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In this Author’s Corner interview, we talk with Yashodhara Lal author of Just Married, Please Excuse.
Just Married, Please Excuse is a modern tale of marriage and parenthood full of quirky characters who promise to make you laugh out loud. For sample chapters of the book, visit www.justmarriedpleaseexcuse.com. This is the author’s debut novel. She blogs at www.yashodharalal.com and is also on twitter @yashodharalal.
If you had not become a writer, what would you have been?
I’m not a full-time writer as of now. I am a marketing professional and I think I’ll continue to be one and keep writing as my favorite passion, and hopefully still be able to do fair amounts of it! I love writing but as of now, I have a feeling that being a full time author may not work all that well for me – too much pressure, I suppose. Right now, writing during moments that are almost ‘stolen’ works for me. But who knows what the future will bring, right?
What is the best thing about being a published author?
For me, the best thing is simply that someone liked my writing enough to think an actual book consisting of it made sense to produce. And that someone being HarperCollins, who I really respect for their editorial team, is a great thing too.
Being published gives you reach like never before. So right now, I’m enjoying the feedback that my writing makes people laugh and gives them insight into their own relationships. I know there’s a lot of talk about how there are so many new authors and new books in India now – but I still think it’s a big deal. In short, I’d have to say – the best thing about being a published author…is being published!
What is the hardest thing about writing a book?
Now I’m tempted to say, like with the previous question that the hardest thing about writing a book is writing it! But I won’t.
Seriously, the first draft – where you have to get the story to flow on paper, really – trying very hard not to rationalize or self-edit too much – that’s the hardest part. The things that follow are a piece of cake – rewriting, finishing, editing. They’re just the icing on the cake. With the first draft too – it’s the first step that’s the hardest, as it is with most other things.
If you were a man, would there be anything different about your book?
Of course – it wouldn’t be the same book at all. Here, it’s written completely from the female perspective and you get inside the woman’s head while her husband is a character who is described as seen through her eyes. However, the project I’m working on right now is writing through the man’s eyes. I’m certainly having a lot of fun with it.
Who was the first to read your book? What was their first reaction?
I sent it to very few close friends and family members, but my friend from the MBA Days, Kunal was probably the first person to finish reading it. His reaction? He loved it – it made him laugh, which is what I was looking for. He gave me some great inputs.
My sister Gitanjali was the other person who read it, and she loved it too. The two of them helped me shape it into the form that it got accepted by the publisher.
One book you would love to have written?
No doubt about it – The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Devakaruni Bannerji. Definitely not the funny genre which I can write, but I so admire this book.
Future literary plans?
To just keep writing, somehow. To figure out what role writing is supposed to play in my life. Hoping that it’s a big one, and trying my darndest to make sure that happens! Those are my future ‘literary’ plans.
Also – while It’s too early for me, I have a feeling that the area of humorous yet insightful writing about relationships may be what comes most naturally to me. But like with most things regarding the future – we’ll just have to wait and see, won’t we?
*Photo credit: Yashodhara Lal
Now dear readers, a book giveaway for you!
Simply share any one really funny incident about your spouse or partner and win signed copies of Just Married, Please Excuse.
Just leave your answer as a comment below – and two winners will each get a signed copy of Just Married, Please Excuse!
Please note: Only 1 comment per person. The book can only be sent to a valid address in India. Giveaway closes on 9 AM IST 30th July 2012.
So what are you waiting for? Comment away!
Update: Giveaway Closed.
The winners are Hima J and Meenaxi. Congrats!
Previous Interviews in Author’s Corner:
Rashmi Bansal of Poor Little Rich Slum
Meghna Pant of One & A Half Wife
Eowyn Ivey of The Snow Child
Shakti Salgaokar of Imperfect Mr.Right
Himani Vashishta of Princess of Falcons
Lata Gwalani of Incognito
Nina Godiwalla of Suits
Urvashi Gulia of My Way Is The Highway
Kiran Manral of The Reluctant Detective
Ameera Al Hakawati of Desperate In Dubai
Judy Balan of Two Fates
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He said that he needed sometime to himself. I waited for him as any other woman would have done, and I gave him his space, I didn't want to be the clingy one.
Trigger Warning: This deals with mental trauma and depression, and may be triggering for survivors.
I am someone who believes in honesty and trust, I trust people easily and I think most of the times this habit of mine turns into bane.
This is a story of how a matrimonial website service turned into a nightmare for me, already traumatized by the two relationships I’ve had. It’s a story for every woman who lives her life on the principles of honesty and trust.
And when she enters the bedroom, she sees her husband's towel lying on the bed, his underwear thrown about in their bathroom. She rolls her eyes, sighs and picks it up to put in the laundry bag.
Vasudha, age 28 – is an excellent dancer, writer, podcaster and a mandala artist. She is talented young woman, a go getter and wouldn’t bat an eyelid if she had to try anything new. She would go head on with it. Everyone knew Vasudha as this cheerful and pretty young lady.
Except when marriage changed everything she knew. Since she was always outdoors, whether for office or for travelling for her dance shows, Vasudha didn’t know how to cook well.
Going by her in-laws definition of cooking – she had to know how to cook any dishes they mentioned. Till then Vasudha didn’t know that learning to cook was similar to getting an educational qualification. As soon as she entered the household after her engagement, nobody was interested what she excelled at, everybody wanted to know – what dishes she knew how to cook.