Monday, August 16, 2021



I want to first thank Swati M.H. for agreeing to this interview!

I hope that you enjoy it as much as I have!  You have to love someone who loves Outlander!

Make sure to give Swati a shout-out and FOLLOW her on all her social media!


I prefer to call myself a storyteller.  I'm a mom to two beautiful little girls and a wife to an incredibly supportive husband.  My days start with caffeine and sometimes end with a glass (or three) of wine.

I'm a Texas-raised Indian American currently living in the Bay Area.  With a degree in Computer Science and an MBA, I've had a successful career building software products but writing is both my hobby and my passion.

For me, writing and reading are an escape from real life.  My goal as a storyteller is to distract my readers from their daily grind with stories about everyday couples finding and fighting for incredible love with the help of a little luck. 

When and how did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I actually didn't know I wanted to be a writer until 2020 and even then, I thought my first book, Kismet in the Sky, was going to be nothing more than a fun project.  But when I showed the manuscript to some beta readers, they encouraged me to publish and I did.

Did you have any influencing writers growing up?

Some of my favorite authors have been Jane Austen (I mean, who doesn't love her?!), Fredrick Backman, and J.K Rowling.

Are any of your characters based on people in real life?

Yes.  Cassie from Surrender to the Stars is based on one of my good friends who is a NICU nurse.  I've always found her profession to be incredibly interesting and decided to make a character based loosely on her.

The story of Avni and Clark, from Kismet in the Sky, was based loosely on two of my friends as well.

Where do you draw your book inspirations from?

I write multicultural and interracial romance so some of my inspiration is drawn through my own cultural experiences.  Surprisingly, some of the inspiration even comes from songs I've heard.

Do you use have a basic outline when starting a new story or do you let the characters lead the way?

Most of the time, I have a basic outline but I don't stick to the outline if the characters "speak" to me differently during the writing process.

So, while I know the tropes and my characters' basic traits/characteristics, sometimes the plot or direction of the story changes during the writing period.

When you are picturing the characters in your book, do you have a cheater photo for inspiration?

Oh, yes.  I usually pick out the inspiration for both my main characters--usually celebrities--ahead of time and then describe them in my books using those pictures.

Many people read as a form of escape and relaxation.  What is your favorite way to sit back and relax?

Reading romance is definitely my favorite way to relax but if I'm reading on the beach or with a glass of wine, that's all the better!

I also love binge-watching a fun TV show.  I just finished Outlander and loved every minute of it!

Who are your favorite current authors to read?

I love reading Christina Lauren and Sally Thorne books.  I also love Ilsa Madden-Mills, Danielle Lori, and Melanie Harlow.

What are your favorite books by others?

I absolutely love Archer's Voice by Mia Sheridan, Marriage For One by Ella Maise, The Hating Game by Sally Thorne.

Do the locations in the stories have any meaning to you?

Yes.  Most of my books are set in places I've either visited or lived in.  My upcoming novel, My Perfect Remix, is set in Austin, Texas which is where I grew up.

Do you write in single or multiple POV?

I write dual POV with both the hero and heroine.  My books are generally in first-person and present-tense.

I feel like writing in the POV of both characters in the present tense really helps me imagine the scene and walk through it as if I'm living it.

What do you find to be your best research tool?

All hail Google!  I definitely research professions, diseases, emotional trauma, etc via Google.

I also love speaking to people who I know may have gone through a specific issue or event that I will be writing about.

Do you write under a pen name?  Also, do you write under more than one name?

Yes, I write my romances under Swati M.H.

What genre do you write and why is this your preference?

I write contemporary romance with a guaranteed happily-ever-after.

My books are generally about everyday couples who are fighting to figure out how to be together.  Most of the time, they are fighting their own demons as well.

I love writing romance novels to give my readers a happy escape from real life.

Tell me something about yourself outside of writing.  Jobs, accomplishments, family, quirky traits....what led to you being you?

I've always been a storyteller.  Since I was young, I would retell experiences or stories in detail, sometimes to the chagrin of others. 😊

I'm extremely focused and hard-working to the point where I've been told I "run hot" when it comes to getting something done.  I like to be busy all the time and find myself feeling depressed when I'm not.  I'm also an extrovert so I get energy from others and love learning about people. 

I got my Bachelors in Computer Science and also have my MBA.

For the past twenty years, I've been dedicated to building software products and leading product teams.  I love the idea of creating something new--software or books--and will put my all into it.

What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?

I would tell them to just start writing and finish the book.  The most important part is to have a finished manuscript and then everything else can be done.  Focus on getting to the finish line in terms of writing.

I would also tell them to make connections in this book world--reach out to bloggers, authors, editors--and build their tribe.  Writing can sometimes be a lonely experience so it's important to find people you trust to give you feedback and validation.

How do you deal with and process negative book reviews?

Negative reviews used to really upset me and even though I have been told by other authors to stop reading all the reviews, I still do.

But, I think I'm at a point where I've accepted that not everyone will love my books as much as I want them to and that is okay.

I still find one and two star ratings that have no reviews attached to them to be bothersome because the reader seems to hate the book without giving any reasons but I try to ignore them as much as possible.

Some critical reviews have also helped me grow, so I do appreciate those too.

What is the most difficult part of your writing process?

For me, the most difficult part of the writing process is figuring out the first few paragraphs of the first chapter.  I want to hook the reader right at the beginning and so that happens to be the part I struggle with the most.

What do you need in your writer’s space to keep you focused?

I like to write in bed or on my couch with a blanket and my cup of coffee.  I usually get most of my writing done when my kids are either in school or occupied in some other way and I have more silence in the house.

What is your naughty indulgence as you are writing?

Chocolate.  All and any kinds of chocolate.

If you could spend a day with another popular author, whom would you choose?  And why?

I would love to spend the day with some of my favorite authors that I've mentioned already but I think if I had to choose, I'd love to spend a day with J.K. Rowling.

She's so incredibly creative and has had such an amazing journey to get to where she is now.  I'd love to be able to talk to her and learn more about her life-story.

What is your schedule like when you are writing?  Do you have a favorite writing snack or drink?

I usually start writing (or creating my own teasers/marketing posts) after my kids are in school and work until they are back.  I usually restart in the evenings, if I have the energy.

I've always got either a cup of tea or coffee near me when I'm writing.

Do you listen to music when you write – what kind of music is your favorite?

No, I usually like to write when it's quiet but I will say that music has inspired a lot of my writing.

Have pets ever gotten in the way of your writing?

My pitbull, Sadie, demands very little from me so she's not a distraction.  But, she's always a welcomed comfort when I need a break.

What is your kryptonite as a writer?  What totally puts you off your game?

My own self-doubt.  Sometimes I'm in the flow and can write a lot of chapters but there are times when I wonder who will ever read what I'm writing.

I try not to let myself go down the self-sabotage rabbit hole but there are times when my insecurities can take over.

Usually, in such times, I'll go read some positive reviews or talk to my alpha/beta reader team to pep myself back up.

Have you ever killed off a character that your readers loved?

Yes.  I killed off a side character in one of my books and a few readers reached out to me to tell me how upset they were about it but that they understood why it moved the story along.

How do you celebrate after typing THE END?

I usually celebrate with a glass of wine or by going out to dinner.  I believe in celebrating all wins in life so it's always a big deal when I write the ending of a book.

Check out all my interviews/reviews for Swati MH!

Connect w/ MH Swati:

Facebook Group:
Newsletter Sign-Up:

No comments:

Post a Comment