The Happy Writer with Marissa Meyer

Guest: Sandhya Menon

March 29, 2020 Marissa Meyer Season 2020 Episode 2
The Happy Writer with Marissa Meyer
Guest: Sandhya Menon
The Happy Writer with Marissa Meyer
Guest: Sandhya Menon
Mar 29, 2020 Season 2020 Episode 2
Marissa Meyer

Marissa chats with Sandhya Menon on her new book, OF CURSES AND KISSES, as well as her famous "plotting wall" and writing the first draft for yourself.

Show Notes Transcript

Marissa chats with Sandhya Menon on her new book, OF CURSES AND KISSES, as well as her famous "plotting wall" and writing the first draft for yourself.

Marissa Meyer:   0:06
there. Hello and welcome to the Happy Writer, a podcast that aims to introduce readers to awesome new books and authors and to help all of you writers out there overcome common writing ailments from rejection to imposter syndrome and everything in between. I am your host, Marissa Mayer. I'm the author of the Lunar Chronicles, The Renegades trilogy and Heartless. And I am so glad that you are here joining me today At the time of recording this, we are still in the midst of the Corona virus pandemic. Uh, the world seems to be changing almost hourly at this point, as we're all kind of trying to figure out what is happening and what we should be doing s so I think it's safe to say that things are really weird right now, but we're doing our best. My heart does go out to everyone who has friends and family who have been afflicted with this disease. Ah, and everyone who's work and businesses are suffering from this as well. I really don't think there's anyone who hasn't been impacted by this pandemic in some way, so stay strong out there. Stay healthy. Ah, and do your best to support each other as well as we all can. Of course, the still relying to this whole situation is all of this bonus reading time. We suddenly have ah, which I can't complain about. Um and so I hope you guys have been finding lots of Austin books to read during your time in isolation. On that note, I am so excited to introduce Todays Guest. She is the New York Times best selling author of the dimple verse books, which I think is the q dissed the title or banned, um, title for a centuries that I have ever heard. Um, the books kicked off in 2017 with When Dimple met Rishi. That was followed by There's Something About Sweetie and Book three in that Siri's 10 Things I Hate About Pinky comes out this summer. She also wrote The Standalone Y, a romance from Twinkle With Love and have most recent book, which just came out in February and which I just got my copy of a couple of days ago so I cannot wait to read. It is of curses and kisses. Please welcome to the show Sunday a men in I'm Marissa Thank you

Sandhya Menon:   2:32
so much for having me. I am so excited by the entire idea of this broadcast I have to say is

Marissa Meyer:   2:39
actually go. I know. Especially now when there's we all need happiness, more happiness.

Sandhya Menon:   2:46
Hackley, We I don't think we can have enough happiness right now.

Marissa Meyer:   2:50
True? Or I mean, just in general, I think that safe to say true, but yes, with the world as it is in this environment, anything we can do to create more joy than let's do it.

Sandhya Menon:   3:03
Yes, I'm so they're right there with you.

Marissa Meyer:   3:06
Um, so Sunday you and I had the pleasure of meeting. Was that maybe three weeks ago? Um theme. San Antonio's library. Pollux Za Book Festival. Yeah, it was right before this whole thing happened.

Sandhya Menon:   3:24
Last hurrah. As authors, I think that

Marissa Meyer:   3:27
we can I know We really just, like, really suit in right before the whole world Shut down. Yeah, Yeah. How have you been faring? How's your life? In the bunker?

Sandhya Menon:   3:40
The bunker is holding up. So far, I do have two kids at home Right now they're 11 and 12 so I don't know how long. How much longer it will hold up right Now everybody's happy, so I'm just taking it one day at a time.

