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Contemporary fiction set in Indian cities

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 

A desire to read more stories set in contemporary India led author Anita Shirodkar to pen her first novel based in the country's commercial and entertainment capital.

"There are so many books by women set in Spain, France, the US etc with amazing plotlines and well written, but not so many about the cites in our country. I wanted to write a light kind of fiction set in urban India," says Shirodkar.

With a 20-year-long career in advertising behind her, Shirodkar in her first novel "Secrets and Second Chances," combines a passion for writing with a love of food to produce a fiction revolving around a woman protagonist.

"I wanted to set it in Mumbai and provide locales like cafes, hotels and landmarks and setting familiar to Indian readers and psyche. Local readers can identify with the character and the places in the book," says the 53-year-old author.

Shirodkar has had a wealth of experience in advertising with a portfolio of clients ranging from hotels to airlines and icecreams to face creams. After advertising Shirodkar subsequently had a spate of freelance design and writing assignments that encompassed brochures, corporate identity design, store design as well as a coffee table book on India.

Also, Shirodkar says she is a fan of romances. "I read a lot of books especially by Daniel Steele and the regency romance series by Georgette Heyer. They have a strong following around the world."

"My book is different from the Mills and Boon's books, those are short and sweet but I like my characters to be more detailed and fleshed out," says the author.

"Secrets and Second Chances", says the author is about desires, relationships and how life can come a full circle if you give it a chance. "It's about the ambitions and quest of a young woman, her loves and her hopes, and her all-encompassing relationship with her mother," she says.

Based both in Mumbai and Dubai, the author is a self- confessed foodie and has incorporated that element in the book basing the protagonist's mother as a single woman who puts her culinary skills into good use to raise her daughter.

"Food is another subject that I know all about. I am interested in world cuisine and have written on food, including content for a gourmet food store in Mumbai, and a recipe book, which I designed, photographed and ghost wrote for a nutritional specialist. It will be out soon," says Shirodkar.

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First Published: Mon, July 07 2014. 13:46 IST