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The Ruby Iyer Series by Laxmi Hariharan: Guest Post and Giveaway!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Origins of RUBY IYER—Laxmi Hariharan

The rape of a journalist in Bombay in 2013 (following the rape of a young girl on the moving bus in Delhi in 2012) affected me for I too had been a young journalist in Bombay not very long ago. I wished for a strong female figure who would stand up for herself. As a young girl travelling on the local trains of Bombay city I was at the mercy of those men who groped me, felt me up on each trip... I was helpless. Ruby is not.

Ruby Iyer is the ANGRY YOUNG GIRL of today. The millennium belongs to her. She stands up for herself mentally, physically and emotionally. She does not need anyone to save her. She saves herself.

Ruby's choices are not always correct, yet we empathise with Ruby because she does not hesitate to follow her instincts whether it is to save another girl from being molested by the Hand who also assaulted her, saving the man who tries to commit suicide from the Bandra-Worli Sealink or teaming up with the cop Vikram Roy to save Bombay from the clutches of the devious Dr Braganza.

When I was writing the book, I was so absorbed in the story and in the character of Ruby that real life became an intrusion. I resented having to live my own boring life and go to work and do the things one does to live. I wanted to live in the world I was creating which felt infinitely more awesome! It was like living in two different worlds and very disorienting.

While writing, I always draw on intense emotions I have experienced ... which are caused by real life experiences of myself or of people I have met. But then I build on that, dramataise it. So often the characters are a mix of many people I know...

I suppose the one incident I did personally draw upon was being caught in a ladies compartment on the way home from work in Bombay, when I worked as a journalist. The compartment became unisex after 9 pm. So there I was caught between a heaving crowd of men. And I had to fight my way through the crowd... I emerged with every part of me having been felt up, clothes torn, but miraculously with my handbag still in hand. Not a pleasant experience for a young twenty year old to have. I guess I'll never forget the terror of the situation. I was helpless. Ruby is not.

I hope the book will appeal to anyone who has never lost that spark of anger inside... who wants to continue to live life on her own terms... Anyone who wants to know what it feels like to live and come of age in a confusing, dystopian city like Bombay. And ultimately for any young person  this is a great book to inspire them to fight back, to follow their heart, to live life spontaneously.

Excerpt from The Many Lives of Ruby Iyer (Book1, Ruby Iyer Series)
A streams of white sparks, spews out of  an open electricity wire dangles on the other side of the tracks. I've got to get the fuck out of here. Now!
"Help" I scream.
Not one of the rush hour Bombay commuters hears me. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Look at me. Help me somebody. I am here. HERE. I scream, my voice torn out of me, scatters over the crowds, mingles with their voices raised in excitement, in anticipation of catching the next train. No one sees me. None, except him. He stands there. Stares. Waiting. 
Stuck between the tracks and the platform, I don’t have a choice. Have to ask him for help. Ask him. Do it. I fling out my arm and he bends towards me, clutches my wrist. It’s him. The same Hand that fondled my thigh and threw me off the platform, earlier.  He claws my other palm off the platform, jerks me up, high, almost eye level with him. 
I hang there suspended, swaying. Heat from the oncoming train rushes at me. It's on me, almost at me. I shriek with terror. Mind babbling, thoughts tripping over each other, the blood thunders in my ears. It's over. All over. A trembling grips me. I shut my eyes tight.
"Don't go too far, little girl," ma's voice taunts. "You don't know what demons are out there."
Then, I'm flying through the dust. The Hand throwns me free of the track, out of the path of the train and towards the open electricity wire.


"Anger is an emotion best hidden." Dr Poonawala pulls me onto his lap. "When no one can see it, it doesn't exist." He kisses my cheek, his hand brushing my chest. "Once it peeks through, you have to show it in all its naked glory." What's South Bombay's most famous child psychologist doing here? I haven't seen him for years.
Ma handed me over to him when she couldn't deal with my tantrums anymore. But he can't be here. Now now. A dream. It must be a dream.
Dr Poonawala. PW. His solution to my tantrums?
As many physical training classes as possible from sword fighting to jiu-jitsu. It worked for a while. Kind of. So long as I keep hitting, no one would hit back I realised. Lesson learned.
He really was a good teacher, PW. He taught me how to hide what he was doing to me from the world. Taught me early to hide from myself. To cover myself up. Not tell anyone. They'd laugh at me. Hate me if they found out, he warned. They won't believe me anyway, he said. He was right about that. Ma had refused to believe me. 
I was lying, she said, when I told her what he was doing to me. Told me I was jealous of the time she spent with my brother. Making it up to get her attention.
Is that true?
I wished my brother dead. Prayed for it. And then he was. Dead. My mistake.
It's my fault for letting PW have his way with me.
I slapped the Hand and he pushed me off the platform. Yes, I made him do that.
Ma? I've seen death. Will you finally notice me now?

About The Many Lives of Ruby Iyer
To become herself she has to turn her back on everything she ever knew 

If you’re looking for books like Hunger Games, then this dystopia thriller, The Many Lives of Ruby Iyer is it.

When her best friend is kidnapped, Ruby will stop at nothing to rescue him. 

Criminals run the streets of Bombay. Jam-packed with the worst degenerates. The city is a shell of the pride and joy it used to be. 

Ruby knows something must be done, but it isn’t until her best friend is kidnapped by the despotic Dr Braganza that she knows that she and she alone must save city, save her best friend, save the world from total destruction. 

Armed only with Vikram, a cop-turned-rogue they are about to embark on a road they may never return from. 

If you’re looking for fast-paced books like Hunger Games or dystopia fiction like Angelfall, the Ruby Iyer series is perfect for you. 

From the bestselling dystopian fiction author with over 200 reviews and ratings of her dystopia books across Goodreads, Amazon and other retailers. If you love books like Divergent, this is for you. 

"Laxmi is a storyteller who knows how to build worlds populated with endearingly down to earth bravehearts." - Inma Martinez, world leading digital media strategist. 

"...A dystopian young adult novel that presents so much more than a singular, easy path." - D. Donovan, (Midwest Book Reviews) 

2015 Readers' Favorite, Bronze Medal Winner in the Young Adult - Action category. YOUNG ADULT FINALIST at 2015 IAN Book of the Year Awards. FINALIST, 9th Annual Indie Excellence Awards 

About Laxmi Hariharan
She had an awesome time launching TV channels for MTV and NBCUniveral (Syfy) around the world, when a near death experience convinced Laxmi Hariharan that she had to get writing. NOW. A one time journalist with The Independent, she is now the author of the multi award winning fantasy adventure, The Ruby Iyer Series.
She also blogs for the Huffington post, has written for The Guardian and has been featured in publications including The Economic Times, The Times of India and Verve.
Married to a filmmaker and fellow author, her life often resembles a dramedy of errors film script. Born in Bombay she now lives in London, where she writes while listening to electronica and is an avid street art photographer. She is also the proud owner of a mononym Twitter handle @laxmi

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Suggested reading order in The Ruby Iyer Series (Each is a standalone book)
The Ruby Iyer Diaries
Many Lives (of Ruby Iyer)
First Life (of Vikram Roy)
Early Life, coming soon
Second Lives, coming soon
Secret Life, coming soon

Stories set in the Ruby Iyer universe
UnTamed : Leana the Wolf Girl (Part of the UnCommon Bodies Anthology)

 Here’s a festive giveaway to win $10 gift card a Rafflecopter giveaway

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ


  1. Wow, this sounds like a really intense read. Thanks for sharing this. I'll have to add it to my TBR. I like how the author has some experience with the type of situation and was able to really feel what she was writing about.