Shilpa Suraj

Author Interview

Interviewed By – Sameeksha Manerkar

Shilpa Suraj

  1. If you were forced to live the rest of your life as one of the characters from the book, who would it be and why?

I would love to be Hermione Granger from Harry Potter. I’d make a kickass witch and invent new spells to take magic to the next level!

  1. What’s the most challenging part of being a romance writer? 

Having people give you the side eye because they think you’re living those steamy, romance stories in real life too…If only!

  1. What role do you think female characters play in empowering readers, particularly young women and girls?

I think female characters have come into their own in today’s stories. They are a reflection of the times we live in and are no longer submissive, meek or helpless damsels in distress. They are more than capable of saving themselves, the hero, and the rest of the world and if there is one takeaway that young women receive from my books, I hope it’s that. You don’t need to be saved. None of us do.

  1. Can you discuss the importance of depicting female characters who are both strong and flawed?

It’s important for female characters in stories to be relatable, inspirational, and aspirational. No one is perfect but acknowledging your flaw, working to improve, and asking for help…that’s the kind of strength we should all hope to have and emulate.

Books offer us a slice of life glimpse into a world that isn’t our own. If we can see a glimmer of our struggles, our aspirations, and our reality reflected off the page, it will help us all feel a little less alone in life.

  1. What advice would you give to other female writers who want to create impactful female characters?

Keep it real. Much as I would like to assume all of us can do everything and be everything, every human being has limitations. No one is perfect not even our beloved characters.

  1. Are there any specific traits or qualities you tend to avoid when creating female characters?

 I don’t write damsels in distress. I’m not one and I find it hard to imagine one on the page. Every character I write today is someone I hope my daughter will read tomorrow. And I want her to read about warriors, the kind of fierce, fearless woman I hope she will grow up to be.

  1. Can you discuss any instances where real-life women or historical figures have inspired the creation of your female characters?

I’m inspired by the women in my family and friends circle. Watching them live their lives with dignity, self-respect and innate strength in the face of all that life throws at them inspires me every day, not just in my writing but also in my choices in life.

  1. Can you discuss the role of female friendships and relationships in your stories?

We don’t live in a vacuum and neither can our characters. Strong relationships, friendships or even flawed ones define the people we are and the characters we write. It shows you a character’s moral compass, their definitive choices, and the lives they craft with the people who surround them.

  1. Do you see any change or development of female characters and writers in the past 10 years? 

The biggest change I’ve seen is in the professions ascribed to female characters. Gone are the days of only the teachers, the bakers, the secretaries and the nurses…We now have them and also the doctors, the lawyers, the CEO’s and the tech geniuses. We have them all.

  1. Lastly, What’s the one message you want to give to the woman out there?

 It’s your life. Live it your way. Make your own choices and stand by them. At the end of the day, we write our own stories and when we do, we should write it on the biggest canvas possible.


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