Shobhan Bantwal, author of The Sari Shop Widow, and Mainstream and Romantic Women's Fiction set in India and America stops by Chick with Books today to share a bit of herself and her writing process!
Shobhan Bantwal is the author of 3 books, a collection of tales, articles and more. Shobhan's writing is "romantic, colorful, action-packed tales, rich with elements of Indian culture -- stories that entertain and educate." Her writing career is a "menopausal epiphany," because she took up creative writing at the age of 50. At Chick with Books we are pleased to have Shobhan Bantwal as a guest today! She's going to tell us all about her "Menopausal Writing"! Join me in a warm welcome to Shobhan!
Writing Fiction – A Menopausal Epiphany
By Shobhan Bantwal
THE SARI SHOP WIDOW is my third novel. Like my first two books it is chock full of cultural elements from my own Hindu-Indian background, lots of drama, colorful characters, flavors and textures from India. In other words, it is “Bollywood in a Book.” And yet, my creative spark didn’t ignite until I turned 50. Menopausal woes for some reason turned into a menopausal epiphany. Along with hot flashes, insomnia, weight gain, and hair loss, came a deep urge to write fiction.
But wanting to write and actually writing are two entirely different concepts. While most Indian authors write serious literary books, I wanted to write a mainstream book with romantic elements, something I loved reading. I was not sure if there was a market for such a book. Would any literary agent bother to look at a manuscript that was so outside the box? It fitted into no particular genre, the setting was unusual, the theme controversial, and the author unknown – a perfect recipe for disaster. Nonetheless I started querying various agents.
Each time another rejection letter arrived I almost gave up the idea of becoming a published author, but eventually picked myself up and began the querying process all over again. It took me over a year, but I was offered representation by three different agents. After some deliberation I signed up with the agent I thought would best suit my needs.
What is most gratifying is that my books have appealed to a wide spectrum of readers, especially women, young and old, of different religions, nationalities, colors, and tastes. In my stories, I try to not only entertain, but also educate the non-Asian readership about social topics like dowry, gender-based abortion, women’s issues, and the many faces of Indian culture.
At the very least, my menopausal epiphany has offered me an exciting and challenging ride.
THE SARI SHOP WIDOW is available at all U.S. and Canadian bookstores and online booksellers.
To contact me or learn more about my books, author events, book trailer video, recipes, short stories, and sign up for my newsletter, visit my website www.shobhanbantwal.com
Thank you Shobhan for guest posting today on Chick with Books! And sharing a little of yourself with us!
And to all my Chick with Books readers, on Oct. 27th I'll be reviewing The Sari Shop Widow as part of Shobhan Bantwal's Blog Tour AND you'll have a chance to win a copy for yourself! Check back then for all the details!