Rapid Fire with Sonali Dev

Sonali Dev is an Indian American writer of contemporary romance novels. Here is her Rapid Fire interview:

At what age did you know you wanted to become a writer?

I’ve always fancied myself a writer and known that’s what I wanted to do for as long as I can remember.

What is your ‘if you don’t like this, you can’t be my friend’ book?

Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

The last book you bought?

President Obama’s A Promised Land.

What did you do with your first advance?

Hired a publicist. Well, a publicist cost a lot more than my first advance, but still.

A book you wish you had written?

Vikram Seth’s A Suitable Boy

Characters or Plot?

Always characters.

Weirdest thing you’ve used as a bookmark?

A knife.

Favourite writing snack?

Potato chips with ketchup.

What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

Kiran Nagarkar’s Ravan and Eddie.

What is your writing Kryptonite?

Perfectionism. I can’t stop revising until it reads perfectly pitched to me.

What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

I had postcards of my debut book cover printed and handed them out to everyone at writing conferences and to libraries and bookstores. That cover really caught people’s attention.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

None. But I have a couple scripts buried under my bed.

Do you ever judge a book by its cover?

Absolutely. But then if the first couple of pages don’t match up I reverse my judgement.

If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?

Design homes. (I used to be an architect)