Give Yourself Permission to Break These 3 Writing Rules: Guest post by Desiree from Reedsy

Hello everyone!

Today I have at my blog a special guest, Desiree Joy Villena who is a writer with Reedsy, a service for authors. She has written many posts about writing and publishing for Write To Done, The Write Life, Electric Literature, and many more sites in the publishing industry. She has a fantastic range of resources to impart and is helpful enough to share some of that knowledge here.

So here’s a guest post related to writing which many of you will find very, very useful. Over to Desiree and her topic for today that is:

Give Yourself Permission to Break These 3 Writing Rules:

Are you chipping away at a manuscript? Chances are, you’re already looking forward to hitting the period key for the final time and typing out a triumphant, all-caps “THE END”. But whether you’re plotting to take Kindle Direct Publishing by storm or wondering when to start putting out feelers for an agent, it’s important not to get too ahead of yourself. After all, you can’t get published until you’ve got an actual book in hand.

If you’re working on a book, you probably enjoy writing. But getting a manuscript over the finish line can still feel like a stressful, nerve-wracking process. With so many writing rules you’re supposed to follow, it’s hard not to find yourself freezing up on occasion. Can you even type out so much as a sentence without flouting some legendary writer’s oft-repeated advice?

Write for yourself… but keep an eye on the market.

Paint a picture with your words… but don’t make it purple.

Choose strong, precise verbs… unless they’re used in place of “said”.

With so many contradictory rules floating around, you might find yourself overthinking every word you type — making it impossible to finish (let alone publish) your book. Luckily, you don’t have to follow every piece of advice to craft a killer story. In fact, here are three writing rules you should feel free to break.

1. Write from an outline
Some authors swear by outlines. But if you’re not one of them, don’t feel like you have to fake it. If it goes against your natural bend towards spontaneity, you might end up forcing your plot down an unnatural direction, leaving you with stilted prose and cardboard characters.

Also, you might very well start from an outline, only find yourself diverging from it as you go from bare-bones idea to a fleshed-out story. Your characters, after all, will change as you write them. Feel free to explore the tantalizing new paths they’ll inevitably want to drag you down, even if you end up throwing your old outline in the dustbin.

2. Write every day
Everyone has off days, and it can be instructive to work through them. But if you consistently force yourself to write when you’re really, really not feeling it, you’ll likely exhaust yourself without even producing much usable prose. The last thing you want is for writing to feel like a chore. Sure, it’s work, but it should be joyful work.

The next time you find yourself well and truly stuck, give yourself permission to do something else. You don’t even have to step away from your manuscript entirely — after all, finishing a book involves so much more than just the actual writing. If drafting feels like pulling teeth, try spending the day talking yourself through a complicated plot point, or diving into some research for an upcoming scene. And most importantly, don’t make yourself feel guilty about it!
3. Write what you know
This one’s probably the most commonly cited writing rule of all, but that doesn’t mean you should live and die by it. At the very least, you can interpret it elastically.

Take it from Ursula K. Le Guin, the legendary writer of sci-fi and fantasy. Now known for her wildly original tales of spaceflight and wizardry, she once got the usual advice: write what you know. And what did Le Guin have to say about that? “I think it’s a very good rule and have always obeyed it. I write about imaginary countries, alien societies on other planets, dragons, wizards, the Napa Valley in 22002. I know these things. I know them better than anybody else possibly could, so it’s my duty to testify about them.”

So change that rule to, Don’t write what you know — write what you want to know. Or maybe just remind yourself that you know more than you think. Once you give your imagination permission to roam, you’ll be able to write your book in the spirit of joyful discovery.

*

A big thank you, Desiree, for this wonderful post which will surely benefit the writers. Most of the author community is riddled with uncertainties and hemmed in by the rules. While rules are important as they anchor the structure of writing, it is also important to know that rules should never interfere with creativity, but rather harness and guide it. Thanks for pointing this out in a lovely post.

Dear writers, have you found any rules related to writing which you feel are better cast off? Or a rule you found annoying, but had to grin and bear it? Do share in the comments! Would love to hear from you.

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.

 

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.

………..

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.

………

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.

…………….

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

……

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.
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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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#Guestpost by author Suresh Chandrasekaran

Author Suresh Chandrasekaran has written marketing management satire ‘A dog eat dog food world’. I asked him who was his inspiration as a humorist author. Read his answer in his own words.

….

The Maestro of Humor

If one is to leave joke-books out of the reckoning, there are very few humor writers in the history of English literature. Not to be wondered about, since humor is arguably the toughest genre to write. When you write tragedy or romance or action/adventure, it is possible for you not to hit bull’s eye with the writing and still be interesting. But, is a joke ever acceptable unless it provokes laughter?

