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A Conversation with Ayesha Patel, Author of PRIYA IN HEELS

I’ll be reading PRIYA IN HEELS to review soon. Can’t wait! 🙂

Image courtesy of africa at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of africa at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Thanks so much for agreeing to be with us today!

Thank you for having me! I’m very excited to be here.

 

What 5 things should readers know about you?

1) I was born in India but grew up in a diverse city in Texas, so I have a wonderful mix of cultures in my life.

2) I’ve worked in the medical field for ten years but have an underlying passion for physics, which explains the professions for Priya and Tyler.

3) I’m a sucker for nerdy things like Marvel comics, ComicCon, and Battlestar Gallactica.

4) I love reading binges.

5) At this very second, I’m sitting across from NYT Bestselling author of the Lunar Chronicles, Marissa Meyer, while she sings the theme to song to The Lion King to me.

I’d better not tell my daughter about #5. Mini Moe would be very jealous—both about the author and the song!

 

Tell us all about your main characters—who are they? What makes them tick? Most importantly, what one thing would they need to have with them if stranded on a desert isle? 😉

Priya is an Indian medical resident who was raised in Texas and lives life according to her parents’ wishes. What her parents want for her coincide with her professional goals, so being obedient has never been an issue. Her love and loyalty for them is the one thing that she values over all else. If she decides to date an American, this not only reflects on Priya but on her parents. Her aunts and many meddling Indians use anything negative, wether real or made up, as ammunition to break their souls.

Tyler is an American-Irish astrophysicist at NASA who lives down the hall from Priya. He’s also in a band. He doesn’t quite understand how family and culture can impact personal decisions that shouldn’t, according to him, effect anyone other than the two people involved. He doesn’t know how many times he can keep going after Priya and taking her rejections, especially when other women with much less “baggage” are after him.

If they were stranded on a deserted island, they would need Priya’s physicians’ bag.  She’s a practical gal.

Can’t argue with that! I’m sure it would come in handy.

 

Where did the inspiration for this book come from?

Priya in Heels is loosely based off of my life, desires, goals, and fears. There is a lot of me in this novel, and although it’s still majority a work of fiction not to be taken too seriously, it’s very personal and meaningful to me.

Excellent answer!

 

How long have you been writing, and what (or who) inspired you to start?

I wrote short stories when I was ten and finished two novels (horribly written) in high school. I stopped writing for a while when in college, marriage, etc., and then I saw the new Stars Wars movies and it drew me back to my love for creating and conspiring via the written word. I wrote lots of novels, and each one was an improvement on the last. Along the way, as I endured the journey to publication, I met lots of fabulous agents, editors, and writers who were kind enough to impart some wisdom along with friendship. Being amid these great groups of people encouraged me to keep pursuing my dream, write better, write more, read more, and branch out. I saw my dreams come alive through them, that being a writer was obtainable and realistic.

Fantastic sources of inspiration!

 

What do you like best about being a writer? What is the most challenging part?

The thing I like the best is creating characters and stories that I love. Sometimes I can control who they are and what happens to them, but sometimes they write their own stories and I’m just along for the ride.

The most challenging part is not taking negative responses to heart.

I hear you. Criticism is hard.

 

What are you working on right now? What can readers look for from you in the next year?

I’m working on a YA multicultural series that broaches the subject of racism, love, and war. I hope that is something readers will see from me within the next couple of years.

Wow—sounds intense!

 

What authors and/or books have inspired you?

Grace Grows by Shelle Sumners, The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, anything from Jennifer Armentrout, Indian historicals from Indu Sundaresan, and the everlasting classics from Shakespearean tragedies and Jane Austen.

You had me at “Jane Austen”. The aforementioned Mini Moe is with you on Marissa Meyer…

 

What are you currently reading? What are your thoughts about it so far?

I’m in between books right now. I just picked up two books by Sarah Dessen, however, I’m behind with my book club, and they’re reading The Maze Runner.

All I keep hearing from Mini Moe is that The Maze Runner movie looks nothing like the book (she says with a heartfelt sigh of despair each and every time). I haven’t read it myself, though…yet.

 

If you had to “sell” this book in a single Tweet, what would you say?

Hop on a sweet, romantic roller coaster when a culturally-bound Indian medical resident falls for the Irish heartthrob down the hall.

Fantastic! Thanks again for being here today.

 

Keep reading to hear more about Ayesha and her debut novel, Priya in Heels

 

About the author:

Ayesha Patel was born in the rich and colorful state of Gujarat in western India before moving to Texas. She quickly found her footing in languages and creative writing and weaves her diverse background into her stories. She currently lives in the beautiful, though rainy, state of Washington with her husband and two puppies, Gambit and Rogue. With a splendid view of Mt. Ranier behind her, a cup of coffee in her hand, and a ridiculously fast laptop at her fingertips, Ayesha is thrilled to explore the literary world.

 

 

Blurb:

Love doesn’t conquer all…does it?

Priyanka Patel is the epitome of an obedient daughter. She’s finishing up her medical residency at one of Houston’s busiest emergency departments, and has agreed—albeit reluctantly—to marry the man her family has chosen for her. The only thing that can derail the “perfect” life laid out before her is the sexy musician down the hall who wants into her life…and into her bed.

Tyler O’Connor has been infatuated with Priya since she treated his sprained ankle in the ER, and after saving her from a brutal attack, he can’t get her out of his head. When Priya puts her family’s wishes before their relationship, agreeing to an arranged marriage with another man, Tyler is devastated.

But love is fierce and unreasonable and clashes with the carefully sculpted life her parents want for her. Is going after her heart such a big deal, or will it truly unravel Priya’s world?

Goodreads link

Entangled Publishing

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. Thanks for having me! Such fun! Tell Mini-Moe hello and to keep on reading! She sounds like a cutie.

  2. Thanks so much for being here! I’ll pass on the message–she *can* be a cutie, but she’s also fifteen, so… 😉

    Good luck with your debut, Ayesha! I can’t wait to read it 🙂

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