“Love Bi the Way”, as its title indicates, is a love story at its best that only a sensitive writer like Bhaavna can tell. It is an engrossing story of two fascinating women, Rihana and Zara, and revolves entirely around the two protagonists; all other characters, though peripheral, act as locomotives to propel the story. RIHANA is an accomplished painter of international repute, and draws inspiration from love. She is an ardent worshipper both of Cupid and Bacchus, and finds sex and wine a heady mix. ZARA, on the other hand, is an ambitious business woman who wants to take her business to newer heights. Love or sex obviously has no place in her scheme of things.

FROM a hardcore academician to a highly celebrated bestselling author, it has not been a seamless transition for the Bangalore-based Bhaavna Arora. “Like the path of love, my road too was not smooth. Instead, it was paved with pebbles put deliberately to stop me by some of my near and dear ones,” recalls Bhaavna. Then there was this whole world of publishing to contend with of which she did not know much. It was though her good fortune that her very first book was a success. Thereafter, there was no looking back for Bhaavna, the author.

Bhaavna was in Dehra Dun recently to promote her book. In an
interview with Raj Kanwar, Bhaavna talks about her life, journey
as a writer and about the principal characters in her novels.

What initially inspired you to take to fiction writing? And why and how did you choose this particular genre?

I always wanted to be a writer. Sometimes life gives you the motivation only when you're absolutely ready. I fell from the tree of disillusions of a full time cushy job into the lap of writing fiction as a ripe fruit. I never stick to one genre. I explore and experiment and that is quite evident from my three books that are all based on completely different subjects.

Was your journey from a hardcore academician to a bestselling author seamless or paved with pebbles?

It was paved with pebbles and more were put deliberately to stop me by many dear and near ones, and then there was this whole world of publishing and retailing that I didn't know about. I'd ripened only to write but then the journey of a bestselling author doesn't stop there. It was tough but challenging and interesting. I used all my skills as a management student and trainer to achieve success. After all, "Knowledge is power".

How did you find the publishers for your debut novel “The Deliberate Sinner”? Did you get many reject slips? Or were you lucky to hit the bull’s eye in your first attempt?

I had approached Penguin for my first book. Got a ‘reject’ and had my first book published through Shrishti. After its success, Penguin wanted me to work with them and that was quite encouraging.

Are the two protagonists in “Love Bi the Way” from real life or figment of your imagination?

They're a figment of imagination but inspired from true characters I have met and spoken to. Rihana is a mix of two to three while Zara has shades of four real characters.

Do you have some common traits either with Rihana or Zara if so, what are these?

Anything that is in the interest of humanity will be common between me and Rihana and Zara. I'm against child labour, domestic violence and I love dogs. These are some of the common things I share with my protagonists.

How do your parents react to your explicit love stories?

My parents have allowed me to be what I am today. The only contribution they've made in my life is not to have interfered with my work. They sit back and enjoy my success. And people love explicitly, I'm only writing.

Being a yellow belt holder in Judo and Karate, why don’t you introduce a female Karate expert protagonist in one of your future fictions?

It’s a good idea. May be I will do in my next book.

What is your next book? Is it in the same genre?

I don't write same genres. I experiment. Next is a biography.

What is your writing routine? Have you another writing project in the pipeline?

I don't have any routine though I honestly should. Sometimes I write forever and at times I just don't get the inspiration.

(Raj Kanwar is a Dehra Dun-based veteran journalist and writer).