Today we're excited to chat with Nisha Sharma, author of My So-Called Bollywood Life.
Read on for more about Nisha and her book, plus a giveaway!
Meet Nisha Sharma!
NISHA SHARMA (@nishawrites) grew up immersed in Bollywood movies, '80s pop culture, and romance novels, so it is no surprise that her first novel, My So-Called Bollywood Life, features all three. Nisha lives in Pennsylvania with her cat, Lizzie Bennett, and her dog, Nancey Drew. You can find her online at nisha-sharma.com or on Twitter and Instagram at @nishawrites.
Meet My So-Called Bollywood Life!
The romance of Stephanie Perkins meets the quirk of Maureen Johnson, then gets a Bollywood twist in this fate-filled debut that takes the future into its own hands.
Winnie Mehta was never really convinced that Raj was her soul mate, but their love was written in the stars. Literally, a pandit predicted Winnie would find the love of her life before her eighteenth birthday, and Raj meets all the qualifications. Which is why Winnie is shocked when she returns from her summer at film camp to find her boyfriend of three years hooking up with Jenny Dickens. As a self-proclaimed Bollywood expert, Winnie knows this is not how her perfect ending is scripted.
Then there's Dev, a fellow film geek and one of the few people Winnie can count on. Dev is smart and charming, and he challenges Winnie to look beyond her horoscope and find someone she'd pick for herself. But does falling for Dev mean giving up on her prophecy and her chance to live happily ever after? To find her perfect ending, Winnie will need a little bit of help from fate, family, and of course, a Bollywood movie star.
~ Interview ~
YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?
My favorite character in this novel is the best friend Bridget. I grew up in a small town with non-Indian friends, and when I went to college and later to law school, I ended up meeting very few South Asians. However, I always had non-diverse friends who loved me for who I was and spent many hours sitting on the couch with me watching Bollywood movies. Bridget encapsulates the positive, supportive attitude that I experienced growing up.
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
The title. I used to tell friends that I hated the way Bollywood was being used to describe everything, from food to clothing, to attitude. I wanted to write a story that played on the use of the word Bollywood but explored film in a positive way. The novel came from there.
YABC: Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
How to rewrite. The version that I first sold is very different from the published version. My editor and I spent years rewriting and refining the story into what it is today. The whole process takes a lot of patience and a very open mind. I’d like to think that after going through the rewriting process, I understand how to tackle the job, and I’ve learned to be more open to possibilities and change.
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
Ohmergerd, EVERYTHING. I love the colors, the pop-art feel of the art work, and most importantly, the subtlety in the South Asian touches that really make the story phenomenal. Crown and my editor really worked to get the right image to represent the book and I couldn’t be happier.
YABC: What’s up next for you?
I’m working on another YA right now about Bollywood dance teams and food! My main character is reconnecting with a parent through cooking, and my hero is trying to save his Bollywood dance team from ruin while surviving his brother’s Indian wedding. I’m super excited for everyone to read Radha’s story.
YABC: Which was the most difficult or emotional scene to narrate?
There is a scene in the story where my main character confronts her ex-boyfriend for the first time since he broke up with her on Facebook (yes, Facebook). I can’t even tell you how many times I had to go through that scene. Winnie is hurt, and bitter, but she needs to work past it, so she can get the future she’s always wanted. The ex-boyfriend is hurt and regrets his decisions. It’s just a hodgepodge of feels. I went through quite a few servings of Talenti ice cream during that one.
YABC: Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?
I prefer revising. I find it easier to work with something once it’s already on paper. I find that I always put off drafting new content because staring at a blank page, or a blank screen is a little daunting.
YABC: What would you say is your superpower?
Organization. I can pack a house and move in one weekend. I can plan a wedding in three days. I can do all sorts of things that require an insane number of miniscule tasks and deliver on a deadline. I don’t know why I’m good at it. My parents aren’t exactly the most organized humans on this planet (love you guys, but be real). I have to say, it come in handy sometimes.
Thank you so much for having me!
My So-Called Bollywood Life
By: Nisha Sharma
Publisher: Crown BYR
Release Date: May 15th, 2018
One winner will recieve a copy of My So-Called Bollywood Life (Nisha Sharma) ~ US Only
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*