Women Drive The Story

Shruti Rao Author Interview

A Wife for the Devil follows the illegitimate daughter of an English family that gets caught up in a love triangle. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

Victorian and Regency romances are quite beloved to me. They were part of some of my earliest reading experiences. In the small southern Indian town where I grew up, the library was barely stocked, but almost always could lend you Georgette Heyer and Barbara Cartland. As I planned my first novel, a romance seemed like a natural option given how familiar I am with the genre. And if I were to write a historical romance, why not bring in the oft-ignored denizens of the British Empire: children begat by cross-racial encounters? History books tell us they were pretty commonplace, and yet we have seen little of them in mainstream romances. This is being changed these days by many bold and fresh romance writers, and I wished to proceed in their wake by making my heroine someone unlikely.

The triangle came in naturally too. All stories need a few good villains and vamps. And Miranda, with her strong will and strange whims, seemed like a good foil for the two main characters.

Elizabeth starts out as a shy and timid woman in the beginning and grows into a strong independent one throughout the book. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

I am of the belief that your material conditions play a strong role in forming your psyche. I never thought of Elizabeth as shy or timid in the story, but she does behave within the confines of her circumstances. Her assertiveness in the second-half of the book is more the logical result of her falling in love than any designs on my part. Love, if I may be a bit trite, strengthens and vitalises us. In a romance, the author is always saying, whether explicitly or not, “Love is a momentous thing. It changes and enriches us.” I think that was largely my ideal.

Another aspect is the self-actualisation Elizabeth begins to embrace. This too is the result of her changing circumstances; she finally could be the woman she has always been.

Being set in Victorian-era England, what were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Women drive the story. And this was a conscious decision. Readers rightfully do not like romances where the women are resigned to their fates, or are so divorced from their own wishes that they do not know what to do. When they recognise they want something, it is a lightning strike. So, in my novel, both the heroine and her antagonist are clear in their minds about what they want and usually act in their own interests. This I think is the main theme. In this era, women weren’t granted much in the way of an inner life and little in the way of an outer one. I hoped to invert those expectations.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

Currently I am working on a fantasy romance. Details of the plot are yet to be nailed down properly, so much of what I could say would be speculation. I am not sure when it will be released, but sometime in 2023 seems like a good guess.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

A forbidden passion.
The illegitimate daughter of an Indian soldier and an Englishwoman, Elizabeth Lavoisier has never known true happiness or freedom. She survives only at the whims of her scheming cousin and is resigned to her fate until she meets the notorious industrialist Hugh Atwood.
Their attraction is immediate and scorching, their connection deep and visceral. But Hugh is driven by demons neither he nor Elizabeth completely understand, and Elizabeth could lose everything, even her pallid life with a family which does not want her. Soon they are plunged into the perilous world of the English aristocracy where they can trust no one, not even each other.
Is their love strong enough to overcome Elizabeth’s low station and the tragic binds that hold Hugh?

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The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on March 26, 2022, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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