Monday, November 18, 2013

#AuthorInterview Simi K. Rao talks about Writing

I read a lot of books and every so often, one book stands out and speaks to me. Simi K. Rao's An Incurable Insanity is fresh, vibrant, slightly crazy, and every bit joyful. I reviewed it here a few days ago.
Today, I'm happy to interview Simi and find out about her writing and her life.

1. Tell us about your background. What was the initial spark for writing your book?
I was born in India and have been living in the United States for several years. I am a practising physician by career. I’ve always wanted to become a doctor for as long as I can remember but over the years the stress of the demanding job got to me. I sought an outlet that would help me escape as well as channel my creativity which I knew was hidden somewhere inside. Thus I began to write.
The ‘spark’ for writing this book came from the need to create positivity and hope amidst all the depression and despair.
2. How did you come up with Ruhi’s character? Is she like someone you knew or someone you wished you knew?
Ruhi is the crux of my book. She is the one who changes the flow of the story and drives it to its positive conclusion. She is quite the antithesis of the  ‘Ideal Indian woman or wife’ as traditionally depicted in movies and literature (meek, subdued, who considers her  husband as lord and master despite all the abuse he heaps on her and who suffers in silence). Ruhi is bold, feisty, independent, outspoken, courageous yet also vulnerable, unsure and impulsive. I share a few of her traits particularly the unpleasant ones, hence she is very real to me. But I’m sure all of us women would identify with her in some way or other.
3. Have members of your family or friends read your book? What did they think about it?
Yes, a few friends and family have read my book. Their reaction has all been very positive. But almost uniformly they were surprised that I had written a book on a non medical subject.
4. Why did you set your story in Los Angeles? Tell us about some of your favorite places in the metropolitan area.
When I first came to the United States, I landed in Los Angeles and immediately fell in love. All the places that I have mentioned in my book happen to be some of my favorite spots such as the Griffith Observatory where one can see some amazing scientific displays and a spectacular view of downtown LA, Hollywood and the Pacific Ocean; the Hollywood Star Walk of Fame; and particularly the Venice Beach Boardwalk which to me is like a virtual circus.
5. How do you balance your work and family with your writing? What are you planning on writing about next?
It is very tough but I try whenever I can. Therefore I’m never without my little notebook or IPad so I can jot down my thoughts when and where I get them. I dream of disappearing  into a remote log cabin for 6 months and writing to my heart’s content. :) Someday.
My next writing venture is still in limbo- it could be a sequel or a brand new tale.
Simi, it's great talking to you. I would love for you to disappear into a log cabin and come back with another book. But in the meantime one of our lucky winners will receive a copy of An Incurable Insanity. Thanks for dropping by!

Simi K. Rao was born in India and has been living in the United States for several years. An Incurable Insanity is her first foray into writing. The inspiration for the story came from what she has seen transpire among and within the immigrant community.Some of the experiences included are her own; some have been garnered from friends and casual conversations with acquaintances. She also writes poetry, is an avid photographer, loves to travel, and is a practicing physician. She currently lives in Denver with her family.
You can connect with the author and read more of her work on her website at

Simi recently did an interview on the Romance Radio Network.

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  1. Pretty sure I wanted to read this one after your review, Rach. Added it to my GR TBR list ;)

  2. Wow! I think it's really interesting that after all your studying to be a doctor you found an outlet in creative writing to relieve stress. The book sounds fabulous too, especially after reading Rachelle's review!