Monday 27 February 2023

Five Fortunes by Barbara Venkataraman + Author Interview

Published by Next Chapter on the 1st February 2023.
A Teen and Young Adult novella about friendship.

Synopsis: When five fourteen-year-old girls get their fortunes from an arcade machine just for kicks, it turns their world upside-down and their close-knit group of friends starts to fall apart.

Misunderstandings abound as allegiances shift and outsiders start to come between them. The fortunes seem to be self-fulfilling prophecies - whether the girls believe in them or not.

Do our beliefs color our perception of the world? Do we ever see ourselves the way others see us, and why is change so hard?

Budding romance, angry bees, teenage fashion influencers, and parents who just don't get it make Barbara Venkataraman's 'Five Fortunes' a fun story you won't soon forget.

Buy @ Amazon UK / Amazon US 

Author Interview with Barbara Venkataraman

1) How did you begin your writing career?

I'd always been a voracious reader and would jot down ideas for stories, but the first book I actually finished was written for my two boys in 2010 when they were 9 and 12 years old. They were obsessed with playing video games so I wrote a story where they were sucked into a video game and had to solve puzzles and work with the characters to find their way home. In the end, the answer was in a book--subtle, I know. It became a fun family project.

In 2013, I was learning how to play the didgeridoo when I dropped it and cracked a glass tabletop. I realized that it could be a weapon and the title Death by Didgeridoo (which I read & reviewed here) occurred to me. It made me laugh so I started thinking about writing a cozy mystery with that title, and then I did. After that, I wrote 5 more Jamie Quinn mysteries. I plan to write a 7th one this year.

2) Do you have a dedicated creative space or can you write anywhere?

I'm a creature of habit and can only write at my desk, typing on my computer--but that doesn't mean I do all my thinking there. Inspiration can strike anywhere and I often have an epiphany while floating in the tub or pool. There's something about being immersed in water....If I have a thorny plot problem when I go to bed, I may wake up with the solution and that's always nice. As for character interactions, conversations can pop into my brain at any time, even while waiting in line for a taco. When that happens I have to quickly write it down so it doesn't disappear forever.

3) What inspired you to write Five Fortunes?

My 10-year-old niece and I wanted to write a story together so we came up with the idea of 5 friends getting their fortunes and how it would affect them. There's no magic involved, just self-fulfilling predictions and seeing what you want to see. Or don't want to see. We came up with the backstory for each girl and we cut pictures out of magazines for each one. We wrote two chapters together and then life got in the way. Eight years later, I decided to finish it myself. I wanted to write a story about teenage friendship and how to be there for each other, but I also wanted it to be fun and light.

4) Which of the five girls did you connect most strongly with?

Well, each girl is my alter ego in some way and I've felt all the emotions they feel, but Megan is the protagonist and I spent the most time with her in my head and on the page.

5) What do you hope readers will take away from this novel? 

It's a story about discovering not only who you are, but also who you can become.

Meet the Author

Award-winning author Barbara Venkataraman is an attorney and mediator specializing in family law and debt collection. 

She is the author of the Jamie Quinn Cozy Mystery series, as well as: Teatime with Mrs. Grammar Person; The Fight for Magicallus; If You'd Just Listened to Me in the First Place; Quirky Essays for Quirky People; and the Flash Fiction Shorts series.

She has won the Indie Book of the Day award twice, the Book of the Day Award, a gold medal for memoir in the Readers' Favorite Competition, was a finalist in the Kindle Book Awards twice, and won first place in the Amateur Detective category of the Chanticleer Murder & Mayhem Mystery Writing Competition.

Her popular Jamie Quinn Cozy Mystery Series includes: Death by Didgeridoo, The Case of the Killer Divorce, Peril in the Park, Engaged in Danger, Jeopardy in July, and Malice in Miami.

Her non-fiction: Accidental Activist: Justice for the Groveland Four, is a memoir she co-authored with her son about lessons he learned while working to exonerate four men falsely accused of a terrible crime in the Jim Crow South.

Visit Barbara's Goodreads Blog and her Amazon Author Page

Enter the Giveaway

Win an ebook copy of Five Fortunes courtesy of the book's author, Barbara Venkataraman. Open internationally until the 10th March. Enter through the Gleam widget below.

Five Fortunes by Barbara Venkataraman giveaway

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the hospitality on your wonderful blog, Stephanie Jane! :-D