JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar, author of Love Comes Later
Hind is granted a temporary reprieve from her impending marriage to Abdulla, her cousin. Little does anyone suspect that the presence of Sangita, her Indian roommate, may shake a carefully constructed future. Torn between loyalties to Hind and a growing attraction to Abdulla, Sangita must choose between friendship and a burgeoning love.
A modern quest for the right to pursue love and happiness, even when it comes in an unconventional package, Love Comes Later explores similarities between the South Asian and Arab cultures while exposing how cultural expectations affect both men and women. Identities are tested and boundaries questioned against the shifting backdrops of Doha, Qatar and London, England.
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the inspiration to write Love Comes Later?
Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar: As someone in a multicultural relationship, I’ve been thinking about how people find love in Qatar for the last few years. Young Arabs have a lot of the same pressures to have arranged marriages, to settle down and to raise a family as South Asians do.
These similarities are what I explore in Love Comes Later. What if love comes in a different package than what you expected? What happens when society and personal interests compete?
JP: What sets Love Comes Later apart from other books in the same genre?
MR: Love Comes Later is the first novel in English to ever be set in Qatar, so it’s a very niche story. I hope to bring the realities of a country that has been my home for over seven years to readers all over the world. With world events what they are, it’s more important than ever to understand far away places such as the Middle East.
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that led to Love Comes Later getting out to the public?
MR: Book bloggers are critical to spreading the word about how good a book is; other independent authors are also critical to sharing their circles of influence. You’d be surprised how many of the people who spread the word about good books are not only volunteers but people who it for the sheer love of reading. Indies would be nothing without them.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take you to start and finish Love Comes Later?
MR: I’ve been writing, rewriting, and editing this project for three years. It’s been a long process of doing original research and revising the storyline.
JP: What’s next for Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar?
MR: Editing and revising the first novel I ever tried to write is my summer project. I’ve got an idea for another book I’d like to work on this fall and am half way through a historical novel set in Southeast Asia in 1969. There are always more stories to tell!