Marissa Meyer:   3:56
So are you trying to do the homeschooling thing I am? In

Sandhya Menon:   4:01
a way, my kids are old enough that they're kind of able to log into their school and see what's going on and what the teacher requires. Course they are so kids. So I do still have to check it and make sure they're doing what they're supposed to be doing. But so far, so good. This week is actually spring break, so thankfully, they have nothing to no homework and nothing to do. I think they're going to start back in earnest, though April 1st. So that's when the rial test will begin of us as parents being teachers

Marissa Meyer:   4:36
do. It is a test. It's Yeah, I think that we're all coming to really appreciate school and teachers so much more than we did before.

Sandhya Menon:   4:48
I know I just don't know how they do it for seven or eight hours straight.

Marissa Meyer:   4:52
No, it's boggling. It's causing it and I have. My husband is also homes and is the two of us and then are we have five year old twin girls, Um, and so it's, you know, one on one and you think that it would go so smoothly. But no, it does not go smoothly. E

Sandhya Menon:   5:08
no. And five years old. I mean, yeah, that's like, you know, that is a killer. And

Marissa Meyer:   5:13
then there in pre k pre K. Yeah. That's a

Sandhya Menon:   5:17
tough one that I don't think that I was a very good pre K teacher

Marissa Meyer:   5:21
when I get it, So I don't think I am either. But I did teach them how to tie their shoes. Oh, so that was a huge win. I should say. My husband and I taught them to tie their shoes. So we feel like way accomplished. Something, if nothing else.

Sandhya Menon:   5:38
No, I think that's wonderful. I don't think my daughter knew how to tell her she was until maybe second grade. So you guys are way ahead of the curve there.

Marissa Meyer:   5:45
Oh, thank you. Thanks. It's my my gold star achievement. Forget writing whole books like No. Where is that? Um okay, I definitely want to know so much about of curses and kisses. Your newest book. Um, so, you know, sometimes as a reader, you'll like here a description of a book. Um and it just hits that exact right note for you. And you think Yes, I am the target reader for this. Yeah, that's how I felt when I first heard about of curses and kisses. It has so many of my reader buzzwords and it, um, but you you please, You go ahead and tell us what the book is about.

Sandhya Menon:   6:32
Okay, Well, first I have to say I felt the same way about the lunar Chronicles. Like every single book in that series was my drug Presley written for me. So it means a lot that you say that about mine.

Marissa Meyer:   6:43
It was It was personally written for you Way

Sandhya Menon:   6:48
have record of that now. Okay. School with kisses has been pitched as possible. Pearl meets Beauty and the beast. Is that a very elite boarding school in the Colorado Mountains? And it features an Indian princess who enrolls at this boarding school in order to get revenge on a very misanthropic British aristocrat. They have this whole history behind them of feuding families, and she is there to basically make him fall in love with her so she could break his heart. But of course, this is of romance. And so things don't go exactly according to plan.

Marissa Meyer:   7:29
Whatever do you mean, my

Sandhya Menon:   7:34
end up, you know, kissing him and actually falling in love with a maybe,

Marissa Meyer:   7:38
Yeah, that sounds like it could be very plucked. Problematic. Yes, exactly that range

Sandhya Menon:   7:44
in the whole of revenge.

Marissa Meyer:   7:45
Why? Beauty and the beast? Why this fairy tale?

Sandhya Menon:   7:49
You know, I think it's probably one of the most popular retellings out there, and it's definitely one of my favorites, like it is for so many other people. And I knew that there were a lot of different retellings of beauty and the beast, and I still felt like I haven't seen one yet set in a boarding school featuring an Indian princess on a British Eartha Kratz. So I was like, Let's see what I could do with it. That's a little bit different. Um, it was really just me being a writer who needed to write the story that was in my brain and wouldn't let go as opposed to, like, let me see what the market needs right now kind of thing. I

Marissa Meyer:   8:29
think that's one of the most wonderful things about fairy tales and fairytale. Retellings is cause Yes, there are a 1,000,000,000 beauty and the beasts out there. There's a butte, a 1,000,000,000 Cinderella's out there. But what if What if it was set in a elite boarding school? What if she was a cyborg? Like there's just endless interpretations?

