Welcome romance and fantasy fiction author Shilpa Mudiganti!
Intro: What’s your name, what do you write, where can readers find you on social media? And just for fun, if you could be any mythological being, what or who would you be?
I write romance and fantasy fiction that always has a happy ending. No matter how hard the circumstances are, the hero and heroine will walk into the sunset holding hands. I am an IT professional by day but the stories in my head are always on! So, I write whenever I have a moment. You can find me at the following places:
- Your book releases TODAY! What has been the craziest part of your journey with Startup Fiancé?
The craziest part was how my characters decided to go their own way when writing the story. Arav was supposed to fall head over heels with Nisha the moment he saw her but he took his own sweet time. It was a pleasure unraveling their feelings for each other.
- Start-up Fiancée is your fourth book. How has your writing process changed since Forever Yours?
Tons, to put it mildly. I was a panster when I started. With my schedule, by the second book, I realized I needed a plan to get books written. I cannot be a pantser, live the life the way I live today AND finish stories. So, I consciously started outlining my stories before I wrote. I am more organized now and I love that!
- What inspired Start-up Fiancée and how does it stand out from your other books?
I write about happily ever after romance based out of my favorite city in the world, New York City. It was mid-last year when I was planning out my next book that I realized that I had never written about my culture and the Indian-Americans in NYC. We have a vibrant culture and it hit me that apart from Bollywood themed novels, we don’t get to see any other facet of Indian-Americans in romance. Once I had that thought, it was easy to weave a story. What I didn’t expect was writing it would be both fun and challenging. On one hand, the story was playing out by itself, and on the other, I had to explain a lot of things that in my world are understood implicitly. 🙂
This book stands out because it’s more culturally rich. This is my first ever venture in writing ethnic characters.
- What scene was the hardest to write, why?
Arav fears being judged for his legacy and he strives to excel, in hopes that that will bury his past. But it doesn’t work that way all the time. His mother plays a great role in building his character. There’s a scene where he misses her a lot. He takes out an old photograph of her and reminisces her memories. I found myself crying while writing it and that is my favorite. I have a 4-yr old son too and I hoped he would love me as much as Arav did his mother. What can I say – motherhood has reduced me to a sentiment fool!
- What are the characters like and why will readers love them?
Arav and Nisha are deeply flawed but they also fight every day to be better, just like us here. Readers will love them for their authenticity and because they could relate to their feelings. I had a reviewer who said she could relate to the struggles to prove their worth with Nisha and Arav. And I thought she was spot on because we do that every day. No matter where we are in our lives, we are always fighting a battle that is not necessarily visible to everyone.
- Do you think someone can be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?
I can only speak for myself I have written my best work when I felt emotions course through me. I have laughed, cried, got upset and sometimes, felt sad for days when writing my books. I have to feel my character’s feelings to write for them. I would have written a technical manual without having the ability to feel them!
- Favorite quote from Startup Fiancé?
“Matchmaking is my family’s hobby, I must admit.”
- What are common traps for aspiring writers?
Assuming story is done after the first draft. The first draft is just telling the story to yourself. The real writing comes after that. It is so easy to be euphoric after the first draft is done. Well, congratulations on finishing your story! Now, please write the novel.
I am still learning that lesson.
- What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
Paying for review tours. I love people reading my book. Most of my marketing efforts are spent on giving away free copies. Just the thought that readers are reading a book written by me thrills me to no end.
- What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
I find that we discount men as non-feeling beings. Often in romance fiction, I find their feelings clipped, their reactions brash. I am surrounded by men who feel and I try to put that in my books. But even then, their reactions to situations are so different than women. I often double check with my male friends to see if it makes sense to them.
- What do you think is the best way for romance writers to market their books
I am still figuring it out but I have been doing a lot of reading lately on this topic. The most important thing is writing a good book, of course. Next is, write more marketable books. Write to market, as they say. And then, write a lot of them!
- Favorite social media platform as a writer?
I love Instagram. I also like Facebook but for more authorly stuff like author groups where I can network with other authors and learn about the publishing world.
- What did you edit out of this book?
Actually, I didn’t edit out any scenes! I was lucky that way.
- What’s your favorite writing-related memory?
I was laughing like a lunatic at something I wrote and my husband decided I finally gave in to my insanity.
- What’s a favorite moment you’ve had with a fan/someone who’s read your work?
My mother read Startup Fiancé and she said she loved it. This is special because, for all of the rest of my books, she said, “Yeah…I read it. Nice.” So, I must have done something right this time! 😀
- One fun fact most people don’t know about you?
I am terrified of dogs! When I was younger, I almost got attacked a big group of them. I still remember about 8-10 street dogs charging toward a lone dog and I was right in the middle of the street. I froze and I thought I was going to die a painful death. I think I never got past that. I change directions even when I see a leashed dog coming toward me.
Thank you, Shilpa! I love your answers! If you like romance and fantasy, follow Shilpa on
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As always, keep making magic, word weavers!