Interview: Up Close with Nicola Marsh - the Queen of Romance on Her Mainstream Debut Novel "Busted in Bollywood"

[JPG Image: Nicola Marsh]Nov 24, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio / Penning Creations) Weaving fantasies that teenage dreams are made of, Nicola Marsh shot to fame as an author of the famous Mills & Boon series, starting in late 2001. She has penned more than 50 books since then and has to her credit an impressive line-up of awards including the celebrated HOLT (Honoring Outstanding Literary Talent), Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award, Booksellers' Best, Laurel Wreath and more. This USA Today and Waldenbooks bestseller author currently writes for Harlequin Mills and Boon Romance and Riva/Presents series and 31 of her books released from under the banner has sold over 3 million copies worldwide in more than 10 different languages.

Up for grabs is “Busted in Bollywood”, yet another dishy chick-lit to be released on December 6th this year and will be available in print as well as e-book formats. In an up close with Nicola, she shares her recipe for sassy romantic fictions, talks about her forthcoming book and more…

Do you at all try to link your fantasies to real life ever?

I write fiction to entertain, a form of escapism for people wanting a break from real life, so the fantasy aspect is entirely up to the individual reader. My fantasy to be a rich, famous author? Still working on that!

Do you write your books aiming any particular age group as such?

More popular books by Nicola Marsh on sale

My contemporary romances appeal to a wide range of ages, from teenagers to great-grandmothers. With my Harlequin Mills and Boon books, I write for two series, Harlequin Romance and Harlequin Presents. My Romance books are sweeter than my Presents, which can be steamier. Interestingly, when I do library talks and take both books as samples, the older generation tends to grab the steamy books every time!

Though writing in one particular genre, how do you bring such unique variations?

There’s always a new idea, a new plot, and new characters to bring a unique angle and concept to each story. That’s part of the creative fun for me, devising modern, flirty, fun situations and pitting strong-willed, chatty characters against each other.

Your characters are always drawn from the glamour world, is that your normal creative process or just a way to spice up your books by firing imagination?

The Harlequin Presents series I write for tends to have more glamorous worlds, but not all my characters come from this background.

I’ve had a horse strapper heroine, an aromatherapist heroine who helped run a theme park and lived in a caravan, and several working-class heroines.  Every character brings a certain something to a story and fires my imagination.

Please tell us about your new book, “Busted in Bollywood” that is to be released in December.

I’m so excited about my first mainstream novel, BUSTED IN BOLLYWOOD, being released!  It’s an eclectic mix of contemporary romance/romantic comedy/chicklit/women’s fiction, a real masala mix! Think ‘Sex and the City’ meets ‘Eat, Pray, Love.’

I think the blurb best sums it up:

Shari Jones needs to get a life. Preferably someone else’s.
Single, homeless and jobless, Indo-American Shari agrees to her best friend’s whacky scheme: travel to Mumbai, pose as Amrita, and ditch the fiancé her traditional Indian parents have chosen. Simple. Until she’s mistaken for a famous Bollywood actress, stalked by a Lone Ranger wannabe, courted by an English lord, and busted by the blackmailing fiancé.
Life is less complicated in New York.

Or so she thinks, until the entourage of crazies follows her to the Big Apple and that’s when the fun really begins. Shari deals with a blossoming romance, an addiction to Indian food and her first movie role, while secretly craving another trip to the mystical land responsible for sparking her new lease on life. Returning to her Indian birthplace, she has an epiphany. Maybe the happily-ever-after of her dreams isn’t so far away?

How is India portrayed in your upcoming book?

India is a vibrant, cosmopolitan, mystical, incredible country and that’s how I’ve portrayed it in the book. (In fact, think I’ve used those very words at various times in the book!)

I’ve heard many stories from my parents growing up there, and have Indian friends who shared their tales with me also. I’ve visited twice as a child and would love to return one day.
My yearning to travel there had to be satisfied by writing the book. Had a blast researching!

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