Sandhya Menon:   8:51
Exactly. And I think when you really feel the joy and the passion for the story that you're telling, even if it's a story that has been told in a 1,000,000 other ways, people can feel that joy and passion coming through the work and next with a lot of people. I think that's I mean for me. That's what I felt when I was reading Cinder. I was just like I've never had anything like it. And I could just see the world so clearly. I knew you were probably pouring your heart into this story. That's how it felt as a reader.

Marissa Meyer:   9:25
Did you, when you decided that you wanted to dio a beauty and the beast retelling, Did you feel any pressure to, like, make it stand out from the crowd? I

Sandhya Menon:   9:36
did, for sure I like I said, I had firstly even read so many beauty and the beast retellings and I love them all. And that just made it even more imperative to me that I tell a story that people didn't feel like they had read a 1,000,000 times already. And, um, so that was part of a king of a new setting for it. So the study was came to be separately from the idea for a beauty and the beast retelling. And then I put the two together of boarding school elite boarding school and beating the beast. So it was definitely fuel. Disparate things that came together because I wanted to right from the start show that this was a little bit different from maybe what you've read before.

Marissa Meyer:   10:19
Yes, Um, So I I'm one chapter into the book. Um, so I can't give any spoilers. I'm good. Which is a good thing, of course. Um, but I'm so curious, because in the first chapter, you hint at the curse. Um, but he's as far as I can tell. So far, he is not beastly looking. Ah, are you Are you able to tell us like how you worked in the beast element, or is that

Sandhya Menon:   10:49
a spoiler? It's definitely not a spoiler, so yes, I did make him. He's very attractive, but he's also a very big, imposing guy, and he's very misanthropic. He's very shut down because of this ancient curse that his family has basically told him He's been, um, best stowed with and ever since he was little. That's what he's heard is his destiny. It's this curse that's going to come to fruition on his 18th birthday on Don't want to say too much about exactly what's gonna happen, but that unfolds throughout this story, and he because of what he's been told about his destiny in his future. He just feels like there's no point in connecting with everyone, if with anyone and so his all of his social etiquette and everything that you know you would think of British. No woman should have. He doesn't happens very rough around the edges, And so in that way he's very basically and he thinks of themselves in that way, and you see him kind of blossom as J. A. Who's the main character of the female main character comes on the page and she is very different from him. She's very much into the quorum and social graces and being an Indian princess and projecting this perfect face to the world. And so that was a very interesting I knew of, um, dynamic play into with these two very, very different main characters

Marissa Meyer:   12:20
I love that it has that that, like, trope the enemies to lovers trope, which is, you know, my favorite. Um

Sandhya Menon:   12:29
You Yes, I love it so much on also, like, star crossed lovers, cause they're Vallas puting and that comes to light as you read more. So there's like, this whole element of these two really shouldn't belong together in any universe. And yet here we are, and I love that.

Marissa Meyer:   12:47
And yet here we are. What great romances built on. I'm so so looking forward to reading it. Thank you. Um, so I in preparation for this interview, I was looking on your website and on your blawg on. And I have to say I find it very comforting in a way to see that you have written exactly one block post per year. Eyes that an intentional choice. Uh, yes, yes and

Sandhya Menon:   13:19
no. I guess I should say I knew when I made the decision to put the blawg on my website and I was going to be terrible and updating it because, like every like somebody in her late thirties, I have definitely started and stopped many blocks over the last two decades. And I just knew this was gonna be a thing that was not gonna be regular. And so I think I even say that somewhere on there that, like, it's a semi annual blob poster or something like that. But yeah, it's definitely something I knew that I would not be able to keep up with going into I We should say that in the interest of being completely honest, like I had hoped to do more than what you're It just hasn't worked out that

Marissa Meyer:   14:03
way. Well, as it doesn't sometimes, but I think that's a good thing. I feel like, like for me. And I know for a lot of authors we can have this mindset of all or nothing like either I'm gonna post every single day or it's not worth it. Uh, and I like that you found this balance that actually seems to work really well for you, and you can have the blawg and people can go there. And when you do write a post they were all really great post the before you have. Uh it takes some of that pressure off as an author feeling like you have to do all of the things all the

