1. You are a prolific writer. Runaway Bridegroom is your fourth book in a span of little over a year. What is your schedule like and how do you manage to fit in all the other parts of your life?
Thank you Adiana for saying that! The Runaway Bridegroom is my third book this year. The fourth is yet to come in December 2014. Most of what I recently published, I already had on my computer since a few years. I just needed to update them, get them edited, rewrite and have it proofed before publishing. I do work long hours, especially late at night when I have a deadline. Apart from writing, I am your typical housewife making three meals a day. I enjoy working all seven days of the week and don’t follow a schedule per se. If I don’t feel like working either on computer or in the kitchen, I just switch off from everything. I read a lot and am a Bollywood buff. I watch a lot of films on the big screen with my husband.
2. Through your writing you come across as very knowledgeable about tradition in terms of customs, rituals and family relationships: yet you do not shy away from writing quite explicitly at times about the sensuous as well ….where does the real Sundari Venkatraman lie?
Both are very much a part of me. I have the advantage of having lived for a bit more than half a century. I have always enjoyed learning about customs and rituals. That does not necessarily mean that I follow any of them. I have questioned them since I was a kid, much to my Grandma’s chagrin. But I never did want to follow anything unless I was convinced. Family relationships – yes, having lived in a large joint family before marriage and later getting married into one – I do understand a bit about those. Especially, what all could go right or wrong in a family.
Writing about the sensuous is not very different I feel. After all, one aspect of the wedding ritual is legalizing physical relationships. And sex is the very basis of creating new life. There is a part of society that dubs that as ‘dirty’. Well, I am not one of those. It’s a comfortable subject that’s spoken freely at home. Writing is just one more step forward.
3. Which of your four heroines would you identify with most and why?
Sunita, Meghna, Sanya and Chanda – while they play different roles in my novels, they all are women who think for themselves, who are determined, who will not suffer fools gladly, who are passively aggressive and who have a sensuous side to them. I would say that I identify with all of them.
4. You are also an avid blogger (Flaming Sun). Does that experience tie in with your writing of romance novels?
Yeah, I am an avid blogger – not just Flaming Sun. I have one more called Ascension Miracles which is a spiritual blog. As a writer, I first began with my novels. When I found no takers, I still felt the need to write. Working in the media, I realized that newspapers and websites never allow you to voice your real opinions; it’s always the editor’s or management’s version of things. Feeling the urge to express myself without interference, I began blogging. Now, my blogs are a platform to promote myself as a romance novelist too.
5. For Sundari Venkatraman what would be the ideal romantic date and where?
A private five-star setting, candle-night dinner, soft music and delicious food with one’s soul mate. (There is a similar scene in Meghna )
Thank you Adiana Ray for the lovely interview! Very intriguing questions and I enjoyed the opportunity to voice my thoughts while answering them.
Thank you Sundari. It was fun getting to know what lies behind the persona 'Sundari the Author'.