Friday, July 18, 2014

Book Tour: Author Interview- Rasleen Syal

Hi, guys! We are hosting a blog tour for author Rasleen Syal's Happily murdered.... As part of the tour, we did an interview ith Rasleen and today's post is completely dedicated to that. For all the details of the book, the tour and the India only giveaway going on for three copies of the book, can be found in the main post. Now without much ado, let's get onto Rasleen's interview. 


Rasleen is a mystery addict. When she is not reading or writing whodunits, she is happily playing detective. She can’t resist seeking out curiosity in everyday domestic affairs, unwittingly landing in hilarious situations, much to the angst of her family. Her husband dreads the day she will finally pass on this bug to their baby daughter as well. 

An architect with a Masters degree in Business Administration, to make a living she runs her business in Gurgaon. 

‘Happily Murdered’ is her first book.



Hi Rasleen! Welcome to The Readdicts! It’s a pleasure to have you here today and we hope you have a great time answering the questions we have for you. Here we go!

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself.

There are a lot of things I can share about myself. I can say, am an Architect with a masters degree in Business Administration or that I am an entrepreneur. Maybe readers of this interview would be more interested to know that I am a passionate reader of murder mysteries and a debut author. But why do I want to say that I am a new mother to an adorable princess? Somehow it has started taking precedence over all else.

2) Tell us about your book, Happily Murdered.

Happily Murdered is a whodunit - ‘ A closed house, 9 Suspects, 1 Murderer’. The story revolves around the life of a new bride, Gulab Sarin,  who is murdered on the night of her wedding. All the suspects have motive and means to commit her murder, including her love – her husband. The exiting point is that the nine suspects are also acting as armature sleuths to unravel the mystery. So in all, there are two mysteries which will interest the reader. First, the primary one, who killed Gulab Sarin? Secondly, which suspect will eventually unravel the mystery of her death?

3) What kind of research went into writing your book?

To be honest, to write this book, and hopefully many more to come, I have been researching since I was a little girl. To write a plot driven book the fundamental nuances have to be explored, perfected. The pace, placement of red herrings, clues etc are paramount. My basis research has been reading the works of various mystery, suspense and thriller authors and learning all these integrities from them. Also, being observant and aware of people and their emotions was necessary to give soul to the characters. In the conventional sense, very little research was needed, just working out the technical details of the police proceedings, the scientific implications of the effect of the murder weapon used on the victim, the location and its climate etc. The basic stuff.

4) Are any of the characters in your book inspired by someone you know or are they complete results of your imagination?

I have been inspired by quite a few people. I am sure that my friends can find their shades in my characters, if they look closely. Also, sometimes complete strangers in the metro, malls or restaurants lend depth to my characters.

5) Tell us about the whole publishing process of your book and how it went.

All I can remember now is the day when, Arup Bose, my publisher sent me that coveted mail. Rest all is a blur. My journey from writing a book to getting it published has had its share of ups and downs, appreciations and rejections. But fate has been extremely kind to me for all the rejections that came my way, generously included feedback and critique. An author has to be appreciative of opinions and try to work on them. Rejections helped me hone my craft. Between literary agents and publishers it took me an year to land a book deal.

6) According to you, in today’s day and age, how important a role do blogs play in spreading the word about a book?

In the age where social media is the basic promotion platform to reach a targeted audience, good and reliable blogs are essential influencers in making a reader buy a book. The opinion of unswerving bloggers can sway their followers into giving a book a chance, especially in the case of a debut author.

7) Did you always want to become an author or was it something that you eventually thought of or realised? If not an author, what did you want to be when growing up?

I was always good at getting out of sticky situations by fabricating stories! Had I thought about making it into a profession earlier on, you would have an array of my books to read by now. Unluckily for me, I didn’t! Coming from a middle class family of self achievers only becoming a doctor or an engineer was an appropriate career option for an intelligent daughter. That was what was expected of me so that’s what I wanted to be.

I believe, you can't just become an author one fine day. The seeds of writing are sown long before that. To write a book you need to be passionate about a subject and introspect on it a lot. For me writing mysteries was just an extension of reading them. Even as a kid I used to plot mysteries, think up characters and jot it all down in my diary. Some years back I was on an enforced sabbatical and thought about giving form to my jotted ramblings. The result is my debut book.

8) Who are some of your favourite authors and what are some of your favourite books?

Arthur Conan Doyle, Emily Bronte, Ayn Rand, Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, Satyajit Ray and P D James are few of the writers I am extremely fond of. From the current lot I like Cecelia Ahern, Dan Brown, Anuja Chauhan and Anu Kumar. I love all the titles of Agatha Christie, ‘Death on the Nile’ and ‘Murder of Roger Ackroyd’ being my favourites. Among the classics ‘Wuthering Heights’ is a book I have read many times and it is still on my night stand.

9) Tell us why readers should pick up your book.

I have been told that ‘Happily murdered’ has twists and turns which keep you hooked till the very end. If  ‘cozy mystery’ is a genre someone enjoys I would ask them to give an Indian author a try.

10) What advice would you give to aspiring young writers?

a) Write what you are passionate about.
b)  Always appreciate feedback and work on it to improve your craft.
c)  Persistence pays. So never lose hope.
d) For any specific advice regarding the publishing process, literary agents or about writing, please send in your query as a comment on my website. I would be happy to help.

Thank you so much for spending time with us today, Rasleen. We appreciate you taking the time out to answer our questions and we wish you lots of happiness and success in life. 

Thank you, dear readers, for stopping by! 


  1. Is it just me or every author for India you interviewed here is some sort of Engineer. I remember some and usually those professions aren't that connected to writing so it's really amazing to see that they wrote a book. I like the title of this one. Great interview, Sarika :)

  2. The title is very interesting. I love thriller ,hence adding this book to my wish list.


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