Sandhya Menon:   14:44
time. Exactly. That's so that's so true. And I feel like we do that not just with log posts, but like you said with everything. Like with Instagram and Twitter. I went through this phase with instagram last year. I think it was, or maybe the year before where I felt like, Oh, I'm gonna post, you know, like, three or four times a week. And then I realized I wasn't posting, and that just made me not want to post at all. So I would go weeks between posts. And that's in the point where I was thinking, you know, toward the end of the year, it's better to post maybe once a week. If I can do that, that feels comfortable than just go into the spiral of dejection and shame. I'm not post it. Also, I

Marissa Meyer:   15:27
am so familiar with that spiral because I think I'm the same way, especially with social media, where you have periods where your old gung ho and excited and like I'm gonna come up with all this great new content and then, like, it's some point. The novelty wears off and you go into a slump and, you know, being you're being more consistent or laid back and kind of doing what you can without putting that constant pressure on yourself seems like a much healthier way to go about it. I

Sandhya Menon:   16:02
agree. I know. And I have definitely been someone who has burned herself out by doing we too much, um, and not know, being healthy like you said about it. So that's kind of what I'm trying to approach social media with. And when I feel like there's too much pressure, I'm that I'm putting on myself. I do feel better about just stepping away for a couple of days and taking that time that I need. And then I find that it really refreshes me when I get back into it.

Marissa Meyer:   16:32
Yeah, what do you do when you have one of periods where you need to step back? What do you do? Teoh kind of regenerate

Sandhya Menon:   16:40
so many things. Usually, I I'm not a very tech oriented person. I'm happier when I put my device this down and kind of go outside. So living in Colorado, it's really easy to be able to do that even with social distance thing. Just go out and, you know, hike or walk around with my dog. We have looked like a couple of forests near us and just go out there with my family or just me and my dog or just me. Um, I love to work out, which is a new thing for me, but I find a lot of, um, no mental health benefits with running and just strength, training and things like that. I'm also a very, very, very part time now, but still a practicing therapist. So I like to poor love energy into that when I find the writing to be a little too much to deal with. So I have a variety of different things I like to do. I guess

Marissa Meyer:   17:39
I had no idea what you're a therapist to, but so interesting.

Sandhya Menon:   17:43
Yeah, very part time since my first book came out. But I like you go in at least once or twice a week or so. Just you kind of. I'm just one of those people. I think I learned this the hard way because I tried to do full time writing after my first book came out, and then I realized I just couldn't do it like if I was sitting at my desk and writing for, you know, just 24 7 That's all I thought about. I became a very stagnant, unhappy writer. I needed to have something else where I felt like I was using a different part of my brain. Onda also, I just I'm very passionate about mental health, and I wanted Teoh keep giving back in that way, so I went back to work. I think it was last year, Andi or no, it was 18. I decided to go back, and it was probably the best decision I could have made.

Marissa Meyer:   18:39
I think that's so. That's such good advice to, um, whether it's working another job or even just having other interests and other hobbies outside of writing. Um, I think can go a long ways in making us feel like our lives are more fulfilling, more satisfactory. And like we're in, we're more than just writers all the time.

Sandhya Menon:   19:05
Exactly, yeah, and reminding yourself that there's so much more out in the world toe life and, you know, taking place all around you and that you should maybe engaged with that a little bit more because really, it would be possible to, you know, being a writer to just sit at your desk all the time on be your only companion. But for me, I just found that it led to burn out and a lot of unhappiness.

