Guest post by Sunanda Chatterjee #TheBookClub

Today I have on my blog author Sunanda Chatterjee who’s on the blog tour of her book Sins of the Father. Here’s my question for Sunanda and her answer for the guest post for the tour.

How do you choose the setting for your book? What inspires you to make it the background for your story?

The settings of my books vary with my mood. Having lived in India and USA, most of my books feature both countries. Southern California is featured in many of my stories. But when I visit a new place, sometimes I decide to include it in my books. In Shadowed Promise, the story starts during the riots in Bombay in 1993, when I happened to be in Bombay for an exam. In Fighting for Tara, the setting is in Rajasthan (I visited years ago) and Northern California where my sister lives. The Blue House of Bishop is based in the Sierra Nevada mountains in California where I vacationed a few springs ago, and in Bhilai, India, where I grew up.

My current series is based in a fictional exclusive neighbourhood in Southern California and parts of Nashik in India where I worked for a while and where my cousin lives.

I decide the timeline based on the story. Shadowed Promise started in the 1990’s because riots had an important part to play. It traversed the 9/11 terrorist attacks and were featured in the story. Most other stories are contemporary.

What inspires me to make it a background of my story? Sometimes the story demands it, as I explained above. At other times, it might simply be a lovely sunset, or a cute bakery, or a college campus or just a picturesque street I see that sparks a scene in my mind. I’m sure other authors do the same.

……….

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Sunanda. I agree a picturesque scene lends itself readily to interpretation in the story. When we use setting in an impressive and blending way with the story, it enhances the plot and becomes a part of the narration. Wish you the best for your book.

 

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Guest post by author Rubina Ramesh #TheBookClub

Hi all, today I have on my blog, author Rubina Ramesh. She’s on the book blog tour of her latest romance novella, Destined. Let us get to know more about her through this guest post.

Hi Rubina, it’s lovely to chat with you here. My question is: This is your second romance novella. You have also written short stories. How does it feel to be a multi-genre writer?

Over to Rubina.

Dear Summerita,

Thanks for having me on your blog. Honored. A multi-genre author. Sounds so grand! Yet when I sit down to write – genre is the last thing on my mind. I love telling tales so when and how they come I pour it out. Knitted Tales was not written at a particular period of time. It took me years to string those stories. So every story has a mood pertaining to the space I was in.

I am influenced greatly by multi-genre writers too. The name that comes to mind first and foremost is Nora Roberts. Whether her Romance or her Fantasies or be it her Thriller, every one of them has her signature and yet she has readers waiting for her next. So I don’t think we should be tied to any genre, any word count. That is the beauty of being an indie author too. We have the whole world out there to explore. Just because one particular genre is selling more – I don’t have to write it. There are readers out there who are waiting to read every genre. Forget being a writer – I am a multi-genre reader too. Give me a YA fantasy to a horror to an erotica – I can read all books. From a Murakami to a Nancy Drew – I think every genre caters to one particular emotion. My Murakami soothes the soul, Nora Roberts brings out the fire in me while Enid Blyton leaves a whiff of innocence. So curbing my writing to one particular genre will be such wastage of time and talent – when we can have it all.

………….

Thanks for your descriptive response, Rubina. I agree that books are of many and multi fascinating genres and if you can be flexible, don’t let thoughts of genre constriction hold you back.

Lovely to have you here. All the best for your book!

Guest post by author Sudesna Ghosh #TheBookClub

Hi everyone! Today, I have the pleasure of the company of author Sudesna Ghosh. She’s on book blog tour of My Singapore Fling and stopping by to share something about her book. What an intriguing title, Sudesna! Congrats on the book release.

You can check out the book spotlight for My Singapore Fling here: summeritarhayne.com/2017/12/26/spotlight-my-singapore-fling-by-sudesna-ghosh-thebookclub/

Here’s my question for Sudesna:

The name of your book is My Singapore Fling. Do you feel today’s generation is more poised for flings rather than commitment?

Over to Sudesna:

I grew up planning to be married in my late twenties and believing in love and marriage and all that stuff. But then I got older and realised that most marriages aren’t the way that movies and books make us believe they should be. I blame Shah Rukh Khan (I love him) for giving me such high expectations. Haha.

