by Shobhan Bantwal
Authors are constantly seeking out story ideas, consciously or unconsciously. Whether we are shopping for groceries, sitting in church on a Sunday morning, showering, or pulling weeds in our yards, our writer minds are always on the prowl for juicy story ideas.
Some of us are disciplined enough to carry a notepad to jot down those ideas that suddenly strike in the most bizarre places like an airport rest room or a crowded restaurant. I am not very diligent about such things, so I have to try harder to recall those thoughts at a later time. And if I can't, I chastise and torture myself for my lack of foresight.
However, we all know that inspiration can come from the most unexpected avenues. A newspaper article, a neighbor's death, a dog's uncanny ability to sense danger, an obscure superstition, or even something as minor as a child's forgotten homework can trigger an epiphany. A writer's mind works in strange ways.
As a sociology major in college, I had always been interested in women's issues in contemporary India. While I had considered them appropriate subjects for serious non-fiction books, I had never thought of them as possible fiction themes.
Later, when I heard about sonogram technology making it easy for some unscrupulous doctors in India to abort unwanted female fetuses, I decided to use that topic as the basis for my second book, The Forbidden Daughter. Both books were a great way to introduce controversial hot-button social issues via an entertaining and romantic story.
|Model in a Sari|
The inspiration for The Sari Shop Widow came while shopping at the Little India community in New Jersey, where colorful sari shops abound. The trials and tribulations of my own petite stature led me to write The Reluctant Matchmaker, the story of a tiny woman falling in love with an unusually tall man, and the crazy challenges she faces.
I would love to hear about your book ideas, and who and what inspired you to write them?