Shakespeare has written his comedies; even Charles Dickens wrote the Pickwick papers; Jerome K Jerome wrote his funny ‘Three Men in a boat’; Mark Twain entertained with his humorous wild west tales and even the ‘Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s court’; Oscar Wilde wrote scintillating humor plays; Richard Gordon wrote his humorous doctor tales; but, for me and for a vast majority of humor readers, there is one man who stands head and shoulders above the crowd – Pelham Grenville Wodehouse.

P.G. Wodehouse is, arguably, the only humor writer who created worlds of his own and set story after story in those worlds and kept you enthralled. A world where the displeasure of aunts caused nephews to steal cow-creamers; the well-being of a pig stiffened the spine of a dreamy peer and caused him to unite loving hearts, despite his dread of his sister’s masterfulness; a devotion to golf measured the character of men and women; where a castle had impostors like others had ghosts and so on. In the hands of any lesser writer, these tales may have merely seemed silly but in the hands of P.G. Wodehouse…ah…in the hands of P.G. Wodehouse, it is the reader that is putty, carried along helplessly laughing and giggling as tale after tale ends in a resounding comic climax.

The wonder of his writing is that never once do you laugh with the guilty feeling of laughing AT someone. He makes you laugh indulgently at the antics of his characters, without once evoking in you a sense of judgmental superiority. AND the magic of his plotting! How could one man ever, in one lifetime, plot immaculately so many stories where the problem needing solution is comical and the solution comes in a comic climax? Bar P.G. Wodehouse, no-one has ever written EVERY story where the story idea itself is comical. Wilde had his ‘Importance of being Ernest’, and so others may have written a book or a play, but most humor writing has been a humorous rendering of a tale that may otherwise be told seriously as well. Or a humorous travelogue and/or humorous rendering of real life events, like Jerome K Jerome. Not so with Wodehouse. In that, I could probably rate him the only true humor fiction writer.

Lost in his humor, it is easy to lose sight of his absolute command over the English language. The perfection of his choice of words, his vast repertoire of quotes, which he misuses to great comic effect and his superb dialogues have to be read to be experienced.

If, indeed, there is one complete humor writer, it is the maestro of humor – P.G. Wodehouse!

…………

I agree wholeheartedly. P.G. Wodehouse is to humor what Agatha Christie is to whodunnits. As it happens, both are my favorites authors.

What about you? Which author is your favorite in humor writing? If you have read Suresh’s book A dog eat dog food world, what did you think of it? Read my review of the book here.

This post is a part of book tour for The Book Club.

 

 

A Dog Eat Dog-Food World 

by 

C. Suresh

A Fablery Publications 


 

Blurb 

A hilarious pseudo-history of marketing management, which explicitly denies resemblance to any actual history, and which will be horrified if some semblance be found. ‘A dog eat dog-food world’ is the story of a man who discovered that the path of life is strewn with treadmills and, if you get on one by mistake, you could keep running all your life to stay in the same place. The story of how just minding your own business can lead to unexpected consequences, guided by the ‘invisible hand’ of long dead economists. Anything you learn from the book – be it the basics of marketing management or a satirical view of Society – you do at your own risk.

The tale only dogs the doings of Spike Fortune who only sought to feed dogs and Jerry Fortune who, being fortuneless, gets dragged helter-skelter by his uncle Spike’s careening pursuit of commercial success; Spike’s rival Tom Rich, who is unwillingly dragged into upstaging Spike and tries to do it by teasing the palates of cats, helped by the bumbling efforts of his nephew, Jasper Rich who would rather be chasing girls than chasing cats.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Fiction has been an addiction but the need to make a living took Suresh through Chemical Engineering and a PGDM at IIM-Bangalore and, from thence, to a long 16 year stint in the area of finance with specific expertise in fertilizer subsidies and a further two years as consulting expert in the same area. That, in his words, about sums up the boring part of his life, except for the people he was privileged to meet.

Otherwise, he can be described as a mess of contradictions – a bookworm but avid trekker; alone but never lonely; enjoys solitude but loves company; lazy but a perfectionist, the litany is endless. Trekking, which side-tracked him from the writing for which he quit his job, is a major passion and he does, at least, one trek in the Himalayas every year in addition to numerous local treks.

He reignited his passion for writing with a fairly popular blog www.jambudweepam.blogspot.in. The blog has been rated among the Top 5 humour blogs in India, twice in succession – in 2014 and 2015 – by BlogAdda, and has also been listed third among the Top Humour Blogs by Baggout.

He also has a short story published in a collection “Uff Ye Emotions” and has edited and written a novelette in an ebook anthology “Sirens spell danger”

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Guest post by author Varsha Dixit #TheBookClub

It is often said (wrongly) that women don’t have much sense of humor. In fact, much of it gets lost because most women carry a lot on their minds. I think we are making mental lists most of the time. But laughter definitely needs a place in life, no matter how busy you are. At times when you lose your sense of humor, creative works can restore it to you. Romcoms are my favorite type of movies to relax with. Today I’ve asked author Varsha Dixit to talk about the role of humor in women’s fiction. Let’s hear her take on it. Please welcome Varsha Dixit, the author of Right Fit Wrong Shoe, Wrong Means Right End, Xcess Baggage and Only Wheat Not White. The last part of her ‘Right and Wrong’ love trilogy will be out in Summer 2016.

