My Menopausal Epiphany
They say adolescence and menopause are two sides of the same coin. Both have to do with hormonal adjustments, both involve mood swings, bodily changes, and emotional ups and downs. Every now and then I believe a creative spark can be part of the process. It happened that way for me. Pure serendipity!
My creative spark didn’t ignite until I turned 50. Menopausal woes for some reason turned into a “menopausal epiphany.”
My first book, THE DOWRY BRIDE, started out as a rather dark short story—a homework assignment for the one and only creative writing course I took a few years ago.
My instructor suggested that since I had too many characters to make it an effective short story I should perhaps aim to turn it into a full-length novel. So I took up the challenge and started writing my first long manuscript.
It was a difficult task. While most Indian authors write serious literary books, I wanted to write a mainstream book with romantic elements, something I love to read. I wondered if there would be a market for such a book. Would any agent even bother to look at a tale that was so different from the usual? It fitted into no particular genre, the setting was unusual, the theme controversial, and the author unknown – a perfect recipe for disaster.
Each time another rejection letter arrived, I made the decision to throw in the towel and give up my writer dream. But a while later I would start the agent-querying rounds all over again.
Needless to say, it took me two years to find a reputable agent to sign me on, but she sold the book within a few months to Kensington Publishing in a two-book deal in April 2006. At last, I had found an editor out there who thought my books had promise.
The Forbidden Daughter is the second of the two books, and the story is woven around the hot-button social issue of gender-based abortions in India, where male child-obsessed folks on occasion abort female fetuses although it is against the law. An excerpt and book trailer are posted on my website: www.shobhanbantwal.com
Thank you, Ms. Bantwal, for that candid and inspiring post! Don't forget to check out the author's site for excerpts, book trailers and more.
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