For me, stories start with character. It might be a picture or a situation I read about or something I overheard a stranger say, and my imagination fires up—who would get in that situation? Why are they reacting like that? What if…. I love all the possibilities writing offers—the worlds I can build, the people I can create, the themes I can explore. Creating characters who are braver, funnier, smarter, or shier or less advantaged than I am, is such an intellectually and emotionally satisfying game to play. Once I have an inkling of my hero or heroine, then I start to build out their personalities, their dreams, their flaws. What do they want? Why? What stands in their way? Once I have that, I can start to build their perfect partner—even if he or she doesn’t seem so perfect until after the black moment.
One of my favorite tropes is a reunion romance because it allows such a deep dive into the characters’ backgrounds and churns up so many juicy emotions to play with. It’s like coming into a play mid-way and having a say about the next scene. The characters are buzzing happily through their lives (or not so happily), and I as the author get to jump in and yell ‘plot twist.’ He’s back. Or she’s back. And now what? I do feel a little guilty loading my characters up with so much drama and yearning while throwing obstacles in their path while I bop around on my yoga ball writing them into corners.
As an author is creating characters, often they take on a life of their own. I do feel that, but I don’t feel like I’ve lost control of them, but what they say and do does feel natural to me as I write—like they flow through me, rather than I’m consciously thinking do this or say that. The goal is to create a character and put them in the situation that they want to avoid with every cell in their body and then yell ‘action.’ Megan Crane, who also writes as Caitlin Crews once explained it (when I was struggling and starting out). “Put your H and H in a room. Nothing’s there, maybe one chair. Lock the door. Who speaks first?”
With Swipe Right for Marriage, the hero and heroine—Rakesh Anand and Shanti Kapoor, had been introduced in the first book in the series, and I had already hinted that they’d had a secret tryst long ago. I was excited to write the book because I felt that I already knew them, and they fascinated me because they were so different from any character I’d ever created. They were both highly ambitious, independent, successful, competitive and driven. Shanti and Rake both ooze confidence to a point just shy of arrogance. They are also so madly attracted to each other. Shanti fights it. She thinks the attraction and caring will make her weak. Rake fights to get what he wants. He feels that being with Shanti will make him stronger. They will be a team. Shanti has lost the concept of win-win and team play, and Rake is determined to remind her of her once warmer and more idealistic self.
Shanti and Rake were such fired up characters—popping with energy that when I would sit down to write at 5 am (I know, I still wonder why I can’t make my brain function later in the day after work too), I would really have to pump myself up to take on the challenge they presented. Shanti definitely does not play well with others, and she always wants to be top dog in everything. I loved her assertiveness and cleverness and how she would take Rake on—welcome the clash. I wanted to honor her desire to be top dog, while still have her admit that she is deeply, madly in love. My challenge was, how could Rakesh out maneuver the only woman who negotiates multi-million dollar deals with big players. She is the only woman he’s met who he feels is his intellectual equal and who picks up every challenge he throws at her and runs with it in designer heels. He’s so fascinated by her, so determined to win her heart, but he knows a traditional approach will never work.
I had so much fun writing Swipe Right for Marriage. I’d never created characters with quite that much ego, brains and drive and financial success. As I wrote, I almost felt like I was in one of those game shows where the contestants run into a store and have a certain amount of time to run wild, grabbing anything they want with the goal of having the highest dollar amount in their basket at the bell. That sounds like a fun fantasy. Writing Rake’s and Shanti’s reunion romance and throwing in a few curve balls into their meticulously crafted lives and career goals felt like that—getting to fill my basket with my favorite things.
I hope you enjoy reading Swipe Right for Marriage. It releases September 20th 2022. It’s book two in a four-book series of the Kapoor family, and while they were written to span a year in the Kapoor family, the books don’t have to be read in order. If you do read the book, please leave an honest review. I’m so curious as to what you think as this is a new direction for me. If you’d like to sign up for my newsletters for more behind the scenes glimpses of books and new releases and to have a chance at more giveaways, go to: https://sinclairjayne.com
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About the Author
Sinclair Sawhney is a former journalist and middle school teacher who holds a BA in Political Science and K-8 teaching certificate from the University of California, Irvine and a MS in Education with an emphasis in teaching writing from the University of Washington. She has worked as Senior Editor with Tule Publishing for over seven years. Writing as Sinclair Jayne she’s published fifteen short contemporary romances with Tule Publishing with another four books being released in 2021. Married for over twenty-four years, she has two children, and when she isn’t writing or editing, she and her husband, Deepak, are hosting wine tastings of their pinot noir and pinot noir rose at their vineyard Roshni, which is a Hindi word for light-filled, located in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Shaandaar!