New Kids On The Block 2018 with Nisha Sharma

New Kids On The Block is a year-long series on Pop! Goes The Reader meant to welcome and celebrate new voices and debut authors in the literary community.

Are you a debut author whose book is being published in 2018? It’s not too late to sign-up! If you want to participate in New Kids On The Block this year, please don’t hesitate to get in touch! You can send a tweet or DM on Twitter to @Pop_Reader or email me at Jen@PopGoesTheReader.com. I would love to collaborate with you!


About Nisha Sharma

Nisha Sharma grew up immersed in Bollywood movies, eighties pop culture, and romance novels, so it comes as no surprise that her first novel My So-Called Bollywood Life features all three.

Nisha credits her father for her multiple graduate degrees and her mother for her love of Shah Rukh Khan and Jane Austen. She lives in New Jersey with her cat Lizzie Bennett and her dog Nancey Drew.

Author Links: WebsiteTwitterInstagramGoodreads


Bollywood Basics with Nisha Sharma

I grew up in a rural town in Northeast Pennsylvania. To occupy my time, I read a lot, trained as a classical Kathak dancer, and watched a ton of Bollywood movies. It was common in my house to hear Bollywood music on weekends blasting from the stereo my mother set up in the kitchen. As long as I can remember, Bollywood movies have been a part of my life.

It’s no surprise that my first YA is about Bollywood movies. I wanted to focus on positively portraying Bollywood and its impact on South Asians. Bollywood, the Hindi language film industry located in Mumbai, India, produces more movies a year than Hollywood. They have a global reach and with video streaming, they’re now making their way into non-South Asian households every day. I can’t tell you how happy it makes me when someone who isn’t Indian has an in-depth conversation with me about the latest Bollywood movies in theaters.

For those of you who are interested in getting into Bollywood movies but require some guidance, here are some details that can help you get started.

1. Bollywood movies used to be 3-4.5 hours, but with changing times (and shorter attention spans), the average film is approximately two hours.

2. Yes, Bollywood movies still have dancing and song numbers kind of like Hollywood musicals from the 40’s and 50’s. However, rarely do actors sing their own songs (there is a playback singer who does the music for them), and no, most of the time the song numbers don’t make sense during the film. The modern shift in the industry shows directors trying to insert musical numbers in a way that makes more sense, but they rarely succeed.

3. You must be willing to accept the improbable, the impossible, and the over-dramatic. Sometimes things seem to be a little cray-cray, but go with it. Bollywood is supposed to be fun no matter what genre.

4. You’ll see a divide in the types of movies that were made in the era prior to 1985, the era prior to 1999, and the era now. Movies are changing to allow for a more global mindset. Divorce, sex, and online harassment are all elements in Bollywood films these days that effect story lines.

5. Last but not least, Bollywood has diversified today, so if you’re looking for something that epitomizes cheese, you’re better off with a mid to late 90’s movie. If you’d like something that really encapsulates the changing generation in India, I’d try a movie made in the last three years.

For specific Bollywood movie recommendations, check out the glossary in My So-Called Bollywood Life! I list a ton of movies that readers should consider along with their rating and a snarky review blurb from my main character, Winnie Mehta.

Jen, thank you so much for having me! I can’t wait for everyone to meet Winnie Mehta and learn more about Bollywood. Stay filmy, guys!

Title My So-Called Bollywood Life
Author Nisha Sharma
Pages 304 Pages
Intended Target Audience Young Adult
Genre Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Publication Date May 15th 2018 by Crown Books For Young Readers
Find It On GoodreadsAmazon.comChaptersThe Book Depository

Winnie Mehta was never really convinced that Raj was her soulmate, but their love was written in the stars. Literally, a pandit predicted Winnie would find the love of her life before her 18th birthday, and Raj meets all the qualifications. Which is why Winnie is shocked to return from her summer at film camp to find her boyfriend of three years hooking up with Jenny Dickens. Worse, Raj is crowned chair of the student film festival, a spot Winnie was counting on for her film school applications. As a self-proclaimed Bollywood expert, Winnie knows this is not how her perfect ending is scripted.

Then there is Dev, a fellow film geek, and one of the few people Winnie can count on to help her reclaim control of her story. Dev is smart, charming and challenges Winnie to look beyond her horoscope to find someone she’d pick for herself. But does falling for Dev mean giving up on her prophecy, and her chance to live happily ever after? To get her Bollywood-like life on track, Winnie will need a little bit of help from fate, family and of course, a Bollywood movie star.

Like an expertly choreographed Bollywood dance scene, Nisha Sharma’s off-beat love story dazzles in the lime light.

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