An Interview with Aanchal Budhiraja aka TooHotToBeTrue2 on Wattpad
(Of the Baking With Boys fame)
Okay, so I’ll start by saying that this is my first interview, ever (where I’ve been the interviewer, of course. There’ve been a shit ton of interviewee interviews in my life. We can thank my need for a job for that one.)
Any how, we’re getting off topic. This is my first interview and Aanchal is a dear friend of mine. So, if we’re absolutely, ridiculously unprofessional or we talk absolute shit, please forgive me. You’ve been warned.
Time to start!
I think this is the part where I introduce the guest for today/tonight/whatever time you’re reading this on.
And that person is Aanchal Budhiraja! A 20 year old college student, pursuing her masters in economics, Aanchal loves to write quirky stories about love, friendship and adventure, always leaving us wanting more with the abhorrent cliffhanger endings for each chapter. She loves to dye her hair in awesome colors and works out at odd hours of the day (seriously. Odd hours. She works out at midnight. So, you can say she is obsessed.)
She’s best known for her stories Baking With Boys and The Demon Babysitter.
Now that we know who we’re meeting today, let’s get started!
Q: Hi, Aanchal! How are you today?
A: (20/12/16) I’m cuddled inside my blanket, shivering because it’s getting cold, sleep deprived after five hours of coaching and binging on Korean Dramas last night and struggling to complete the next update of The Demon Babysitter. Yeah, fantastic.
*Here’s to hoping that TDB gets updated super soon!*
Q: We’ll start with the boring stuff first, you know get it out of the way. So, generic questions coming up! The first one being, how did you stumble upon Wattpad?
A: APP STORE! HA-HA. I downloaded it when it was still a baby, got bored with it and vanished. Came back 2-3 years when I was bored studying for my first semester college exams. So, basically boredom led me to Wattpad.
*That is one hell of a way to discover Wattpad! I’m jealous. You don’t have to thank someone for giving this to you. Like I have to.*
Q: Did you write before Wattpad or did seeing all these people writing inspire you to become a writer?
A: I started reading in 9th grade. I was making up stories in 10th grade. But that remained limited to my classroom hobbies which I did and passed the stories between my friends. I downloaded Wattpad for the second time to write. Made a new account, published a fanfiction just for fun, and a few months later, I was posting the story I wrote in 10th grade.
Q: Are you saying that BWB was written when you were 15? Because, damn girl! I didn’t even know how to plot then!
A: Nope, there is another secret book buried in the depths of my drafts and shall probably remain there. To those who remember, it was called The Eccentric Vampire Princess and actually did pretty well. It was over 10K reads and ranking good, but after I started writing BWB, I realized there were zillions of mistakes in it and gave up on editing and deleted it. It was my first official book ever.
Q: Do you think we’ll ever get to read it?
A:Well, I can make a spoof of it and release it on University Diaries. What do you think? 😉 As a proper book, no. The story doesn’t have any steam left and I have better ideas I want to use my time on!
*I’m totally down for this!*
Q: How does it feel, being a part of such a huge community?
A: Small? I try to be happy with my small achievements, but with so much talent out there, it’s easy to lose yourself. Still, I appreciate everyone who supported me. From my friends to my family to my readers. That’s what makes me feel special and glad to be part of Wattpad.
Q: How do you handle the hate thrown your way? I know there haven’t been many instances, but you’ve had some. So, how do they make you feel? Have you learnt anything from those experiences?
A: In 2015, I was a naive little girl. Wattpad changed me in 2016. I hope it was for the good. Initially, I couldn’t handle it. I never understand how people can make the effort to be rude to someone. It still surprises me that people are so talented in wasting time. I learnt to not be so ignorant of the double standards of the society (and of Wattpad) and have become more empathetic towards others. Also, another thing I learned. If there’s a hate comment, only reply if you’re not angry, else delete it from your life.
Q: This is some great advice! There is a lot of hate going around everywhere, not just around Wattpad these days and people are being bullied so bad. Do you think that all this hate going around may drive you away from Wattpad one day?
A: I think the worst came and passed. Or maybe I want to think that. I don’t think I’ll be stupid enough to make that decision, but future is always so unpredictable. There are so many people (YOU!) who support me. I’ll keep writing even if there is only one person who wants to read my books.
Q: Has posting on Wattpad made you a better writer?
A: Definitely. This year has been the most fruitful in terms of my writing experience and journey.
Q: Do you think it’s a smart decision to start on Wattpad before sending off query letters and whatnot to agents and publishing houses?
A: I’m not sure. If you want to test the waters or gain some confidence about your work, Wattpad is a good place to start. It can give a glimpse of how well your works will be received by your readership audience. I still think it’s the best place for budding writers who start out writing as their hobbies.
Q: Okay, I need me some juicy deets now. Is Brandon (from Baking With Boys) inspired by someone in real life or is he just wishful thinking?
A: Wishful thinking, girl. And kind of my ideal man. He is irresistible in his adorable way. If he does appear as a real life person, I’ll announce it on Wattpad!