Over to Varsha

Humor in Women’s Fiction

When I think of funny women, I think of Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Mindy Kaling. Thankfully for an avid reader like myself, they also wrote books. Books rich in humor, observations and opinions! I would like to share with you some quotes from their books.

“Once a woman turns 40 she has to start dealing with two things: younger men telling her they are proud of her and older men letting her know they would have sex with her.” – Amy Poehler, Yes Please

“In most cases being a good boss means hiring talented people and then getting out of their way.” ― Tina Fey, Bossypants

“I just want ambitious teenagers to know it is totally fine to be quite, observant kids. Besides being a delight to your parents, you will find you have plenty of time later to catch up.” ― Mindy Kaling, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

What makes people laugh is wit and wit can only come from a person who is smart, observant and has struggled.  All that we women face growing up; lack of equal opportunities, lack of sexual freedom, born in families that makes decisions for us based on society’s expectations rather than our desires, lack of equal pay and the ultimate – the feeling of guilt when we like to work as much we like to have kids.

Tragedy I feel makes for great comedy especially when you look back at it, a drink in your hand sitting on a balcony overlooking something big and powerful as oceans or mountains.

Women writers have a large source to draw their inspiration and ironic reflections from  – each of their lives. A sexy woman is not frightening but a woman with brains and humor is deadlier than a live bomb for she will get your job and make it seem your fault.

Women writers don’t hold back on anything. They go after age, sex, job, men, children, society the world and even god. That’s what makes them so good at their job, they see the whole chessboard.

……

Thanks for sharing your views, Varsha.

I agree that humor comes from deep understanding. That is why jokes are often relevant with culture. These days, I’m very involved with humor through sarcasm. Sarcasm always carries humor in it, though it is snide in its way. I often use it with my students who are not doing the tasks, of course not the sharp type of sarcasm. But telling them I don’t like you and don’t want to see you around next year makes them laugh while taking the point that they might flunk if they don’t shape up. Though they get confused what to say when I ask them, do you like the class so much you want to stay here next session? It can’t be answered in a yes or no 🙂

Do you love to read humorous fiction? Which are your favorite reads? What do you think about humor in women’s fiction?

This post is part of blog tour for Varha’s book, Right Fit, Wrong Shoe.

 

Right Fit Wrong Shoe
by 
Varsha Dixit 
Blurb 
Right Fit Wrong Shoe, begins at a point where all love stories end. The tale weaves around Nandini and all that is important to her, with two contenders gunning for the top spot; Aditya Sarin and Sneha Verma.
Aditya Sarin, the man Nandini is madly in love with, yet compelled, for some unsolved reason to shun.  Aditya, on his part, in the past declared Nandini to be a ‘millennium bhehenji (conservative girl)’ and ‘lassi (yoghurt drink) in a wine glass’. Yet he fell for her  . . . hard! However, some mysterious episode caused the lovers to, acrimoniously, part.
Now, Aditya is back in Kanpur,  all his guns blazing (the real and the imagined), determined to devastate her life. Fortunately for the readers, and unfotunately for Aditya, Nandini is determined not to‘bite the dust’ oh so quietly. Wonder, in the battle royal, who wins or who loses it all?
Sneha Verma, the other contender, is Nandini’s BFF, that one friend who knows us better than we do. The one we trust more than Stayfree or Clearasil. Sneha maybe headstrong, hammer fisted and stern mouthed, but for Nandini, she will willingly stand in the path of imminent lightning bolt or a nasty tornado, even if it’s named Aditya Sarin. In standard X, Sneha took Nandini under her wing and that equation hasn’t changed much. Sneha, a recent wife and even more recent mom, appears to be fighting some unknown demons of her own.
Right Fit Wrong Shoe, observes and opinionates the society, affected and amused. It fleetingly touches on issues; fleeting as watching discourses (courtesy Astha Channel), is trendier and quicker, than reading them.
The book is an AAA (anytime, anywhere, anyone) read. It promises to make your day better, and a bad one not any worse.
Grab your copy 
amazon.in | amazon.com



About The Author 

 

Varsha Dixit, the best selling author of four successful contemporary romance books. Her debut book, Right Fit Wrong Shoe was a national bestseller for the year 2010. Varsha was a part of the Indian Television Industry and worked as an assistant director and online editor. She considers herself a dreamer who thinks deep but writes light. Even though creativity is gender free, Varsha feels blessed and enriched to be a woman. Currently, with her family, Varsha resides in CA, USA.

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