By Samantha Errico
Fashion designer Rachel Roy and daughter Ava Dash noticed that very few young adult novels featured Indian narratives. So they decided to write one themselves.
"We realized there have been so many retellings of Greek myths, so we decided that we wanted to be the first," Dash told Cheddar. "So we went through and found a story that really spoke to us."
"I asked her if she knew any Indian myths," Roy said of a telling interaction she had with her daughter, "and she said 'no, you haven't taught me any.'"
According to Roy, who is half-Indian, the book was also inspired by her father, who was born in Bangalore, India.
Eventually, the mother-daughter pair settled on "96 Words for Love," a story about young love and self-discovery. The coming-of-age myth follows a 17-year-old girl who "falls in love and forgets who she is," Dash said. The title, she added, refers to all 96 ways one can say the word "love" in Sanskrit.
Roy said that while she was developing the story, her then-teenage daughter was facing some of the same challenges as her fictional protagonist.
"What do I do next? Is it what my parents want me to do? Is it social media and what I see reflected in entertainment wants me to do?"
Above all, Roy said, she wants to empower her daughter to celebrate "what makes us beautiful both on the inside and on the outside."
For full interview click here.