Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we?!
Hi. I’m Smita Bhattacharya, author of cosy and psychological mysteries, management consultant, coffee lover, gipsy-in-my-head, living in Mumbai for over 15 years, have travelled to over 40 countries, about 30 of them solo. Key life learning? You have everything, you are enough.
What prompted you to pursue a career as a writer?
I always liked reading and I used to create alternative endings to the books I would read. As I grew up, I realized, man, why not just make these ideas into books. But of course, I was lazy. Then again, three years ago I realized there were not too many books with normal female leads in them. What I mean is, the women in the books I read were usually tragic, struggling, or getting over some difficulties, or simpering women waiting for a glance from a hard-hearted (but rich!) man. I wanted to create a normal female lead, like you and me, who did not have to have suffered in their lives and could do fun things. Hence, was born a series and a couple of standalone books, with strong-willed women, who are imperfect and gutsy, not waiting for a man to rescue them, using their cleverness and wit to navigate through life and its many mysteries.
Do you have any special writing habits?
I write every day. I read a lot in the genres, I write. I also watch Netflix, of course, I tell myself I do it to inspire me. I write quickly and revise it several times. But I think the most important habit is to keep writing, and if possible not lose even a day in between.
When you write a new book, do you already have the whole story in mind or do you elaborate it along the way?
I usually have a story in mind. I plot it out, chapter-wise. That’s how I usually begin, and that’s the best way to complete a book on time, according to me. But often I realize that the initial plot had holes or didn’t work, and I would revise. There is no straight path; different books have had different birth stories. I would say I have about 60% of the story in mind and the 40% I improvise as I go along.
In your opinion what is the best book you have written? What’s your favourite book ever?
My favourite among my own books is Dead to them: my first traditionally published book. I like it because I wrote it during a particularly dark period in my life and it correctly reflects my mental state then, and the state of affairs around me. It is almost a memoir, but of course not the way it ends. I would have liked it to end that way. So I wrote the book to live out the fantasy.
How do you feel after writing a book?
I want to write another one. Because I feel the previous book could have had more elements, or possibly, I’ve had a stroke of inspiration when I was writing the previous one. Usually, I can’t wait to start another story. My head is full of mysteries waiting to be poured onto paper.
Tell us about your latest book and please put the link so our readers can find it.
At present, I have two of the Darya Nandkarni series out in the market and doing better than I expected. I receive messages daily on how much readers love Darya Nandkarni. I am especially flattered because my dad (My first and forever beta reader) feels she reflects me. She is who I would’ve liked to be in another life.
The Secret Angels: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07ZMR9MB4
Do you have a new release? When? We want details.
Yes! The third of my popular cosy set, the Darya Nandkarni series, comes out in November. It is an exciting murder mystery set in a medieval town in Romania. It is called: Who Threw Draco Down the Chimney? (Darya Nandkarni’s Misadventures Book 3) A backpacker is missing. Impressed by Darya’s past exploits, the owner of the missing boy’s hostel tasks Darya to look for him. After some digging, Darya leads the police to an old farmhouse. They find the backpacker’s two-week-old dead body wedged inside the chimney. Along with two others. The locals think it is the devil’s work. Darya knows not to trust local superstitions, of which there are many. But the crime is so diabolical, so unique, it begs the question: who could be doing this? Darya needs to find out urgently before she is forced to leave Sibiu. And as she races to solve the mystery, she has to make sure she doesn’t let new friendships or the town’s insidious secrets get in her way.
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