Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
SHOBAN BANTWAL|Ethnic Fiction – Risk or Reward?
Author Guest / August 2, 2010

No writer can assume that her career is without risks. Writing stories for public consumption comes with innumerable risks. No matter what the topic, fiction or non-fiction, someone out there abhors it, is offended by it, or decides to deride it publicly. I believe writing ethnic fiction is somewhat riskier than other kinds because it deviates from the typical readers’ perception and expectations. While most Indian authors write serious literary books, I write mainstream novels with romantic elements, something I enjoy immensely. When I started writing my debut book, The Dowry Bride, I wondered if there was a market for such a story. Would any agent bother to look at a manuscript that was so outside the box? It fitted into no particular genre, the setting was unusual, the theme controversial, and the author unknown. It was “Bollywood in a Book.” It could be a perfect recipe for disaster. Nonetheless I started querying various agents. It took me a while to find the right agent. Naturally I had my share of rejections, since fiction is so subjective–one agent’s food is another agent’s poison. Editors are no different. After some effort, when three agents offered me representation, I was thrilled that…