Author Interview: Divyata Rajaram

Hi folks, today I have with me author Divyata Rajaram, whose book If You Only Knew Me is just out. Let us get to know her through a question and answer session.

Do you think reading is a must for writing?

My Mantra really is Read More Write More. Reading fuels your imagination , adds to your vocabulary and  sparks a love for the written word!

What is the next book about?

Its an unusual love story between two people who are at opposite ends of the spectrum. Fate conspires to throw them together in the most unlikely of circumstances but not before some twists and turns in the plot that neither one of them could have ever seen coming.

What inspires you from reality to translate into fiction?

Everything inspires me but most of all it is people and the thin line between fantasy and reality.

What is your advice to new authors?

To be relentless in your pursuit of writing. Even if it is just a few pages in a diary every day or a few notes scribbled down . One day it does all come together and begin to make sense.

Why do you write?

I write because I have always seen myself as a story teller. Stories fascinate me , whether telling them or listening to them ever since childhood. Writing is a natural progression of my love for story telling.

Thank you, Divyata. Wish you success with the book.

Interview: Author Rubina Ramesh #TheBookClub

Hi everyone! A very Happy New Year! Hope it will bring us all luck, prosperity and success!

Today I have author Rubina Ramesh on the platform. Let us get to know her through a question and answer session.

Tell the story of Destined in your words.

Destined was a story that was born from an incident in my life. Without going into the details all I can say is that the woman is often standing at a fork road where she is given a choice between her family and that of her husband’s. And sometimes it might be her role as a mother standing on the path which she would have otherwise taken as a daughter. There is nothing right or nothing wrong about this – it’s just a momentary intense pain which is often swept under the carpet and remembered in private moments. Esha is a young girl faces with the challenge of taking care of her father who was suffering from cancer sans any financial support. She is engaged but her fiancé finds her father a hurdle in their future. So Esha has to decide which path she needs to take in order to live with dignity in the future.

Would you say Indian readers are now more inclined to read a romance than say ten years ago?

I think Indian readers are always ready for romance. It’s just that we never came out in the open about it. 50 shades of gray had a huge market in India – that definitely tells us something about us. 😀  I remember those days when we had to hide Mills and Boon and read. Not because of the society but because of my age. I was eight or ten. That means a previous generation had a huge collection of romance in the household. But slowly the damsel in distress was no longer appreciated by the Indian women. They wanted that fight back quality in their women, someone who would stand and fight our battles without swooning just by looking at the muscles of the men. This changed the quotient on which romances were based on and they started being called more of a drama rather than pure or adulterated romance.

How much do you keep your audience in your mind while writing?

Being a debut author has its own advantages – we don’t have an audience to cater to. Once we do gather that audience, there is a moment and an author has to think what they are catering to. I don’t think any author writes from their audience. They gather audience because they are writing a particular book.

Your favorite authors in genres other than romance.

I love paranormal thrillers. Stephen King in that. Thrillers would be Sidney Sheldon and my all time favorite of all genres is Nora Roberts. There was a time I would hog on Charles Dickens too. The pain and pathos he brings about in a single character, often a child, I am yet to see another author doing that.  The list is endless Summerita, as you would know, being a voracious reader yourself.

Is it Amazon or nothing for today’s indie authors?

Yes and no. I, for one, am very comfortable with Amazon. Being in the USA, my paperbacks are taken care of too by Amazon. But there are many author friends of mine who have chosen to spread wider with Barnes and Noble, Kobo and iTunes. The world is our oyster now – many don’t like those picket fences.  I suppose that is the greatest asset of an indie author – we love our independence. As you would know it too being a successful author yourself.

……..

Thank you, Rubina. It’s lovely to hear about your point of view. I am a fan of Nora Roberts myself, and also like the non stop flow of a Sidney Sheldon book. Many thanks for the compliment, I agree being an indie author has the biggest advantage that you can write what you love without being caged in by branding.

Readers can check out the book spotlight of Destined here.

