To celebrate the release of her new novel, The Secret Keeper of Jaipur, we asked author Alka Joshi to write us an exclusive feature, letting readers in on seven interesting facts all about her! Here's what she had to reveal...

Alka Joshi writes an exclusive piece for Female First / Picture Credit: Garry Bailey
Alka Joshi writes an exclusive piece for Female First / Picture Credit: Garry Bailey

1. Pyjamas are my jam! Every winter I buy several sets. I write in them, snack in them, pet my dogs in them, read in them, chat on the phone in them, watch movies in them. The only time I’m not in my pyjamas is when I leave the house or do virtual book club chats; but even then I still have the bottom half on!

2. Every day, I look at two photos of my mother. There’s the one when she’s 19, right after she’s had my older brother. Her black hair falls in long strands down her back; her look is pensive, as if to say, 'Is this where my life is supposed to be?' The other photo is of her at 65, edging me out of the picture, laughing, eyes crinkling with pleasure, drinking joy, tasting her single life for the first time.

3. My guilty pleasure is Agatha Christie books. I fell in love with the doyenne of cozy murder mysteries when I was 12 and have read almost every one of the 80+ novels she wrote. If I need a little pick-me-up, I’ll reread one in a day - it’s like candy! And it’s probably why I infused a little mystery in The Secret Keeper of Jaipur.

4. My husband Brad is the reason I’m a writer. I’d always had a thing for creative types, marveling at how they create entire worlds from their imagination. The moment I read his short stories, I was hooked. Luckily, Brad turned out to be just as elegant and sensitive as his stories were and encouraged me to write.

5. Don’t wake me up early in the morning! I’m a late-night, late-to-rise person. If you absolutely, positively can’t meet me at any time other than the crack of dawn, I may give it serious consideration (but I’ll still probably refuse!).

6. I have jewellery dreams. I dream that I’m opening drawer after drawer of jewellery - sparkling bangles, glittering rings, strands of gold, silver and pearl necklaces. They don’t resemble anything I own, but when I wake from one of these dreams, I’m filled with happiness.

7. My father still sings me a nonsense song his sister made up for me. She’d sing it whenever we visited her in her village in India. No matter how old I get, it’s lovely to hear Dad call me Rundo Rani - so much so that I used it as a way for sisters Lakshmi and Radha to identify their familial connection in the first book of the trilogy, The Henna Artist.

The Secret Keeper of Jaipur by Alka Joshi
The Secret Keeper of Jaipur by Alka Joshi

The Secret Keeper of Jaipur is the sequel to the critically-acclaimed The Henna Artist and is available now, published by Mira Books.

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