Books which are an extension of screenplays are quite new India. I got an opportunity to interview Neha Sharma, author of The Sum of Two Wholes – Total Siyapaa, which is based on the movie, ‘Total Siyapaa’. Before I tell you what we spoke about, let’s get to know Neha and her book better.
Neha Sharma is a freelance writer based in Mumbai. She was smitten by the written word while reading the school prescribed ‘Peter and Jane’series. Neha’s writing journey began as a copywriter, before moving on to creating and editing content, writing travel features, and penning short stories, a format she is very partial to.Neha is a travel enthusiast and an avid cricket fan –the kind who can score a game, down to every leg-bye.
About the Book For every movie-goer who wonders how Aman and Aasha fell in love, this book promises a tickling access into their journey. It’s an experiment in experiential entertainment that cuts across cinematic and book platforms. The plot of the book is different from the movie plot and it allows the reader to experience the story differently and understand the dreams, dilemmas and emotions of the characters.
This book has been published by Harlequin India and you can visit their website here
Who approached you to write a book on a screenplay of a movie? What was your first reaction?
I had worked with Harlequin India before on a project, and they approached me to get on board with the project, along with the film makers. I liked the idea of both the movie, and the proposed novel, which is why I took it on.
Did you watch the movie to get some idea about the characters or did you let your imagination shape them?
I did read through the script to get a feel of the characters, but from there on, like I said before, I had a lot of freedom to take the story and the characters forward.
How easy or difficult was to come up with a book on an already written screenplay?
Well, writing is always difficult, so yes, there’s a lot of work that went into the story. And I in this case, I had a set of defined characters heading in a defined direction, and my story had to stay true to that, to what was in the screenplay. However since the novel works almost as a prequel to the movie, I did have the freedom, and the creative license while taking the two characters, Aman and Aashaa, towards where we see them in the film.
Are your characters in the book different from that of the movie? If yes, how?
I’d say the characters in the book are true to what you see on the big screen. You do see another side of them in the book though, as well as their romantic journey.
How often do you write?
I am a freelance writer, so writing is part of my daily routine, be it a commissioned article, a short story, or blog posts. But how much I write depends on the deadline at hand, or how cooperative the words are being. I have had days when all I have managed is a paragraph, and others where I’ve written six thousand words in one go.
What is the best part of being a freelance writer?
I love the freedom it offers me. I have the luxury of taking on projects at my convenience, of determining my deadlines, and I also have control on the subject matter I opt to write about. Of course, being a career freelance writer requires a great deal of discipline in terms of time management and productivity. I am absolutely useless at it, and you’ll find me writing away into the midnight!
Favourite childhood candy – Smarties
First crush – Julian from the Famous Five
Falling in love or eating as many chocolate as your heart desires – Eating chocolate; it’s all about avoiding dental treatments
Describe in one word the feeling when you held the first copy of your book –Joy
Choose between a leisurely stroll in the park and bar hopping –Depends on the time of day 😀
And that’s all for now 🙂