Falguni Kothari - A Divorce Lawyer and an Architect
Falguni Kothari is a USA Today bestselling author of “messy love stories” and kick-ass fantasy tales that are a “good choice for women’s fiction book groups.” Her novels are all flavored by her South Asian heritage and expat experiences, and have been reviewed in the New York Times Book Review, Booklist, Shelf Awareness, Popsugar, Woman’s World magazine and The Times of India. Her essays and short stories have been published in Femina (India), Better Homes and Gardens, Book Riot and Writer’s Digest. As our Author of the Day, Kothari tells us all about her book, It's Your Move, Wordfreak!
Please give us a short introduction to what It's Your Move, Wordfreak is about.
It’s Your Move, Wordfreak! is my debut romance novel in which a divorce lawyer in Mumbai and an environmentally conscious architect (and Page 3 god!) meet online over a Scrabble game, then fall in love when they take their relationship offline.
What inspired you to write about a divorce lawyer and an architect who met online over a Scrabble game?
At the time I began writing this novel, I was obsessed with online Scrabble. I played dozens of games every day, online and off line. I was also obsessed with HGTV, a byproduct of redoing my family home, and Aryan’s character became the embodiment of my secret fantasy to make over every house I came across in a green and sustainable way.
I remember that online dating and/or chatting was also becoming a thing back then, and several of my friends had met their partners and spouses in that fashion. So, of course, when I began to write Wordfreak, I literally was writing what I knew.
Your book explores the challenges of taking an online love offline. Tell us more about this.
Like with most things, online dating has its own pros and cons. The pros are: it’s as fast as signing up on an app and creating a profile; it’s anonymous until you’re ready to reveal all; there are plenty of dating sites you can choose from—or, as in the case of Aryan and Alisha who meet in a Scrabble chat forum, more than just dating sites or apps. So, choose a trustworthy site, and trust your instincts while chatting.
But, it’s difficult enough to judge someone’s true character face to face, so it’s doubly hard when you have to do it online.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
It’s not a secret at all that I am a dancer. I’ve been dancing since I was three. First, I’ve trained in Indian Classical dance, and more recently I started learning Ballroom and Latin dancing for fun.
Why did you pick Mumbai as the setting for your book?
I was born and raised in Mumbai. It’s the city I spent my twenties in—where I dated, married and had my kids in. It’s the city I know as well as I now know New York. I don’t think I consciously chose to set my first novel in Mumbai, it just happened.
What, would you say, makes Aryan and Alisha such a great match?
The classic trope of Opposites Attract!
Aryan and Alisha are opposites in that Aryan is flirty and outgoing. He’s into fitness and travel and clothes. Whereas Alisha is a homebody and a workaholic.
But, they both had childhoods that left a mark on them. And, as they get to know each other better, they begin to realize that they just might be more similar than different as their core.
Where do you get your best ideas?
From everywhere. From observing people and situations. From eavesdropping on conversations. By asking questions. From news articles. Just about anything can spark an idea.
What are the top three things you think every good romance book should have?
Believable, and yet, larger-than-life characters. Snappy dialogue and chemistry between them. And a meet-cute to remember.
Do you have any interesting writing habits? What is an average writing day like for you?
Contrary to popular practice, I don’t write every day. I only write once I’m one hundred percent sure of my characters and story in my head. I have to know who and what I’m writing about, first.
What are you working on right now?
I’m working on book two of my fantasy series. It’s based on Indian mythology, and I’d forgotten how much fun it is, writing about gods and demons and magic.
Where can our readers get a copy of It's Your Move, Wordfreak!, discover more of your work or interact with you?
My books are available on all online platforms. You’ll find the links to Wordfreak on my website: https://falgunikothari.com/books/its-your-move-wordfreak/
I am always floundering on all kinds of social media, daily.
You can also keep up with news of my books and life through my monthly newsletter: http://falgunikothari.com/newsletter/