 

 

Interview: Author Sudesna Ghosh #TheBookClub

Author Sudesna Ghosh has her book My Singapore Fling released recently. She’s on blog tour for her book. Let us get to know her through this question and answer session.

1) What made you choose Singapore for your book’s setting?

Singapore is my favourite travel destination near my home city of Kolkata. I love the cosmopolitan environment just a four hour flight away! And with Dipa on the search for foreign accents, it’s a great choice I think.

2) What inspires you to write romance?

I started my writing career with nonfiction and then realised that I love writing stories for children. Then suddenly, I found myself making friends with several romance authors. Conversations with these friends motivated me to try my hand at the romance genre. Plus, I love reading romance novels. My Singapore Fling has been receiving great reviews and I’ve even written a Christmas romance after that!

3) Name your favourite romance author?

Sarah Morgan is my favourite romance author. I fall in love with her heroes.

4) If you didn’t write romance, what other genre would suit your writing style

Writing for children suits me well. I am an overgrown child who refuses to grow  up, so creating cute stories is fun for me.

5) What’s next in your writing repertoire?

I’ve released 5 ebooks this year on Amazon Kindle. I am taking a break now. But the next will be another romance – set in my city of Kolkata.

#MeetanAuthor – Ravi Bedi #interview

Hi folks, please welcome today on my blog, Ravi Bedi. Ravi is an author published with Rupa Publications and currently venturing into self publishing. Let us get to know him through this question and answer session.

How did you become a writer, by chance or by choice? Tell us something about yourself.

I did Chemical Engineering from BHU in 1962, joined the Air Force more for the lure of its blue uniform than for any patriotic fervor, and retired blissfully in 1989 to live with my wife of fifty years at Par-three distance from my golf course in Jodhpur. I run a small hotel in town to put meat on the table, and enjoy all good things of life, including Laal Maans and Fish-fry.

Way back in 1965, I got an outrageous idea during a sea-side picnic and thought I could build a fascinating story on it. It took various twists and turns while remaining in my mind for twenty-five years until I retired from the Air Force. I took to painting with a vengeance. When my basement started filling up with a lot of trash (read paintings), I decided to browse through some of the leather-bound volumes, all classics, dating back to my grandfather’s time (1930s). Then I read some of the ‘best-sellers’ doing the rounds and seriously thought I could do better. That’s how my first novel “Lovers’ Rock” took shape in 2014.

There was no stopping after that. I love and enjoy writing stories even if there are no takers. I wouldn’t give up on account of receiving rejections. I can’t say whether it was chance or choice. Perhaps it was a combination of the two. I may not be a great writer (learned more abuses in school than English prose), but I can tell a good story.

Are you a genre writer? Why (or why not)? Which genre appeals to you the most?

I like to write romantic thrillers and crime stories with plenty of surprises to keep a reader guessing till the end. And also some human interest stories for diversion. I might try a HEA type story someday, but not in a great hurry.

What makes this book special to you?

“Lovers’ Rock” is my favorite for its unpredictability and stupendous twists and turns. I worked on it passionately for a good eight years before sending the 50th draft to Rupa Publications. My other books: “Seven Stories” and “Mail Order Bride” should not be disappointing either. The one coming up shortly in paperback—“Perfect Imperfect” should also keep a reader engaged till the last line.

A brief description of the book and its main characters.

“Lovers’ Rock” is a story of obsessive love that drives Mani Shanker, a fighter pilot, on an outrageous mission to get rich quick, only to discover that his ambitious and incredibly beautiful wife, Grace Wilson, has ditched him for good. She walks away from his life with all the ill-acquired money to join Mark Braganza, a suave and crafty resort owner, who takes her for a ride, squandering all the money.

Mani starts all over again as a painter and succeeds in his new avatar as John Abraham. During one of his shows he spots Grace and, in collision with his mentor, Mr Pestonji, decides to take revenge. Destiny, however, catches up with them in strange ways, culminating into disastrous results, even though Mark Breganza, the crafty man that he is, gets away unscathed.

What are your writing fads or quirks?

None, but it’s the marketing which gets on my nerves.

