Thursday, October 11, 2012

Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar - Coloured and Other Stories - Author Interview & Giveaway

Author Interview

1. How did you come up with the title?
This is a short story collection which gives glimpses into the private lives of immigrants adjusting to life in new spaces. You see men, women, and children trying to reconcile their past and their present with their future in new surroundings.

2. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I hope readers understand that the immigrant experience is one that is often not completely thought out or planned; the first generation seeks a better life and the second one finds itself straddling two cultures.

3. How much of the book is realistic?
The book is inspired by the real life stories of many different people but then set into fiction.

4. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?
This was the very first project I ever wrote so it was a necessary part of my development as a writer.

5. What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Sometimes getting characters to move around in a scene can be difficult. You aren’t sure how much detail to use; though Hawthorne and Hardy used to take a paragraph to get someone up from a chair to open the door, readers aren’t interested in that kind of dense prose any more.

6. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned stories are universal and help us connect our isolated experiences into a larger sense of community.

7. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I dabbled in writing from middle school when I wrote a short story for a teacher I loved as a way of saying thank you to her. I wrote a romance novel for fun in high school because that was what my mother loved to check out from the library and I would read them after her. 

8. Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I love people who aren’t afraid to present us with the complete human experience. Writers like Alice Munroe, Ann Patchett, and Colin Cotterill show us characters in unique settings and their unexpected life circumstances. I want to be taken out of myself and transported somewhere else.

9. Tell us your latest news.
I’m revising the manuscript for my next novel, An Unlikely Goddess which in many ways revisits the themes present in this collection but following a single character through her coming of age as South Indian woman in the west.

10. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Keep reading, buying, and reviewing books! That’s how we authors get to do what we do best. You may not like everyone and that’s okay. But champion those people you do love. 

About the Book

What's it like being the ant in the ice cream? The characters in this short story collection will show you; experience life as they know it as transplants from across the world into American suburbia.

Adapted from real life anecdotes both her own and those of others, Mohana takes us into the world of the South Asian immigrant living the American Dream. Think of her as a cultural translator for those who you may not notice otherwise, living in the margins of our cities.

Excerpt from BABY:
"What are a few inches when you know he will provide for you the rest of your life," her mother would have said, smacking her in the cheek. The sight of his feet, white, broad toes, and clean, short-clipped nails startled her. Americans normally wore their shoes everywhere; they had special shoes to wear inside their houses, shoes specifically for their bedrooms.

Price: $2.99, ebook
Pages: 95
Genre: Short Stories
Release Date: September 14, 2011
Buy Links: Kindle

About the Author

Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar is a South Asian American who has lived in Qatar since 2005. Moving to the Arabian Desert was fortuitous in many ways since this is where she met her husband, had a baby, and made the transition from writing as a hobby to a full time passion.  She has since published five e-books including a mom-ior for first time mothers, Mommy But Still Me, a guide for aspiring writers, So You Want to Sell a Million Copies, a short story collection, Coloured and Other Stories, and a novel about women’s friendships, Saving Peace. Most recently, From Dunes to Dior, is a collection of essays related to her experiences as a female South Asian American living in the Arabian Gulf. After she joined the e-book revolution, she dreams in plotlines.  

Links to connect with Mohanna:
Web site

About the Giveaway:

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