Interview: Author Sunanda Chatterjee #TheBookClub

Hi folks,

Let us get to know author Sunanda Chatterjee today. She’s on my blog, answering questions about her writing and her book, Sins of the Father.

When did you decide to become a writer?

I have been writing stories from a young age. In fact, I recently discovered a story I had begun to write in my diary as a fifth-grader and had a great laugh about it with my daughter. I wanted to write and paint. That’s all. But growing up in a small town based on the Steel Plant, everyone in my neighbourhood was an engineer or a doctor and the social and family pressure to conform was immense. So I became a doctor, joined the Indian Air Force for five years, then did my PhD (6 years) and my Pathology residency (four years). I was always busy with academics and work, and only when I started working as a pathologist did I decide it was time to take the plunge, so to speak. My first novel took me ten years from start to publication, with many hurdles along the way. Since then I’ve published 3-4 books a year and hope to keep going despite my full-time job.

Which is your favourite genre to read?

My favourite genres to read are women’s fiction and thrillers. Romance is not my favourite genre to read, but I do read a lot so I know the tropes. I think switching up genres as well as indie and traditionally published books keep me interested at all times. When I’m not in a mood to read my usual genres, I read short stories or non-fiction. I recently read a book called ‘Economics for Dummies’ and enjoyed it a lot. Sometimes I pick up a book my daughter’s High School English class is studying. I also read a lot about writing itself. My nightstand is full of books about creative writing. When I’m tired of it all, I re-read Harry Potters. Yes, I’m a Potter fan through and through.

Do you believe authors should read extensively? Why?

 I am biased on this topic because I believe everyone should read extensively. Simply put, whether you’re reading fiction or non-fiction, it opens your mind. This applies to authors in particular. There are so many benefits that I cannot begin to list them. You learn new vocabulary, syntax, grammar, literary devices, tropes, effective use of voice, points of view, locales, local lingo and traditions and cultures. In fact, not only should authors read in their own genre, they should read in other related or unrelated genres to constantly expand their boundaries. That’s how niche and subgenres take root.

 Tell us something about your book? Any forthcoming book releases?

Wellington Estates is my first series. I expect there to be five books in the series, each being a stand-alone saga. All the stories are based on characters with connections to an exclusive community in the foothills of San Gabriel mountains in Southern California. They are privileged and wealthy, and of course, they fall in love with people who are deemed unacceptable in their social circles, for money, race or profession. Each family has secrets, vices, and pasts that prevent the members from leading fulfilling lives.

 These stories are not straight-out romance, although the romantic element is strong in each novel and it drives the story. But other characters also get the spotlight and parts of the stories are told from the parents’ or friends’ point of view. I like to call this genre as romantic saga, bridging romance and women’s fiction.

 Book 1, Sins of the Father deals with Harrison, a cop, who is the ex-heir of a Wellington Estate. He falls in love with Laura, a budding therapist and the daughter of a thief. Unacceptable all around. Laura’s friendship with Juhi is highlighted in this book.

 Book 2, Old Money deals with Connor, who shuns his Wellington Estates wealth to become a photographer. He falls in love with fashion designer Juhi who comes from a middle-class family with ties to his own and with secrets that prevent them from being together. Connor’s sister Danielle is introduced here.

 My upcoming release is book 3, The Trouble with Love. This is the story of Danielle who has grown up without want and falls in love with a poor athlete. But instead of her family rejecting him, it turns out that he rejects her for lack of purpose and direction. Danielle travels to India to find purpose. Danielle’s friend Lily is introduced in this book.

 I am writing Book 4, The Wish to Belong, will highlight Lily’s story with Arjun, the heir to a vineyard estate.

 Next will be Book 5 (as yet unnamed) will be about Arjun’s sister, who is married to an Indian Air Force Officer but circumstances lead her to Wellington Estates where she finds love again.

Thank you, Sunanda. It was great having you here and getting to know about all your books. Wish you success with Sins of the Father and more.

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.

Interview: Rubina Ramesh, author of Knitted Tales #TheBookClub

Today I have on my blog Rubina Ramesh, blogger, supporter of the written word and author of anthology, Knitted Tales.Let’s get to know her through a question and answer session.

  1. How did you become a writer, by chance or by choice?

Thank you Summerita. You are one of my inspirations. So I am totally thrilled to be on your blog today.

