Interview1. What flavor is your writing?
I’d say sweet with an undertone of hot and a sprinkling of salt. Much like the darkest chocolate with a dash of habanero and sea salt that when it melts together in your mouth is an explosion of flavors.
Seriously though, I like exploring the goodness in people-sacrifice, loyalty, heroism—in the face of tragedy. Ria for all her darkness and her day-to-day struggles with agoraphobia and depression is snarky and cynical but she also craves joy and soaks it up like rain on parched earth. Vikram for all his anger is all that is solid and steadfast and incapable of doing anything without giving it his all. He is rain as much as earth. Together, well, they are dark chocolate with all the trimmings.
2. If this book was made into a movie, who would you cast to play the characters?
Ria is tall, elegant and flawlessly beautiful on the outside and all sorts of damaged on the inside. The Indian actress Deepika Padukone would play Ria spectacularly I think.
Vikram is a bit harder for me to cast, he’s a combination of rough and smooth, of intense and easygoing. Hrithik Roshan could play him in terms of physicality and the gray-blue eyes but Manish Dayal has that sweetness paired with intensity that’s so very Vikram. Plus, have you seen Manish Dayal? Truth be told, I want to cast him as everything.
3. What is your favorite scene in The Bollywood Bride?
It’s this scene when Ria, Vikram and Ria’s cousin, Nikhil go shopping for Nikhil’s wedding clothes on Devon Ave which is Chicago’s Indian shopping district. Ria has had to drag the two men to buy ornate Indian clothes which as Indian American kids they are totally not comfortable with (more like, terrified of). It’s that point in the story when all the conflict and chemistry has come to a head (pun may or may not be intended) but it’s a funny scene. Despite the humor, to me this scene bursts with intensity and angst and all three characters hit their stride and basically turn the story.
4. What are you reading now or what books do you have in your TBR pile?
I’m reading Nalini Singh’s Rock Redemption which is so incredibly delicious. Her Rock Kiss series is basically all chemistry and connection that jumps off the pages and thus far this one is heartgasm after heartgasm.
I’m about to beta read the first in Joanna Shupe’s upcoming Knickerbocker series, Magnate, and I am SO excited about it I can’t even tell you. She writes the most delightful Historicals and I think she was my favorite debut of this year.
Next up is Kimberly Kinkaid’s All Wrapped Up. Her books are also a heat fest and I’m kind of sad that this series in ending, but I have no doubt it’s going to be a spectacular close.
5. What are you working on now?
I’m actually sitting here trying not to chew down my manicure waiting for my editor to get my edits for book 3 back to me. And of course if that’s not enough to seal the fate of said manicure, The Bollywood Bride gets set free into the world tomorrow. So yes, I’m working on breathing and keeping my shoulders a healthy distance from my ears and I’m trying to enjoy it all.
Ria and Vikram spent childhood summers together, a world away from Ria’s tragedy-ridden family in Mumbai. Their friendship grew seamlessly into love—until Ria made a shattering decision. As far as Vikram is concerned, Ria sold her soul for stardom and it’s taken him years to rebuild his life. But he’ll risk it all again if Ria can find the courage to face the secrets she’s been guarding for everyone else’s benefit and finally stop acting and start living.
Rich with details of modern Indian-American life, here is a warm, sexy, and witty story of love, family, and the difficult choices that arise in the name of both.
Available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and IndieBound.
About the Author
Award winning author, Sonali Dev, writes Bollywood-style love stories that let her explore issues faced by women around the world while still indulging her faith in a happily ever after.
Sonali’s debut novel, A Bollywood Affair, was one of Library Journal and NPR’s Best Books of 2014. It won the American Library Association’s award for best romance, is a RITA Finalist, RT Reviewer Choice Award Nominee, and winner of the RT Seal of Excellence. Sonali lives in the Chicago suburbs with her very patient and often amused husband and two teens who demand both patience and humor, and the world’s most perfect dog. Find out more at sonalidev.com.