Today I have author Jazz Singh on my blog discussing her latest books.
What or who inspired you to start writing?
A friend called and put me in touch with Naheed, publisher at Indireads. We chatted. She was looking for writers from the subcontinent. I’d handwritten a novella some years ago, which is still around somewhere, so I guess the writing bug was lying dormant.
How much of yourself, your personality or your experiences, is in your books?
The books are about the world I’m familiar with, so there are bits of my friends, acquaintances, colleagues, etc all over. Disguised certainly and mixed with imagination depending on how the character shapes up and how he / she needs to be.
Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little bit about your next book?
I write when I can and don’t necessarily wait to get published before I start on my next. The book I wrote after these two that are published has rape as the central theme and how it is difficult for a victim to get out of it and into normal relationships with anyone. Since I write romance, the challenge for this one was on how to end it – in keeping with the genre or in keeping with reality.
Do you write full-time? If so, what is your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
No, I don’t write full time. I work in a media house for a men’s lifestyle magazine. My job involves all aspects – from ideating and writing pieces, to editing and production. I write when I can around the assignments, which often go into the evening.
How do you conceive your plot ideas?
I usually pick a theme and build the story around it. Against All Odds, for instance, came about because the initial brief from my publisher was that there should be a social aspect o the stories. At the time I couldn’t think of anything other than caste, which is prevalent in India, and I didn’t want to write about that. So I wrote about a class division, which is also pretty ossified in society here. Only a Dream has betrayal as the central theme. Both books feature friends and family in a big way because that’s how our lives are. Romance, and all that it entails, usually unfolds around interfering family and friends.
Do you outline your books or just start writing?
No I prefer not to outline. In fact, I can’t do it which becomes a problem when you have to submit an idea, then initial chapters and so on. I sketch my characters in my head and watch them do their thing. They live in my head as long as I’m writing their story and I see their lives which I write about.
Did you base any of your characters on real people?
Somebody’s physique, somebody’s smile, somebody’s hair, somebody’s eyes, somebody’s philosophy in life, somebody’s reactions, somebody’s situation, some fiction, mixed up with the demands of the storyline…they all come together in unique characters.
If this book is part of a series, what is the next book? Any details you can share?
They both started as standalone books, but the characters in Against All Odds were so strong, they begged their own story. It helped too when my publisher voiced the thought, although she didn’t push for it. I wrote a few other books (unpublished) and then came back to these. The lives of these characters were so smooth that I had to think of what would cause ripples. One of them meets a damaged person and has to learn to deal with her problems. Another one has to face the consequences of unrequited love.
Do you have an all time favorite book?
A single one, no. Too many actually. Do you really want to get me started?
What book are you reading right now?
Three simultaneously – Salman Rushie’s biography Joseph Anton. The last of the Game of Thrones quintet – Dance with Dragons and Pankaj Mishra’s From the Ruins of Empire.
If you could meet two authors, who would you pick and why?
Georgette Heyer, because I can read her endlessly and laugh each time. Alexandre Dumas to understand how a single person can churn out the sheer volume of work he did and with the spades of research involved in his writing and no internet.
Against All Odds
It takes several meetings to change their minds about each other, but eventually, Abhimanyu and Sanjana strike up a friendship that seems destined to turn into something more. He’s a rich successful businessman, however, and she’s a small-town girl who doesn’t fit into his glittering world; a fact that Abhimanyu’s mother has taken pains to point out.
Will they ever overcome the odds, or are their lives on parallel tracks, never destined to cross?
Only a Dream
Rhea can’t believe her ex-flame Varun has shown up in her life again as her new boss! He was her first love, the man she gave herself to body and soul, thinking they would be together forever. But then, without warning or explanation, he dumped her and she was left with broken dreams and a broken heart.
Now he wants Rhea in his life again and won’t take no for an answer. But the hurt and humiliation of the past still rankle and Rhea is not ready to forgive and forget.
Can Varun convince her that his promises are for real? Should Rhea believe him?
About the Author
Jazz Singh loves to travel and takes every opportunity she gets to see a new place. She has done many things in her life, from training behavioral skills to working in the world of fashion. She believes life is all about trying the untried and her curiosity has had her rappel down a mountain face and zip-fly across deep valleys.
She believes there is no age for love; it can happen anytime. While she loves reading, she has no favorite genre; she goes through phases and can move from philosophy, to spiritual books, to science fiction and then on to historical dramas. Writing romance has been a long-held dream.