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Author Highlight: Shuchi Singh Kalra Discusses her New Book ‘A Cage of Desires’ and Stories from Life

It’s time for another author interview. Today, with us, we have Shuchi Singh Kalra, holding conversation about her third novel, A Cage of Desires. She lives in New Delhi, India.

Kindly tell us a bit about you?

I'm Shuchi, author of two romantic comedies - 'Done with Men' and 'I'm big. So what?!'. I am also the wife of an Army Officer, the mother of a pint size daughter, and two lazy cats. I'm also a wine connoisseur, baking enthusiast, a restless traveller and a compulsive nomad. 

I'm a sucker for funny romance and I think my best writing happens when I'm surrounded either by mountains or the ocean. I used to run a quaint writing and editing studio and currently I'm in a full time corporate job. When not doing any of the above, I love engaging with people on social media and inflicting my opinions on random strangers. I love creating quirky craft work when I get some time to myself and I am also a hoarder of eccentric fashion accessories for no reason at all.

How do you handle the response of the novel, ‘A Cage of Desires’?

So far the response to ‘A Cage of Desires’ has been phenomenally good. Readers of all ages and genders are reading and loving it. While positive reviews make me really happy, I do keep myself open to criticism as long as it's positive. I don't like people who hate on my book for no reason.

Do you think that writing an intense chick lit novel is as good as writing a normal novel? Please highlight your thoughts on it.

‘A Cage of Desires’ is not chick lit. It is just a story with a strong female protagonist. I believe every genre comes with its own set of challenges - the approach might be different but the dedication and effort required is the same.

Now, tell us what’s your area of interest (genre) when it comes to writing novels? Is it chick lit fiction or something else that you want to reveal later with the upcoming books?

Chick lit is a very misleading term - it usually refers to light, fluffy fiction. I mostly write women's fiction - something that highlights issues relevant to women. I like to create strong female protagonists who readers can relate to and draw inspiration from. No matter what genre I pick for my next book - horror, thriller, mythology - I will always craft my story around an extraordinary heroine.

Do you think writing a book from the comfort of bedroom or study room is possible?

Yes, it is. Thanks to the internet, most research can be carried out online.

Where do you write from? Do you go to some specific place, like beachside or into the hills?

I wish I had that luxury. I usually write books whenever I can squeeze some time out of my busy life. Most of my day is spend juggling work, home and my child.

Did you do proper research before penning down this book or was it something based on personal life?

I mostly write from imagination, but I draw from my personal experience and those of people I know. So far, I haven't written anything that requires very intensive research but I will delve into that too soon enough.

What inspired you to write this book? Any tales to tell…

It was a discussion with a Pakistani author who writes under a pseudonym that triggered the story. From there, it flowed on its own.

What was your biggest learning experience throughout the publishing process?

That marketing a book well is far more important, difficult and time-consuming than writing it.

Looking back, what did you do right that helped you break in as a writer?

I just wrote well and had conviction in my abilities.

Any best piece of writing advice from your side that we haven’t discussed?

There are no shortcuts to success. Keep polishing your craft and be open to learning and improvement.

Something personal about you people may be surprised to know?

I like cold, dark, silent places. Maybe I'm a vampire.

Any future books that you would like to discuss now?

I am halfway through a couple of manuscripts, both romantic comedies. One is the sequel to my first book, ‘Done with Men’ but it will be a standalone novel in itself. I also plan to experiment with other genres now.

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