We interviewed Ruchi Singh who is a novelist, and writes in romance and romantic thriller genres. Academically she has a degree in Electronics Engineering and is also a freelance IT Quality Consultant. She began her writing career writing short stories and articles. Her articles got published in many online forums. She has been a contributing author to many anthologies and has published her first book Take 2, which is a contemporary romance with a spice of social drama. She is a voracious reader, her favourite genre is ‘romantic thriller’.
What inspired you to start writing?
I have been an avid reader since childhood, but writing happened like an epiphany. It was in 2013, when my daughter went to college. I was feeling a little low due to empty nest syndrome that was the time my husband and a friend suggested writing. I really enjoyed the first few days of putting my thoughts on paper. The first chapter that I wrote gave me immense joy and satisfaction of creating something new, the sense of accomplishment was beyond words. Since I am very fond of novels, so I began with a novel and the result was Take 2.
What did you like to read when you were a girl?
The earliest memory is of Noddy and his adventures by Enid Blyton (which was essentially show and tell). It was the first one which opened the world of imagination for me. Later I graduated to Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys and Amar Chitra Katha, Jatak Kathaiyen. I knew most of Indian mythology by the time I was in middle school.
I read in both the languages Hindi as well as English. My father used to read classics and I was introduced to Munshi Premchamd, Chandrakanta Santati in Hindi and autobiographies in English. I also remember reading ‘The Glass Blowers’ by Daphne Du Maurier from his collection.
What is the greatest challenge in writing a book?
Assuming one is able to write reasonably well and has a flair for language. The greatest challenge in any novel is ideating or conceiving a unique twist for the climax.
No matter whether your story is plot driven or character driven, the journey which culminates towards an interesting end stays with the readers.
How much research do you do before writing the book?
I conduct research in two phases. The first phase is when I am fine tuning the idea/ plot and defining the main characters. This phase is the longest and takes up bulk of plotting time. The second phase, is actually not a phase but on-going activity for any new plot arc or character which occurs to me during the writing stage.
For example the second novel which I am writing the heroine has a unique professional profile, for which I must have read about hundreds of articles on the internet, for almost a week and then I was convinced about her existence. The plot came later, after the character was conceived. Later, while writing I realized I had to introduce a customized sniper rifle, for which the research on ‘customization of rifles’ was done in between writing.
There are two main themes which I wanted to highlight in Take 2, firstly the plight of few of my friends who were single or divorced, and secondly the co-existence of conservative and modern India.
Most importantly I am frustrated to see women, accomplished women, wanting to stay in an abusive/ unwanted relationship. They are just not willing to break the emotional and mental barrier. In my experience the basic nature of a person never changes, if he is abusive he would remain abusive no matter how many times he apologises, if he cheats time and again, then no one can reform that characteristic. Women have to understand, accept and learn to move out of this kind of rotten association.
Can you tell us more about your latest book “Take 2”?
Take 2 is about Priya, who is a small town, intelligent girl, for whom ethics and family values hold an important place in life. The story revolves around her struggle to carve a life for herself braving the conservative society and realizing that the choice to be happy remains with her.
Abhimanyu’s character was conceived to compliment Priya. If you are in love with someone you have to nurture it by showing support, care and affection. And that is what Abhimanyu does for Priya. I have tried to bring out that sentiment in the story along with some drama to entertain the readers.
And since I am an eternally optimistic person and all my stories would have HEA. I also admit to bringing a little bit of Bollywood to make it a light read.
How did you came up with the idea of writing Fiction genre book?
I simply love reading fiction, so I chose to write it. For me books are for entertainment. As I get entertained by reading I also wanted to write books which entertain the readers. In these modern times, when a person picks up a book, the story should take him away from their regular humdrum of responsibilities and work to a world where they forget about their stress and problems of life.
I would go a step ahead and say all my books would always have a sliver of romance and a happy-ending.
Who are your favourite authors?
The list is quite long. Frederick Forsyth, Jeffery Archer, Georgette Heyer, John Grisham, Judith McNaught, Mario Puzo, Ann Rand. Recent additions are Dan Brown, James Patterson and Nora Roberts.
Under YA, I love JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series, Meg Cabot, and John Grisham’s Theodore Boone series.
Amongst the Indian authors I like Chitra Divakurni and Anuja Chauhan.
How much time do you dedicate for writing on a daily basis?
I write in the morning when people at home have gone to their respective school and office. The house is relatively quiet with essential daily chores out of the way, I love that time of the day. So three hours in the morning, about two hours in the afternoon and then two in the night. During weekends and holidays, it ranges from two hours to five hours. This time includes every activity related to writing; research, plotting, writing, editing and knowledge enhancement. If I am reading a novel then writing time reduces, obviously.
What words of wisdom would you like to give to aspiring writers?
First of all have an unbiased rating of your writing. This could be put to test by writing short stories and submitting to various authentic forums. If the stories are selected that is a first-hand indication that one can write. Have a few writer friends who are honest about your writing and do not get offended if they critique your work on the negative side. Whosoever gives you an balanced feedback is your friend. After that it is just practice and producing the best.
I have stuck to following three steps:
- Read ‘On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft’ by Stephen King and follow it
- Buy a good editing tool and use it
- Write, write, write and edit, edit, edit…
You can buy her book now: