Sakshama Puri Dhariwal’s loud Punjabi family admittedly makes appearances in her books. The author who has done her B.Com from Delhi University and also an MBA in Marketing has spent hours in her college lawns discussing books and movies with her friends. And now, she has followed up her bestselling debut book Wedding Photographer with her new book Man Of Her Match which is also in the romantic genre.
She says, “Prior to becoming an author, I worked as a brand manager for e-commerce, media, and telecom companies. I suppose, I always knew I wanted to be a writer, it was more a question of taking the plunge. It’s impossible not to second-guess your decision when you choose to ‘do your own thing’ – whether it is entrepreneurship or a creative field like the one I’ve picked – over a cushy corporate job. Having the unquestioning support of family and friends was very important – my husband is my biggest advocate and didn’t even flinch when I told him that I wanted to take up writing as a career.”
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Sakshama feels that it is pointless to straitjacket one’s work into labels, and likes to think of her books as more of romantic comedies. She naturally gravitated towards writing in the genre because she loves reading novels by Julie James, Judith McNaught and closer home, Anuja Chauhan!
“One of the challenges I faced early on was ‘guy talk’, i.e. getting male characters to speak to each other without letting your own voice creep into their conversation.”
She adds, “One of the challenges I faced early on was ‘guy talk’, i.e. getting male characters to speak to each other without letting your own voice creep into their conversation, and all these authors are so good at avoiding that! Also, one of the most important elements of a rom-com is the banter, the nok-jhok, the saucy quips and that’s something I’ve tried to pick up from these writers.”
The idea for Man of Her Match (MoHM) took shape while she was writing her first book, The Wedding Photographer (TWP). Nidhi and Vikram, are already married in TWP; as a reader, she was very curious about their love story. So she started writing it almost as soon as she finished her first book. MoHM is set two years before TWP. The ‘enemies turned friends turned lovers’ is one of her favourite romantic comedy tropes. On a personal note, her husband and she followed a somewhat similar path, which is another reason this book is so close to her heart.
“My first book taught me not to plan too much because beyond a point characters start developing an independent voice, following their own path and writing their own story.”
Speaking about her writing process, she informs, “I do create a broad outline before I start work on a book – timelines, rough character sketches, and the key conflict in the plot. My first book taught me not to plan too much because beyond a point characters start developing an independent voice, following their own path and writing their own story.”
In the next five years, Sakshama, would like to experiment with the Young Adult genre. She also wants to explore screenwriting. Her advice to aspiring writers – “Write a book you’d love to read!”
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