I’ve always been a keen observer of people and relationships, and have found myself wondering what love and marriage and relationships mean to me and to others around me. The truth is, times have changes and society has changed, so people have changed expectations and behavior now. In our parents and grandparents’ time, marriage was not a choice – it was a must do – and by a certain age too. Arranged marriages were you hardly or never saw your future spouse were more of the norm. Divorce rates were lower. Why? Because a partner chosen by your family was chosen for your own good, and for the rest of your life. So love could come later and kids too, and problems of course, but ending things wasn’t an option.

We, especially women, have become more independent. I don’t mean just in terms of earning money, but independent in terms of our thought process. Nowadays, a man choosing a woman isn’t how it’s done; instead, a woman and a man choose each other. Older generations call us picky. I say that we have evolved to think for ourselves now.

In such a scenario, flings are more common. As it was mentioned in Dear Zindagi. the movie, we like to try different options until we ‘settle’. Be it multiple relationships or flings, or a mix of both, they are a given now. People are more ready to accept this and not have expectations of a ‘pure’ ‘virgin’ wife when they choose their long term partner.

Like Dipa, I did stop believing in love and relationships at the point that I wrote My Singapore Fling. Also, like Dipa, I started believing in love again. A fling or two can be a healthy gap from relationships. Maybe like a wakeup call about what you really want.

But I suspect that this generation, like the previous ones, wants to believe in love.

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Thank you for your balanced reply, Sudesna. It is true that love is irresistible and so is romance, be it any generation or even age. It was great having you here. All the best for your book!

Guestpost by Olivier Lafont, author of Snowbound #TheBookClub

Please welcome Olivier Lafont at this blog. Olivier Lafont is the author of SnowBound, a Christmas related suspense book. Let us ask him to share his thoughts on Christmas and Snowbound with us.

Me: What do you like about Christmas? Did it inspire you in writing this book?

Olivier Lafont: Christmas was certainly an inspiration for ‘Snowbound’. I grew up with all the beautiful particularities of a French Christmas, and later Christmas in India and then in America. My favourite thing about Christmas is the unique glamour it casts. There’s something about that time of year, the wintry lustre that suffuses the air, the dazzling brilliance of the lights, the exuberance of the decorations… Everyone has this really wonderful feeling of peace, harmony, community, that intensifies just at Christmas time.

There is an actual magic to Christmas, that everyone feels, a feeling of hope. Historically, mythologically, winter was synonymous with death, and because of the cold and the stillness of the season, with depression. In the northern hemisphere, especially, Christmas is also a beacon against that seasonal depression. For me this was a major reason to set ‘Snowbound’ around this holiday. The premise of ‘Snowbound’ threatens to annihilate what Christmas represents, so it’s a thematically poignant idea.

In terms of building a plot to express this thematic conflict it was an interesting idea to consider Santa Claus as a kind of dynastic role. Everyone knows who Santa Claus is and what he represents. It was fun to see, in creating my fictional version of Santa Claus, how to structure and balance out the mythical and the human elements.

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Truly there’s magic around Christmas, I agree and I’m intrigued by your concept of the thematic conflict. For readers of this post, if you want to check out Snowbound, take a look at the spotlight posted on this blog.

https://summeritarhayne.com/2017/09/26/spotlight-snowbound-by-olivier-lafont-thebookclub/

So keep reading and share what you like about what you’ve read.

Ciao!

Do you believe in vampires? Guest post by author Maya Tyler

Today I have on my blog, Maya Tyler, paranormal romance author. She’s here to share the truth about researching vampires.

Over to Maya.

………………………

Do you believe in vampires?

Good fiction is believable, introducing the possibility of truth to the reader. How to create believable fiction? An author can use history to authenticate a fictional story. What if there is no basis in reality? My paranormal world—filled with angels, vampires, wizards—is not real and cannot be based on fact. What, other than fact, can be used to persuade a reader to believe?

Vampires are (most likely) fictitious, yet an astounding amount of information exists out there—scores of books, TV shows and movies, and websites—each source with their unique take on this fascinating creature. The sources vary—from true believer to complete skeptic—and are often contradictory. How can a vampire both burn, and walk, in the sunlight? As I looked deeper, I uncovered a compelling world rivalling even our own reality. Still, I faced the dilemma of selecting which combination of traits would make up my vampire—

Marisa’s mind raced… “This is unbelievable.”

“What?” Corgan smirked. “The little you actually know about vampires?”

“For your information, I can tell the difference between truth and the Hollywood version.”

Corgan looked at her with a raised eyebrow.

“I can,” she insisted. “No coffins, blood with healing properties, flying, super speed, super strength, immortal, mind-reading, fortune-telling, death by sun…”

— From A Vampire’s Tale

—and determining the customs, rituals, and laws of this ancient culture.

