This week, we’re featuring Sweta Vikram, an award-winning author of eleven books who has been featured in the New York Times.
Her debut US novel, Louisiana Catch, was released on April 10, 2018.
Ahana, a wealthy thirty-three-year-old New Delhi woman, flees the pain of her mother’s death and her dark past by accepting a huge project in New Orleans, where she’ll coordinate the Annual Women’s Conference to raise awareness around violence against women. Her half-Indian, half-Irish colleague and public relations guru, Rohan Brady, who helps Ahana develop her online presence, offends her prim sensibilities with his raunchy humor. She is convinced that he’s a womanizer. Meanwhile, she seeks relief from her pain in an online support group, where she makes a good friend: the mercurial Jay Dubois, who is also grieving the loss of his mother. Her work in the U.S. and the online medium brings the two men into her life, and Ahana learns that neither is what he seems. With their differing sensibilities on a collision course, Ahana finds herself in a dangerous situation—and she discovers a side of herself that she never realized she had.
Louisiana Catch is an emotionally immersive novel about trust and who we project ourselves to be in the world. It’s a book about Ahana’s unreliable instincts and her ongoing battle to determine whom to place her faith in as she, Rohan, and Jay shed layers of their identities.
As Ahana matures from a victim of domestic sexual abuse into a global feminist leader, she must confront her issues: both with the men in her life and, ultimately, with her own instincts. Whom can she rely on to have her best interests at heart?”
THREE THINGS YOU LEARNED WHILE WRITING LOUISIANA CATCH:
1.) Don’t make assumptions about what survivors of violence or their perpetrators look like. Sexual assault and domestic violence penetrate corners of our culture and countries and socio-economic strata. Sometimes, danger is at home and not on the streets.
2.) Grief changes us and makes us so vulnerable that we can’t discern right from wrong.
3.) We are stronger than we know or think.
THREE SOURCES OF INSPIRATION THAT HAVE HELPED YOU IN YOUR WRITING:
1.) A daily yoga and meditation practice — it taught me to show up every day to Louisiana Catch with dedication but have no attachment to the outcome of my efforts.
2.) Jane Austen — her timeless stories about strong female characters who are equal parts flawed and loveable like Elizabeth Bennet from her novel Pride and Prejudice.
3.) My father and my husband — my strongest advocates and protectors of my stories.
THREE PIECES OF ADVICE YOU’D GIVE TO ASPIRING AUTHORS:
1.) Write the story truest to you, not what others want you to write.
2.) Focus on writing instead of getting sucked into conversations about publishing. That comes much later. Remember, you need a finished book first.
3.) Remember to always make time for yourself and your core relationships. Because book deals and rejections will come and go; what keeps you sane and stable are your solid personal relationships as well as a healthy mind and body.
|Featured by Asian Fusion as “one of the most influential Asians of our time,” Sweta Srivastava Vikram is a best-selling author of 11 books, mindfulness writing coach, headstand-devotee, and a certified yoga & Ayurveda counselor who helps people lead creative, productive, and healthier lives. Louisiana Catch (Modern History Press 2018) is her debut U.S. novel and 12th book. Born in India, Sweta spent her formative years between the Indian Himalayas, North Africa, and the United States collecting and sharing stories. She writes about women, multiculturalism, wellness, and identity. Sweta, whose work has appeared in The New York Times, amongst other publications, across nine countries on three continents, is an award-winning writer and graduate of Columbia University. She lives in New York City with her husband and in her spare time, teaches yoga to female survivors of rape and domestic violence.|
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Heather is the owner/administrator of the Story Scribes community. She’s a prolific writer, web developer, and visual artist who spends every year counting down the days until NaNoWriMo.