Smart Podcast, Trashy Books Podcast

156. Bollywood and Romance: An Interview with Sonali Dev

This week, Sarah chats with Sonali Dev, and her dog Simba, about romance reading, romance writing, increasing the diversity of romance in just about every respect, applying Bollywood film structure to romance, and we get some in-depth knowledge about her series. Do not miss her theory about publishing your first book vs. your second book.

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This Episode's Music

Our music is provided by Sassy Outwater each week. This is the Peatbog Faeries brand new album Blackhouse. This track is called “Angus and Joyce Mackay.”

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Transcript

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This podcast transcript was handcrafted with meticulous skill by Garlic Knitter. Many thanks.

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  1. 1

    SUCH a fantastic podcast discussion with one of my favorite authors!! I loved hearing about the upcoming books in Sonali’s series, and what she’s been reading and enjoying.

    I thought I’d give some links to the Bollywood movies that Sonali discussed, for anyone that might be interested in checking them out.

    Dil Chatha Hai is a great coming of age story of three friends, and their respective love stories (three romances in one!)
    Trailer (couldn’t find with subtitles) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m13b25V0B10
    It’s available for rental on Google Play and Amazon Instant

    The Ranveer Singh clip Sonali must have been talking about from her RWA panel is from Ram Leela, which is a Romeo and Juliet story set in Gujarti, India. It is a gorgeous film filled with color from one of Bollywood’s most famous directors Sanjay Leela Bhansali. It’s gorgeous not JUST because of lots of oiled shirtless Ranveer. It’s also available on Google Play for rental.
    Here’s two clips from the movie. This is the opening of the movie, our introduction to Ram (Romeo) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LX0Ced3G5eg

    And since Sonali said she showed him surrounded by incense, I’m guessing it was Ang Laga De: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QpB607FdB4
    You’re welcome. 🙂

    Dil Dhadakne Do was just in theaters in June, so it’s not out on DVD or online yet. The interesting thing about it is that it is written and directed by Zoya Akhtar, the sister of the director and writer of Dil Chahta Hai, Sonali’s favorite movie. Zoya even put her brother in the movie as Sunny. Here’s the trailer with Ranveer Singh as the son of the family. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bmhqoZ1IoKw
    I will be buying this one on DVD as soon as it comes out. It was a great film!

  2. 2
    Pamala says:

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful conversation! I loved all the topics you touched upon–how Sonali’s books take cues from Bollywood,food in novels is the BEST, extra awesome books (totally looking at you Joanna Shupe) and how being exposed to diverse books is good for everyone.

  3. 3

    Just double checked and the film Dil Dhadakne Do just became available to order on DVD from Amazon from 3rd party sellers, releasing next week, but the Blu-ray isn’t available yet. I’m waiting for the Blu-ray! Besides the gorgeous scenery of Farhan Akhtar and Ranveer, the setting is a cruise of Turkey and Greece so I want the full blu-ray experience.

  4. 4
    Kim T. says:

    Loved hearing directly from Sonali Dev! What a welcome voice in the romance genre. Ever since I discovered Bollywood films, I kept marveling at how similar some of them are to reading a classic romance novel (the Bollywood romances of the 90s and early 2000s especially are like romance novels come to life). So I’ve been watching for books that directly reflect this influence/ethos and so I will read any romance (or fiction with strong romantic elements) that features South Asian characters or is written by a South Asian writer. In the last five years or so, there have been an increasing number of these books getting published and it’s wonderful. There have been so not so good titles (sorry Nicola Marsh), but many very good, culminating with the great word-of-mouth success of Dev’s Bollywood Affair. I’ve also enjoyed and DIK’d Rekha Waheed’s Saris and the City (where is her next book?!) and Abby Green’s The Stolen Bride (surprisingly good for a Harlequin Presents). I’ve read several of the Mills and Boon/Harlequins by Indian authors which have been mostly miss and enjoyed some of the Suleikha Snyder’s Bollywood set e-books. But I definitely highly recommend the novels of Anuja Chauhan, an Indian writer living in India and writing for a predominately Indian and Indian-diaspora market. Two of her novels are potentially being turned into Bollywood films (The Zoya Factor and the Battle for Bittora). I’ve also read Those Pricey Thakur Girls (which is an extremely loose adaptation of Pride and Prejudice) and enjoyed it. Can’t wait to read her new one, too. I’ve found that it helps to know a bit of Hindi (some dialogue is not completely translated) and a little bit about Indian society (sports, political structure, religions, geography, and yes Bollywood) to completely enjoy her novels and get the references. Chauhan’s novels are more of a hodge podge of chick lit, rom com, and family drama.

    Can’t wait to read Sonali Dev’s Bollywood Bride and I’m glad she’s keeping it angsty for a while longer. I’m also interested to see where she goes with her books after the Bollywood series.

    And, yes, Ranveer Singh in Ram Leela is incredible (his screen presence is off the charts). And his acting is getting better and better as he goes…I wish he would do more films like the beautiful Lootera.

  5. 5

    Kim T. THANK YOU for so many great book recommendations.

    And totally agree with you about Lootera. Sooooo good. And totally angsty.

  6. 6
    SB Sarah says:

    I am so glad you’re all enjoying this episode so much! I had a stupendous good time talking to Sonali, and was worried that the episode was running too long, though I didn’t want to cut any of the things she had to say. I’m so pleased you’re all liking it!

  7. 7

    I really like that closing song this week.

    What a fun listen this week. Thanks!

  8. 8
    Katelyn says:

    Super delightful and interesting! I’m so glad you didn’t cut it down.

  9. 9
    Lainey M says:

    Love Sonali. Three Idiots is the movie she is talking about. It is a movie about friendship and following dreams. Aamir Khan changes his buff body to fit geeky character. Highly recommend.

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