Q. How is it writing a book from a man’s perspective? Is it more difficult than we imagine?
It is quite difficult. I mean women are the superior species so I have to lower myself down to write from their point of view! LOL! Kidding. I love all men.
Q. Do you think that the book puts women in a more stereotyped light than the focus is around these days?
This book is supposed to be humorous. And humour sometimes is stereotypical. If you look at stand-up comedians or videos of Being Indian by Culture Machine or other humour books, you’ll see stereotypes being reinforced. And people still love it and laugh. So I don’t feel My Clingy Girlfriend puts women in a bad light at all. It’s just fun.
Yes I’ve met clingy girlfriends but Radha is a figment of my imagination. She’s outstandingly clingy! And that’s what makes her fun and annoying.
Q. How long does it take to write a book – from the first draft to the final one before it is sent for print?
Well it takes about 3-6 months for me to write a book. Then it goes for editing. Then the editor comes back with her/his suggestions after a few months. Then I’ll re-write a few paragraphs that may need some touch up. Then it goes back for proof reading. And I take a final look at the proofs before it goes for printing. So from submitting the manuscript to it coming out in the market could take anywhere between one to one and a half years if not more.
Q. A few topics like selecting a gift for a girlfriend or avoiding marriage are humorous. But do you think they practically work?
The “tips” I’ve given in My Clingy Girlfriend have an element of truth in it but they’re not etched in stone. Since it’s a pure entertaining read, I’ve tried to keep the point format amusing as well. It’s something you can think about but you don’t need to follow it to a tee.
Q. How important is humour while writing a romance story? Do you think the youth today relates to humour and chaos more than the sorrow and longings of romance?
Not all romance stories need to have humour. Most youth of today identify better with heart breaks rather than humour. But with My Clingy Girlfriend I’ve tried to show the lighter side of relationships. Since there is so much sorrow amongst the youth regarding this, I’ve tried to show them it’s okay to break up or be stuck with bad partners. Laugh it off. There are other people in this world who will love you. I think nothing better than humour to make people feel good with life.
Q. You’ve authored quite a few books now. Which one is your favourite?
My Clingy Girlfriend is my favourite book of mine till now. Because I went out of my comfort zone to write it and it’s on every book shop’s best seller list! Now that’s validation for challenging yourself to do more with your life!
Q. What are the 5 must haves in your opinion for successful novelists?
1. Story. Story. Story – Have a good story to tell. Narrate it to your friends. Develop it in your head. Then write it down.
2. Don’t Write What You Know – It will get boring after some time. Write what you imagine. So day dream a lot.
3. Observe Everything – Great characters come from intense observations. Look around you. See the tilt of her chin. Watch how he uses body language. Interpret it and use it to build characters.
4. Write For the World – Your mom and dad might not like what you write but you’re not writing for their approval: You’re writing to become a bestselling novelist. That means thousands of people have to like your book. So even if your family won’t approve, write because you know you have something to say.
5. Reiterate. Reinvent. Renew. – You might need reiterate and do some themes over again to establish yourself. Like writing a few books in the same genre to be known well enough. But then you must go beyond and reinvent yourself and attempt another theme, genre, story, issue. Don’t be afraid to jump from romance to horror! And once you’ve tried everything you like to write, renew your passion with going beyond one medium and attempting to write another format, maybe a play, a script, a screenplay or the likes.
Madhuri Banerjee is the best-selling author of five novels. She is also the writer of the successful Bollywood film, Hate Story 2. She has a blog on CNN-IBN called Chastity Belt. She has her own production house and is an ad film director. She was a columnist with the Asian Age for two years and currently has a column in Maxim magazine. She has also won a National Award for her documentary on women s issues called Between Dualities. Currently she is the face of Revlon as their Relationship Expert.
She Tweets with the handle @Madhuribanerjee and has over 16,000 followers who love her relationship advice. Her personal blog, , has over four lakh views already. She is a world traveller, an avid reader, a coffee addict, an amateur photographer, an Instagram addict, a doting mother, and a fashion advisor.
Her observations of the male species and tales of her personal life in reverse format has made her write this book, a completely different take from any writing she’s ever done before!