‘Start-up’ something like love

The Asian Age.  | Sitara Suresh Naidu

Author Sheila Kumar’s new book Our Start-Up Affair shows us how beautiful love can be even in metropolitan city.

Sheila Kumar

We tend to cross paths with several people every day in our lives. Our Start-Up Affair by Sheila Kumar gives us a passionate start-up love story that blooms from a chance meeting. A trend that was popular in the past has now made its way back into our fast paced life. With romance, drama, sizzling and sensual love this book has all that one needs to caress their hidden inner desires.

Sheila edits manuscripts and reviews books for publications on a daily basis. Hence writing love stories is her cheat code. She said, “I like writing relationship novels. I’m struck by the fact that humour plays small role in most of the books I edit or review. So, writing light and breezy reads is a sort of counterbalance for me.”

Our Start-Up Affair is a love story that strikes up between two heterosexual, on the go entrepreneurs who meet in a destined cab ride. The female protagonist Aditi Pillai is a petite pataka with a versatile wardrobe who is also the author’s favourite character, while the hero Aditya Shenoy is a ‘tall, dark and handsome’ lad and the son of a ‘flamboyant notorious liquor baron’. With spine clinching love making and a chemistry to die for this rollercoaster romance experiences a glitch mid-way.

Our Start Up affair, by Sheila Kumar, Publisher: Speaking Tiger pp.192, Rs 299

When questioned about what inspired her to write a start-up love novel, Sheila shared an incident her sister experienced during cab ride. The driver was fluent in English and revealed that he was a techie who had an early burnout and decided to become his own boss. She said, “I got to thinking; this should be the base for my next romance.”

One things is common in all her books. From Kith and Kin to No Strings Attached and Our Start-Up Affair, all the lead characters are ‘strong-willed, resolute, they pretty much do what they want to do, and damn the consequences!’When asked if this was her way of trying to break the taboos of the primitive society we live in she said, “I’m not consciously using them as iconoclastic exemplars but yes indeed, we could do with more such people around us, even as the bands of tolerance are loosening and the bands of orthodoxy are tightening.”

Sheila’s message to aspiring writers is, “All the old chestnuts hold true: read. Reading helps shape your language and polish your work. When you write your story, do it in the language and style at your command. Get an editor to plug all the gaps. Don’t put a work of mediocrity out there. Every book does have its reader but that’s no excuse to flood the market with bad writing.”

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