How do you find inspiration to write?

My answer to this will surprise you, but I’m being very honest about it. I’m inspired by a lot of trash I get to read, and believe I can tell better stories with solid plots. My principle aim is to surprise and entertain a reader with something fresh, in a language understood by all without the use of a dictionary. And yes, I’ve a fertile mind and wild imagination to build stories from strayl observations. For example, the idea for “Lovers’ Rock” came on an isolated beach totally cut off from human habitation. And “Perfect Imperfect” was born while waiting for my suitcase at the arrival lounge of an airport.

What’s your take on these writing dilemmas? (Please specify the reason for your choice)
(i)Fads or Quirks: First and foremost, the plot has to be original and believable. It should convince me before I go public.

ii) self-publish or traditional: Traditional publishing is more respectable for obvious reasons, but if the ‘traditionals’ do not find your stuff favorable, the alternative is better than endless waiting.

iii) Polished first draft or sloppy one? Polished, there’s no question about that.

iv) Deadline or family/friends time. There are no deadlines for me. I spend my time equally between family, music, golf, and writing. I don’t watch much TV. Instead of switching channels on the idiot box, I work on my plots in my mind before hitting the keyboard.

v) Writing a certain target every day or in floods and droughts. Setting up a fixed schedule doesn’t make sense to me. A creative mind has many diversions, and many choices. Writing a page could take more time than doing a painting…or composing a tune. Everything depends upon the mood.

8) Something about your interests and tastes.

i) Movies or sports?

I prefer to compose tunes on my Roland FP-50 digital piano or Korg synthesizer than watching movies or cricket.

ii) Bollywood or Hollywood?

Bollywood song-n-dance is a clear no-no for me…well almost, unless Deepika Padukone is gyrating on the screen. Hollywood is also not as interesting as it used to be…unless a Halle Berry is thrown in somewhere! Oh yes, I’d have loved to see Kangana Ranaut as Grace Wilson in “Lovers’ Rock”, Naseeruddin Shah as Mr Pestonji, and Saif Ali… wishful thinking?

iii) Chess or flying kites?

That reminds me of my younger days. I indulged a lot in both, but you couldn’t be seen flying kites at 77, for god’s sake. And writing stories is a lot more stimulating than chess.

iv) Reading fiction or newspaper?

Fiction, if done well. ‘Best-sellers’ only if there are no negative reviews.

v) Hot coffee or cold?

Cold. Beer preferred…or Vodka with juice.

vi) Fruits or junk food?

Laal Maans, please.

Thanks for being here, Ravi.

Here’s something about Ravi’s book, Lovers’ Rock

LR 001

Blurb:

Mani Shankar Varadharajan, is a flight Lieutenant who vanishes without a trace on one cold winter’s night. Was it a sinister plan framed with the help of his beautiful wife, Grace, or did his aircraft really crash? After a few years, Grace embarks on an unexpected journey to unravel the mysteries of the past and to find out what exactly happened to the Lieutenant. Will Grace be able to find out the truth or will this journey prove disastrous for her?

Amazon.com buy link:

http://www.amazon.in/dp/B015P6B214

 

#Interview on #TheWordBite blog

Here’s an excerpt from my interview with the word bite team.

Let’s Talk: with Summerita Rhayne, The Author of Hidden Passion

We are in conversation with Summerita Rhayne, The Author of Hidden Passion, where she talk about her new book and much more things.                    

Let’s talk!

Team WordBite (TWB): Tell us something about you which very few people know of.

Summerita: Thank you for having me here, Wordbite Team. To answer your question, very few people know that I have been published traditionally by a reputed romance publisher and have two books out under that banner.

TWB: Why should one read your book? Anything that you want to tell a potential reader that the blurb of your book doesn’t tell him?

