Sarita Varma lives in Pune, India. She is a post-graduate in Modern History. A homemaker, she has been involved for many years with the Multiple Sclerosis Society of India. She is currently a freelancer, she has contributed articles for various publications, NGOs, and websites on diverse topics. She has contributed short stories for the Chicken Soup series.
’Girl from Fatehpur’ is her debut novella. Let us know more about her and her book.
What inspired you to start writing?
I learned the art of storytelling at my grandmother’s knee. I loved her unique embellishments when narrating fairy tales. Her personal take on the great Hindu epics told with much devotion and enthusiasm has forever coloured my view of major characters and even today I can visualize Hanuman chomping on juicy guavas in the Ashok Vatika before recollecting that he was supposed to be Lord Rama’s emissary to Sita.
Before long I was narrating stories to my younger siblings and then as a natural corollary writing them (initially for my private viewing only).
What did you like to read when you were a girl?
Anything and everything! Enid Blyton of course and the William series by Richmal Crompton while a schoolgirl. I loved comics too especially Asterix, Tintin, Archie and Superman but also the classics. I so hungered for books that I would even read dry dusty volumes of Gibbon’s ‘Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire’ during the long summer afternoons.
What is the greatest challenge in writing a book?
To get the reader deeply involved in the fate of the characters who live so vividly in my imagination. In addition, to be able to insert a dramatic element, or an unexpected twist to keep the narrative flowing and the reader’s interest alive.
How much research do you do before writing the book?
I like the background to be authentic and believable so historical / geographical facts are important. However since I write fiction mainly the research is not too arduous.
What motivated you to write the book “Girl from Fatehpur”?
The dynamics of people from small towns moving to big cities has always interested me. The protagonist in ‘Girl From Fatehpur’ is caught between contrasting lifestyles and value systems of the fast moving frenetic metropolis and the laidback small town.
Can you tell us more about your latest book “Girl from Fatehpur”?
It is a story that moves from Mumbai and the highflying corporate world to the quiet dusty town of Fatehpur in North India. In between the colorful ceremonies of her cousin’s wedding and the hustle and bustle of the Kumbh Mela in Allahabad, Sanjana finds herself caught between the commitment shy NRI Rajan, her childhood crush and Krish her boss who pursues her relentlessly, refusing to take no for an answer. Will she find her true love when she returns to work in Mumbai? Read on!
How did you come up with the idea of writing romantic fiction genre book?
Love makes the world go round! I loved reading romantic fiction and so naturally thought of writing just that.
Who are your favorite authors?
My all time favorite author is Georgette Heyer. I also enjoy detective mysteries by Agatha Christie and Ellis Peters, books on animals by Gerald Durrell and James Herriot and fantasy books by J K Rowling, Robin Hobbs, and Philip Pullman.
How much time do you dedicate for writing on a daily basis?
I try to put aside at least 2-3 hours every day but I wish I could be more disciplined about it.
What words of wisdom would you like to give to aspiring writers?
Write about what you know best and feel passionate about. Get your main story idea and main characters clear in your mind before beginning. It is possible that as you go along, the story may develop unexpectedly and characters may not always behave as you wish them to but that is all right. Be careful about grammar.
You can buy her book now: