Rajdeep, who prefers to be called “Raj,” decided to be a writer during her junior year in high school after her English teacher gave her an “F” but told her she had potential. She studied English Literature at Northwestern University, and began writing on the island of Dominica, while her husband of two months biked down to campus to begin his first day of medical school. Fifteen years, four daughters, and a little house on a hill in the quaint town of Locust Valley later, she now writes YAFiction and blogs weekly In Search of Waterfalls.
Growing up in a Punjabi-Canadian home, attending college near Chicago, living in the Caribbean and moving to pre 9/11 New York have shaped her experiences, birthing a diversity of characters. Many of whom she meets in the wee hours of the morning when her pillow still holds her captive.
When Raj is not tapping on her Mac, you can find her dancing with her princesses, kayaking with her husband, coaching basketball or eating dark chocolate while sipping a frothy, sugar-free latte.
She also secretly hopes to one day own a laptop that functions under water!
My first review request on Bibliophile Soprano came from Raj. Her book, Swimming Through Clouds is a unique one. (Click here for my review!)
The sequel to Swimming Through Clouds is Seeing Through Stones (The titles are so pretty!) and I loved that book too! (Click here for my review!)
I had the chance to interview Raj, and below, you’ll get to know her more!
Depends on the category… In the dessert department, I’m partial to a coffee-soaked slice of tiramisu.
Gerber daisies. The bright yellow and orange ones! But I also love the scent of lilacs.
Favorite TV show?
At this moment, it’s a tossup between Once Upon a Time and The Walking Dead. Both incredibly well written!
Favorite book? (The one that you’ll never get tired of reading.)
The Sound and the Fury by W. Faulkner.
What drives you to write more?
I guess I love stories and I want to gift my children and the teens today and future generations stories that will stretch their hearts and their imaginations.
What is the best writing advice that you could share with us?
Three-fold: 1. Writers write. 2. Let people read your writing. 3 Read your writing out loud.
Of all the things that you’ve ever written, which one is the most special to you?
Maybe my farewell letter to my grandmother. It’s on my blog. I miss her a lot.
ON HER BOOKS AND ON PUBLISHING
What inspired the idea of Swimming Through Clouds?
I wanted to tell a story of extremes. Extreme joy and extreme pain. A sad story in which the sweetest love story takes birth.
What is the greatest challenge that you have encountered in the publishing world and how did you overcome it?
The marketing side of publishing is the biggest challenge but also worth the effort. Trying to find readers and share your story. Because with a buzillon books out there, you have to give a pretty convincing reason for a reader to pick up yours.
ON BOOK DISCRIMINATION
If you’re referring to a lack of diversity in literature and popular fiction, I feel like the tide is turning. And there seems to be more celebration of diverse fiction than ever before.
Raj will be giving away two e-books of Swimming Through Clouds! Giveaway is now up! Stay tuned for more interviews and random reactions shared by fellow bibliophiles!