Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Making of Storms in a Shot Glass

Available HERE
A little bump is about to cause a lot of ripples
The story behind Storms in a Shot Glass came to me during a chat with one of my friends. I was complaining about my kids, and my friend said kids really knew how to brew a tempest in a teacup. That was still not appropriate in my opinion, and I replied, “More like they can stir up a storm in a shot glass!”
The words stayed with me for many days. I kept thinking, “This would make a great book title...” From this point on, I was like, “What story could I tag with this?”
The answer seemed obvious – the story needed a child in it. Now, stories with children have been done and overdone. I had myself penned down stories where children were strongly featured (Light My World & Calling Home). It got me further into thinking, and then the light bulb moment came – what’s the one thing that involves a child but has the biggest impact on a woman? Pregnancy. So there I had it - the story would be about a pregnancy.
Entered the brainstorming and characterization stage. Pregnancy and maximum impact = unplanned, accidental, unexpected. The more unexpected, the better! Now who would be more affected by such news? Obvious – a woman whose life resembled the inside of a shot glass since there is no room to move in there. It would be nice to brew a storm in such closed confines. Pitch her against a hero who would stir up even more havoc, and I had my game plan.
Jane Smithers came to life this way. A quiet, self-effacing girl whose life was akin to a shot glass. Simply no room for anything. Who’d be the man who would tip the scales, then? Enter Michael Rinaldi.
There’s something about the name Michael that has most women swooning. Don’t ask me what it is, I have no idea; yet, I know it’s a fact. Rinaldi is a name I always wanted to use, so there he got paired with that name. Had to give him an Italian lineage, too, and I did. I now needed a twist – and the question that popped up: “Who is Michael?” The baby’s father? Or is he someone Jane has never met before?
The second option sounded more tempting, and I went with it. How does she meet him, then? Bridging the gap, that’s when Michael’s Italian ancestry came into play – his father will be Jane’s boss. But, a big ‘but’ here, the father and son are estranged!
I’m sure you can now see how much a game of “Let’s make things more complicated for these two!” the drafting of this story turned out to be! Originally, the story started strictly through Jane’s POV, in a twist on the chick-lit. But Michael was too strong a hero (yes, an overbearing, charismatic, and utterly-charming-when-he-wants-to Italian!). He, too, wanted his say, and the hero has no say in the chick-lit, right? Swift turn, and the story became a contemporary romance where both protagonists would get the equal spotlight.
I started actively writing then, and I think this book will remain as one of the stories I had most fun with. The need to complicate matters runs throughout the plot, and it was a joyride all the way!
But it wasn’t simply about fun – it was also about stronger, deeper issues. What’s a woman to do when faced with an unexpected pregnancy? How does she come to grips with the need to become a single parent? What impact will this unborn child have on her life?
This also brought forth the notion that more and more women nowadays prefer to bring up their child alone. What’s the role of the father in there? What even defines a father nowadays? Can a man love another man’s child as his own? How does this whole situation affect him?
Jane and Michael face those issues in the story, and against a barrage of complications that Fate keeps sending their way, how will they find their footing in the shifting sands of their changing reality? When you are resolutely modern and are going about your life in cosmopolitan London, how do you adjust to unexpected changes that will completely annihilate the life you’ve known till now?
Find out when you grab a copy of Storms in a Shot Glass and join this merry, eventful ride with Jane, Michael, and their crazy entourage of quirky friends and families.

From Mauritius with love, 


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