Marissa Meyer:   19:32
Well, I'm glad that you were able to find to find something else to bring back into your life,

Sandhya Menon:   19:36
then to Lucio me to for sure. And that's why when people ask me like, should I get ah questions from aspiring writers a lot of times where you know they'll stay. Should I go to college to become like two Major and create a writing if I want to become a writer? And almost invariably, my answer is if you have another passion or hobby outside of writing, I would say, you know, maybe Major in that instead, because I feel like psychology has really enriched my writing life in addition to, you know, just giving me another career to fall back on. Should I ever need it?

Marissa Meyer:   20:14
That's one of my regrets from colleges that I never took a psychology class. Oh, I'm fascinated by psychology, Um, and a read books on mental health and psychology and sociology and all of these, and I just think it's such an interesting topic. And I wish maybe someday I'll have to do a go take a class at the local college or something. So I think it's so interesting.

Sandhya Menon:   20:38
Yeah, I highly recommend it. And there are so many online courses to that you can do. I feel like it would be really enriching for any writer to do that just because it, you know, do you get to know human psychology and the way the mind works and the way people think on such a deep level. And I find that it can be really helpful in getting those like, nuanced, three dimensional characters, too.

Marissa Meyer:   21:05
Yes, now that makes so much sense. Um, and being able to really explore people's motivations and help their past impacts their feelings toward things. Exactly. Yeah. Um, so back to one of those one of your block posts, One of the four. Ah, him because you talked about. I think maybe it was your most recent one. And you've been talking about some of the things that you learned since your first book came out on one thing really struck me is is a wonderful way to think about it. And you talked about how as a writer, sometimes we question who were writing for a my writing for myself or my writing for the readers. Um and I don't know if you remember what you said, but maybe talk a little bit about that. And how you feel about who were you writing

Sandhya Menon:   22:00
for when you're writing? Yeah. So I think you're probably referring to one of the lessons was that I write or a draft for my cells. And the night edit was an eye to my target audience or my ideal reader. Yes. Yeah, And that was a big saying that I found out. So, um, this is something that happens to a lot of writers who have a second book. Um, come out after the 1st 1 was kind of widely read is that you realize that now you have an audience, right?

Marissa Meyer:   22:35
You never dared Very You're writing

Sandhya Menon:   22:40
the first draft of your first book. You're just doing it for yourself. You really you. And if you have a book deal that you sold on proposal, so at that point have no concept of you know readers will read your book and then tell you these very personal things about what they liked or did not like. You're looking your characters and I was a missing boat and I had sold um, my first book went to primary she And then shortly after, before Dimple even came out, I sold my second book, which was a stand alone. And so then I sat down to write the second book, and by then be arcs for my first book were out. And then as I kept going through the process, my book actually came out. And then I was like editing while my book would my first book was out and that all these reviews were trickling in, and I just That was one of my first burnout phases because I started putting all this pressure on myself and, you know, thinking this book has to be better than the 1st 1 but it has to impress everybody. We were at all this, these things that were completely out of my control. The only thing that I can control is whether I write a good book or not. But I let all these, um, critical things come into my mind. And sometimes if I would see a bad review or people questioning, you know, the representation in the book or whatever, I would let that sit in my mind while I was trying to draft or edit my second book. And that was this a really terrible time for me creatively, because I just I almost quit and I almost said, just just here, take take the money back and t Oh, it was just really scary because I didn't know if I was going to do that second book. Um, but once I did it and I finished it and I had some time, I didn't realize that, you know, all of that pressure for myself and nobody had come up to me and said this would be good. You you know, it was all me. And, um, when I sat down to write my third book, I decided I wasn't going to do that anymore, that I was going Teoh for the first graph. I was just gonna pretend again that I am just this writer with no audience and nobody cares what I write. And I'm just going to do it like that. And it worked really well for me. I was able to fool myself, you know, create this world where I was only writing for an audience of one and that was me. And then for editing, I started looking more into What can I do to make this more pleasing to readers of my books? And what do they expect for me and and, you know, kind of think about that more. But for the first draft, um, I learned a very valuable lesson for me that I just needed to think about writing for just that audience of one.

