First – Seven Questions for Simi K. Rao author of An Incurable Insanity
1. Are you a reader? What are your favorite books?
Reading is a vital part of my life and books are among my best friends. I read widely; anything and everything that kindles my curiosity, but am partial towards stories with a human element and good characterization. I like to read both fiction and nonfiction, therefore I have a long list of favorites; ‘Tale of Two Cities’ by Charles Dickens, ‘People of the Book’ by Geraldine Brooks, ‘Lovely Bones’ by Alice Sebold, ‘Black Beauty’ by Anna Sewell, ‘Murder of Roger Ackroyd’ by Agatha Christie, ‘Fledgling’ by Octavia Butler, ‘Infidel’ by Ayaan Hirsi Ali and many, many more.
2. What is your path to publication?
Let me admit that I did not write my story with a plan to publish; I did so because the idea occurred to me and I wanted to present the situation with a positive twist. I shared it on my blog with my followers and was thrilled with the response and the way it touched so many lives. And so I thought why not? I pitched it to a couple of agents and received prompt rejections–guess I’m not a very good pitcher. I then sent a sample directly to my publisher and was accepted. If not, I may have considered self publishing.
3. How much time do you spend writing each day/week?
It varies widely. About 3-4 hours/ week; not as much as I’d like to.
4. How do you work? Are you an island unto yourself? Or part of a larger community?
I am an island and music is my community.
5. What is your favorite thing about writing? Least favorite?
Freedom of expression; not enough time to exercise it.
6. Are writers born, taught, or both? Both.
7. What would you tell younger and less experienced you if you could?
Age and experience don’t count in writing. Just do it and have fun.
Her heart fluttered when she heard the sound of the key turn in the lock. She quickly adjusted her maroon silk sari with the yellow border, the one that had caught his eye, and waited eagerly for his footsteps.
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven… Yes, exactly seven steps before he stopped, hesitated for a few moments, then removed his shoes one by one and arranged them neatly side by side on the shoe rack.
She smiled. He had been mindful of taking his shoes off every day now. ‘I am not used to it, but I will if you want me to. It’s probably a good thing to do anyway.’
As he settled down, he would pick up the TV remote and, without looking at her, would say in his smooth baritone, ‘So how did you spend your day, anything interesting?’
Shaan Ahuja found himself bowing to tradition and agreeing to an arranged marriage to the beautiful Ruhi Sharma. He went through the motions but had no intention of carrying through on his vows. His last foray into matters of the heart with an American girl had left him scarred and unwilling to try again. Thoroughly disillusioned and disgruntled he wasted no time in making his intentions clear to Ruhi on their wedding night. But, he was completely unprepared for what his new wife had in mind.
“Here… lunch.” She pushed a box towards him.
“I don’t want it.”
“I feel awkward.”
“But you never felt that way before, so why now?” You took me for granted. She stared reproachfully at him.
“It’s different now.” My perspective has changed. I behaved like a slave master, it’s humiliating. He stared right back.
She pretended to appear disinterested, “you can eat it, give it to your friends or throw it away. This is all I can do to pay you back right now.”
“You don’t have to worry about paying me back. It’s the least that I can do to make up for what I’ve put you through.”
Her chair knocked sharply against the wall, as she jumped to her feet. “What? You think that’s compensation enough? Nothing you do will give me back what I’ve lost! Yes, I agreed to marry you because I was blind and innocent! But who gave you the right to destroy my life, especially since you were having an affair and there was no hope for us? You treated me as if I was a disposable object! Why? Tell me why?”
“Yes I know I’m the worst kind of cad! But my hands were tied! My grandfather was on his death bed, I had no choice!” He snapped back gripping the counter till his knuckles turned white.
Walking up to him, she said softly, “Yes you had a choice. You could have walked away. You could have been a man.”
Simi K. Rao was born in India and has been living in the United States for several
years. This book is her first foray into writing. The inspiration for the story came
from what she has seen transpire among and within the immigrant community.
Some of the experiences included are her own; some have been garnered from
friends and casual conversations with acquaintances. She also writes poetry, is
an avid photographer, loves to travel, and is a practicing physician. She currently
lives in Denver with her family.
You can connect with the author and read more of her work on her website at