Monday, 23 July 2012

Preeti Singh - Author Interview 1

Preeti Singh: Watch your actions because Karma does return

As a typical 10 or 11 year-old of her time, she started reading mysteries as Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys. As she grew older, she graduated to reading crime novels of Agatha Christie and Sherlock Holmes, the mysteries and romance Sidney Sheldon created, the medical-related psycho thrillers of Robin Cook, and the occasional Mills & Boons, while in college. But all this changed, once she got married and got busy with her marital life. Suspense stories always having excited her, and in time it was on an inspired decision that she took to writing her first crime thriller.

The forty-years-young, cherubic and affable first-time author, Preeti Singh, Chandigarh announced her baby, ‘Flirting With Fate’ at an exciting launch at CII Building, Sec 31, Chandigarh on Saturday, 14th July. In her very first interview with Basil Sylvester Pinto, the debutant author, excited and a little nervous, opens up her heart on her transition from a writer to an author. Read on …

1)      Tell us something about yourself and your background.

I am an epileptic by birth who married an army officer and who is now a proud mom of a15 year old daughter. I made my name in the tricity of Chandigarh with my website and then wanted  to do something outstanding with a debut book to nullify people’s doubts in me if I can sustain myself on my own with my many ill health problems. This book is a challenge to my self than anyone else.

2)   There is this perception among the readers that debutant novelists come up with inspired stories. How true does this notion hold with you?
Well…I would not disagree with that. I  dunno about other novelists, but I was inspired by people who did not believe in me---who ridiculed me and jibed me that I cannot do it That push was enough to ignite the fire in me to prove myself. Moreover, I always believe in KARMA RETURNING. I was not born a saint. Like all, in youth, I also must have done plenty wrong. So kind of feel my ill health is my karma returning. Also the good people in my life are my good karma coming back. Maybe, this inspired me

3)   Coming to the title of your debut novel ‘Flirting With Fate,’ can you tell us how you came up with such an interesting name?
Well…the word FLIRTING I felt will click with the youth and FATE with the elderly, as I am targeting all age groups in this book. Though its based in the 80s devoid of laptops and mobiles, I felt maybe kids of today will be intrigued how their parents survived without the net, FB and mobiles. Also I wanted to write something different than chick-lit love stories with dirty slangs…

4)      How can your readers relate to the characters in your debut novel?
I would not call my book—A BOOK. It’s a journey—a novel of family and friends who are intertwined as they connected in my life. Most characters are with real names with real people in my life. You can say gratitude or the special bonds I share with them earned their place in the book. Whether it was my daughter’s friends or mine…all are there in some role or the other. Having said that, the scenes and murders are purely fictional. I kind of just wanted my dear ones to feel special by giving them all tiny can find a girl of 16 and a woman of 45 or a young sexy lady of 22 also in the book. Readers can connect because I have expressed feelings, desires, fears, love, lust which we all undergo—we all face but often cannot express. So when a reader goes through that, they will connect. Like after the book release, I met someone who said he had a brief fling with his school teacher. She was in her thirties and he was 15. It suddenly connected because it happens in my book too. In such ways I think people can relate to my book—hopefully…

5)    You recently had your debut book launch in Chandigarh. What has been the response like?
AWESOME is the word. On the first day itself I sold about 120 books out of 200 sent to me by the publisher. I had hired a PR agency, so about 18 newspapers of Punjab covered me—u can find the link here
I never expected drivers, mechanics whom I have been daily dealing with, calling me to see my photo in the papers. I felt like a celeb. People have been wanting to come home and take a signed copy. The book stores at Chandigarh have ordered the book as people who are not net savvy and cannot order online want to pick up from the stores ASAP…it feels awesome –truly…

The debutant author at the launch of her crime thriller

At the launch with her literary-bent friends

6)      How does the new-found tag of an author make you feel?
Simply ecstatic. The promotion from a WRITER to an AUTHOR took me time. It was tough but not impossible. My daughter’s image has improved in school and suddenly people who had ignored me want to be connected with me---calling me—it feels awesome. Cannot explain—still in the euphoria…

7)   With your growing fan following, can you tell us one such anecdote with one of your readers which is both heartening and amusing...?
Well no large fan following yet, as people are still reading the book. But I must say, the book was only sold in the launch hall and not yet out in the market or Flipkart and jealous rivals posted reviews on Flipkart how bad the book was. I complained to Flipkart how they can post when the book has not been read yet? Just shows maybe the book is already a threat to someone. It was really amusing to see how people are crazy to pull you down.
But yes, people are giving a feedback about the book. Midway through reading it, friends are calling me. They love the doggies role—the dog in the book is FLUFFY who talks and expresses his thoughts. So people who are dog lovers are able to connect with him…that felt good…

8)   Did you face any difficulties in getting your manuscript approved, given the literary scenario which mainly sustains itself on Romantic Fiction reads?
Yes I did. I would not like to take names but some publishers asked me to write sensational love hot scenes. I refused, and hence they rejected me. Also many said it’s the 80s theme, so youth will not like it. Also love stories are wanted, not crime thrillers. But Mahaveer accepted me as mine was the first crime thriller from Chandigarh and they wanted to take a change from chick lit love stories…

9)   Erotica and Fantasy are genres which have not really been explored by Indian authors. Do we see you, in eventuality; look at these largely untouched genres as a writer?
I really dunno…time will tell…also a feedback from readers will decide my Fate J

10)  What kind of books do you read?
As a young girl, I would love reading crime fiction…murders and thrillers. So this book came by as a fun filled journey and I wanted to unveil the crime detective in me through my book. But now I prefer to read self help books---spiritual books which help me grow as an individual…

11)  On your leisure pursuits …
I love listening to music...watching TV – movies and of course, shopping---like any other woman …

12)  How would you view the literary scene in the country?
There is a shift. People are now open to reading more and more. They are grabbing books – judging authors and publishers. A shift is happening---people prefer reading books than being on the internet. I feel Chetan Bhagat should be given credit for this.

13)  To the aspiring authors, what would be your advice?
Write from your heart and surrender to the publishers—BUT only after editing your works well enough so it can be published effortlessly …

14)  Your message to the readers …


  1. lovely interview basil. And thanks preety di for sharing your thoughts :)

  2. Thanks Himu :)) Feels very nice to receive compliments from you as always, esp. so with the very first comment on this blog :))