Marissa Meyer:   25:34
Yes. And when you were writing for you, your audience of one. What are the sort of things that are keeping you

Sandhya Menon:   25:41
engaged in the story? Oh, well, s so I think so. I love I think I'm my target audience. I read a lot of romance and romantic comedy, and so for me, it always comes down to the chemistry between the characters. Like I have to have two characters, were different enough and caused sparks and clashes on the page. So, you know, the dreaded saggy middle doesn't become an issue where I have have enough things happening between the two for each of them to grow and also for the plot kind of twist and turn in wings that you might not expect, Um, as I go along. So for, um, of courses and kisses. Actually, this was out of my first book. That was, um it was kind of different from my other books. So I in in a way, it was more intriguing and glamorous and set in this world that I hadn't explored before. But I ended up going to my plotting wall Thanh over and over again to say, Is this compelling? Does this really make me if I was a reader? What? I really want to turn the page to see this pot with, or to see how this book was resolved. Um, and it was a very interesting experience because I felt like I was almost 1/3 party to the process because I was trying to see it from the view of you know, what would make me want to keep reading a book like this? Um, and So that was interesting just to step away slightly from my romantic summer romantic comedies into this more like in treating twisty world. So for that book, it was definitely a lot of, um, hidden gems and hidden secrets that would come to light just the right time in the book. So for people to be like, Oh, my gosh, I didn't see that coming, but if they were to re read it, they would see, like shadows of the secret that was going to be revealed of that makes

Marissa Meyer:   27:41
it does. And those are my favorites. I love those sorts of of reveals in a bug wearing. When you get there, you feel like you should have seen it coming right on. But it just feels so perfect and inevitable, but still surprising,

Sandhya Menon:   27:56
right? Exactly. And I was very fun to do, and it was also kind of nerve racking because it's so different from what I've done in the past. And I was like, I really want this to be a book that I would pick up and read and and keep turning the pages of a knockin board of

Marissa Meyer:   28:12
Yeah eso you mentioned You're plotting wool. Yeah, what's applauding Wall?

Sandhya Menon:   28:20
Yes, So the plotting wool has been featured in many a instagram story

Marissa Meyer:   28:26
things. I feel like I

Sandhya Menon:   28:29
get that. I stood a lot from when I mentioned I'm plotting. Well, um, and went on my head. I took a picture of myself in my Honeywell was in the back and nobody cared about my picture. They were like, What's out in the back? Healthy was, you know, how we used that is basically I take you can get these giant posted notes at Staples kind of like a big pad, and I stick one on the wall and then I plot scenes on it, so I start with my candy bar scenes. That's not my term. It's a term I got from another author, Holly Lisle, But candy bar Cesaire basically the scenes that are super duper exciting for you and that you can't wait to write. And so I put that on little Post it notes, and I stick him approximately where they go, you know, the beginning or the middle or the end, and then once the candy bar scene there up, I go in and fill in the rest of the plot using my post, it notes, and that's my planning wall.

Marissa Meyer:   29:28
I love it. E. I love any any excuse to use more office tools and post it notes,

Sandhya Menon:   29:36
Exactly. I mean, what's not to love? And I will say also, quick plug for a book, a craft books I love It's called a plot whisper workbook. Um, and I use that to kind of, you know, make sure that my my scenes health's pepper and are following a story structure was super useful to me when I first read, um, lining because I used to be a cancer. Complete answer. But yeah, you made the switch. Yeah, it's a bit I did. Oh, my gosh. And that was like one of the biggest changes of identity I've ever had there with mother and

Marissa Meyer:   30:18
wife. Do you want to go back? And like all of those times before when you told people you are ah, chancer and be like I take it back, You take us. Oh,

Sandhya Menon:   30:29
my gosh. Yeah, I even remember telling my agent at one point I was like, you know, I don't think I'm ever going to be able to So much was right. A synopsis for a book that. And now I'm like, Oh, my gosh, it carefully. Why even sent that? And of course where? So you think I told you when we last met? But you were kind of your block post about synopsis. Writing was what helped me write my very first Everest books. And often so thank you