Research, imagination, and a bit of common sense led to the creation of my vampire, Corgan Halton. I approached the process conservatively, not wishing to re-invent the wheel or introduce new “unbelievable” elements, but to present a clearly defined and realistic being that inspired readers to ask “what if?” And, with that question, to take a leap of faith. Are vampires real? Believe in the impossible.

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Thanks, Maya. Believe in the impossible, indeed. Where paranormal is concerned, possibilities are endless. I’m sure readers are anxious to know something about the book. So here goes.

A Vampire’s Tale

The best laid plans…

Marisa Clements was never satisfied writing the ‘gossip column’ in the local paper and she quit her job to follow her dream of writing fiction. Floundering in an unforgiving industry, she wrote about vampires, a popular subject she considered fascinating but as real as unicorns, to pay the rent. 

Corgan was tired of human misconceptions about vampires and ‘living’ as a vampire. He planned to tell Marisa his story and end his existence. It was no coincidence Corgan selected Marisa to write his story. With the ability to see the future, he knew she would be a major part of it. He knew if they met, she would help him die, but in doing so, she’d be doomed to the same fate. Once they met, their futures would be irrevocably intertwined. 

Corgan began to care for Marisa and finally revealed the truth to her. He admitted his quest to atone for his past sins had put her in grave danger from a nest of revenge seeking vampires. Corgan must claim her for her own protection. But claiming her is not enough, he must ask for help from his wizard friends and his maker in order to destroy his enemy or Marisa will never be safe. 

Available now:

Amazon | Smashwords | Apple | Kobo | Nook

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About the author:

Maya Tyler is a romance author, blogger, wife, and mother. She has a degree in Commerce, but writing is her true passion. Her short story “Just for Tonight” is included in an anthology called With Love from Val and Tyne and her debut paranormal romance novella was Dream Hunter, published in December 2014. Her second paranormal romance novel A Vampire’s Tale released on March 22, 2017. She writes paranormal romance with a twist and all her books have a common theme – happily ever after.

You can find Maya on the web at the following locations:

Twitter | Facebook | Website | Blog

Guest post: Vandana Shanker, author of 1857 Dust of Ages #TheBookClub

Please welcome Vandana Shanker, author of 1857 Dust of Ages. Vandana is here to share her views on research for historical fiction.

Take it away, Vandana.

Question: How difficult was it to manage the research? Did you innovate to fill up the gaps or stick to facts throughout?

As I wrote and researched for my book 1857 Dust of Ages, I learnt that writing historical fiction is different ball game altogether. And I had no idea, no formal training and I had plunged straight into it. On the way, I learnt a lot of things. I would try to put them together in Rules of writing Historical Fiction.

  1. Read a lot of stories. They could be fictional or non-fictional but they would create images of the era in your mind. When researching for my book, one book that stands in mind is William Dalrymple’s ‘The White Mughals.’  That had the germ of the story – an interracial romance. The rest of it came from various other fictional works, diaries and stories that I had read and heard over the years.
  2. Take notes. Lots of them and let there be gaps. They don’t have to be accurate. The notes would give you the larger picture whereas the gaps are the places where your story would evolve.
  3.  Study old pictures and paintings. This is essential for evocative writing- words that evoke the senses. Since there aren’t many photographs of 1857, I turned to paintings of the British in India and Mughal era miniatures. I have integrated many of these paintings in my story – as clues to the past that Shiv and Ruth unearth Pictures give the details that writing often misses out.
  4. Go to the location. For me it was the Hop on, Hop off around Delhi. Being a Delhitte, I could capture the bustle of the city, but to see it from the point of view of an nineteenth century character required more. As I went around, I learnt so much more about Delhi. For the last scene of the series, I visited Roshanarabagh and QudisiaBagh. Despite living in the city all my life, I had never been there ever before.
  5. Use the Internet. That goes without saying. I read a lot of old diaries and letters because they were so important in the nineteenth century. Most of the archival access was through the Internet. The events of 1857, the little things like rumours and gossip, minor skirmishes, bigger battles – Google is where I found most of the information
  6. Find a balance. You are not writing history. It is fiction and it is meant for the contemporary readers. I spent a lot of time recreating the diaries and letters in the language that would not put off the readers. Some places I have taken some liberties with the facts though I did stick to the broader details.
  7. Start writing. There is a time to stop the research and start writing because research is so seductive. As one delves deeper, it becomes a distraction especially in the day and age of the Internet. But we aren’t here for a history lesson. So as you do research, keep write simultaneously. That is the real job. Once you have the picture in mind, close your eyes and imagine and then get down to recreate it in your words

