Variables of Love
by MK Schiller
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.
“Why do you have a blanket in your car?”
“In case I need it.”
“Have you ever had sex on it?” I asked, staring at the soft plush material with narrowing eyes.
Ethan laughed. “Of course I have.”
“Oh,” I said, holding the material further away.
“It’s my sex blanket. Whenever I’m in the mood, I just lay it on the ground, take off my clothes, and the ladies line up.”
It took two seconds before his words sank in and I burst out laughing.
“I’ve had sex on it once, but don’t worry—I’ve washed it since then.” His honesty was jarring. Did he always tell the truth? He pulled it over us before crossing his arms behind his head and lying down. Our shoulders grazed each other’s. “Look up, sunshine.”
I gasped. The golden stars appeared to drop right out of the sky like they might fall on us. “It’s beautiful. They look so close.”
“I know. It makes you feel important and insignificant at the same time.”
“That’s a good way to describe it.”
We were silent for a moment, both staring at the magnificent view above us. “Do you bring a lot of girls here?”
Ethan chuckled, turning toward me and resting his head on his crooked elbow. “No, why? You think I should?”
It is my pleasure to welcome MK Schiller, author of Variables of Love, to Room With Books!
What do you do when you are not writing?
I read and read and read some more. I’m a reader first so if I’m not writing or hanging with my family, I usually have my kindle glued to my hand.
Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
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.
Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
I was very lucky. I joined my local RWA chapter and had the privilege of getting some great advice from some very wise women. I set realistic expectations for myself and had a great support group to pick me up whenever I felt the first pangs of defeat. There were also opportunities for pitching, which I took advantage of. That’s how I got my first contract and the others that have followed.
If you could have any superpower what would you choose?
To expand time or freeze it so I can get all my stuff done.
What was your first job?
I was a bagger at a grocery store.
What types of books do you write?
All of my books are romances but they span the genre. I have a new adult, contemporary and even suspense. I’m even thinking of trying my hand at a paranormal.
Who’s your main audience?
Lovers of romance like me.
Out of all of your characters, which is your favorite? Why?
I can’t choose one. I love them all. Each one is unique and special in his or her own way. For example, I like my female characters to be strong, not just in spite of the suffering they’ve been through, but because of it. The need to write these women yielded a successful yet self‐conscious lawyer; a sassy, sexy, tomboy office assistant; and a talented shy artist. In Variables of Love, Meena is an introverted college student with a fierce loyalty to family and a tragic past. Even though they were different, they are all witty, successful, capable women. But they also all have a vulnerable side.
What does your writing schedule look like?
I write when I can find the time. There is no rhyme and reason to it. Sometimes it’s before the sun comes out and other times it’s well past my bedtime.
Do you use your OWN experiences?
I do, especially in this book. Variables of Love 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.
Was it easy to pick the title for your book?
I had a few other working titles, but I liked this one as it related to math and Ethan, the hero, is a math major.
If you could pick one profession, other than author, which would you choose if you were not an author?
I’d want to be a professional reader. I’d love to be a literary agent or acquisitions editor.
What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? Anything chocolate with a side of chocolate please.
Night owl, or early bird? Both – which is weird but true.
Red, or white wine? Red and sweet.
Roller Coasters or Water Rides? I’ve always loved roller coasters but lately I can’t handle them so I’ll go for anything that makes me wet. Oops…that sounded dirty. J
Swimming in the ocean or a pool? A pool please. I have a fear of sharks.
Walking or fitness club? Walking….gives me time to think.
Any last words?
Thank you for having me. I hope your readers will check out the book! Good luck with the contest.
Thank you for chatting with our readers and for allowing Room With Books to be part of your tour!
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!
MK will be awarding three separate prizes: a $20 Amazon or B&N gift card; a $10 Amazon or B&N gift card; and an ecopy of Variables of Love, to the randomly drawn winners via Rafflecopter during the tour.
Room With Books encourages our readers to follow the tour and comment.