Marissa Meyer:   30:57
for that. Oh, good. Oh, good. Thank you. E think that that blawg post which I don't know how many years ago I wrote that now, but I think it's by far than the most popular thing that I've ever put on my blog's. I get a lot of actually a lot of writers telling me how it was really helpful. So cool. Yeah, it's I think it is

Sandhya Menon:   31:17
like the go Teoh recommendation, because I actually think my agent was the one who recommended. I read that when I was like, How do we even start with writing us? And ops

Marissa Meyer:   31:26
is okay? Yeah. Here you go. Here's your steps. Um, so I I dio want to talk about dimple. And when dimple met Rishi Ah, which I read was actually reading when you and I meant a few weeks ago and I loved it. I loved everything about it. Um, from the adorable cover, your numbers are infectious.

Sandhya Menon:   31:55
They I've been so lucky they have done such a great job with the covers. I agree.

Marissa Meyer:   32:01
Yeah. No, they're good. You cannot not smile when you think of the rivers. Um, and there's great characters and it's a really sweet story. Um, I think, though for me, one of like the most impactful things from reading this book was all of the talk of Bollywood and I I have seen a couple of Bollywood films, but by no means a lot. Um and yet there's a scene in when diplomat Rishi or a couple of scenes where the two characters are trying to learn a Bollywood dance. Teoh, um and and dimple suggest they dio a song from please correct. My pronunciation is here from Krish slime. Just deal, Nadia. Yes. Okay, it's perfect. Um and I had never heard of this And so of course I had to You go on YouTube and see what it was that they were talking about and tried a picture with the characters were doing and I became obsessed and I do not know how many times I have watched that video. Now it's It's addictive. It

Sandhya Menon:   33:15
is. I agree. I mean, that's why I put it in the book. Because I had just watched it not too long before I wrote it. And it was still in my head and any excuse to, you know, put it down and then also watched the actor or the corrosion who was just like this adorably handsome, muscular dude.

Marissa Meyer:   33:34
You sell training, exactly. Uh huh. Can you dance? I do

Sandhya Menon:   33:42
dance. Yes, I'm very shy, though, as a person. So I don't like to dance in front of other people. Um, but ample husband. I like to dance. Yeah,

Marissa Meyer:   33:51
I cannot. It is not a talent that I have, but that video that you want to be better? Yeah,

Sandhya Menon:   34:00
I think as like Indian kids, like years and years and years of dance. And, um, every like, festival or wedding or any you know, anything that we have to celebrate like we just like to dance. So it's almost impossible to grow up Indian and not be a good dancer.

Marissa Meyer:   34:16
Eso for someone who has seen very little Bollywood like what would be your number one recommendation that I should watch. Like today.

Sandhya Menon:   34:24
Who? Um, I would say probably the movie queen, which is a very feminist Bollywood story, which, unfortunately, is not that common. It's getting more and more common. So for people, who are you to value it? I recommend Queen, um it's about this girl woman young woman who is jilted at the altar, and she's very used to telling you are doing what other people tell her to do. And in a moment of, um, just, you know, burr motto. She decides to go on her honeymoon by herself after being jilted, and it kind of follows her journey of just coming into herself and its got amazing songs and brilliant cinnamon fee. So I think you will really

Marissa Meyer:   35:10
enjoy it. Awesome queen. Yes, Queen E. Okay, I'll look it up. We'll look into it. Thank you. You're welcome home. Okay. You have two books coming out in the next year. I believe you. And this year? Yeah, one this year and one next year. Tell me what? Tell me about your new upcoming books.

