Monday, March 13, 2017

Summerita Rhayne, author of 'His Christmas Delight' speaks to Sanchita Sen

Author Summerita Rhayne
From an anthology, book to series, characters find places in formats they are meant to be. Summerita discusses about her latest series. Read on to know more:

Writing a series is both a joy and a pain. You get to spend more time with the characters and visit them again in subsequent books, but timelines need to be worked around. A multiple cast adds color and ambience to the story.

Sanchita: How did you ideate upon the ‘Christmas Romance’ series?

Summerita: I was invited to take part in a Christmas romance anthology. The story was supposed to be 6k words long. I started writing and became immersed in the characters. Meanwhile, for some reasons, the anthology couldn't materialise. I wasn't sorry because I knew 6k wasn't enough to hold the whole story of my characters. Myra, lively and supportive, who's gone through the turmoil of losing her young husband after a short marriage. Jay, who witnessed the accident, which took away his life and himself suffers from the after effects. Then the ties, which they have, because of being in the same neighborhood...all of it demanded to be explored and came together in a novella. Then the older brother developed into a character, who couldn't be ignored. The background of the brothers also had issues that needed to be solved, so I had to given in and chart out a series. 'His Christmas Delight' is already released. 'His Christmas Surprise' will be out very soon. 'His Christmas Miracle' will follow, and the fourth is yet to have a title.

Sanchita: When writing a series, what are the advantages and disadvantages that you face as an author?

Summerita: Writing a series is both a joy and a pain. You get to spend more time with the characters and visit them again in subsequent books, but timelines need to be worked around. A multiple cast adds color and ambience to the story. You have to do minimal research as far as setting is case of Christmas romance series, most are set in Goa. The background story is also provided readymade. For example, I knew what issues Dan would face in 'His Christmas Surprise' because I'd already touched on their father absconding in their childhood in Jay's story.

The difficulties are that you have to outline accordingly. Jay and Myra come in the second book too. So what's happening in their life. Christmas happens in all the books, so I'll have to be careful what is happening around Christmas 2017 in one book, doesn't happen during Christmas 2016 in another! Also, now this may sound contradictory, but your setting becomes same-ish and that can be too uniform for all the books. Maybe I'll introduce other locations in subsequent books.

Sanchita: Would you ever want your stories to be played out on the silver screen? Yes or no and why?

Summerita: It's every writer's dream to see their characters brought to life. So no reason I shouldn't want it. But the story shouldn't be tampered with.

Sanchita: Who is your favourite author and why?

Summerita: I love to read historical romance and whodunnits, interspersed with thrillers and classics. The author I don't tire of reading is Georgette Heyer. Her research is detailed and her characters are unique, not to mention her entertaining style of writing.

Sanchita: Sneak peek into your next project.

Summerita: After the Christmas romance series, I would like to concentrate on finishing the historical romance series, Indian Princesses Saga. The next two books will be about royal sisters, Liya and Kambodini respectively. Liya is a warrior princess. Kambodini is studious, but mischievous. I'm still to work on the stories in detail.

Rapid Fire round (First thought that comes to mind on hearing these words)

a. Jingle: It makes me think of my old school rhyme. It was sung along the tune of 'Jingle Bells' and it went like, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells...oh what fun it is to have our school birthday today! Hey!
b. Red: Well, red is undoubtedly the color romance. Roses, hearts and in India, the bridal definitely the romantic color.
c. Spark: Hmm... I might use that as a character name sometime.
d. Holiday: Most summers of heading out to hill stations, makes me think of wooded green slopes, horse riding and paragliding.
e. Friends: Nowadays I'm watching How I Met Your Mother but time was when I hardly missed an episode :) Seriously though, they have been invaluable in their support. Not naming them. You know who you are!

Summerita's book 'His Christmas Delight is available at:                            

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