Interview with Sundari Venkatraman


  1. Your book deals with Extramarital affairs, do you think Indian Society is ready to accept this practice?

In any society, there are people who are evolved and those that think regressively. I don’t think extramarital affairs are a new fad. They have always been happening since time immemorial and will continue to happen in the future. So, there’s no question of the Indian society being ready to accept it. Whether we accept or not is not the criterion extramarital affairs are based on, they happen anyway.

There was a time when polyandry (read Draupadi & the Pandavas) and polygamy were part of our culture. Please note that I am not saying that they were considered legal – only because there was no law regarding this in those days. It was way later that the Hindu law was passed (in 1956 I think) against polygamy.

Do understand that I am neither for nor against the practice. It’s a way of life for some. Who am I to judge?

  1. One of the characters (who is an author) hires a person to do the background research for his writing…according to you, how important is background research to you as a novelist?

It’s very important. As long as the story flows well with circumstances that we are familiar with in our day-to-day activities, it’s fine. But take a situation like Clinical Depression – the ailment suffered by Anjali – I did a lot of research on the internet. I also had firsthand knowledge since my mother suffered from Dementia. I had had a long talk with her psychiatrist regarding the same.

I consulted a lawyer regarding criminal law in our country. Reading Perry Mason and other western novels, it’s easier to know the laws ruling USA. But the scenario in India could be very different. I spoke to my lawyer neighbour and he also gave me a tome on Indian criminal law with pages marked to study.

Well, I didn’t use much of the information, even though I did study it. For one, I didn’t want my story to sound like a text book. For another, I needed that background information to make sure that I didn’t say something totally wrong.

  1. You have been dealing with clean-shot romantic novels and mythological stories for quite sometime…why did you shift to a bold…erotic, romantic thriller?

Good question. Yeah, I have written five novels in the romance genre, with many short stories as well and then exploring mythology – I need to yet publish a book in this genre. I am toying with the idea of coming up with short stories from Indian mythology in the near future. Only one mytho short story of mine has been published. Love match for Velan is the one from my anthology MMIH.

That aside, a writer also needs to evolve just as everyone else. Otherwise, she tends to become repetitive and stale. I have touched the thriller element in The Malhotra Bride (a gunshot sequence) and Meghna (a plane hijack). In An Autograph for Anjali, I have taken a further step in introducing murder.

As to the story being erotic, I think all my books have explicit sex scenes.

  1. Tell me how much time do you need to complete a full-fledged novel?

Six weeks, if I write 5-6 days a week.

  1. Any suggestion for the authors who are facing creative blockage?

It could be two ways. Some undergo creative block when they keep procrastinating, planning, checking out the rules of writing, repeatedly editing what’s already written. There’s no recovering from this as it’s a created problem. If you have a story to tell, just go ahead and write it, exactly the way it flows. Chuck the rules and editing out of the window and complete the first draft. The only way to get the work done is not to block creativity in the above said ways. This happens to me on and off. Once I am aware that I am getting distracted, I just shut everything out and get down to writing.

Other times, a creative block happens in the middle of the novel, an attack out of the blue. I find the best way to deal with it is to switch off from writing completely for 2-3 days or until I am all set to write again. I prefer to watch films, read books or even TV serials during such times, mainly to avoid thinking about my story. This way, I get a fresh outlook when I get back to work.

  1. If your novel gets a Hindi movie adaptation…who will be the director… and the actors portraying Anjali…Jayant…their son…Seema and lastly Parth?

Director: Meghna Gulzar
Anjali: Kareena Kapoor
Jayant: Boman Irani
Arjun: Ranbir Kapoor (well, we need to make him look younger with the right make-up)
Seema: Aditi Rao Hydari
Parth: Akshay Kumar

I am not too familiar with names of directors, so didn’t have much of a choice 😛
I thought of Meghna Gulzar as I felt she deals with bold subjects and will also do well with the multiple viewpoints angle since she directed Talvar.

Do mention who you think will be ideal for the above roles.
I will go with you for Meghna Gulzar as the director.Now for the actors,here is my list.
Choice Of Debraj
Anjali : Tabu ( rich and Lonely Housewife)
Jayant : Anil Kapoor ( Proud of being a self made man,he did the same kind of role in Dil Dhadak Ne Do)
Arjun : Rajat Barmecha ( the protagonist of Udaan )
Seema : Chitrangada Singh ( Look at her seductive acting )
Parth : This role needs maturity and a Greek God looks- Arjun Rampal

Thank you so much Debraj for such awesome questions. I so enjoyed answering them 😀

AN AUTOGRAPH FOR ANJALI
by
Sundari Venkatraman


Blurb
Jayant Mathur is found murdered in his bed, shot at point-blank range with his own revolver. Though she’s extremely disturbed by his death, Jayant’s wife Anjali is way more upset about something else. Who stands to gain by killing the multi-millionaire businessman?
Parth Bhardwaj is a friend and neighbour of the Mathurs. Parth is an author who goes by a pseudonym. He appears more than a friend to Anjali; while he’s also on good terms with her son Arjun who lives and studies in the UK. What role does he play in Anjali’s life? Jayant’s relatives are curious to know.
Jayant’s brother-in-law Rana is convinced that Parth and Anjali are the murderers. But Inspector Phadke has his own doubts about this theory. In comes Samrat, the private detective who appears as quiet as a mouse. Will he be able to find the murderer?
Will Anjali find happiness and peace?

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR


In 2014, Sundari self-published The Malhotra Bride (2nd Edition); Meghna; The Runaway Bridegroom; Flaming Sun Collection 1: Happily Ever Afters From India (Box Set) and Matches Made In Heaven (a collection of romantic short stories).
2015 brought yet another opportunity. Readomania came forward to traditionally publish this book – The Madras Affair – a mature romance set in Madras.
An Autograph for Anjali, a romance with a touch of suspense, is also a self-published novel. Going a step further, the author has published the paperback version through Notion Press.

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