Sandhya Menon:   35:33
Okay. So the two this year are, of course, is in kisses and in June, and things I hate about Pinky, which is the third book in the dimple verse. And then next year I have to looks again. It'll be of princes and promises, which is the second book in the state. Where is that is a academy, Siri's. And this book next year will be my, um, first ever adult romcom makeup break up, which I'm super excited about. I

Marissa Meyer:   36:05
remember I read the little blurb about makeup. Break up and correct me if I'm wrong, but I was getting some intense. You've got mail vibes, you know

Sandhya Menon:   36:16
it is. Yeah, I was actually originally my inspiration for Yeah, was my inspiration for the book. Um, I will say there is definitely like this. The heroin has a smaller, um, much more do good app. And the the hero has a much more successful kind of awful app on, and, uh, they do their instal enemies to lovers. So it's just this big diet ap going against the smaller app and them kind of, you know, how do they come out on the other side? Because, of course, they are also attracted to each other and all of that,

Marissa Meyer:   36:56
of course, of course. Just so happens they're meant to be exactly What's the steamy level like scale one

Sandhya Menon:   37:05
to 10? Um, it's pretty steamy. It's It's not erotica, but it's definitely got some explicit scene, so I would put it may be in a seven. Okay, It was fun to kind of dive into that after writing a lot of y A

Marissa Meyer:   37:19
Yeah. Yeah. We'll expand your horizon. Exactly. Okay, We're gonna do a quick Ah, happy writer. Lightning round. Oh, cool. Okay. What book makes you happy?

Sandhya Menon:   37:35
I will say, Here's what I like to re read a lot. And And the French Kiss by

Marissa Meyer:   37:45
Stephanie Perkins. She's so good. Yes, she's amazing. Even her

Sandhya Menon:   37:49
horror made me happy. I have to say,

Marissa Meyer:   37:51
I never read it. It's on my list is so good. Yeah, yeah, her Her romances air some of my old time faves. Yes. Let's see. What do you do to celebrate an accomplishment? No,

Sandhya Menon:   38:05
man. I know this is lightning. I'm gonna take a second to

Marissa Meyer:   38:07
think. No thinking it's not 11.

Sandhya Menon:   38:10
Okay, um let's say, uh, uh, go on a hike with my dog.

Marissa Meyer:   38:16
How do you fill your creative well helping other people? Oh, that's a nice one. Um, this one you can choose. What are you reading now, or what's next on your TV Are

Sandhya Menon:   38:34
Oh, okay. Um, I am currently reading Pestilence by Laura, and I don't know how to say her last name. I think it's like Glamis. Um, it's kind of funny to be reading Pestilence right now.

Marissa Meyer:   38:48
I was thinking there's an irony there. Yes, was not intentional. You know,

Sandhya Menon:   38:54
it was recommended to me by someone else, so I

Marissa Meyer:   38:57
don't know. I didn't really think about

Sandhya Menon:   38:58
it until I started reading. And I was like, Oh, this is kind of interesting that I'm rooting it right now is actually of romance between this woman and one of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse Pestilence.

Marissa Meyer:   39:10
Oh, my very interesting guests. I'm enjoying it. Fire? What a good concept. I know. It's really I'm gonna write that down Pestilence. Yeah. Um, and lastly, where can people find

Sandhya Menon:   39:23
you? You can find me on instagram at some young men in books or Twitter at s Men and books or my website at Sanya men in dot com.

Marissa Meyer:   39:35
Excellent. Thank you so much for joining me today. Thank you for having me. This was so fun. It was fun. I had a great time, and I'm still glad you could be here. Uh, readers definitely check out Sunday his newest book of curses and kisses as well as all of her backlist, their old delightful. And I know that they will make you smile, especially with those covers. You can't not. I also encourage readers right now to do your best to support your local booksellers. A lot of them are currently offering free shipping. Um, so get your your book fix that way. If you can please be sure to subscribe to the Happy Writer podcast so you could be alerted of my next episode. And you can follow me on Instagram at Marisa Meyer author, or check out my website marissa Mayer dot com, and you can email me there to let me know if there's an author that you would like for me to invite on a future episode. So with that until next time, guys stay healthy out there in these nutty times, stay cozy in your bunkers and please do your best to try and make someone else's life a little bit brighter today