*I hope you find him! And we get a novel out of it! *fangirl squeals**
Q: Of all the boys from the novel, who would you most want to date – Brandon, Seth, Liam or Leo? Why? (PS: Brownie points if your answer is not Brandon because he’s MINE!)
A: Seth. Seth. Seth. Any day Seth. I know I might be the only one who knows all his secrets. But he is a devilish playboy who acts funny to seduce others. Like he looks like a devil, is a devil, but is able to hide that perfectly. Unless, we take the matters to bed. *cough*
Q: Maybe a Seth spin off is in order, eh?
A: With a character like him to play with, damn, I’ll love to write a spin-off. But like I’m craving a break from these characters after Thirty Ice-Cream Dates. I feel like I have been married to them or something. The honeymoon mood is fading 😄
*Haha. But, hey! I’d love to be married to any of those boys. But, we can wait for more of these amazing characters!*
Q: Speaking of other characters, how different is it, writing Kuros and Brandon? I mean, you’re playing around with these two in the same duration and they’re so very different. Does it get exhausting? Do you accidentally write something Brandon – ish for Kuros? Or the other way round?
A: It’s very very very different. Polar opposites. But I think that’s why it works. If they were similar characters, it would have been difficult for me to bring in new content. The way of writing is totally different as well. For BWB, I focus on plot and what they’re doing and saying. In TDB, there’s more space for characters to develop with short simple dialogues.
Because I write the books side by side, I usually read up the last chapter and revise my notes to bring myself up to date with the story and connect with the characters again. Going into their mindset before I begin writing helps me stick to their tonality and behavioural aspects. I did dramatics in college, and it’s pretty similar to acting and start thinking like the role you get. I’m a demon? Let’s be more sadistic, get the ancient vibe and a wicked streak. A teenage boy? Add in some flirty attitude, hidden insecurities, and humor. Well, it goes on like that!
*That’s a nice way to go about it.*
Q: How do you get inspiration for stories? We all know you live and breathe KPop, but other than that, what else sparks ideas?
A: Music is the biggest inspiration, even when I don’t understand the words, the lyrics feel to me, and makes me wants to write a story on that. What sparks ideas is very random. I usually read something and then start twisting things around. What if it was like this, what if it was like that. What all can be possible and it goes on. Funnily, I get the most ideas when I’m studying for exams TT
The most weird way I get ideas are from dreams. I dream VERY vividly and usually remember most of it if I go back in the chronological order up to the start of it. I have woken up crying, scared, have had repeated dreams where I know what was going to happen and tried to wake myself up. (I started maintaining a dream diary too!)
There are two books in my drafts that were a product of my dreams. One is a fantasy thriller and other is science fiction.
Q: This is exciting stuff! Do you think we’ll get to read these two stories soon?
A: Not soon, but maybe one day! The fantasy thriller is in my drafts since June 2015, and I only ever wrote the prologue~
*I for one, am really excited for these stories!*
Choices very quickly then! (OMG! I sound so much like Karan Johar here, but who gives a damn? He’s got SRK!)
Romance or Humor?
- Humor (this was pretty hard too!)
Wattpad novel or published novel?
- Published (both reading and writing)
Wattpad or Radish?
- Wattpad (more interactive)
Tea or coffee? Or Bournvita? (We all know, secretly, the answer is Bournvita. It is always Bournvita.)
- Coffee. I hate bournvita in milk, I love eating it with a spoon! 😄
Brandon or Kuros? (Yes, I am extremely evil)
- Brandon. I prefer humans…
*So many points for that one. But, hey! Demons have their perks!*
Q: Okay, then. Moving on. If you could invite any author to dinner (dead or alive) who would it be? Why? (You can name more than one.)
A: Emily Bronte (I really like WH), Margaret Mitchell (GWTW). They’ll be pretty spectacular guests, don’t ya think?
*Yes, I do. Though personally, I’d only ever invite JKR and spend the dinner trying to string two words together before I finally pass out.*
Q: Who’s your favorite Wattpad author?
A: *running to my library/wait*
blondeanddangerous (I have read most of her stories and loved all.) and takatsu
Q: Who’s your favorite published author?
A: I can’t choose. I don’t gush about authors that much, I read a book, and like it. That’s it 😛
Not much of a fangirl when it comes to reading, eh? Kind of surprising! But, hey! To each their own.
-Reading, yes I fangirl, I just never research about authors and I’m extremely forgetful with their names! They are so many to like and I like them in phases. Rick Riordan when I was obsessed with Greek gods, wizards with J.K. Rowling, vampires with so many etc. I don’t have an ultimate favorite! YET! But I recently started reading Haruki Murakami works and loving it so far!
Q: The best books to read on Wattpad, according to you. (You can be narcissistic and name your own books too. :P)
A: The Curves Ahead. It made me fall in love with Wattpad. Also, people should check out Cell Phone Novels. I foresee a huge impact of CPN in the coming future!
Q: Your all time favorite novels that have left a deep impact on you are?
A: Jane Eyre, The Secret Garden, Gone With The Wind, Wuthering Heights, The Diary Of A Young Girl (Anne Frank)
Q: If there was only one book that you could read for the rest of your life, which one would you chose?
