Shuchi Singh Kalra is an exciting new voice in the Indian fiction writing world. Her first novel DONE WITH MEN is published by Indireads, a company which aims to bring the best of south Asian fiction to discerning readers. Shuchi is a native of north India, although based in Mumbai nowadays. She’s also a well known editor and blogger.
SHUCHI SINGH KALRA ON THE WEB:
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Can you share a short bio with me and the readers?
As a freelance writer, I have worked with several print and online publications, both in India and abroad. My bylines have appeared in Femina.in, Good Housekeeping, Home Review, Investors India, Dogs and Pups and Womens Era, to name a few. I have also worked with corporate clients such as The Princeton Review and Skyscanner, apart from many medium and small businesses.
As a rare honor, a popular international blog recently put me on top of the list of “12 Highly Successful Non-Native English Freelance Writers”. I live in India with my husband and livewire toddler.
While I can call myself an experienced copywriter and editor, I am very new to fiction writing. Some of my short stories have found a place in anthologies such as ‘Love Across Borders’, ‘Stories for your Valentine’ and New Asian Writing’s upcoming collection. Done With Men is the first time I am going solo as an author.
What inspires you to write fiction?
Writing fiction has been on on my bucket list for as long as I can remember. It was something that I always wanted to do but couldn’t quite get to it for various reasons. In fact, my first attempt at writing a novel was when I was ten years old. Every time I would go to a bookstore, I would imagine a book with my name on the cover sitting on the shelves. I just get a kick out of the idea of being called an “author”!
Where did you get the inspiration for your current release?
A friend of mine was telling me about her sister who had gone on a vacation after a breakup and had landed up in the hospital injured – that’s how the seeds of this story were planted in my mind. As for the title, I saw a random tweet by someone who wrote “I’m so done with men” and I realized that so many women (me included) have gone though that post-breakup phase when we say “I’m done with men” only to go falling in love all over again. It is not merely a phrase, but a feeling that most of us have actually experienced at some point. Since it encapsulated the essence of my story so well, I decided to weave it into the narrative and use it as the title too.
A lot of credit goes to Naheed Hassan, the founder of Indireads who had approached me sometime in late 2011 to work for them as an editor. We got talking and then she suggested that I write a book, a chick lit to be precise, because she believed I had the voice for it.
Can you sum up your new release in a Tweet sized sentence (140 characters)?
Pathetic boyfriends, painful heartbreaks. Will Kay dare kiss another frog or is she done with men?
Any plans for future books/releases? What’s next on the horizon?
I have a couple of half-baked manuscripts which I am trying to develop further. The fantastic response from readers has prompted me to put my freelancing business on the backburner for a while and focus more on my role as an author. If all goes well, I should be out with another one soon.
DONE WITH MEN
Travel journo, Kairavi Krishna (Kay) has had it with men. After a series of disasters (losers, philanderers, leeches, mama’s boys and possessive psychos), she is all too tempted to walk out on the prospect of ever finding love. Accompanied by her best friend and flat-mate Baani, she sets off for Goa, hoping to get away from her miserable love life and vowing to stay clear of the male species.
Goa however, has a host of surprises in store for her. Ricky, her pesky ex-boyfriend, is busy painting the town red with his hot new girlfriend. Now what is poor Kay to do, other than overdose on vodka, smoke pot, get an outrageous tattoo and fall off the hotel balcony? She wakes up in the hospital to the tender ministrations of Dr.Vivian D’Mello–young, suave and handsome as hell. Will Kay stick to her guns or will she fall for his ridiculously sexy charms? And what’s up with the mixed signals he’s giving out?