I am a writer by chance. I had first started writing at the age of 8. My short stories were published in a local magazine in Patna. But then Life happened and everything went for a toss. After a wave of few tragedies I realized one thing – much to the annoyance of my other family members, crying is not my cup of tea. I take out all my emotions in writing. None of my family members could understand why I was furiously scribbling away when I was supposed to show some emotion at least. I suppose very few people understand the amount of emotions we do pour out on our paper. So ya, chance it is.

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

No, I am not a genre writer at all. I wish I was. That would give me a nice cushion of an audience who would be waiting for my next release. My Knitted Tales is a collection of psychological to horror tales while my Finding the Angel is an out and out Mills and Book kind of Romance. My next one is tentatively called Maya and is dark romance/ thriller while the next Rising from the Ashes is a mythology. I love all kinds of books. From children’s books to adult romance, I just love books. Period.  Except MBA books. Cannot touch another one.

  1. What makes this book special to you?

Knitted Tales is raw emotions. Written in a group of aspiring authors Wrimo India. The vibes and the criticism that I got during that time, has made me face any reviewer today without batting an eyelid. Hahahah. But yes, this book will always be special to me.

  1. A brief description of the book and its main characters.

The main characters of an anthology 😀 No Summerita, you cannot do this to me! hahaha. But if I have to answer this then I can honestly say my emotions. The day I wrote Chiclet, I had faced a problem in my daughter’s school. Not of that magnitude but it had made my overactive imagination go wild. The Hidden Staircase is an apology to my grandpa for not being there for him when he needed me most. Lolita – that is totally imaginative – so no getting ideas, please. 😀

  1. What are your writing fads or quirks?

Writing fad, if you promise not to laugh, are collecting pens. I have recently come out of the habit of writing on paper and then typing. That brings me to my quirk. I HATE typing. I am now making a conscious effort to type. If you know me well, you will my Facebook statuses sometimes full of errors. I use Dragon speech most of the time, and often slip into my desi accent 😛 The problem starts then.

6.What’s your take on these writing dilemmas? (Please specify the reason for your choice)

i) plotter or pantser: Panster – plotting takes away the fun. What is life if we live by rules. I never do. (nothing illegal please) So why should my characters follow rules?

 

ii) self-publish or traditional: Both. I love the independence self-publishing provides and the recognition traditional provides. The quotient is changing, but we still have a long way to go.

iii) Polished first draft or sloppy one? I cannot have anyone read my sloppy first draft. It will be a professional harakiri (for me).

iv) Deadline or family/friends time: Family – Deadline – Friends. Being the mother of two kids does not give me the luxury of giving priority to the deadline. My friends, on the other hand, are my strength. Those who understand my silence – and never complain, how can I not love them?

v) Writing a certain target every day or in floods and droughts: I aim for 200 words every day. I often end up with droughts. But this is something I am working on nowadays. Every electronic device of mine has word installed. So where ever and whenever I am getting the time, I start writing.

………………………..

Thank you, Rubina. It was fun interviewing you. Honored to be called as your inspiration, but truth be told, you’re an inspiration yourself. Wish you the very best for this book and all the forthcoming ones!

Catch the review and spotlight of Knitted Tales here.

Book buy link:

Amazon.com

Amazon.in

#AuthorInterview Amit Sharma, author of False Ceilings #TheBookClub

Please welcome author Amit Sharma on my blog. His book False Ceilings is out now. Let us get to know more about Amit and his work through a question and answer session.

How did you become a writer, by chance or by choice?

It was a conscious decision. I have been blogging for a few years and the success of my blog made me wonder if I should try writing a full-length novel. I wasn’t very confident but loved the process when I picked up the project. The reviews by friends were encouraging and that is when I realized that it might just be possible to get published.


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

I am not. While I was writing it, I had no idea what the genre of my first book was. I didn’t want to promote it as a Family saga because you won’t realize it’s about a family till you are halfway through. Till now, I have no idea what the genre of my second book is. But I guess, it’s important to categorize your book to sell it. That is how the world works.

What makes this book special to you?

The fact that I was able to finish it and get it published makes it special. I know I will not feel this way with my second or third book. It’s a special feeling that only your first book can provide. Secondly, the story is very close to my heart. It’s based on true events and a lot of my own angst and frustrations went into creating the characters and how they feel about the world in general. There is a lot of me in the characters.

