HOW DID KIRAN MANRAL CONCEIVE ALL ABOARD?
The first genesis of All Aboard came about way back in 2013 in an informal conversation between my wonderful editor, Vaishali Mathur, at Penguin Random House and me, when she suggested we explore the idea of a romance based on an unusual location. She liked the thought of placing the romance on a cruise ship on the Western Mediterranean and I found it intriguing too, because it placed complete strangers in close proximity on a ship in the middle of the sea for a couple of weeks, and threw them together practically every single day, and was the ideal situation for a romance to blossom. But what if, I thought, the protagonists have no intention of falling in love on a cruise, what if they were there to recover from a broken heart. I started with this premise, and then I heard
the real story of a girl I heard about from a friend, who went off on her honeymoon on an Alaskan cruise with her friend after she was ditched by her fiance. I thought that was a brilliant way to ensure the booking didn’t go waste and she could put some distance between herself and the situation, and perhaps heal a bit after she returned back to home base. That was the starting point for Rhea and her story. From that point, the story sort of wrote itself. There were drafts and redrafts and versions of the story, a lot of research involved to understand how a cruise holiday happened and to actually get into the skin of the character of a middle class girl on perhaps her first rather splashy holiday abroad. With All Aboard, I also ventured into pure romance, my earlier two books were humour and chicklit, or to be more accurate, mom lit for the first one. It has been an absolutely fun ride, reading and researching up this book. Now I’m looking forward to actually doing the cruise holiday Rhea and Kamal fell in love on, someday.
Kiran Manral is the author of All Aboard, Once Upon A Crush and The Reluctant Detective. Her latest release is: Karmickids and forthcoming one is The Face At The Window.