Q & A with Maya Sharma Sriram discussion

Bitch Goddess for Dummies -Discussion

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message 1: by Maya (new)

Maya | 10 comments Mod
Hi All,
The Q & A thread has now gone live! Please do post your questions about the book or about writing in general. Looking forward to an interesting interaction.


message 2: by Rochelle (last edited Aug 25, 2013 01:02AM) (new)

Rochelle Potkar (rochellepotkar) Maya,
My first question to you:
A title, in a way, leads to clarity behind the writing.

At what point (of writing this novel) did you think of the title for this book? Was it an evolving one, or an already frozen one?

message 3: by Maya (new)

Maya | 10 comments Mod
Rochelle wrote: "Maya,
My first question to you:
A title, in a way, leads to clarity behind the writing.

At what point (of writing this novel) did you think of the title for this book? Was it an evolving one, or ..."

Hi Rochelle,
Talking about the title seems like a great way to kick start this discussion.
So, when did the title come to me? I think during the first revision. I had no title in the first draft. During the revision, the story focus became clear and a little into the story, as Mira's rules evolved ( also not there in the first draft) the title came to me. I put it down because I liked its quirkiness, the tongue-in-cheek feel of it. And somehow it just clicked.

message 4: by Rochelle (new)

Rochelle Potkar (rochellepotkar) Thank you, Maya. That sounds interesting.

My next question: In workshops we are asked to think about various styles while approaching a piece.
But I've noticed when not work-shopped we subconsciously choose a style without much ado.

How did your style for this book come about? How do you view style in general?

message 5: by Maya (new)

Maya | 10 comments Mod
That's an interesting question. I think to me style is organic to the story idea. This one was a fun, funny story and the narrative turned out to reflect that. My next book, the story is serious, complex and even a little dark. The style in that has automatically become heavy and intense.
Now that you ask, I think for me, style has been an instinctive choice.

message 6: by Vishaka (new)

Vishaka Sriram | 2 comments Hey,
I'd like to know how you got your idea for this book. It's really interesting!

message 7: by Vipin (new)

Vipin Goyal (vipingoyal) | 1 comments The name and content are unusual, I would love to read. I would like to know which character is nearest to your heart and why?

message 8: by Maya (new)

Maya | 10 comments Mod
Hi Vishaka,

How did I get the idea for this book? You know, a lot of people ask me that. I guess it came from a lot of my women friends often saying,'you know what, I need to stop being so nice. I would be more successful/happier/get that guy if I was meaner.' I found myself thinking that way too and that lead me to -'What if? What if there was this congenital nice girl who decides to transform herself into a nasty person.' The idea grew in my mind and then Mira emerged with her own angst and personal pain and then one day there was a story.

message 9: by Maya (new)

Maya | 10 comments Mod
Hi Vipin,
First off, thanks for the interest. I do hope you enjoy the book.
Which character is nearest to my heart? I have doing a lot of searching since I read your question and the answer is - all of them. This is what I discovered- Mira is the woman whose story I am telling but all the others are also characters i care about , even the ones with negative shades. For Mira herself has grey areas too.

message 10: by Ks (new)

Ks | 1 comments Hey,

I was wondering about the underlying premise of the book. Why is it that the path to confidence needs to come from a physical and mental makeover associated with ' bitchiness'? Why this particular route?

message 11: by Deepti (new)

Deepti | 1 comments Hi Maya,
I've heard a lot about your book and have ordered for it on Amazon. Looking forward to reading it. Any chance of BGFD being made into a movie? I also heard that you're writing your next book. Is it a sequel to BGFD?

message 12: by Maya (new)

Maya | 10 comments Mod
Hey KS,
The premise of the book is not that the path to confidence needs to be associated with 'Bitchiness' but 'is the path to success associated with Bitchiness? That is what Mira's journey and eventual discovery is all about. Why Bitchiness? The answer is the same as to Vishaka's question. Hearing a lot of women , when they talk about their relationships failures or office set backs say that they need to stop being 'so nice' to get what they want/ deserve ( and I admit I have felt that way a few times myself) set me thinking- is that really true? What if somebody believed it and acted on it.
So you can say that 'bitchiness ' just sparked an idea. It could have easily been something else.
I hope I was able to answer your question.

message 13: by Maya (new)

Maya | 10 comments Mod
Hey Deepti,
Thank you for ordering my book. I hope you enjoy it. No one as approached me for movie rights so far. I am definitely not averse to the idea though! No my second book is totally unconnected. Not even in the same genre.

message 14: by Saritha (new)

Saritha | 1 comments My questions are about the men in the novel. Always wanted to ask a writer this - being a woman, is it difficult to write about what goes on in a man's mind? I think one chapter in your book was from the male lead's perspective. Also, is the adorable Vinay inspired by a real person?

message 15: by Maya (new)

Maya | 10 comments Mod
Hi Saritha,
Was it difficult to write about what goes on in a man's mind? No. I think people watching and specifically observing, talking to , listening to male relatives, friends and colleagues helped the development of the characters. No, Vinay was not inspired by a real person. He just emerged as the story grew. I am delighted that you find him adorable !

message 16: by Rochelle (new)

Rochelle Potkar (rochellepotkar) Maya,
HI again,
Which aspect of this book did you find challenging? And which component of storytelling do you still struggle with?

message 17: by Vishaka (new)

Vishaka Sriram | 2 comments Hey, I have a few more questions-
1. Who was the most fun to write?
2. If you could give Mira a superhero's help, like Batman or Wonder Woman, who would it be and why?
3. Which character would you like to chat with over coffee?
4. The ending was amazing-it wasn't like a Bollywood ending, or overly-dramatic; it was realistic. What made you aim for that?
5. During the writing process, what changed from the first core idea?

message 18: by Maya (new)

Maya | 10 comments Mod
Hi again to you too, Rochelle!
For both questions , I have one answer- the revision! When I had to watch out for consistencies, story aspects, narrative , character establishment , use of setting, dialogues, structure all at the same time- like the threads in a tapestry- that was very challenging. Even now , i wish I added or taken something away , when I flip through the book.

message 19: by Maya (new)

Maya | 10 comments Mod
Hey Vishaka,
I like this set of questions. So , who was the most fun to write? I think Sanya pips Rohan and Mira, who are tied , by a very small margin. Negative characters are truly fun. And she is the one i would love to chat over coffee. She has so many unanswered questions and unexplored facets, though I do fear a through tongue -lashing for what I did to her!
A super hero help for Mira? hmmm. Superman? he's cute and might look good on her arm. and he can do other cool superhero things too!
The ending? First- thanks for the nice words. It was just natural and organic- to Mira's character.
What changed from the first core idea? Would you believe it, Mira's story purpose? In the very first draft, she was unhappy with herself and all that but she wasn't going to be a BG! that came somewhere in the first revision and the story then clicked.

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