BLW: Let’s welcome the renowned and successful author Rashmi Kumar of Hooked, Lined & Single to Book Lover’s World.
Rashmi Kumar: Thank you for the generous words and a wonderful welcome ☺️
BLW: Congratulations on getting published your second book. Tell us a little about yourself.
Rashmi Kumar: Currently a full-time mother to my two-year-old son, I am enjoying every bit of this phase of my life where I see my little boy grow up right under my nose, right under my care. I thank God for motherhood despite its many challenges.
Before moving to Canada three years ago I was a journalist and worked with many established newspapers and magazines in India. My last job was with Deccan Herald as Features Editor. Other than journalism I also dabbled as a part-time Radio Jockey with 102.6 Rainbow FM and worked as a voice over artist for several ad films. And other than partying very hard over the weekends, I devoted my Saturdays as a volunteer with an NGO for the mentally distressed and suicidal.
BLW: We know that you are one awesome writer. Tell us about your book, what it means to you, and how it all started? How long did it take to write this book?
Rashmi Kumar: Thank you again ☺️. Hooked, Lined & Single draws its inspiration from some of my personal experiences and some from what I have observed within our society. When you get at a certain age, the pressure of marriage increases--societally, physically, mentally and may I say, even spiritually at times. For me, the pressure was more internal. It was external to some extent--not because people around me forced me to get married, but because you live in a society where there is not a single dull moment. And your sense of loneliness heightens during festivals, weddings and other occasions. And honestly, I was no aberration to this.
When I set out to find myself a man to marry I came across such funny and sad incidents that they had to be shared!When I set out to find myself a man to marry I came across such funny and sad incidents that they had to be shared! Of course, many anecdotes of Alafia meeting various prospective grooms have been spiced up but HLS really is a story of many Indian women and especially those who went through the pain staking process of finding Mr Right--which again, is a myth, of course!
It took me close to a year and half to complete HLS.
BLW: Hooked, Lined & Single is significantly based on 'Women in India' and society's perspective regarding marriage. It's a sensitive issue you took. We would like to know if there is any real life incident that inspired you to write this book?
Rashmi Kumar: Like I already mentioned, this book germinated in my mind right at the moment I set out to "find Mr Right." That's the problem with authors, they see a book in everything and everyone--or at least I do :-/
BLW: Is there a style of writing you prefer? Would you be sticking to the same style and genre?
Rashmi Kumar: Well, I am mostly comfortable doing a style that's not too literary and yet not too colloquial. While I write for the masses, I also write for the classes. I prefer any writing style that's real, unpretentious and forms an instant connection with its readers.
No, I would like to keep experimenting and trying out new styles.
BLW: When do you write the most? Is there a favorite place at your home or office where you write the most? Any props that you feel lucky to keep with you when writing?
Rashmi Kumar: There's no fixed time when I write, but when I do get inspired to write, I do it like someone possessed. Unless you've that drive, you can't do justice.
There really isn't a particular spot that acts like my "creative hiding place," (thanks to a two-year-old!) but I would certainly like to retreat in a natural surrounding with just the nature and me for my future writings. Like for HLS, I went on a break to Jim Corbett for many months just to finish the book.
There definitely is something interesting I do before I start writing or before I set of to do any work. I make an air cross across my chest and surrender my thoughts, words and actions to God.
BLW: What are your inspirations? Do you like writing a real story or a fiction story?
Rashmi Kumar: People inspire me. In the past my travel experiences had inspired me a lot. That's why I give much prominence to places and vivid human characters in my books.
I am neither a stickler for fiction nor for non-fiction. Although, I am most comfortable doing fiction, as an author, I feel the need to be open and adaptive to anything that's real as well as not real.
BLW: What books have inspired or influenced you as a writer?
Rashmi Kumar: I have been deeply influenced by the works of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Having read almost all his literary works, I wish I can emulate his style of writing, but I know that's only a dream :-( The other book that has me gripped is Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love.
BLW: We would be happy to know about any future projects that you are currently working on?
Rashmi Kumar: Currently, I am crushed between two choices. And both are works of non-fiction but have deeply changed me as a human. First one is a chronicle about my motherhood experiences. I am trying to present this in a short story format with tips to new mothers. My second endeavour is something more spiritual. This would be about my journey from India to Canada and the catharsis I went through along the way.
BLW: What other secret skills do you have?
Rashmi Kumar: I have taken on to cooking big time. In future, I might even do a book on some recipes. I am also a trained Hindustani classical vocalist but I don't have the desire to ever perform publicly.
BLW: To be a good writer, one should be a good reader. Do you enjoy reading books? What are the best books you have ever read? Name any five.
Rashmi Kumar: Of course, I love to read. Without reading well, you can't write well! My top five books are: Love in the Time of Cholera and Memories of my Melancholy Whores both by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Life of Pie by Yann Martel, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini and of course Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love.
BLW: On a personal note do you like the author Rashmi Kumar from the person Rashmi Kumar?
...one should be...
a good reader
BLW: What advice would you give to all those aspiring authors who consider you as an ideal?
Rashmi Kumar: Write, write, write. Don't stop no matter what!
BLW: Message for the book lovers in this world!
Rashmi Kumar: My strongest and the only message from my heart is: If you want something real bad, it's easy to chase it, pursue it and run after it! That's where we go wrong. There is a reason why sometimes something doesn't work out for you just when you want it so bad. That moment it is important we leave things to destiny or God. Because when we try to change the course of our life to get what we b want, it may not be the best thing for us or may not be the best thing for us at that time. For instance, in HLS Alafia so desperately wanted to get married but as life would have it, she kept bumping into all the wrong men, all the time. But, the moment she decided to let go, she found someone (Ethan) who truly cared for her but she still decided to let it go because she finally realised that it's important she left the decision to life and God. If Ethan was truly meant for her, he would be hers any way. Even if she decided to leave the chemistry between them in a limbo.
Thank you so much for your time. It's our pleasure to chat with you...