Reader, I Married Him: Author Spouses Tell All: Sonali Dev & Victoria Alexander

Valentine’s Day is our holiday, when everyone’s thinking fragrant bouquets, intimate dinners, sexytimes … you know, romance. Which got us to wondering, what’s it like to be married to a romance author? Is it all lingerie and drama? Or more … take out and Netflix marathons? For the rest of the week we’ll be meeting some romance author spouses who are going to tell it like it is. Readers, get ready to swoon. 

***

Here we’re talking with Sonali Dev‘s husband, lovingly referred to as “Sonali’s Hubby,” of 18 years, who is not the inspiration for her breakout debut, A Bollywood Affair. OR SO HE SAYS.

Sonali and ManojWhat’s the biggest misconception about having a romance author for a spouse?

It’s the obvious one — the belief that your romance author wife and you are constantly living the romantic life depicted in books. In reality, we live as banal a life as anyone with occasional flashes of romantic gestures like flowers, surprise parties, romantic getaways, etc.

What’s the silliest thing anyone’s ever said to you about having a romance author for a spouse?

“Are you the source of inspiration for your wife’s romance stories?”

What’s the biggest perk that comes from having a romance author for a spouse?

To be recognized by strangers or to be introduced to strangers as the author’s spouse. It is the best feeling ever. 

Has your spouse ever put you in a book?

Probably not, because her characters have such complex and gratifying lives both in the past and the present. My life is as down-the-trodden-path as it can get: school-college-graduate school-professional career-marriage-kids-career advancement-planning for kids’ college/retirement. I guess it’s what comes after the book is over.  

Brag about your spouse. What are you most proud of them accomplishing in this difficult industry?

Notwithstanding the fact that my wife’s book has earned rave reviews from peers, critics and readers, I am most proud of the fact that my wife has shown such dedication to the craft of writing. She has been honing her writing skills over the past 18 years that we’ve been married and she didn’t put her first proposal out to a publisher until 4 years ago.

It is really an honor to be an author’s spouse. The primary motivation of why my wife writes is for the love of writing and sharing her stories with readers, and not solely for commercial gains. As a business professional in my own career I really appreciate her love for her art.

Does everyone in your life know what your spouse does for a living?

Yes, naturally in my personal life everyone knows. In my professional circle, I talk about my wife’s book to every co-worker I can, but I’m not sure if it is a well known fact yet. 

If you ever had to write a book, what kind of book would it be?

Most likely it would be a non-fiction book. Either a biography or a book on a current event topic on finance or politics or a historical event. 

What’s your coping mechanism when your spouse is on deadline?

The best coping mechanism is to give her space. Leave her alone, but be available when needed. My stress and anxiety levels during my professional deadlines pale in comparison to my wife’s. But, I can empathize with her when I see the deadline coming.

***

And we’ve got Victoria Alexander’s husband, Chuck, who’s been through thirty novels with his bride.

What’s the biggest misconception about having a romance author for a spouse?

That our lives are one long glamorous party. It’s a lot of hard work on her part.

What’s the silliest thing anyone’s ever said to you about having a romance author for a spouse?

Well, everyone kids about whether I’m on her covers, or her “wink wink nudge, nudge” inspiration for her stories. And of course that’s a big yes to both. LOL

Has your spouse ever put you in a book?

She kills me off in any book where she needs a dead husband. Seriously. I sleep with one eye open.

Brag about your spouse, what are you most proud of them accomplishing?

This is very, very hard work. I’m proud of everything she does, but I suppose I am most proud of her longevity. Having over 30 novel in prints is an unbelievable accomplishment.

Does everyone in your life know what your spouse does for a living?

Yes. I am very proud of it.

If you ever had to write a book, what kind of book would it be?

Not gonna happen, I have trouble writing emails. But it probably would be an academic book on Instructional Technology.

What’s your coping mechanism when your spouse is on deadline?

Drinking. Seriously, just trying to give her space. She goes through difficult periods. I’ve been down the road with her for a long time so I guess I’m not very supportive of the “my career is over” mentality that overtakes her during EVERY book.  

What’s the biggest perk that comes from having a romance author for a spouse?

Her success has been great. It’s allowed us to travel and do some things that might not have been possible otherwise.

This continues to be a fun ride. I am so very proud of her.

Sigh, right? We told you you’d swoon. Check back all week as we celebrate those bravest of souls — the romance author spouse. You can see all of our spousal interviews here. And for more love stories, be sure to visit our Everything Romance page!

Tags: , , , ,