268: From Bollywood-Inspired YA to RWA - Interview with Nisha Sharma


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Hey there word nerds!

Today, we’re doing another one of our live-from-a-conference interviews, this time from RWA annual conference, which is the big event that the Romance Writers of America put on each year. I had the pleasure of speaking at this event a few years ago in San Diego, and this year because it’s back in New York, I’m delighted to be attending it once again.

For this episode, I have the pleasure of interviewing Nisha Sharma, whose YA novel, My So-Called Bollywood Life, has just won the RITA award, which is one of the top awards for romance writing, for best young adult r omance. Nisha is also the author of the adult contemporary romance The Takeover Effect.

Now, because I can’t resist a good YA story, and because it’s been nominated for a RITA, our discussion focuses particularly on My So-Called Bollywood Life. But before we get to the interview, let me tell you a little more about our guest.

Nisha’s writing has been praised in NPR, Cosmopolitan, Teen Vogue, Buzzfeed, Hypable and more.

She credits her father for her multiple graduate degrees, and her mother for her love of Shah Rukh Khan and Jane Austen. She lives in New Jersey with her Alaskan husband, her cat Lizzie Bennett and her dog Nancey Drew.

In this episode Nisha and I discuss:
  • The inspiration behind My So-Called Bollywood Life
  • How minor characters influence and develop the main character
  • Building a real world as opposed to a fantasy world
  • How Bollywood structure conventions influenced the book
  • Using blog posts at the beginning of each chapter as an anchor for writing
  • The similarities between Jane Austen and Bollywood
Plus, her #1 tip for writers.

For more info and shownotes: diymfa.com/268

274 episodes