Drunk on Ink Q & A with Falguni Kothari and ‘My Last Love Story’
My Last Love Story: Simi Desai is thirty years old and her husband is dying of cancer. He has two last wishes in his final months: first, that she’ll have his baby so that a piece of him lives on, and second, that she’ll reconcile with her old flame, who just happens to be their mutual best friend. And so over the course of their last summer together, Simi’s husband plans a series of big and small adventures for this unlikely trio, designed to help them say goodbye to each other and prove to Simi that it’s okay to move on without him—and even find love again. Beautiful and poignant, Falguni Kothari’s My Last Love Story will pull your heartstrings as only unforgettable love stories can. Read a review of My Last Love Story in the New York Times.Soniah Kamal: First author/book you read/fell in love with?
Falguni Kothari: As a child, it was End Blyton’s The Faraway Tree series. I loved the idea of living inside a tree trunk like Moon-Face. I’d sometimes try to squeeze myself into small spaces and pretend I was living inside a tree. As a teenager, I fell in love with Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (Name one girl who was raised in South Asia and didn’t!). As an adult, my once-a-year re-read is Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.
To unwind: chai, coffee, water, wine?
It’s mostly chai, sometimes wine, rarely coffee…but Pindar! Water is best.
A novel, short story, poem, essay, anything you believe should be mandatory reading?
Try all of the above at least once in your life. It just seems a more complete education. Then, you can stick to the reading format you most prefer. Much like print or ebooks.
Any classic you wished you’d pushed through in your teens?
I don’t think I ever had to push through a book. I mostly love reading books. I have simply not picked up several of the classics, this not read them. I don’t know why. I should change that.
A favorite quote from your book
This is the quote that gave me this book’s title. My working title was something else entirely and absurd now that I think of it.
Why I love this particular excerpt? It gives you the crux of the book in a paragraph.
“I went back to my husband and explained something to him. “Imagine I’m an ocean. You are the bright sunlit part of me, and Zayaan, the darker depths. I need you both to be who I am. I love you both. Always have. Always will. But, Nirvaan, you are my last love story. I don’t want another one.”
Your favorite book to film?
Hmm. I think the Pride and Prejudice BBC miniseries with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle. I even like the one with Knightly and MacFadyen. (That Darcy will never get outta my head!)
Favorite Indie Book Stores?
The one thing you wish you’d known about the writing life?
The publicity and promotion aspects of it. I am not talkative by nature, at least with people I’ve just met. As a writer, I’m continuously meeting new people now and it’s nerve-wracking. Also, at conferences and book events, I am so removed from my home bound comfort zone that I feel like popping a Valium a day. Luckily, popping a pill terrifies me more than speaking to strangers.
Does writing/publishing/marketing get any easier with each story/novel published?
It becomes worse. Or that’s the wrong word. It becomes bigger. The more books you have, the more people/ readers/ librarians/ bookstores know you and want to do events with you. So, you have to juggle that many more pins in the air. You do get more adept at the publicity and marketing though, and if you’re a planner, it’s a piece of cake.
Dog, Cat, Or?
I’m an animal-lover. Every animal except reptiles are my thing. However, I think dogs actually are man’s best friend. There is no better companion for a human than a dog.
A favorite song?
Anything by the late great George Michael, Ronan Keating and Arijit Singh. Their voices are soulful.
A favorite book cover?
I have many. But most recently, I was wowed by The Queen of Hearts by Kimmery Martin.
Last impulse book buy and why?
Tracy Wolff’s Lovegame. The cover was attractive, the price was right, and I’m in the middle of revisions for my 2019 women’s fiction release and I wanted to read something completely unrelated and raunchy. I like sexy, raunchy books. They make me relax and smile, maybe even laugh out loud.
Soniah Kamal’s novel ‘UnMarriageable: Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice in Pakistan is forthcoming from Penguin Random House USA. PREORDER here. Her debut novel An Isolated Incident was a finalist for the Townsend Prize for Fiction, the KLF French Fiction Prize, and an Amazon Rising Star pick. Soniah’s TEDx talk, Redreaming Your Dream, is about regrets, second chances and redemption. Her story Jelly Beans was selected for The Best Asian Stories Series 2017 and her award winning and Pushcart Prize nominated work has appeared in numerous publications including The New York Times, The Guardian, BuzzFeed, Literary Hub, Catapult and The Normal School.