In Conversation With The Indian Mills & Boon Queen
Double Jeopardy by Sundari Venkatraman
Sanya doesn’t just have trouble, she has double trouble. Twins Arth and Ansh Sharma, are rich, sexy and sinfully handsome – what’s a girl to do?
Sanya last saw the twins when she was ten years old. Now, all grown up, she has come looking for gentle Arth, the twin she has loved ever since she can remember. But instead, she is confronted with fiery Ansh, who is hell-bent on seducing her. And what’s worse, she can’t seem to stop herself from responding to him.
As she chases Arth and is chased by Ansh, Sanya finds herself on a crazy roller coaster ride with no way of getting off. How will she deal with these two very different men in her life? Will she be able to convince one twin that she loves the other?
I had the pleasure of talking to Sundari Venkatraman about writing, books and life in general and it was a unforgettable chat.
Welcome and congratulations on your first book Double Jeopardy. It is great pleasure to interact with you, one-on-one.
Thank you! I am glad to do the interview too. I hope you liked reading my book. J
Q1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I am from Tamil Nadu – born in Kumbakonam, grew up in Chennai. I got married and settled in Mumbai. I started my married life as a housewife and mother of two kids. But I always wanted to do something. When my kids were in middle school, I went to work. When my daughter went to tenth standard I quit my job and stayed at home till my son completed his school final. I began writing in that 5-year gap. While I took up full time jobs – first with Mumbai Mirror and later with Network 18 – over the next seven years – I never stopped writing.
Q2. How was the journey from a writer to a published author?
It was tough. I have a number of rejection letters from a lot of publishers, both Indian and foreign. I had a few offers from publishers who wanted me to invest money. I took one up after 6-7 years out of shear desperation. I regret it to this day. Well, that’s all water under the bridge.
It took me 13 years to finally get published with Double Jeopardy. I have to thank Indireads for that.
Q3. What was your experience with Indireads? And how did it happen?
My experience with Indireads has been good. While they are also learning the business of publishing, they have been consistently at it. I am quite thrilled that Double Jeopardy is on sale on 9 websites as on today.
I have to thank my friend Nilima for certifying me as an ‘Indian Mills & Boon Queen’ on LinkedIn. She has read my books – yeah, I have written a number of them – and loves them. Double Jeopardy is actually my fifth novel. Rizwan Tufail of Indireads contacted me on LinkedIn and invited me to write for Indireads. As they say, the rest is history.
Q4. Tell us a little about your book.
Double Jeopardy is a romance through and through. And as many of my readers have commented, it has a strong Bollywood tone. I love both romances and Bollywood and my book reflects that.
Q5. Tell us a little about your characters and your journey with them
My heroine is young Sanya. There are go-getters and there are late bloomers. She belongs to the second type. She’s confused about her career and she is in love with her childhood sweetheart, Arth. Arth Sharma & his lookalike twin Ansh live in Mumbai with their parents while Sanya is based in London with hers. She visits them on being invited by their mom. She hopes to rekindle her romance with the gentle Arth. What she does not expect is to feel attracted to the mischievous Ansh. Sanya feels torn between the two while she sets out to find a niche for herself in a career of her liking. What happens to Sanya and who she lands up with is the rest of the story.
Writing for me is to put into words a movie that I watch in my head. The scenes run one after another as I visualize them. It was a fun ride that I took watching Sanya grow up; Arth’s relationship with her and Ansh crowding her space. I enjoyed the twists and turns as I created the love triangle and wanted all three to be happy. I am glad to say that I managed that.
Q5. What is your take on changing ‘sexuality’ norms in the world?
I don’t think anything is actually changing. It’s only that people are more open about it nowadays. I am perfectly fine with it. I believe in the maxim, ‘every man or woman to his-her own’. It’s none of anyone else’s business.
Q6. Do you think Indians are ready to take on the change?
I think Indians were ready from the times of the Mahabharata or maybe even earlier. We have always been an evolved society, until the past 1-2 centuries. We can see a number of instances in history & mythology. Somewhere down the lane, the society has been moving in reverse gear. I think the time is apt for change in the mindsets of people as everyone is more open about their preferences.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. And good luck with your book. We hope it is a big success.
You can buy DOUBLE JEOPARDY on these websites
Meet the author
The Author’s Thoughts
Even as a kid, she absolutely loved the ‘lived happily ever after’ syndrome as Sundari grew up reading all the fairy tales she could lay her hands on, Phantom comics, Mandrake comics and the like. It was always about good triumphing over evil and a happy end. Soon, into her teens, she switched her attention from fairy tales to Mills & Boon. While she loved reading both of these, she kept visualising what would have happened if there were similar situations happening in India; to a local hero and heroine.
Her imagination took flight and she always lived in a rosy cocoon of romance over the years. Then came the writing – a true bolt out of the blue! She could never string two sentences together. While her spoken English had always been excellent – thanks to her Grandpa – she could not write to save her life. She was bad at writing essays in both school and college. Later, when it was time to teach her kids, she could manage everything from Science to Mathematics and History & Geography.
When it came to writing compositions, her kids found her of no help at all. All this changed suddenly one fine day in the year 2000. She had just quit her job at a school’s office and did not know what to do with her life. She was saturated with simply reading books. That’s when she got home one evening after her walk and took some sheets of paper and began writing. It was like watching a movie that was running in her head – all those years of visualising Indian heroes and heroines needed an outlet and had to be put into words. That’s how her first novel, The Malhotra Bride, took shape.
While she felt discouraged when publishing did not happen, it was her husband who kept encouraging her not to give up. There was no looking back after that. While publishing took a long time happening, Sundari continued to write novels and then short stories and had them published in her blogs. Her luck turned when Indireads approached her to write for them and Double Jeopardy was born.
You can stalk her @
Blog Tour Schedule
1Jan-11 Jan 2014
(The Blog links will be live as and when the posts come up)
2nd Jan 2014
Adite Banerjie (Spotlight)
3rd Jan 2014
Jaibala Rao (Review/Interview)
My School Of Thought
5th Jan 2014
Sridevi Datta (Review)
THE WRITE JOURNEY
7th Jan 2014
Vishwas Byrappa (Review)
7th Jan 2014
Tales Pensieve (Interview)
7th Jan 2014
Ruchi Vasudeva Author’s nook
8th Jan 2014
9th Jan 2014
Neelesh Gajanan Inamdar (Review)
From the Heart – Neel
10th Jan 2014
Dola Basu Singh (Spotlight)
10th Jan 2014
Sumeetha Manikandan (Review)
Book Reviews by Sumi
11th Jan 2014
Rubina Ramesh (Review/ Interview)
The Book Club