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09 June 2008 Books 10 Questions

Advaita Kala

The chicklit author on the soaring success of her debut novel Almost Single
You are having a book launch party almost a year after the book came out?
My publisher is holding a party to celebrate its success—15,000 copies sold (we’re printing another 5,000 next week) and now Random House USA has bought the rights.

How much was the advance from USA?
Enough to quit my job as hotel executive and to write my next book.

Will your next book be chicklit as well?
Yes, it’s a sequel to Almost Single. Then I’ll write something in a different genre.

What is chicklit?
It’s a label invented by publishers for marketing but I’d say any book that has humour, is irreverent and redefines female propriety.

And has to be written by a single young woman for readers like her?
Not necessarily. One of the most successful chicklit titles recently, He’s Just Not That Into You, was written by a man.

What are the best chicklit books you’ve read?
Lipstick Jungle by the author who wrote Sex in the City, Candace Bushnell, and Girls of Riyadh by Raja Alsanea, which is a chicklit from Saudi Arabia.

They have chicklit in Saudi Arabia?
Yes, this genre does different things in different cultures. In Saudi Arabia, it portrays women deriving their freedom over the net.

How is it different in India?
In India, this genre is testing the boundaries of female propriety. It crosses the laxman rekha with wit and humour.

Are you still single?
Yes, although I get a lot of proposals now, thanks to the book.

The funniest thing you heard about your book?
A reader who told me that she’s taking it into labour with her and hopes it will last her through the ordeal.

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AUTHORS: Sheela Reddy
SECTION: Books
SUBSECTION: Interviews10 Questions
OUTLOOK: 09 June, 2008
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