I have a black belt in Tae Kwon Do

When I was younger, I spent most evenings after school at Tae Kwon Do class. Although I learned how to ‘fight’, Tae Kwon Do is more about respect, self-defense and discipline.

Sonya Lalli

Sonya Lalli

The ‘Nani’ in The Arrangement is based on my real-life grandmother

While most of my novel is purely fiction, the main character’s grandmother – or Nani – is very similar to my own Nani.  They’re both sassy, loving, generous, exuberant, progressive and imperfect. I tried my best to capture the essence of my own Nani, and then transform her into a new character – taking into account their different backgrounds, quarks and circumstances.

I’m Canadian

I was born and raised in the same country as Justin Trudeau – and proud of it! I’m also the grandchild of immigrants who came to Canada from India in the 1960’s. My Dad’s side of the family is Sikh and emigrated from Punjab, and my Mom’s family is Hindu and of Bengali heritage – although they had lived near New Delhi before moving.

I was a cocktail bartender

When I first moved to London and was writing The Arrangement as part of a creative writing course, I worked part-time as a cocktail bartender in Farringdon. It was hard work and my arms were sore after every shift ­– but I reckon I got pretty good at it! 

I have the cutest dog in the world

My dog Munni (which means cute little girl) is a cross Shitzu-Maltese-Bichon. She has the friendliest face and a heart of gold. Unfortunately for me, when I moved out of my parents’ house they refused to let me take her. I guess you could say they have the cutest dog in the world…

I’m technically a lawyer

I studied law in university, completing my lawyer training and passing the bar back in 2013. I thought I’d take only a year off to write my novel, but it’s been four years already and I’m not sure yet whether I’ll go back to law. Right now I’m writing my next novel and working as a legal journalist.

I’m obsessed with Rihanna

The highlight of 2016 for me was going to see Rihanna play at Wembley Stadium. She’s empowering, beautiful, talented and I completely idolize her. I listen to her music on repeat at the gym, during my commute, cooking, showering – you get the idea.

As a girl my favourite book series was Little House on the Prairie

I must have read each book in the Laura Ingalls’ series dozens of times. Even after I was old enough to read more adult books, I still found myself going back to them the odd evening or weekend when I needed a comfort book.

I’m from Saskatoon

I grew up in a city in the Canadian prairies called Saskatoon. It’s absolutely lovely and I still think of it as home. Not many have heard of it, but did you know that Joni Mitchell and Yann Martel also hail from Saskatoon?

My favourite restaurant is Dishoom

Dishoom doesn’t serve the best Indian food in London, it has the best food full stop. Try the black daal, bhel and masala prawns if you go; I think I’ve ordered those dishes every time I’ve been lucky enough to go! Major caveat here: if you want to eat the best Indian food in the world, you’ll have to score an invite to my Nani’s kitchen!