I have the pleasure and honor of getting to know authors, writers and poets. I get to share a bit about these lovely people I meet with you, my blog readers.
Interview with Author Shar Lewis – author of Bombay Mixx
Please share about your background (where you were born, where you grew up, siblings/family dynamic, career background, where you live now, etc.)
Originally from Yorkshire, I moved to London to attend university and loved it. After university, I struggled to find something that would
capture my mind as well as my heart, so after a few years of working in offices, I went back into education and trained to become a teacher. I am now a secondary ICT teacher and although I really enjoy my current job, I would love nothing more than to be able to write full time as this is my main passion. When I am not teaching or writing, I enjoy reading, indulging in a cocktail or two and traveling.
What inspired you to begin writing?
From since a young age I was always interested in writing short stories. Whether it is women’s fiction, horrors or thrillers, there was always the fascination of feeling like with a few words you could
take the reader to a different place. I have been inspired by authors such as Louise Bagshawe, for her amazing heroines, who reflect realistic characters with a dash of affluence, and James Herbert with his chilling tales, which are so well written that you actually feel like you are in the scene watching as the characters develop. Reading these types of books (and creating the short stories) gave me the courage (and influences) to create a full length book and concentrate on women’s fiction.
When did you begin your writing journey?
On a holiday, visiting family and friends in New York,
I was reading a Chick Lit novel and felt a little sad when I finished it. It had me gripped from the beginning and I realised I should use the rest of my free time, on the holiday, to plan my own novel to see if I could get readers as enthralled in my book as I was in this one.
What inspired you to write this book?
I was inspired to write this book when I published the first
chapter for free on my website and the positive reviews I received, through email, were overwhelming. Delving into my own experiences in life, I decided the time had come to use my ‘unique’ life experiences and document them (along with some fiction) to provide a warm-hearted, sassy, scandalous tale of a woman in her late 20s trying to make something of herself in her world of; affairs, young sibling rivalry, conflicts of morals, constant personal battles to keep up with the prosperous lifestyles of her flat mates and major family
secrets. Writing this book (as I’m sure many authors would say) has
been very therapeutic and has allowed my creative side to flourish, therefore there is a sequel which has been planned to allow the reader to find out the aftermath of all the revelations
at Gabrielle’s engagement party.
Please share about your latest book.
Part one of a two part series, Bombay Mixx is a fresh, chic tale of vibrant Bombay meets alluring Ireland, in this sexy cultural blend!
Including breaking sexual boundaries, experiences of the ‘secret’ side of the London elite and a major family secret which could destroy the Patel family…this book breaks all the women fiction rules!
Here is a summary from Amazon.com:
One lavish celeb-style wedding. Four friends with very delicate secrets, all hoping to avoid them being exposed. One of the friend’s unaware that the happy proceedings will be an event to remember, from a simmering secret that no one could have predicted. With no morals, taboo’s or thought of destroying the special moment or a family, can the Patel’s pull together to get over this life changing revelation
from this strange gatecrasher and her younger sidekick?
Walking through the door of this countryside mansion, you could be mistaken that you had walked into a rich Moroccan Sheik’s tent. With a Middle Eastern theme, rich colours of deep red, orange and gold; the engagement party filled the entering guests with immediate Eastern promise. Although she managed to escape the stresses of her current situation, with the constant demands from the dominating bride-to-be, her spoilt sister, Gabrielle, Nita always had her girlfriends Amelia and Anya to pass some of the burden to,
along with her new ‘perfect boyfriend’ Yatin. Nita is 28, half Indian and half Irish, with a down-to-earth, loving personality who is desperate to meet Mr. Right. With a doting father, strong
mother and close siblings, Nita has everything she needs until her first relationship ends and she has to move back in with her parents.
Getting the break she so desperately needs, she accepts a job in the city as a secretary and moves into her parent’s apartment in North London and begins to realize the single life is not so bad when you have a cut throat Russian Escort, an eccentric Fashion Buyer and your WAG wannabe sister to welcome you to this new world! With these wild, drunken nights, enjoying the high life by accepting the
invitations to all the fashion after show parties Amelia would arrange each weekend, an affair with your boss and questioning her sexuality with a co-worker, it’s not surprising Nita didn’t see the start of her brother’s and parent’s marriage deteriorating with the arrival of this new mysterious woman! But who was she? Why did she have a strong affect on her father? And how was her brother connected to her immoral revelations?
How did you decide to publish this book? Why?
After sending, Bombay Mixx to a few publishing houses, I
realised the rejection was making me feel that the novel was not ready for the public. This was until I received an email from a reader asking me if the book was available on Amazon. Using this as a sign, I decided I would self publish the novel and reply to the fan with the website address as to where to buy it. Although I never planned to go down the self publishing route, I’m glad I did as I have learnt so much and it gives me more control over my creation.
What is the best advice you have received about writing?
I have received a lot of advice from fellow authors about
all aspects of writing but I think the main piece of advice I have taken, and used, is to believe in your work, as this will transcend into the novel.
The Bombay Mixx storyline is risky and the characters are
strong and bold, but I believe that without pushing yourself, producing strong, fiery characters that readers can bond with, and displaying a storyline, which creates some form of emotion in the reader (or in, Bombay Mixx’s case one large taboo storyline with risky sub plot’s running throughout), your story will be bland and
will be forgettable to the reader.
What was your biggest challenge in writing this book?
The biggest challenge with writing Bombay Mixx was keeping the story
authentic to each particular character. The storyline’s touch on a few sensitive topics, but due to the characters being very strong willed and determined, I had to balance their fiery natures with some humility and vulnerability as they struggle with the aftermath of the main taboo revelation.
Most writers are readers. What books are on your “to-read” list?
I love to read, however now I have published, Bombay Mixx my
time has been taken up writing the sequel. I have started reading, ’Fifty Shades of Grey’ by E. L. James and once I finished this, I plan to find out if the reviews are true by reading, ‘The Hunger Games’ by Suzanne Collins. I really enjoy reading different books, as I feel that all authors can learn something new from reading novels outside of their chosen genre.
Where can readers find out more about you and your book? (add in blog/website/social media links)
Bombay Mixx is available exclusively to Amazon at $1.61
(incl. VAT) and will be having a promotional period (on Amazon) on Wednesday 26th September for 2 days allowing readers the opportunity to download the Bombay Mixx eBook for FREE.
Genre: Chick Lit
/ Women’s Fiction
Connect with BombayMixx Online
For the Bombay Mixx sequel updates and future FREE
promotional days, please go to:
Bombay Mixx Website: http://www.bombaymixx.com/
The BombayMixx Blog: http://bombaymixx.blogspot.co.uk/
The Bombay Mixx Blog also offers readers FREE monthly
Women’s Fiction Short Stories.
You will also find the Bombay Mixx Facebook Fan Page,
Twitter and Goodreads link on the blog and website.