Hi, Nori! Liam and Laxshmi from my novel SOULMATED have been really excited about meeting you and your readers. (Actually, they’ve been driving me crazy ever since I told them!) I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. Well, I’ll leave you to it, then!
Nori: Hello, Laxshmi and Liam. It’s so nice to meet you both!
Liam: We’re pleased as well. Thank you for having us here.
Nori: I know you two have been busy getting ready for your January release, so how about we just jump right in? My first question is for you, Laxshmi. The author told me you go by the nickname Lucky? Where did that nickname come from?
Liam: That she does. I’d given her the—
Lucky: <elbows Liam, smiling> Yes, I do. Liam gave me the nickname. He said he’d felt lucky about meeting me, and the name kinda stuck.
Liam: <whispers to Lucky> It’s the same story I’d have told her.
Lucky: <whispers back> I know, but she asked me. <turns to Nori> Sorry.
Nori: No worries. Liam, I’ve read that you came from Ireland. Could you tell my readers what an empath is and why you’re here in the States?
Liam: Happy to. An empath is someone with the gift of reading the emotions of others. Me Da—he’s a psychic—had a vision that I’d be meeting my empath soul mate across the pond, so here it is I am.
Lucky: <leans closer> He moved in two-doors down from me with his parents, but I’m not an empath.
Liam: <frowns at Lucky> Yet.
Nori: Uh…that sounds like it might be a problem.
Lucky: Well, yeah—
Liam: <crosses arms> She’s The One. That’s all anyone needs to know. The rest will be taking care of itself.
Lucky: <turns to Liam> How can you be so sure?
Liam: <whispers to Lucky> Trust me, yeah? Whatever happens, I’ll not be going anywhere. My search is over.
Lucky: <bites lower lip and nods>
Nori: You must miss home, Liam. What do you miss the most?
Liam: Ah sure. There’s nothing like the wide open countryside—
Lucky: And the rolling green hills. He always talks about them. Oh, wait! He’s got some great pictures. <grabs Liam’s cell phone from his hand> There’s one from the Wicklow Mountains and one from the Cliffs of Moher too. Look how gorgeous these are.
Nori: Looks like a beautiful country.
Liam: It is, thank you. I hope to be bringing Lucky there soon enough.
Lucky: <snorts> Don’t count on my mom standing in our way or anything.
Liam: <takes Lucky’s hand> Don’t be borrowing tomorrow’s problems, yeah? We’ll find a way.
Nori: <clears throat> So is it true then, Lucky? That your mom doesn’t know about Liam?
Lucky: <sighs> Yeah, it’s true. She wouldn’t approve of me dating anyone, especially if it wasn’t someone Indian—someone she herself would set me up with, anyway.
Nori: I read something about your mom wanting to arrange your marriage. Is that also true?
Lucky: <looks at Liam> Um…yeah.
Liam: <puts an arm around Lucky> We’ll be telling her mum when the time is right. I’ll not be letting her marry anyone else. Of that, you can be sure.
Nori: I apologize for bringing this up, Lucky, but Shaila told me your father passed away five years ago. If you could ask him anything, what would it be?
Lucky: Wow. Good question. I guess I’d ask him if he believed in fate?
Nori: And if he did?
Lucky: Then…I’d ask him for his blessing to be with Liam. <blinks back tears>
Liam: <kisses Lucky’s forehead and whispers soothing words in her ear> Nori, have you heard that Lucky dances?
Nori: I believe that I might have heard that somewhere, but I’m not sure. Tell me more!
Lucky: Well, I’ve been dancing for ages…ballet, modern, hip-hop, and Indian. My mom won’t let me major in it or anything, so now I’m only focusing on Bharatanatyam. It’s an Indian classical dance that goes back hundreds of years.
Liam: <takes his cell phone back from Lucky> Shaila has a Pinterest board with a video of the dance. I’d show you one of Lucky, but I haven’t yet been to a live performance to record it myself. <hands Nori the phone> There. Just hit play.
Nori: Wow. That’s amazing!
Lucky: That’s not me dancing, but thank you. I agree. She’s amazing.
Liam: <leans forward> Lucky’s better. I’ve seen her on DVD.
Lucky: Um, thanks, Liam, but let’s move on. Nori, can we talk about something else? He’ll hijack the conversation otherwise. <smiles at Liam>
Nori: Absolutely! So Liam, what do you enjoy about American culture?
Lucky: Oh, I know this one! Our wide open highways. A lot of the roads in Ireland are narrow, and he likes driving fast.
Liam: I do, that, but, uh…don’t tell me mum, yeah? She’ll not let me hear the end of it.
Nori: <laughs> I wouldn’t dream of it.
Liam: And there’s nothing like an American hamburger.
Lucky: He’s not lying there. He can eat a Five Guys burger any time of day.
Liam: <grins> That I will.
Nori: I’ve also read that you’ve been to India, Liam. What do you remember the most about your trip?
Liam: Hands down, the food.
Lucky: <laughs> Of course!
Nori: What are some of your favorite dishes?
Liam: Well, anywhere you go, you’d be finding vegetarian and non-veg items that are brilliant, but one of my favorite snacks was khaman dhokla. It’s a savory chickpea cake coming from the region Lucky’s family hails. I’d been eating those by the plateful almost every day. <shows Nori his phone>
Nori: Looks delicious. What about you, Lucky? Liam mentioned he wants to take you to Ireland, but have you been there before?
Lucky: <shoulders slump> No, I haven’t.
Liam: She’ll be going soon enough. The clan will love her.
Nori: The clan—?
Lucky: You don’t know that, Liam. I’m not Irish—
Liam: I know you’re worried, Lucky, but they will. All the cousins already do. Look at how little-Patty adores you.
Lucky: <rolls her eyes and looks at Nori> Sorry. You were saying?
Nori: Oh, no. You’re fine. I was just wondering what Liam meant about the clan?
Liam: As Prince of the House of O’Conner, I’ll be heading up the community of empaths who’ve become part of our extended family. Once Lucky and I join and become soulmated empaths, she’ll be taking her place beside me. They’ll be throwing her a swanky party to welcome her, no doubt.
Nori: Lucky, you don’t seem so convinced,
Lucky: It’s not that exactly. <looks to Liam> I suppose I’ll just let Shaila tell our story.
Nori: Fair enough. Well, that’s as good a spot as any to end our interview. Thanks for being here. Book 1 of SOULMATED comes out in January, so it won’t be long before we get to read your story. And if readers want excerpts, insider news, and release date information, Shaila tells me they can sign up for her email newsletter at www.shailapatelauthor.com.
Lucky: Yes, they can! Thanks again for having us, Nori. Can’t wait to meet your readers again in January.
*~~About the Author~~*
Soulmated, her debut novel, won first place in the Young Adult category of the 2015 Chanticleer Book Reviews Paranormal Awards. A member of the Romance Writers of America, Shaila is a pharmacist by training, a medical office manager by day, and a writer by night. She enjoys traveling, craft beer, tea, and loves reading books—especially in cozy window seats. You might find her sneaking in a few paragraphs at a red light or connecting with other readers online.