Thursday, September 4, 2008

Author Guest Post : Shobhan Bantwal

Today I have the pleasure of presenting for your reading pleasure, a guest post by author Shobhan Bantwal. Last year, Ms. Bantwal's debut novel, The Dowry Bride, garnered praise from readers everywhere. 

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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

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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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10 comments :

  1. Excellent post. :)

    Thank you for hosting Shobhan on her virtual tour.

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  2. I enjoyed this post. It's inspiring and I'd love to read both books. I'm putting them both on my TBR list.

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  3. After reading this post, I'm interested in reading both of her books!

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  4. Interesting guest post! Her statement that "most Indian authors write serious literary books" is reflected in the books by Indian authors in my library ... it's good to "break the mold".

    I'm glad she stuck with it (rejection letter after rejection letter!); I have a copy of *The Forbidden Daughter* and I'm adding *The Dowry Bride* to my wish list

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  5. Any woman that makes me believe I can look forward to menopausal ephiphanies has my undying love. I will definitely check out her books.

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  6. Both these books sound wonderful. They are definitely going on my Christmas wish list.

    Cheryl

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  7. It's wonderful to see such enthusiasm for both my post and my books. Thanks you, folks, for your nice comments. I sincerely hope you like both the books and recommend them to your friends, family, neighbors and coworkers. You're also welcome to send your remarks to me through my website's contact page at: www.shobhanbantwal.com
    email: shobhan@shobhanbantwal.com

    Warm Regards,
    Shobhan Bantwal

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  8. These sound like fascinating books about a culture I am not very familiar with. Great interview!

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  9. Thank you all for your wonderful remarks! And thank you, Ms Bantwal for stopping by! The books are also on my to-buy list. Hopefully this weekend, they'll be gracing my bookshelf :)

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  10. To my host,

    Thank you so much for hosting me on your blog. I'm thrilled to see so many positive reponses from so many readers. It is a pleasure to be here.

    Shobhan Bantwal
    email: shobhan@shobhanbantwal.com

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