shilpa: My all-time favourite fragrance is Chanel Chance.