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Thank you, Vandana. It was enlightening to hear your views. As an author of historical fiction, I agree that it won’t do to turn your research into a history lesson, and holding a deep interest in history as I do, I know it’s all too easy to get immersed in delving the details of the bygone eras. Indian history is so rich and engrossing a subject that one cannot help it. At the same time, it’s really important to get research done accurately to give an authentic feel to the era. I myself love the 500ADs and write about Maharajas and princesses, but I look forward to reading about the Rule in your book. It was lovely having you here.

 

Guest post by Sujit Banerjee, author of Rukhsat – The Departure

Today I have on my blog, Sujit Banerjee, author of novel, Rukhsat The Departure.

He is sharing with us his thoughts on the topic: How did you begin your writing journey?

Over to Sujit.

……..

It all started with poems, first in Hindi and later in English. My parents specially my father egged me on and my first short story was published in a newspaper magazine. They made such a hash of it, I swore off short stories. Around graduation time I stopped writing and the dry spell lasted over ten years. I returned to my poems first and then rough notes on short stories. In real terms I started writing and working on my short stories as late as 2012 and over the years they formed into the book you are reading!

Thanks for the chat, Sujit.

Here’s something about his book.

 

RUKHSAT THE DEPARTURE 
BY 
SUJIT BANERJEE
Blurb 
Where a story stops, another one begins. The thing with them is, they never walk alone. They always walk with a group of friends. Each reaches its own climax. Then with a final gasp of mortality and despair, fade away. No, they never die, they multiply. To the extent that the original gets lost and new ones are born. Over and over again. Yes, they get lost. No, they never die. They live on, permanently etched in the book of time. And from there, we borrow them and bring them alive. Again. And again. Here are twenty six of them, some standing alone and some chatting up with their long lost friends. When they depart, they leave a lingering fragrance of nostalgia and curiosity. What happened then?
Twenty-six alphabets, twenty-six names, and twenty-six short stories. Each exploring one unique emotion, taking you into the dark recess of the mind. Some frothy and most of them dark. Most standing alone and some facing a mirror, where the same story comes alive in two different ways, through two different protagonist . Meet myriad characters – from the single-minded prostitute to the man on the railways station bereft of any memory; a woman desperate for a biological child to a dead man’s trial. Meet a jealous lover with a twisted brain and a gay man’s memory of a one-night encounter. Meet twenty-six such characters arrested and sentenced for life inside the pages of a book. Each one leaving an indelible mark on your soul.
Buy @
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Meet the Cast 

Abhimanyu – In the Beginning
 
I felt the poison of anger raging around me, inside me, pulsating like an entity; anger at the one who betrayed and the one who took advantage of this betrayal. The anger of not being able to stop both. Then the flash of knife and the flowing blood, shimmering in the flames of the torches inside the chamber. Screams followed by hushed voices; bodies being dragged down a flight of stairs. The sound of digging and burying. Later, ruins all around as empires fell and one intrigue chased another through time while swords sliced and arrows whiz past, seeking hearts. Who was I and what was all this about? Why were most of the images that flitted through my head always dark and tinged with red? Rarely, very rarely were they warm and loving. So rarely were they, ever like the sun shining on a cold and shivering memory. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

 

 

 

 

Born to Bengali parents in Lucknow, I grew up in Patna where I finished my post-graduation in Psychology and ended up becoming a tour operator instead of a Psychologist! Which was good since a Bengali born in UP and reared in Bihar does not make a great Psychologist! Am I now glad to be in tourism? It has taken me all over the world including places you would have never heard of. Eh? How about Tlacotalpan? It’s in Mexico.

Destiny had other plans as well so I became a reluctant healer. A crazy Shaman in Mexico set the ball rolling and it has rolled all the way to Delhi. Today I both heal as well as read Tarot cards. My wife thinks I am mad. My friends think I am weird. I guess I am both.

 

 

 

My first story was published in a magazine when I was seventeen. The Editor made such a hash of it that I stopped sending out my stories but I continued writing. Then I broke my heart and started writing poems; first in Hindi and then in English. All personal collection. They still remain personal. I do shudder when I read some of them! Then the short stories came back and written over two years – now is a collection.

 

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