Renita D’Silva loves stories, both reading and creating them. Her short stories have been published in ‘The View from Here’, ‘Bartleby Snopes’, ‘this zine’, ‘Platinum Page’, ‘Paragraph Planet’ among others and have been nominated for the ‘Pushcart’ prize and the ‘Best of the Net’ anthology. She is the author of ‘Monsoon Memories’, ‘The Forgotten Daughter’, ‘The Stolen Girl’, ‘A Sister’s Promise’ and ‘A Mother’s Secret’.
It is such an honour to have her here today and she is one of the nicest, most genuine authors I have had the pleasure of interviewing.
Welcome Renita. I’d like to start by asking you a few slightly unusual questions. Wacky Races or Bananaman?
Draughts or Chess?
Clever with a sense of humour. Bell bottomed trousers or gypsy blouses? (I had some huge bell bottomed jeans. I swished when I walked.)
Anne of Green Gables or St Trinians?
Anne of Green Gables.
Miss Marple J I love Agatha Christie and have always secretly wanted to be a detective although I have yet to solve a crime, fictional or otherwise J I can never guess the murderer in a TV show or book J
I love those twists too. It was always the butler who commited the crime, wasn’t it? 😉 What was your favourite film when you were a child? I’m afraid I was somewhat obsessed by blak and white comedies.
The Sound of Music.
That’s a good choice. Unfortunately you have set off Mr Grumpy who is now singing something about the hills being alive. Hang in, I’ll shut the door so we can’t hear him. Sorry, this next part is obligatory. The audience here expects it. Can you tell us a short joke?
My family. My children and husband have a wonderful sense of humour. (The joke above was supplied by my rather irreverent daughter.)
I bet tea time is good fun in your house! Okay, let’s move onto you and your books. What genre do you write?
Do you have a favourite book or character? I know we shouldn’t but sometimes we get very fond of our characters.
I love every character in every book I write, and I find it hard to let go of them when the book is finished, until, that is, I get absorbed in the next book and a whole new set of characters.
We all have little routines before we settle down to the nitty gritty of writing a novel. What are yours?
I need a huge mug of tea to hand while writing and regular refills.
What do you do to help you concentrate on writing?
Turning off the internet would help – and I manage to do so every morning for an hour or so before the urge to check on what’s been happening in my absence gets the better of me.
Have you got plans for any other books?
Yes, I am currently at the very beginning stages of my next book.
What’s been the best thing that has happened to you since you began writing?
The email from Bookouture saying they wanted to publish me.
Could you please put a few brief words about you – something that doesn’t show up on your website. Surprise us!
I love cooking and entertaining, rain, the written word and winter. I hate wearing jewelry and am afraid of lizards. I cry for the smallest things.
Thank you SO much for featuring me on your wonderful blog, Carol. I’ve so enjoyed our chat. I also want to say just how much I enjoyed your latest book, Life Swap. I laughed so much and was rooting for Simon and Polly throughout. Loved the twists and didn’t see them coming. A wonderful read.
Aw, thank you Renita. It has been such a pleasure having you here and I can’t wait to read your fabulous novel. I have packed my copy away to savour on holiday. I might not be able to hold out that long though.
What if you discovered that everything you knew about yourself was a lie?
When pregnant Jaya loses her mother, then her baby son Arun in a tragic cot death, her world crashes down. Overcome by grief and guilt, she begins to search for answers – to the enigma of her lonely, distant mother, and her mysterious past in India.
Looking through her mother’s belongings, she finds two diaries and old photographs, carrying the smoky aroma of fire. A young boy smiles out at Jaya from every photograph – and in one, a family stand proudly in front of a sprawling mansion. Who is this child? And why did her mother treasure this memento of a regal family lost to the past?
As Jaya starts to read the diaries, their secrets lead her back to India, to the ruin of a once grand house on a hill. There, Kali, a mad old lady, will unlock the story of a devastating lie and a fire that tore a family apart.
Nothing though will prepare Jaya for the house’s final revelation, which will change everything Jaya knew about herself.
If you enjoy Dinah Jefferies, Lucinda Riley and Santa Montefiore, you will love this unforgettable journey through the lush landscape of India to the heart of what it means to be a mother and daughter.
Find out all about Renita at her website on Twitter or Facebook