Interview with Santonu Kumar Dhar

This is your first attempt of writing a novel. Why did you choose romance as your genre?
Yes, this is my debut novel. I am a big romantic at heart but have never been in a relationship so far. Sometimes my emotions take the front seat; I must say I am a dreamer and I do believe in soul mates and that I may soon find someone with whom I may fall in love. This is not only the reason to have chosen romance as my genre. As a writer I believe I should write only what is worth reading. So, for all those who are romantic and are looking to connect to some book, this book should be a good starting point.
How was the writing process? How did you develop each character?
I had started writing this story without a plan. When I got the idea of writing this story, it was late at night. It was almost 4:00 AM. My initial inspiration was the story of my cousin’s life which ended in a rather tragic manner. But eventually I had to add a lot of drama and emotion to make this story sound fictional as well as gripping. I did some research and chose names for my characters. I dreamt of writing novels right from childhood but it never happened till date. At this point in life I did not have any plan of writing a book. In fact I dreamt more of writing film scripts. So, I just opened screenwriting software and then wrote the first scene of the bus stop in Manhattan where John meets Sarah. I continued to write till I completed my screenplay. One day I thought I must turn it into a novel. So, both my dreams could be fulfilled. Sarah is a character with whom I can fall in love and I have tried to add some elements of my life in the character of John. All other characters were built during the process and have grown with the story. Overall I enjoyed the process. I requested a feedback from my friends and their honest criticism helped me a lot. I also worked with some other writers to improve the quality of my work.
If this novel were turned into a movie, who would you like playing the characters of Sarah, John and William? And why?
Since I started writing this story as a screenplay and not a novel, I obviously have gone through this thought several times. I would like to see Kristen Stewart play Sarah. I have seen her movies like The Twilight Saga, Snow white and Huntsman and I like the way she personifies her characters. So, I think she can play this role well. I would love to see Robert Pattinson play John. He is smart, tall and can pull off this role with style. I think Andrew Garfield will be the right fit for William. I have watched two of his films Amazing Spiderman and The Social Network, both of which have won accolades and have made me admire this guy.
Did you relate to any particular character in the plot in a more personal manner?
Yes. Both Sarah and John are close to my heart. Sarah is a strong independent woman who knows where her life is leading. She is a girl I can fall in love with. As for John, he is very close to me as a person. He is dominant and well established yet caring and humble. In fact, I added dimensions to his character based on what I might do in certain situations.
You have described the whirlwind romance between Sarah and John in India. What is your feeling about the Taj Mahal?
Taj Mahal was built by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife. It is not just a world wonder; it is also treated as a symbol of love and I do feel emotionally drawn to its existence. To have such a wonderful monument built for his wife, Shah Jahan must have loved her a lot and their love story is one of the most widely known. I think every person from India must dream of a romance like theirs, something that does not fade away with time.
There is a particular dimension that you have added to the love story of Akash and Nidhi. Any particular reason for that?
Not really. John and Sarah spend some wonderful moments with Akash and Nidhi during their trip to India. The beautiful saree in which John thinks Sarah looks gorgeous, the Indian recipes that Nidhi helps Sarah cook, the festival of Holi – all of these are my tributes to India as a country. As a culture, theirs is very different from the western counterparts and it was interesting to explore the two ends of the world simultaneously. So, there is no particular reason but it makes for a good ‘east meets west’ kind of concept.
Would you like to comment on the strong image that you have created for Sarah?
Sarah is brave, strong, emotional, kind, romantic and a clever girl. She is never disappointed with life, and she chooses a path she wants by enduring her love without bothering about her future. All these qualities are attractive and desirable in a woman.
Although you have written a love triangle, it is different in its own way. Your comments?
I have seen several love stories in the form of films and have also read scores of them. Film makers and authors never seem to get tired of these and the audience too enjoys every instalment. But this book is different and it has a soul that is different from those of the other movies and books. I wanted to focus on existence of love rather than focusing on the traditional love triangle concepts. My intention was to create something so pure that it would immediately strike a chord with the readers.
When John parts ways from Sarah at the wedding, he forgets to take her number. You have introduced the element of luck in their story. Do you believe luck plays a role in romance?
Yes, of course. I believe that although you may love someone deeply and may get everything perfect, if luck is not on your side, everything could go awry. When you care for someone so much and your love in unconditional, you feel like spending each waking moment with the person. And in this emotion lies the love for the person. Luck is a big factor and it has to play along is you wish for a successful story.
Lastly, would you like to write a sequel to this plot?
Yes. I have an idea in mind. Though I should not divulge much, I can tell you that Sarah’s son will play the protagonist in my next book. It will again explore romance but in a different way and a more intense fashion. If the readers are interested, I could use their opinions on what I should name my protagonist.
Published 2013-12-29.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Life Of Love - A Novel
You set the price! Words: 48,400. Language: English. Published: December 9, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Full of emotion, charm, and compassion, Life of Love is a fresh new romance novel that will take you along on John and Sarah's journey as they travel down love's occasionally rocky path, overcoming the challenges their relationship brings, and ultimately discovering what it truly means to be loved.