Literary Quote of the Month

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies," said Jojen. "The man who never reads lives only one." - George R.R. Martin, A Dance With Dragons

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Guest Post with Shobhan Bantwal, author of The Unexpected Son!

Shobhan Bantwal, author of The Unexpected Son (her newest novel), The Sari Shop Widow, and Mainstream and Romantic Women's Fiction set in India and America stops by Chick with Books today to share a bit of herself and her writing process!

Shobhan Bantwal is the author of 4 books, a collection of tales, articles and more. Shobhan's writing is "romantic, colorful, action-packed tales, rich with elements of Indian culture -- stories that entertain and educate." Her writing career is a "menopausal epiphany," because she took up creative writing at the age of 50. At Chick with Books we are pleased to have Shobhan Bantwal as a guest today! Today Shobhan Bantwal will talk about her writing style. Join me in a warm welcome to Shobhan!

Going Commercial or Literary?
By Shobhan Bantwal - author of THE UNEXPECTED SON

I was always the rebel in my family, even as a child growing up in a small town in India. The fourth of five girls and no boys in a strict Hindu household, I was the sole tomboy who climbed trees, played field hockey, and the only sister to learn how to ride a bicycle and drive the family car. While this may not seem like a big deal to most women born and raised in western cultures, in the India of the 1960s and '70s, a rebel girl could ruin her reputation and her family's, and destroy her chances of finding a husband in the future.

Luckily for me, my parents managed to find me a good husband and gave me a traditional arranged marriage. My husband is a very loving and supportive man, and we have been happily married for nearly 37 years. Needless to say, when I took up creative writing rather late in life, at the age of 50, my renegade instincts naturally steered me towards writing something different than the literary novels that most Asian authors write. I think of it as my "menopausal epiphany." My tastes tend to lean more toward commercial romantic fiction, therefore when I took up writing, I decided to write what I enjoyed reading.

What emerged from my attempts at writing was a unique sub-genre of women's fiction, something I call "Bollywood in a Book"—multicultural women's fiction with a romantic touch and filled with the vivid colors, textures, tastes, and cultural elements of India. When I started out, I was not sure if there would be a market for my type of writing, but I was amazed to find that there are many readers eager for this variety of ethnic commercial fiction.

THE UNEXPECTED SON is my fourth book and tells the story of an Indian-American woman whose innocent mistake as a teenager in college comes back to haunt her three decades later. An anonymous letter from India tells her an impossible story: she has a grown son in India, a child she was told was stillborn 30 years ago. Now, discovering that he is alive but gravely ill, is she willing to reveal her secret past to her husband and grown daughter and ruin the happy life she has managed to create for herself? Or will she risk it all to meet her unexpected son and pray for the faith of her family?

Go to my website to learn about my books, excerpts, video trailers, contests, recipes, photos, book club and contact information at

Thank you Shobhan for guest posting today on Chick with Books! And sharing a little of yourself with us!

And to all my Chick with Books readers, I'll be reviewing The Unexpected Son by Shobhan Bantwal tomorrow!


Natalie W said...

This sounds like an awesome read! I'm putting it on my wishlist.I enjoyed reading the interview and I thought it was so interesting that her parents found her a good husband and with an arranged marriage she has been happy for 37 years! That's pretty awesome.
Natalie :0)

Suzanne said...

I am always fascinated when I hear of someone who's had an arranged marriage. It's probably because "our" culture rejects this tradition. But there is something to be said for 37 years! And the book was great!

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