Today’s interview is with N.J. Kulkarni, author of The Hawa Mahal Murders.
1) What is your author name and in what state do you live (or country if not in the US)?
I write under the name of N.J Kulkarni and I live in Pune, India.
2) What is the title of your newest book and what is the genre?
My book is a crime thriller titled “The Hawa Mahal Murders.’
3) What is the book about?
The story focusses on two characters: a troubled housewife trapped in a bad marriage (her second), and a police officer desperate to prove himself but stymied at every step by a crooked boss and a corrupt system. When a series of murders take place in a posh locality in Mumbai, all hell breaks loose, and senior police officers scramble to save the Chief Minister’s son and frame an innocent watchman.
My novel is a psychological thriller and delves deep into the minds of the main characters, including the serial killer, and touches upon societal issues in India, like corruption, the social divide, and women’s issues.
4) Where did you come up with the idea?
I was inspired by the setting. I used to live in a beautiful but old building in Mumbai. It was out of place amongst its neighbours and that set me thinking. The actual story and characters are from my imagination. It was the setting which triggered the story.
5) How long did it take you to write it?
More than two years.
6) Did you learn anything from the project?
I had read a lot of detective and mystery novels but when I actually started to write one, I realised how difficult it is to insert clues in the right places so as to keep up the suspense. There was a lot of painstaking detailing work required and constant going back and forth. It was a learning experience for me.
7) Do you have an author website and/or blog? How about a book video?
I have an author website: https://www.nitajatarkulkarni.com/
8) Do you have any success tips to pass on to fellow authors?
I published a book fairly late in my life (I was 60) and there were a lot of doubts along the way. I didn’t think I could actually do it. If I had to say anything to aspiring authors it would be: Believe in yourself.
9) What genres do you like to read? Are you open to reading new authors and reviewing their work?
I like to read crime thrillers and in fact, all genres, including non-fiction. I do love new authors but currently, as I am in the midst of writing two more books, my reading has slowed.
10) What is your favorite book of all time and why?
My three favourite books are Gone with the wind, Wuthering Heights and Anna Karenina.
11) Fun Question: Do you have any pets? If so, what kind?
No pets! Allergic!
12) Fun Question 2: Do you own an electronic reading device? If so, what kind and how do you like it?
I use the Kindle app to read both on the ipad and iphone.
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