Ila Isham has a lot to worry about – the angst of being an Ali Zafar groupie and the extra layers of fat she has inherited from her Punjabi lineage. Add to this separated parents,an enthusiastic best friend, Deepali, whose idea of variety means dating three guys at the same time and Aunty Maleeka, mom’s BFF, whose savvy skills throw up more problems than solutions.
Ila’s life takes an exciting turn when she decides to hunt for the perfect partner for her mother. With a little help from Deepali, Aunty Maleeka and Dev of the inviting chocolate-pool eyes, she’ll have to brave it all – from Lagaan.com and Ok-cupid profiles to handlebar-moustache colonels and middle-aged psychos, if she wants to succeed in her quest!
Reenita Malhotra Hora is a founder, executive-level content, operations & marketing leader, and prolific writer. With multiple years of experience in media, entertainment, communications, tech/innovation and wellness industries in the USA and Asia, she grows organizations, ranging from early stage startups through mid-size businesses, through storytelling, creative marketing and business strategy.
Reenita has written seven books – five non fiction and two fiction. She is the writer, anchor and executive producer of Shadow Realm and True Fiction Project podcasts and founder of the Chapter by episode fiction app. She has contributed to The Hindu, South China Morning Post, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, CNN, Asian Investor, Times of India, National Geographic Kids, Cartoon Network Asia, Disney, and more.
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**Due to some issues with the publisher, Amazon and Goodreads links are not available. Please do not use the ones that show the old cover of the book. If a new link becomes available before the start of the tour, I will send it separately.**
How did you do research for your book?
Having grown up in Mumbai, the research was easy. I knew the places I wanted to set the story in. I knew what they were about and the kind of crazy character chaos that I would find in those locations. Of course, this being a YA book, me now being a full-fledged adult (at least in size if not maturity levels), I knew I had to be up with the ‘method of madness’ of the current Mumbai young adult. So I had huge amounts of fun talking to my school going nephew and his friends to learning the lingo, compare the mindset from my time to theirs and quickly adapt to the change. Then of course I had fun taking long bus rides through town and hanging out at places like Swati Snacks and Kalaghoda Cafe (locations referred to in the story) to people watch and eavesdrop on conversations. Research is really one of the most fun parts of creating a story.
Which was the hardest character to write? The easiest?
Oof, this is hard to say. Ila and Veena (mother and daughter) are essentially the same woman in two different generational bodies. So when I look at the zany women in my own household, Yours Truly in particular, it isn’t hard to come up with traits and quirks that easily define these main characters. As to the hardest character again…there has been
In your book you make a reference to….how did you come up with this idea? What made you write a book about…?
In my book, I make reference to George Michael of Wham, the famous English pop singer who I was desperately in love with in my teen years. And I know that I speak for just about every woman who grew up in the 80s! The George Michael anecdote is taken directly from my life – I stalked him in my teen years, and in mind you in those days there was no such thing as social media, cell phone – smart or dumb or the internet. So the fact that I traveled from Mumbai to London one summer and tracked him down is a real life example of investigative research that I take great pride in!
I guess here is the story – a year or two before I wrote the book, I was chatting with my brother’s friend at a party and somehow, we got talking about the whole George Michael episode. The guy listened with rapt amazement as I gave him the details of how I stalked the pop star through his cat. He said to me ‘That would make a great chick flick, you know!’
I was intrigued but know nothing about film so decided to turn it into YA chick-lit instead!