Summerita: In addition to romance, my book offers an insight into the emotional growth of the characters. For instance, Rukmani is impetuous and slightly spoiled and has a hard time coming to terms with the fact that she cannot have her own way. However, she has strength to realize her shortcomings and takes that growth into her stride. At the same time she’s strong enough to stand by her passion for the Maharaja. The Maharaja, Devesh, is bound by his duties, but must discover that the path of duty must not exclude the path to personal happiness. I feel we Indians need to learn this as we have been brought up to live for others rather than pursue our own passions and dreams. Even in Bollywood, parental happiness is placed above personal happiness. The two things need not be exclusive. How can we take care of ourselves, while also following duty is one of the themes of this novella.

 

TWB: Any issue regarding Indian publishing or readership which you strongly feel about and why?

Summerita: Actually, there is something which has struck me forcibly. I’m closely associated with promotion of budding authors and especially budding Indian authors. I have noticed that people take the plunge into writing without bothering to learn the craft of writing. At a minimum, a good grasp of grammar and language and some knowledge of character building, story structure etc. is desirable. There are many books out there which are so littered with errors that the story is lost even if it may be a good one. It is not the responsibility of the publishing but the author nowadays to proofread as closely as they can. Publishers do offer the services but being so overcrowded by work, these may not be foolproof. Especially when we are talking about character building and story structure, a writer should learn at least the basics or it would be a waste of precious time to pound out the words.

TWB: Why did you choose to write something on this particular genre?

Summerita: History was a favourite subject for me even at school. I was always attracted to the intrigue and the scope to let the imagination loose, that is offered by history. I also wanted to try my hand at different genres of romance to know which is most suited to my writing style. So when a story sprang into mind, I took the plunge. Indian history is vast and varied and composed of myriad cultures. I researched to find the perfect period setting for my story and found it in the Early Medieval period that was just post-Gupta reign.

TWB: Who was your inspiration in this writing journey?

Summerita: All the women authors and author friends, who juggle job, family and writing because for them writing is a passion, have inspired me to take up and continue on this writing journey even when the going got tough.

TWB: Are you a writer by profession or by passion? What do you do other than reading and writing books?

Summerita: I’m a writer by both profession and passion now, though passion came earlier *smile* I’m a professor in my non writing life. I enjoy teaching as much as I enjoy writing.

TWB: Everyone wants to tell a story, but rarely do people start writing. Can you tell us how difficult it is to write the first book?

Summerita: Writing a book is quite tough. Sometimes one is blown away by an idea and can start a writing project with enthusiasm but after a chapter or two, the story grounds to an abrupt halt. This happens because one doesn’t know one’s characters properly. It’s better to do a rough draft for the initial chapters till you get the idea of what you want the characters to be like and what you think the story should be about. Then begin again keeping those things in view.

It’s very tough to keep writing. A rather creative expression I heard somewhere was that a jar of butt glue is essential to finish a writing project and that says it! One does need to be glued to the writing chair. Once a work is complete, it’s much easier to rewrite and revise it. From my experience I can tell you, not just the first book, every book is difficult to finish. It’s far easier to watch a movie or procrastinate on the Internet or chat with your friends. After all, nobody asked to take up writing. But if you want to be a writer, you have to stick to putting the words down. It’s necessary to arm yourself with a healthy dose of persistence.

TWB: Amidst all those positive replies and fan mails all throughout the days when your book was being appreciated, was there any bit of advice that you got from anyone, for your work, which you have emulated thereafter?

Summerita: I always read the reviews very carefully, at least I have till now. After weighing as impartially as I can what criticism can help me get better, I apply it. I used to write in a very terse, clipped manner but when a critic pointed it out, I have made the effort to be more detailed and descriptive while writing. However, it is a thin line to tread as too much description tends to be boring. So I have tried to be moderate about it.

TWB: Can you give us a little sneak peak of your upcoming books? What are you working on?

Summerita: Currently I am writing the prequel to Hidden Passion, that is Rukmani’s sister Lakshaya’s story. I meant to fix up another manuscript but having worked on one historical, I have found the setting very fascinating and am riveted with the second book. It is called The Eligible Princess. Lakshaya is quite different from Rukmani in character and this book follows her journey to find someone who can appreciate her for herself and doesn’t care about superficial looks.

Read the rest here