Today I’m delighted to welcome Monsoon Writer Malika Gandhi, back to Writers with Vision to talk about the revised edition of her historical fiction book Freedom of the Monsoon.
It’s great to have you back Malika, please help yourself to one of the virtual drinks behind you.
ME: Why did you decide to revise Freedom of the Monsoon? I’m currently reading the revised version which I will review when finished.
There were many reasons – the plot wasn’t working with five main characters, the format was difficult to understand, and the storyline was too dense, and needed lightening up.
ME: Have any characters changed at all from the way they appeared in the original? I can think of one example.
Oh yes, definitely. I have two main characters now – Dev, and Pooja, and the other three are woven into their storyline.
ME: How long did the revision take?
I took me two months to rewrite it in the format I wanted. I cut out a lot and added a lot too, and mended some ‘holes’ in the story.
ME: How is the new edition doing? Have sales increased or remained the same as before?
It is early days as the book was republished two weeks ago, but I have had positive reviews and some good sales.
ME: Who is your favourite and least favourite character and is there anything of you in any of them?
My favourite is Pooja; she has always been my favourite. I suppose she is like me in the sense that she is strong, and overcomes any difficulties with grace.
I don’t have a least favourite, apart from the baddies of course.
ME: What do you want people to take away as a result of reading Freedom? I took away a real impression of what life was like for ordinary Indian people in the last days of the British Raj.
I want them to take away exactly that – the emotional fears and hopes the people of India felt during the days, months, years leading up to Independence Day. The Quit India era was traumatic for many Indians, who lost their loved ones, but they carried on. I want readers to experience this.
ME: I know that you were born in India but came to the UK when you were very young. How much has this period of Anglo-Indian history impacted on your life and sense of identity?
None, as that generation was completely different to mine. I have no family who lived during those times, and the fact that my surname is Gandhi, is just a coincidence – I married into the Gandhi family, and again, my inlaws have no relation to Mahatma Gandhi.
ME: If a movie was made of your book which actress would you want to play Pooja? She’s definitely my favourite because she doesn’t realise just how strong she is.
Ooh, I would love that! I can really see the book be turned into a Bollywood or Hollywood movie. Pooja’s character needs to have a fresh face, and the actress who would play her would have to have a versatile acting career. Someone new would be nice.
ME: Where can readers get their hands on a copy of Freedom of the Monsoon?
Freedom of the Monsoon is available on Amazon only at the moment:
The book will be available for FREE download on these dates:
25-26th February 2014.