Falguni Kothari is an internationally bestselling hybrid author and an amateur Latin and Ballroom dance silver medalist with a background in Indian Classical dance. She writes in a variety of genres sewn together by the colorful threads of her South Asian heritage and expat experiences. When not writing or dancing, she fools around on all manner of social media, and loves to connect with her readers. My Last Love Story is her fourth novel.
Welcome to Plain Talk, Falguni. I’ll jump right in. What is your writing process?
My writing process is a lot of ruminating, wondering, mulling, staring at the TV, getting lost in Facebook, reading and talking to myself. I do this for a couple of months, get to know my characters and their quirks really well, before I start putting words to the page.
Describe your journey as an author so far.
It’s been fast and furious. I don’t think it’s going to slow down for another two years.
How do you stay motivated?
Very easily. But wait, motivated in what? Motivated to write or motivated in life? I’m motivated with life which spills into all areas of my life.
What has been your biggest obstacle while writing and how have you overcome it?
Let me be a PIA. There’s been no obstacle while writing. That’s the easiest thing that comes to me. It’s the getting published that’s the obstacle. Especially, getting published in the US. I overcame it by going indie.
Why did you write My Last Love Story?
Because every household lives with disease in this world. Every person deals with loss and grief. Every person loves and hates and makes mistakes. I had to write this book because my cousin would have wanted me to. She succumbed to cancer twenty years ago.
What do you hope readers would take away from My Last Love Story?
That there is nothing more to life than love. Love every day and deeply. Don’t judge and don’t quit.
How long did it take you to write MLLS?
About six months, I think.
What’s next for you?
Book 2 in my mythic fantasy series, The Age of Kali.
What genres do you read?
Everything except horror.
What do you know now that you wish you knew as a teenager?
That you cannot change your core nature. That you must find time for your own pursuits and pleasures because the only way you can be happy is by making yourself happy.
Other books by Falguni Kothari
About My Last Love Story
Perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes’s, Me Before You, My Last Love Story is a heartbreakingly romantic tale about the complexities of trauma and whether love can right a wrong.
I, Simeen Desai, am tired of making lemonade with the lemons life has handed me.
Love is meant to heal wounds.
Love was meant to make my world sparkle and spin.
Love has ripped my life apart and shattered my soul.
I love my husband, and he loves me.
But Nirvaan is dying.
I love my husband. I want to make him happy.
But he is asking for the impossible.
I don’t want a baby.
I don’t want to make nice with Zayaan.
I don’t want another chance at another love story.
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What people are saying about My Last Love
At once heartbreaking, delightful and completely unexpected. A must read! ~ Sonali Dev, author of The Bollywood Affair
In My Last Love Story, Kothari examines love and loss, desire and desolation, with a deft, wry touch that kept me reading late into the night and moved me to tears. ~ Julia Tagan, author of Stages of Desire
Read an Excerpt
Dear Readers, thank you for coming along on the My Last Love Story Blog Tour. Here’s an excerpt to enjoy.
“Love is a dish best served naked.”
As a child, those oft-quoted words of my father would have me rolling my eyes and pretending to gag at what I’d imagined was my parents’ precursor to a certain physical act.
At thirty, I’d long ago realized that getting naked wasn’t a euphemism for sex.
Neither was love.
It wasn’t my father wording the meme just now but my husband. Nirvaan considered himself a great wit, a New Age philosopher. On the best of days, he was, much like Daddy had been. On the worst days, he was my tormentor.
“What do you think, Dr. Archer? Interesting enough tagline for a vlog? What about ‘Baby in a Petri Dish’?” Nirvaan persisted in eliciting a response from the doctor and/or me for his ad hoc comedy, which we’d been ignoring for several minutes now.
I wanted to glare at him, beg him to shut up, or demand that he wait in the doctor’s office like he should’ve done, like a normal husband would have. Khodai knows why he’d insisted on holding my hand through this preliminary checkup. Nothing of import would happen today—if it did at all. But I couldn’t perform any such communication, not with my eyes and mouth squeezed shut while I suffered through a series of uncomfortable twinges along my nether regions.
I lay flat on my back on a spongy clinic bed sheeted with paper already wrinkled and half torn. Legs drawn up and spread apart, my heels dug punishingly into cold iron stirrups to allow my gynecologist’s clever fingers to reach inside my womb and check if everything was A-OK in there. We’d already funneled through the Pap test and stomach and chest checks. Like them, this test, too, was going swell in light of Dr. Archer’s approving happy hums.
“Excellent, Mrs. Desai. All parts are where they should be,” he joked only as a doctor could.
I shuddered out the breath I’d been holding, as the feeling of being stretched left my body. Nirvaan squeezed my hand and planted a smacking kiss on my forehead. I opened my eyes and focused on his beaming upside-down ones. His eyelids barely grew lashes anymore—I’d counted twenty-seven in total just last week—the effect of years of chemotherapy. For a second, my gaze blurred, my heart wavered, and I almost cried.
What are we doing, Nirvaan? What in Khodai’s name were we starting?
Nirvaan stroked my hair, his pitch-black pupils steady and knowing and oh-so stubborn. Then, his face rose to the stark white ceiling, and all I saw was the green-and-blue mesh of his gingham shirt—the overlapping threads, the crisscross weaves, a pattern without end.
Life is what you make it, child. It was another one of my father’s truisms.
Swallowing the questions twirling on my tongue, I refocused my mind on why we were here. I’d promised Nirvaan we’d try for a baby if he agreed to another round of cancer-blasting treatments. I’d bartered for a few more months of my husband’s life. He’d bartered for immortality through our child.
Dr. Archer rolled away from between my legs to the computer station. He snapped off and disposed of the latex gloves. Then, he began typing notes in near-soundless staccato clicks. Though the examination was finished, I knew better than to sit up until he gave me leave. I’d been here before, done this before—two years ago when Nirvaan had been in remission and the idea of having a baby had wormed its way into his head. We’d tried the most basic procedures then, whatever our medical coverage had allowed. We hadn’t been desperate yet to use our own money, which we shouldn’t be touching even now. We needed every penny we had for emergencies and alternative treatments, but try budging my husband once he’d made up his mind.
“I’m a businessman, Simi. I only pour money into a sure thing,” he rebuked when I argued.
I brought my legs together, manufacturing what poise and modesty I could, and pulled the sea-green hospital gown bunched beneath my bottom across my half-naked body. I refused to look at my husband as I wriggled about, positive his expression would be pregnant with irony, if not fully smirking. And kudos to him for not jumping in to help me like I would have.