About the Author
Revathi Bala Sabbella released her debut novel 'To The Moon and Back' in 2022. She first started her journey on Wattpad and now expanding her work to other platforms.
She writes contemporary romance novels based on Indian backgrounds. Her novels are swoon-worthy, feel-good, and family-entertained themes across multiple sub-genres such as rom-com, crime, thriller, office, billionaires, YA, etc.
Exclusive Author Interview
Please tell us a little about yourself.
I am Revathi Bala Sabbella. I was born in Tanuku, Andhra Pradesh and I grew up in Hyderabad, Telangana. I am a Doctor in India and presently doing my Master's in Public Health in the United States.
My parents are Sreenivass Redde and Lakshmi and my brother Karthikeya Reddy. I love music and drawing. And I read whenever I find time during weekends when I don't have any assignments or college work.
My favorite author is Nicholas Sparks. I started my writing journey on Wattpad where I first published my works. Now, I am expanding my work to other platforms like Amazon.
Q. Can you tell us a bit about your book?
'To the Moon and Back' - my first debut story, with which I started my writing journey. It is a story about a common, middle-class woman, Priya Malhotra, who is leading an ordinary life until she meets the rich and arrogant man, Abhay Sinha.
Though their worlds are different, they are so much alike in character. They go to any length to protect their loved ones and value family and friends. Priya isn't interested in a relationship until she gets to know Abhay and falls in love with him.
But the man has a different opinion about commitment. As Priya fights her feelings for and with Abhay, she is also fighting a threat that destroyed their lives in the past and again threatened to harm them.
How do Priya and Abhay fight evil and how do they unite together? I love all the characters in the story. However, Priya has a special place. I built her character to be a strong, responsible, and independent woman.
Such that even if there are many challenges on the way, she could handle them with patience and diligence. Another thing is, Abhay's character goes through a character development, where he fights his insecurities and learns to cherish the present moments with his loved ones.
Q. What inspired the idea for your book?
Well, it's me. I wanted to read a story that I like to read and I just put my imagination in words. I guess it is just there in my family, being the creators. My dad is a Tollywood Film Director and my brother is also an upcoming talent in the Film Industry.
I never imagined I'd publish a novel one day. Thanks to my readers. As a fluke, I published a draft on Wattpad and the response was surprising. It just motivated me to develop my characters and publish my book officially.
Q. What are your earliest memories of reading and writing?
I first started reading when I was in my second year of MBBS. It's Scottish Blood Bond by Donna Pierce. I was hooked on the story which was a first for me. I completed the book within a few days and I wanted more.
During that time, I got to know about Wattpad and there has been no stop since then. If I remember correctly, a year later I was writing my first draft. With my medical school going on, I'd find some time and publish bits and shorts of stories once in a while.
I got messages on my storyboard to upload continuously and it kind of gave me a boost to continue writing. Now, here it is. Officially. I still can't express how happy I feel whenever I see a review or message from my readers.
Q. If you could time travel anywhere in the world at any time in history and stay there for a week when/where would you go? Or would you prefer to visit in the future?
That's an interesting and tough question. I don't want to change anything in my life, as I like it how it is now. How much ever tempting it is to know the future, I guess you'll lose the zeal once the future is revealed.
Where is the kick if I know the future beforehand? Presently, my motto is 'Learn from the past, Live in the present, and Work hard for the future.'
Q. In your daily routine, what do you spend your time on, and how do you choose, equally, what not to spend your time on?
I just go with the flow. I spend most of my time working or studying for my master's. I journal, which is a recent habit I developed to be more productive. Though I make plans, for the most part, they somehow change.
And whenever I have time, I write, watch dramas, and do drawing or paint.
Q. What are your top 3 tips for aspiring writers?
1. Write whatever you are passionate about. Do not think about what others might say. Look around you and you'll find an 'n' number of stories.
2. If you are facing writer's block or finding it hard to put your thoughts in words, then read more books or watch videos related to your topic in mind.
3. Do not procrastinate. Two things: 'Writer's block' and 'Procrastination' are 2 different things. If you have something in mind, then just write. Do not think of 'later'.
Q. Are you a panster or a plotter?
Neither. I am a planster. I am a little of both of them. Most of the time, I think of a log line, then plan on the setting, background, names of the characters, and story plot. I research if I need anything specific about the story plot or character traits.
Though I write fiction, I like stories to be more realistic and mature. I try my best to give my best.
Q. What does success look like to you?
If it is in regards to being an author, then 'audiences.' To an author, I believe his/her success lies in readers' love of the story. Everything else is secondary but also important.
Q. How do you choose your character names?
I do research, especially the protagonists' names. For the most part, the female protagonists are strong, wise, and sweet while the male protagonists are superior and warrior-like.
It depends on the character's traits and something meaningful.
Q. What do you do when you get stuck with your writing?
As I mentioned earlier, I read more or watch videos or clippings that inspire me with the storyline. Or just take a break and listen to music.
Q. How long does it take you to write a book?
It depends. For instance, I started writing 'To the Moon and Back' during my college days in bits and pieces. It took me some time to put everything together and edit it. But there is this story (not going to reveal yet) which I finished writing in a day.
Q. What do you find hardest/easiest about writing?
'The climax' is the hardest. This part gave me writer's block so many times. I cannot say the easiest, but I am good with everything else I believe.
Q. If your book got made into a film, who would play the main roles?
That's tough. When I first started writing, I did not think of anyone. But then eventually there were these two on-screen couples I thought of in my protagonist's place.
Well, the male characters are Barun Sobti, and Can Yaman and the female are Sanaya Irani and Özge Gürel.
Q. What’s been your biggest learning curve?
Never underestimate yourself. Some challenges come throughout your life. But never give up. Give your best until you succeed.
Q. Do you prefer pen and paper, or is everything on the computer?
As much as I love the smell of fresh pages, for the most part, I prefer my Mac. It is easier to store your manuscripts and have access whenever you want if stored in a drive.
Q. Who’s your favorite author and why?
Nicholas Sparks. After I started reading, I just fell in love with his stories. He is my inspiration in writing. "The Longest Ride" is my first book of his. He has this knack for creating an ambiance and taking you into a different world.
It's like the scene is running in front of you, rather than like you are reading. As a reader, I just love that and as an author, I want my readers too and I believe they too would like to have this experience.
Q. How do you relax?
Music. I just keep on singing, depending on my mood, and just feel the rhythm and meaning behind the lyrics.
Q. Future of SALISMANIA.com through your eyes?
A creative platform with more literature, inspiring stories of authors, and readership. Platforms like Salis Mania are needed to bring out more creative talents.
About the Book
“HE IS DROP‒DEAD GORGEOUS," admits Priya Malhotra.
Priya Malhotra's world is quiet and ordinary. She doesn't have complaints, and she likes it that way. After the traumatic event five years back, she thought she'd overcome her nightmare.
But it's back. It follows her like a shadow that never leaves. Why? She desperately wants to find answers.
Then, she meets him. Abhay Sinha.
He is rude and arrogant. He is sweet and gentle when he wants to be. Everything about him drew her like a moth to a flame. He makes her happy and also drives her crazy.
The most attractive thing about him is his immense love for his daughter. She's the sweetest thing in the world. But he's off‒limits to her.
A chance encounter with this father and daughter turns Priya's world upside down.
Even though they meet under unexpected circumstances, this handsome father and the quirky daughter just barge into her life, and regardless of her attempts to draw a line between them and stay within her limits, it just seems to be futile.
Unknown to them both, they share a past that made their lives a roller coaster. And once again it has reconciled to the surface, threatening their loved ones.