A: Gone With The Wind
Q: Okay, this is getting really long and I think that we should wrap this up! Any advice for us wannabe authors out there?
A: You realized this NOW? LOL. But, honestly, I don’t think I’m at a point to be called an author yet. I just have a passion for writing. All those who want to write, don’t let others drag you down. Be honest with yourself and improve. There’s no one who doesn’t need improvement. Don’t let your passion die! Be kind and supportive, karma will help you.
Q: Did you have fun doing this interview? (It is my first, so please say that you had a blast and give a boost to my ego!)
A: YES GIRL! This was like a live interview and I didn’t even realize so much time passed. I can get interviewed each week lol You have a knack for making other peeps feel so comfortable and special. A+ FOR THE INTERVIEWER!
And, that is it! Thank you for reading! I had a great time, Aanchal! Thank you for doing this. 😀
You can find Aanchal on Wattpad as TooHotToBeTrue2 (The reason behind her username is a well guarded secret that she hasn’t let me in on yet, but one day, I hope to uncover the truth! And when I do, you guys will be the first to know. Provided I have her permission, of course!) A list of her works is down below (click on the image to open the story!)
Baking With Boys (BWB #1)
Spring. It’s the season to love, share and find happiness. But for Tyler? Not really. To her it’s just another long boring holiday season going back home. Spending her spring break lazing around home, doing homework, getting up to date with all her favorite TV shows, and baking endless amounts of cakes.
What she didn’t expect is for her mother to rent out their house for the break. And to none other than her school’s swimming team.
Suddenly Tyler finds herself surrounded by four, hot and gorgeous, forever half-naked guys and she can’t help but think that this year her spring break would suck. Or not. And with her mom in full-on match-making mode, something is bound to happen.
Thirty Ice Cream Dates (BWB #1.5)
A single bet.
And one month of free ice-cream.
Unspoken promises, heated gazes, and an inexplicable lust for each other. Will Tyler and Brandon confess their true feelings? Or will their playful banter and awkward moments dissolve into nothing as their high school life progresses?
True love is difficult to maintain. Are they confident enough to even try? Well, they have thirty ice-cream dates to decide their fate.
The Demon Babysitter
After accidentally summoning a demon, Yuki Rin, a single mother trying to make her ends meet, assigns the demon to babysit her three year old son.
Kuros, an alpha demon, is forced to grant three wishes Yuki demands. Not able to use black magic, the only way out of the contract is for him to taste her blood with consent.
For that, he just needs to seduce her…
Makeovers are pretty normal. But when three ghosts are doing it?
Ingrid Harrington, the new honor student of the prestigious Tripton High. Her goal for senior year is simple– ace her classes and maybe daydream about a crush or two. Everything goes wrong when beneath the extreme hierarchy, charming smiles and flirtatious attitudes she stumbles upon the school’s deepest secret: The Ghost Triplets.
They are what they say they are–ghosts. Hailey, Daphne and Patricia. The Queen Bees of the year 2009. After dying in a tragic fire, they have been ruling over the school by possessing people and creating trouble.
No one knows about them of course, not until Ingrid comes along. Who for a weird reason can see them. When the three settle on making Ingrid the next homecoming queen and finding her the perfect boyfriend, it’s only trouble that is brewing.
Lustful possessions, extreme grueling and a knack for fashion gives you this year’s : Ghost Makeover.
One Of These Endings
Seven chances to save Archer.
Seven chances to revert the past.
Seven chances to right all the wrongs.
Seven chances more to see his face if things didn’t work out.
Seven chances more to say I love him.
Seven chances felt too less.
Tryst goes back in time to stop her fiancé from committing suicide after her accidental death. With only seven chances to right the wrong, will they be able to find happiness?
The Man Who Doesn’t Know Romance
What if your sexy vixen fiancée took upon herself to seduce you?
Charis Rose has had enough. One month to her wedding, and she hasn’t had a proper conversation with her aloof, mysterious, and geeky-professor fiancé yet.
Everett West is the talk of the University. Known for his famous archaeological camping trips, he’s in for a surprise when his fiancée sneaks into the two-week-long educational tour as his student.
For Charis, there’s only one thing she is crazy about; romance.
Seeking sparks in their relationship, and romantic getaways, will she be only disappointed? For what if the man she is destined to be with, doesn’t know romance?
“Akari and Nana,
the names fit so well together.
They met on a stormy night.
Akari crashed like a hurricane,
Nana came like a tornado,
two faces of one person,
two stars that were meant to collide and
d e s t r o y,
their destinies were tied forever.”
A story which was supposed to be just that… a story. When Nana finds out that her life is playing out exactly as an online story predicted, she realizes that her future isn’t unpredictable anymore.
But when the future she sees isn’t what she expected it to be, can she save a lifetime of regret by changing herself?
In an era of know-it-all, superficial and ambivalent environment, this is the small area for me to reciprocate and retrospect. You can judge me all you want. But you know what? No one’s perfect.
Come stalk my daily life! I promise I won’t bore you… too much.