RWA15 Workshop Followup: Bollywood Basics

The RWA conference is almost at a close, and Sonali Dev, Suleikha Snyder and Nisha Sharma (that’s me!) want to extend our deepest heartfelt gratitude for those of you who came to our workshop BOLLYWOOD BASICS: TIPS FROM THE INDIAN FILM INDUSTRY TO HELP YOU TURN YOUR BOOK INTO A BLOCKBUSTER.

In our workshop, we showed a few clips from movies that highlighted elements of CHEMISTRY, CONFLICT and DRAMA. As promised, below are either the links to the clips or the embedded videos that we played in our workshops. I encourage you to watch them and then hunt down the movies. If are looking for additional film suggestions, feel free to reach out to us on Twitter at @NishaWrites, @Sonali_Dev or @SuleikhaSnyder and we’ll be happy to gush about our favs!



1. KHOOBSURAT- Disney Bollywood movie about a physiotherapist who falls in love with royalty.

2. RAM LEELA- The Indian adaptation of Romeo and Juliet.

3. DIL DHADAKNE DO- A dark comedy about a dysfunctional family finding themselves and each other.

4. KUCH KUCH HOTA HAI- A classic love triangle story from 1998.

The Sari Sisters Do RWA 2015! (Plus Some Conference Tips)

The Romance Writers of America have a national conference every year that attracts thousands of romance writers and industry professionals. This year, four of our very own Saris sisters will be presenting workshops!

1. Bollywood Basics: Romance Tips from the World’s Largest Film Industry to Help Turn Your Book into a Blockbuster

Sonali Dev and Suleikha Snyder and I (Nisha) will be giving this workshop, during which we’ll be talking about the elements in Bollywood films such as Chemistry, Family Dynamic and Conflict which can translate into every subgenre of romance. We’re going to watch Bollywood movies and play some awesome music!

If you are coming to the RWA conference, and you’re interested in attending this workshop, you can find us on Thursday from 9:45-10:45AM.

2. Multicultural Romance: When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong, and How to Make it Right

Falguni Kothari is joined by other multicultural romance authors Alyssa Cole, Lena Hart and K.M. Jackson to discuss the dos and don’ts, the challenges and the how-tos of writing, publishing and promoting multicultural romance.

If you are coming to the RWA conference, and you’re interested in attending this workshop, you can find Falguni–and the rest of us cheering her on–from 3:15-4:00PM.

Now, for first time conference attendees, here are some quick and dirty tips: 

Continue reading

Sonali Spotlights Kishan Paul’s Debut, Blind Love

Here at Saris and Stories we find nothing more exciting than growing our brood. No, I don’t mean that in a barefoot and pregnant sort of way but in a finding other South Asian authors who write romance and women’s fiction sort of way.

So imagine our joy when we found not one but two of our ilk roaming the wilds of the RT Convention. We swooped down, there was much hugging and kissing and discussing our parents (we’re South Asian, give us a break) and in the end I for one felt like I had come home with two new friends. And today, I’m bringing one of them to visit. (Insert my best kindergarten smile here).

Jessy-24Not only is Kishan Paul delightfully witty, but she also saved my sari wearing a$$ by conjuring up a few timely safety pins. And since this is Saris and Stories, I’ll point out that only the most powerful sorceresses can hold saris up without safety pins. So thank you Kishan and welcome!

Continue reading

Nisha’s Bollywood Roundup

Let’s do a Bollywood Roundup! Here are five things you need to know about the happenings in the Bollywood industry today.

1. Ranbir Kapoor and Anushkha Sharma recently promoted their film Bombay Velvet in Goa! The music for the film is spunky, and takes place in alternative India which resembles the Jazz Age in the U.S. Hopefully the movie meets audience expectations! Release: May 15.

bombay velvet


Continue reading

Falguni’s Bootie and the Beast is out: Read an excerpt!

Dear Readers,

It’s FINALLY here! Last year, Bootie and the Beast, my Harlequin Mills and Boon romance came out in India, and a year to date, its made its way to the U.S. Woot!

Fairytales don't end with True Love's kiss, they begin with one.

Fairytales don’t end with True Love’s kiss, they begin with one.

Here’s a blurb:

Opposites attract!

Diya Mathur (aka Beauty), celebrated supermodel and Party Princess of India, is adored by everyone. She works hard, plays hard, and has the biggest shoe fetish on the planet! But after she purchases one baby bootie Diya’s reputation is in ruins! There’s only one place to escape the rumours—Texas, under the protection of her life-long friend, and secret love, Krish Menon (aka the Beast).

Financial whizz-kid, CFO and entrepreneur, Krish is a brooding workaholic with a charisma that still brings Beauty Mathur to her knees! He has no idea, of course! They’ve shared a bond since childhood—a special friendship that thrives on sparring, teasing and goading—but with Diya back in his life and under his roof Krish finds his latent desire for her explodes!

And when he finally admits to the secret that has never allowed him to commit to any woman—especially Diya—everything changes. Krish might finally realise how much he wants his Beauty—but he won’t get her until Diya has finally tamed her Beast!

Continue reading

Suleikha Traces Transgender Visibility in Hindu Mythology

The Mahabharata is one of the world’s oldest epic poems, dated back to the 8 or 9th century B.C., and also a core text of Hindu mythology. Let’s just say a lot happens in it. Deaths, births, drama, wars, romance, revenge, more deaths! As my mother likes to say, “Ja nai Mahabharat-ey, ta nai Bharat-ey” — “if it’s not in the Mahabharata, it’s not in India.” So it should come as no surprise that India has a thriving third-gender and transgender community and that the Mahabharata, which is thousands of years old, features many important trans* and non-binary characters.

mohini-paintingToday, on International Transgender Day of Visibility, I just wanted to talk about a few of these characters. They’re not a “trend,” not some fancy, modern, newfangled phase the young folks are going through. They have always been with us, just as trans* people have always been with us in real life. Are the portrayals one hundred percent positive or accurate? No. Ancient people are jerks, too, and translations go through many permutations and many hands. But we do have a strong case for how trans* people are, at least in Hinduism, an aspect of God.

Continue reading

Suleikha Sounds Off: If You’ve Read One Of Us, You Haven’t Read Us All


I’m not Nalini. But how cool would it be if I were?

More than a year ago, I published a post on my own blog about how multicultural fiction is not a monolith. “I am not Nalini Singh who is not Brenda Jackson who is not Shelly Ellis who is not Jeannie Lin,” I said. “And just because Nalini and Brenda are superstars doesn’t mean the POC Author Quota has been filled.”

And yet…that attitude in publishing persists. “Oh, we’ve got our favorite brown author, so we don’t need more.” Do you know how disheartening it is for those of us who aren’t Mom’s Golden Child? Why keep at it if the position has been filled?

Continue reading

Nisha’s foray into self-induced stress, personal expectations, and the ugly thing known as depressive mood disorder

I don’t know if I have some sort of seasonal disorder, if I’m low on Vitamin D, or if I’m actually in one of my depressive mood disorder episodes this time around, but I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in my funk-tastic situation. It’s March, it’s still cold here in the northeast, and the shit has literally just hit the fan in my life. I just want to stay in bed and read Sylvia Day or Nalini Singh until this is all over.


Let me paint the scene:

Continue reading