Life as an author might not be as glamorous and thrilling as flying to sign a contract with Karan Johar for a movie based on my book, but it’s far from being dull. After my first book Soldier & Spice: An Army Wife’s, my life changed. I kind of expected a certain amount of limelight, to be honest. I also hoped for fan mails and got a damn lot of them, making my love for writing go from passionately intense to bat-shit-crazy – look how much more I’m blogging already! [Read my super fun Blogging Tips to know how crazy it is]
By the time Love, Whatever That Means was out, I was slightly well-prepared. I mean, you’re an author, you’ve written two books and people are bound to be a little curious about you, right? So what do you do? You enjoy it while it lasts because it’s very short lived.
However, the overwhelming interest in my personal life was something I didn’t expect. I regularly get mails, Facebook Messages and Tweets – all asking various questions about me. Me. Questions about the books and about the characters I write, I can answer. But how to reply to someone who asks you, on a LinkedIn personal message at that, if I think infidelity is common in the Army? I mean, I am not an expert on Indian Army Wives – neither do I have the knowledge or the authority to answer most of these question.
And very quickly here: assuming the kind and concerned lady who has been sending me regular mails asking a burning question – I swear I have no idea how to tell if your husband is in RAW.
Moving on, I was recently told about what happens when you search for my name. When you type Aditi Mathur Kumar, Google suggest ‘Aditi Mathur Kumar Husband’
Also, on most weeks, one of the top keywords that leads readers to my blog is ‘Aditi Mathur Kumar Husband’.
People are curious about my husband! ha ha ha. I have no idea how to react to that, other than showing this to him and sharing a hearty laugh. There are no pictures of him to be found, obviously. I’ve covered my tracks well, and I take security seriously. But people want to know about him!
This might be because every interview that asks about my inspiration for the drop-dead gorgeous Arjun (from Soldier & Spice) and the old-school romantic heartthrob Virat (from Love, Whatever That Means) I always answer honestly and tell them that the inspiration is my husband.
Hilarious, right? And not going too much into how I still feel strange about all this – here is a list of 5 questions I get on a very regular basis from my readers, along with my answers:
- Did they sleep together? This is the top question I get these days, and it is with reference to my latest book ‘Love, Whatever That Means’. The book tells a romantic tale of a civilian girl and an Indian Army Officer – as opposed to the current trend of one night stands and casual relationships, this is an old school romance which will curl your toes (I hope) and is yet elegant and dreamy. And at the very end of this story, the main leads get (finally) together. Now, a damn lot of people want to know if that night they sleep together. My answer: They did, I hope, ha!
- Are Pia and Tina the same person? Pia is the protagonist from my first book on the Indian Army Wife life – Soldier & Spice: An Army Wife’s Life, and Tina is the girl from my second book Love, Whatever That Means which is a love story. My Answer: Yes, Tina is Pia. And kudos to those who figured it out. Although the writing styles in both are slightly different, Love, Whatever… is a prequel of kinds to Soldier & Spice. Both, however, are stand alone books and can be read separately.
- How did the Army react to your tell-all book? My answer: The books are very well received by the Army and civilian population, both. The Army has honored me by putting me in the coveted list of Indian Army Wife Achievers in it’s very own publication called Wedded To Olive Green. I was also invited to speak at the first ever Military Literature Festival in Chandigarh in June 2016, both of which are immense honors and I feel blessed. Also, my books aren’t ‘tell all’ in any way. Both stories are Fiction, and although they tell tales of an Army Wife and of an Army Girlfriend, they are both very singular in their approach and superficial in the sense that I don’t go too deep into it. The reason of keeping it superficial is that I want my books to be fun and quick reads that give an insight into the mysterious world of Army Wives and Girlfriends, but at the same time, don’t bore the reader with too much info or conflict. I will do that later, maybe.
- Should I marry my boyfriend who is in the Army? My answer: Don’t take this decision based on the fact that he is on isn’t in the Army – take this decision purely based on how much the two of you love each other. The life on an Army Wife is different than others, our challenges are unique. But if you love the person you’re with, you will find the strength to go on in situations that might seem tough – like staying away for long periods.
- If I marry him, what about my career? My answer: There are plenty of options today for Army Wives, and no, I am not going to say Teaching (that is one solid option though). With internet penetration increasing by the quarter, plenty of opportunities are there to find good work. But I’ll be honest, pursuing a corporate career while staying with the husband might be difficult. You can either stay stationed at one city and meet the husband during leaves, or you can try and get a work from home profile, if that’s possible. But trust me, if you want to, you will find something. I always do!
In no way are my answers the bible, but this is what I know and believe in. If you have any more questions for me, I am happy to answer them.
And meanwhile, please read my books if you haven’t already.
Soldier & Spice: An Army Wife’s (Paperback)
Soldier & Spice: An Army Wife’s (Paperback)
If you have, then I request you to rate and review them online because it matters a lot. Your two minutes can help rate my books higher and since I don’t have the money to hire a PR agency for me, I’m relying on friends and readers who can support me in this journey. Go, rate!