Notes On My Latest Novel: Anything Of Me In It?

When I do blog tours, like the one I’m doing with the release of my latest novel,The Shade Under the Mango Tree, at least one blogger would ask me if any of my own experience makes it into the book.

I think it’s inevitable that something in my characters reflect a little part of me. When I write fiction, my characters assume some of my thoughts, hurts, and joys. This is true for all writers, even when they write fantasy or sci-fi.

In my latest novel, The Shade Under the Mango Tree, the heroine, Luna, is on the brink of becoming a writer. She decides to write about a terrible experience she has in an old country with an ancient culture and a deadly history. Not only to tell the world about it, but also to help herself heal. Can writing help you heal?

Yes, it can. And if you want to know more about it, read this: Write to Save Your Life (Or at least your psyche).

Like Luna, I had brothers who couldn’t be bothered with a sister. So, I read and drew; then, I wrote to let out steam. I never kept a journal like Luna does. Nor an ejournal like that of Lucien’s, the hero.

Journal Writing

This novel pays homage to grandparents. Nowadays, when both parents work, they get asked to help look after children. My grandmother raised me and was there as I grew up. Her influence has endured.

Love is at the core of all my stories. Aren’t they in everyone’s if you’re honest with yourself and admit that love matters to you? Falling in love requires you to allow yourself to be vulnerable to another. Love strips you bare, opens you up to both happiness and pain.

Still, my novels won’t fit neatly into the romance genre. For one, my characters often suffer from a lot of angst. And they go through life-defining experiences other than falling in love. Experiences that help them realize what they really want and who they are. So, ultimately, my novels are about life, about our messy, complicated, wonderful lives.

My characters are multicultural because I am and we represent a majority in the area where we live.

In my latest novel, both protagonists travel to foreign lands, like I have. In particular, the heroine goes to a world much older than that of the US and, yet, it might at best be described as developing. It’s a world I know something about. One that undergoes a sad regression—the spiraling cycle of history. But this is reality.

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