Some of my friends and family have approached me and questioned why “Double Happiness” will first come out in English. Well, obviously because it is the language most people will understand and it is written in English because in my family this is the main language we speak. However, it can later be translated into other languages as well if there is enough interest for German and French for example. Maybe Hindi, Urdu and Arabic too?
Let’s take it to market first. If you have friends who could be interested in my book, feel free to share this site.
“Double Happiness” starts out as the love story of my mother, Vivienne Wardi. She comes to India for the second time in her life and through a strike of the universe suddenly gets a chance to see Arjun again. Even though she is married to another man, she falls for Arjun. As you probably understand already I am their daughter so they must have been together at one stage. Since I have not met my mother alive my characterization of her is invented and slightly full of illusions. She is a woman who knows what she wants. For a while she is loyal to her husband Samir and she even supports him after their separation. Vivi is a bit of a dreamer and sometimes she gets overwhelmed by life. What I can tell as well that she is good with words. Her diary is full of graphic illustrations of lovemaking. When I read it for the first time it made me blush. Mind you, I was only 12 years old then. My mother’s diary is the background on which I have written “Double Happiness” but there is a part which is solely based on my own experience of the events unfolding after my 12th birthday.
In my bollywood version of “Double Happiness” I could only see one actress playing my mom but you will find out as you read the novel who it should be.
Lara, my godmother is easily described. She is a doctor who travels the world, half Austrian, half American. She smokes, hardly sleeps and she usually jogs in the mornings. Lara wants to succeed. She never feels good enough and has a difficult relationship with her father, Mr. Nashville, maybe because she is the first doctor in the family. She loves her mother but in the novel her parents hardly appear. Lara is a quiet heroine. She steps up to help others when the need arises, she saves lives, helps the poor and whatever happens she stands by her man. She falls into a depression once but she is a strong woman. She learns everything about the Eastern medicine while she lives in India and later she even builds a new hospital in Alipura. In Part 4 she is mainly traveling to find my sisters but there is also a time where she helps the soldiers and freedom fighters.
If Lara was featured in a movie I could imagine Franka Potente for this role.
It is a lot easier for me to write about Arjun because his character is very similar to my father. He is loving and in the beginning a bit weak. He sometimes does not really know where to go and lets others drive him. Arjun almost needs a strong woman like my mother (and his own mother) to guide him. Over the course of the novel he develops and becomes stronger. One of his flaws is that he pulls out of the relationship with my mother on frequent occasions. As soon as he feels competition from Samir he does not fight. He accepts. Only later, he finally turns his anger against my mother. He is a hard-worker, successful and takes a lot of responsibility. When he is old, he turns into a bit of a nut, drinks and smokes but he is always a loving father.
If Arjun was played by a bollywood actor I would love to see Imran Khan or Shahid Kapoor in this role.
I just spoke to uncle Jay. Now I might need to change his character slightly. He is not so happy with the way I depict him. Single, party guy and drinker who should have become a lawyer but then just got rich by selling whiskey. He is a fun guy too and Raj’s best friend. We’ll see…maybe I will rethink him. He is an extrovert but maybe he should do at least one heroic deed in the story. So far he has not done this.
We all have days where the weight of the world is upon us. Since I left full-time employment and started up my own company these days have become a lot less. However, yesterday I had one of those days. It started with early news on killings in Gaza. As you know, i hardly ever get political on Twitter but I just had to comment on it (at 6 AM before my first coffee). Then I made the mistake of looking at my bank account during the month. Naturally in the early months of a start-up money is an issue. I calculated that if I continued to have earnings as planned I will probably be bankrupt by 2013.
Then I shot out a premature email asking people I know to join this new site that I have created to market my novel www.viviennemsharma.com. Obviously, a very engaged colleagues needed to give me her feedback that made me believe I had no idea about how to build up a website / blog or social media for that matter.
To make matters worse I went to a party of my former employer and met a lot of people I truly miss in my life right now. Once I had given them my business cards and ventured for a few steps on the dance floor I realized how tired I was. My life is not stressful but I have a lot of responsibility on my shoulders. I went home early with about one frank left in my pocket.
In the mail there was a letter that I might get some reimbursement from a delayed train ride in Germany. The rest featured a lot of advertisement. I started writing for another hour, was unhappy with the outcome and went to bed. This morning I slept longer than normal, then I wrote for a few hours. I added some infos and pictures to the website, added an article on my blog and checked an issue with an e-book. I remembered that I have had days like this before where learning something new had completely overwhelmed me and when you venture into the world of writing there is a lot of new stuff to learn.
The only lesson I learnt from this is that sometimes you need to try it again. If you have a bad day, relax, do something different, go out party, meet people you like. The next day, the sun shines again and hope comes back.
With that said feel free to hug me. Need it!
I urgently have to write a character study of Raj. My main issue with Raj is that he too good to be true. I have not found his dark side yet. In Part 3 he is neglecting Lara and gets sucked into work. Maybe he has a workaholic tendency and like every man he cannot speak about his feelings. He pulled back like a snail when the going gets rough on an emotional level. He also is very weak towards his parents. He follows their wishes for a long time.
If Raj was played by a current Bollywood star I would suggest Ranbir Kapoor for this roie. Not sure if anyone else could fit this role.
Recently, met Joanna Penn. She has been very inspiring and made me think that I could actually become an author. > http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2011/01/05/change-your-life-joanna-penn/
What do you think?
Vivienne M. Sharma
As you might know in one of my novels Facebook is identified as a spy tool so I decided to work with word press going forward. You have any questions on “Double Happiness”? Join our reading list for updates. I will also give you some background information as we get to know each other better. For your subscription you receive an “appetizer” of the first part of “Double Happiness”. I am always keen on your feedback.
Vivienne Marie Sharma