Win a $20 Amazon/BN GC - Q&A with MK Schiller, author of Variables of Love

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding three separate prizes: a $20 Amazon or B/N GC, a $10 Amazon or B/N GC, and an ecopy of Variables of Love, to randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Welcome to My World of Dreams and thanks for stopping by to visit with us. Did you do any kind of research to determine the details of your characters’ lives / lifestyles?

Variables of Love is a multicultural love story that deals with a girl struggling between arranged marriage and the hot as sin math major who steals her heart. Yes, it’s a nerdy love story, full of angst, bittersweet moments and a strong kick of spice.

It is a very personal story for me. It’s what happens when cultural expectations and personal convictions collide. I’ve borrowed from my own life experiences and culture to create this novel. It’s a story I’ve wanted to tell for some time, and I’m humbled by the opportunity to share it. Believe it or not, my search engines were all over the place. I did research into Stanford University, mathematical theories, swans, arranged marriages, small towns, and even artist’s canvas.

What would you consider the best book you ever read?

I’m not sure but The Velveteen Rabbit has always been special to me as a child and the first book I read to my own children so I’m going with that.

Who inspires you?

This is difficult because there are so many. I’ve always been in love with the idea of love. I suppose as a romance writer that’s par for the course. I am and will always be a reader first. I don’t have favorites per say, but here are a few of my recommendations. I’m thrilled to have read the works of these great ladies.

I love Mia Sheridan because she creates unique heroes. I love Abbi Glines for her innocent and strong heroines. I love Colleen Hoover for creating that sense of emotion when it comes to first loves and the struggle of youth. I love Debra Anastasia for shining a beautiful light in dark places. I love EL James for making me interested in a different side of sex and creating a poignant story from that.

Do you have strange writing habits?

Sometimes I look like I’m in a daze and not paying attention. Snapping fingers in front of my face isn’t a rare event. But this is me coming up with a plot and story angle. I work it out in my head. Unfortunately, it also makes me look very out of it.

What is your favorite quote?

“Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.” Oscar Wilde

What sacrifices have you had to make to be a writer?

My time. I love writing. Even if the work doesn’t get published it provides a release for me. Unfortunately, it’s also time I don’t get to spend with my family.

Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?

Most definitely – I know it does because as a reader I admit, I judge books based on the cover. A good cover is very important to the buying process.

What do you think of “trailers” for books?

I like them when they are well-done. They give great snippets into a story.

How did you come up with the title? Names?

In this book it seemed fitting as Ethan was a math major and very practical. There are many variables that go into a love story. Ethan and Meena experienced them all.

What was the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

That I’m a pantser and I’m the most creative when I’m disorganized (I knew that on some level but the writing really proved it).

What’s the worst job you’ve had?

I was a meat clerk at a supermarket. At the time, I was also a vegetarian…not a great combination.

Meena Kapoor knows what life has in store for her. She's in her senior year at Stanford where she'll graduate summa cum laude, and then she'll begin her interviews...her marriage interviews. Meena is Indian, and she's never questioned that she'll have an arranged marriage like all the generations before her. Not until she meets gorgeous math major Ethan Callahan. Ethan's sense of humor and free spirit stir feelings in Meena she didn't know were possible outside of Bollywood movies. It doesn't hurt that he's charming and has the uncanny ability to make math sound like poetry, but Meena knows their equation makes no sense in the real world.

Ethan finds himself intrigued by the mysterious, beautiful girl, whose big, brown eyes reflect great pain. His goals are small at first - to make her smile and then to laugh. But he soon wants more, and though Meena is adamant they have no future, he convinces her to share the present. Ethan believes every problem has a solution, but with cultural expectations and family duty among the variables, they will struggle to solve the ultimate equation to find happiness.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“It is kind of cool…the mating for life thing. There are so few species that mate for life.”

I turned and stared at him, feeling my heart flutter by his very close presence. His hand twitched a bit, like it wanted to grab mine. Was he feeling the same charge of electricity I was? I wanted to be honest with him. After I told him, he would probably rather hang out with a swan.

“That’s why I love them. They are just like me.”

He didn’t seem frazzled by what I’d said. He was quiet, soaking in my words. Rachael told me statements like this were the fastest way to get a guy to leave you alone, but Ethan didn’t even seem surprised. “You mate for life, Meena?”

“My people do”

“Economists?” he asked with an amused grin.

“Very funny.”

“Are you saying there are no Indian divorces?” His question sounded genuine.

“There are exceptions to every rule, but we do have the lowest divorce rate in the world.”

“Why do you think that is?”

“It’s culturally discouraged.”

He nodded. “Maybe, it should be here too. But is that really the only reason? It makes it sound like it’s very difficult to get yourself out of a bad situation.”

“It’s difficult, but usually not impossible. That’s not the only reason. I think the marriages, in general, are stronger and more stable.”

“What makes them stronger? Religion? Culture?” I was quiet for a moment, contemplating my response. “Come on, the answer to the Western woes of wedlock could be solved by this very conversation. Surely, you have a theory.”

“Two words—arranged marriage.”

His eyebrows shot up. I had finally surprised him, but he didn’t hesitate with his next question. “People still do that?”

“It’s not as common as it was, but it’s not uncommon either. Most Hindu marriages are the result of an arrangement.”

“I don’t know anyone who would want to get married like that.”

I sucked in a deep breath, but didn’t let my eyes waver from his. “Yes, you do.”

About the Author:
I am a hopeless romantic in a hopelessly pragmatic world. I have a full time life and two busy teenagers, but in the dark of night, I sit by the warm glow of my computer monitor, reading or writing, usually with some tasty Italian…the food that is!

I started imagining stories in my head at a very young age. In fact, I got so good at it that friends asked me to create plots featuring them as the heroine and the object of their affection as the hero. You've heard of fan fiction... this was friend fiction.

I hope you enjoy my stories and always find The Happily Ever After in every endeavor.

I love hearing from readers so please write to me!

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Twitter – @MKSchiller
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Buy the book at the publisher, Amazon, or Barnes and Noble.

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Thank you for hosting
Rita Wray said…
Great excerpt, thank you.