Each week, The Colorado Sun and Colorado Humanities & Center For The Book feature an excerpt from a Colorado book and an interview with the author. Explore the SunLit archives at coloradosun.com/sunlit
Sandhya Menon is the New York Times bestselling author of “When Dimple Met Rishi”; “From Twinkle, with Love”; and “There’s Something About Sweetie.”
A full-time dog-servant and part-time writer, she makes her home in the foggy mountains of Colorado.
The following is an interview with Menon about her young adult book “When Dimple Met Rishi.”
What inspired you to write this book?
I was inspired to write “When Dimple Met Rishi” because there’s still a dearth of young adult literature about teens of color in fun, lighthearted stories. Issue books certainly have their place, and I wanted to show that people of color can have their happily-ever-afters, too.
Who are your favorite authors and/or characters?
I absolutely love Sophie Kinsella and her rom-com heroines! They’re all so charming and quirky and full of heart, and I know I can expect to close each of her books with a big smile on my face.
Why did you choose this excerpt to feature in SunLit?
I think this excerpt gives a good introduction to both Dimple and Rishi, as it introduces readers to their voices, struggles, and where they are at the beginning of their journeys.
What was the most fun or rewarding part of working on this book?
Definitely getting to disappear for months into the universe of “When Dimple Met Rishi.” I love the happy optimism and the easy camaraderie in this world so much.
What was the most difficult section to write in this book? Why?
The parts where Dimple and Rishi struggle with familial expectations versus wanting to follow their own hearts were hard to write. I don’t like making my characters go through pain, but it was such an important part of their emotional arcs that I knew the book would be much stronger in the end for it.
What was one interesting fact you learned while researching this book?
I learned about the first major deaf comic superhero, Maya Lopez, a.k.a. Echo.
What project are you working on next?
My newest book is “There’s Something about Sweetie,” a companion novel to “When Dimple Met Rishi” that follows Ashish, Rishi’s little brother! It’ll be out May 14.
I’m also very excited about my new YA contemporary series that was just announced! The entire series is set at an elite boarding school for modern-day royals in a fictional town just outside Aspen, Colorado. Each book is a spin-off on a well-loved fairy tale. The first book, “Of Curses and Kisses,” is a spin on “Beauty and the Beast” and follows an Indian princess who must con her worst enemy, a misanthropic British aristocrat, into falling in love with her to restore her family’s honor. I can’t wait to be able to share more soon!