Posted in books, Writing

Character Development with Author Reet Singh

Prof Upreet Dhaliwal 2013

We have Reet Singh with us today to teach us a thing or two about character development. Her latest book is out and she’s on a roll!

Tanay Devkumar, who can be seen in all his splendid glory on the cover of Take One Fake Fiance (TOFF), was a difficult man to create. He was to be ruthless and arrogant, suspicious and cynical, but then had to transform into a dream-boat – a sentimental lover craving a happy-ever-after with Mita, the woman he (once-upon-a-time) used to abhor.

Tall order – but here’s what I did:

I started by giving him a double barreled surname, hoping it would convince Mita, my feisty heroine – and also my readers – that he was not an ordinary man, and certainly not one to be toyed with. Then, recognizing how important the physical appearance is, I made sure he was athletic looking, tall and muscular, with a beard adding to his tough visage. Mita certainly believed that he was intractable and opinionated, so that was a good start.

Giving him a backstory was a bit of imaginative fun – the backstory in TOFF is different from what it was in the earlier version of Tanay and Mita’s story (Scorched by His Fire) and it explains his mistrust of the people around him, and his extravagant concern for his sister’s welfare. His history makes it easy for him to be suspicious of Mita’s motives and it interferes with his ability to recognize love even when it stares him in the face.

Not wanting to make Tanay out to be so damaged as to seem irremediably arrogant and heartless, it was essential to insert some softness into his character. Thus, though he can be tough as nails when the need arises, and is obstinate and secretive, he is also considerate to the elderly, helpful and accommodating when Mita needs his help, and polite to people who assist him in any way in the story (airline staff, waiters, bartenders, bell hops).

Tanay is not perfect – nobody is – and his journey to discovering that he has misunderstood the situation – and thus needs to renegotiate some of the decisions he has taken with respect to Mita – takes place over the latter part of the story. That’s when he transforms into the lover that Mita needs.

I hope you’ll find that Tanay Devkumar stays with you long after you put the book down.
Enjoy this romance between Tanay and Mita!

About the book

Mita Ramphul is single and fancy-free – and she wants to stay that way for the foreseeable future. Living and working on the idyllic island of Mauritius is the stuff dreams are made of – until she bumps into a man who threatens to destroy it all.
Tanay Devkumar is cynical and shuttered – events in his past have cast a long and deep shadow. Convinced that Mita Ramphul represents a threat to his sister’s happiness, he seeks her out, determined to block her nefarious plans.
They meet in circumstances that can only be described as hostile – suspicions abound and resentments flare on both sides, even as attraction simmers beneath the surface. A series of disastrous events follow and they are compelled to pretend that they are in love and wish to marry.
It is meant to be a temporary engagement – but will Mita be able to resist her fake fiancé or will his scorching kisses make her yearn for something more permanent?

Originally published as “Scorched by His Fire” by Harlequin/Mills & Boon in 2014
Take One Fake Fiancé is a refurbished, revamped, remodelled, updated version of Scorched and will soon be available on Kindle

That’s Mita and Tanay on the cover.

Final Cover TOFF 50%

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Author. Traveller. Body positive. Mental health advocate. Bengali vegetarian. Cat mother. @UofR alum.

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