I started reading when I was three years old. I remember reading just about anything and everything I could get my hands on – I mean fiction – in both English and Tamil. Magazines, comics, books, pieces of paper that groundnuts were wrapped in – you name it, I read it.
When I entered my teens, I was introduced to Mills & Boon by my friend Nalini who is a few years older than me. I loved the first Mills & Boon that I read, I remember the first three authors I read, in fact – Flora Kidd, Essie Summers & Margaret Way – and I became a fan for life. I must say I have learned a lot from reading romances published by Mills & Boon.
- My language has improved tremendously, especially writing clean without four-letter words. For this I must really thank this publisher.
- I acquired a tremendous amount of knowledge about other countries, their culture, tradition, habits and more. I even learned some words in French, Italian, Greek and Spanish.
- I have become a sucker for ‘Happily Ever After’ endings. I am a diehard romantic at heart and I believe a happy ending is always possible. Mills & Boon has surely given me that.
- Whether we like it or not, what we read influences our sub-conscious minds. That’s one of the main reasons I never read thrillers or murder mysteries late into the night. But give me a Mills & Boon romance, I can stay up till 3-4 am and keep reading happily.
- Today, I am a romance writer all thanks to having read more than 30,000 titles from Mills & Boon. Indian authors have started writing for this publishing house over the past decade or so. Before that, it used to be only western authors. I used to always visualise the novels I read in Indian situations and that’s how my books were born.
About Sundari Venkatraman
Even as a kid, she absolutely loved the ‘lived happily ever after’ syndrome as Sundari grew up reading all the fairy tales she could lay her hands on, Phantom comics, Mandrake comics and the like. It was always about good triumphing over evil and a happy end. Soon, into her teens, she switched her attention from fairy tales to Mills & Boon. While she loved reading both of these, she kept visualising what would have happened if there were similar situations happening in India; to a local hero and heroine.
Her imagination took flight and she always lived in a rosy cocoon of romance over the years. Then came the writing – a true bolt out of the blue! She could never string two sentences together. While her spoken English had always been excellent – thanks to her Grandpa – she could not write to save her life. She was bad at writing essays in both school and college. Later, when it was time to teach her kids, she could manage everything from Science to Mathematics and History & Geography.
When it came to writing compositions, her kids found her of no help at all. All this changed suddenly one fine day in the year 2000. She had just quit her job at a school’s office and did not know what to do with her life. She was saturated with simply reading books. That’s when she got home one evening after her walk and took some sheets of paper and began writing. It was like watching a movie that was running in her head – all those years of visualising Indian heroes and heroines needed an outlet and had to be put into words. That’s how her first novel, The Malhotra Bride, took shape. Today, Sundari is the best selling romance author in India and abroad. Her novels – Double Jeopardy, Malhotra Bride, Meghna and Runaway Bridegroom are selling like hot cakes in Amazon.
Connect with Sundari here -