 A brief description of the book and its main characters.

The story begins with Shakuntala, who is born in the lush mountains of Dalhousie in 1930 to a wealthy builder. As India inches towards her independence, Shakuntala’s world starts crumbling. It is an enormous owl sitting on Shakuntala’s bed that brings evil news and changes her life. On her wedding night in 1946, she is gifted a secret to use wisely when the time comes.

The story moves non-linearly from the green valleys of Dalhousie to a village in Punjab reeling under the communal violence of 1947; from the Delhi of 1950s with its intoxicating smell of freedom to the Delhi of 1970s soaked in the hippie culture; from the Delhi of 1984 smelling of burnt tyres to the Delhi of 1990s raising the Frankenstein of urbanization.

The six protagonists – Shakuntala, Aaryan, Manohar, Vinod, Meena and Lipi – are bound by the cancerous secret for 130 years. It is accidentally passed down, hidden under insecurities and jealousies, locked in its meaninglessness and leaving a trail of ruin.

The story is based on true events. The relationships between the protagonists are real. A few events are fictional and the story is much more about the revelation of the secret in the end. For me it was about getting under the skin of this dysfunctional family, to present them as I saw them in real life, to make their actions and thoughts believable and human.


What are your writing fads or quirks?

 I can’t write in picturesque places. I can either stare at nature or write. I don’t know how writers do both. I need a closed room when I write.
 What’s your take on these writing dilemmas? (Please specify the reason for your choice)

Plotter or pantser?

Plotter definitely. I need the storyline including the beginning and end, the chapter outline and my research work completed before I can even think of writing the first page of my book.

Self-published or traditional?

Traditional. I am not comfortable with the idea of self-publishing but I am not completely averse to it.

Polished first draft or sloppy one?

Sloppy. First draft can never be a polished one for me. I have to go through multiple iterations for it to look acceptable.

Deadline or family/friends time?

No Deadlines for me. I can’t work with deadlines while writing. They are only a part of my day job.

Writing a certain target every day or in floods and droughts?

Floods and Droughts. I usually write over weekend as I am too busy throughout the weekdays. Again, setting a target puts me off writing.

Here’s more about the book. This post is a part of the blog tour hosted by The Book Club.

 

FALSE CEILINGS 
by
AMIT SHARMA
 
 
 
Blurb
Born in the lush mountains of Dalhousie in 1930, Shakuntala is a pampered child of a wealthy builder. On her wedding night she is gifted a secret to use wisely when the time comes. 
 
From the green valleys of Dalhousie to a village in Punjab reeling under the communal violence of 1947; from the Delhi of 1950s with its intoxicating smell of freedom to the Delhi of 1970s soaked in the hippie culture; from the Delhi of 1984 smelling of burnt tyres to the Delhi of 90s raising its Frankenstein of urbanization, the cancerous secret breathes with her, infects her. It is accidentally passed down, hidden under insecurities and jealousies, locked in its meaninglessness and leaving a trail of ruin. 
 
When her great- grandson accidentally discovers the secret in 2065, he is perplexed by the malice that flowed in his family’s blood. Was it just the secret or his family would have destroyed itself even in its absence? Why was their love never greater than their unsaid expectations from each other? 
Grab your copy @
 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
 
 
Amit Sharma

 

Amit Sharma’s first fiction book titled False Ceilings has been published by Lifi Publications. The book launch happened on 12 Jan 2016 in the World Book Fair in Delhi. 
 
Amit has been working in a Software Firm since the last ten years. He lives with his family in NCR. His wife is a teacher and they are blessed with a daughter who is in her terrible twos. 
 

 

Amit always keeps a book and a portable reading light in his bag (much to the amusement of his fellow travelers). His other hobbies include watching world cinema, travelling, digging into various cuisines, cooking, listening to music, painting, blogging, making his daughter laugh and helping his wife with her unnecessary and prolonged shopping.
 
Stalk him @ 

 
        
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#Interview: Sujit Banerjee, author of Rukhsat The Departure #authorinterview #TheBookClub

Hello! Let us get to know author Sujit Banerjee by this question and answer session. Sujit Banerjee is the author of Rukhsat The Departure. Find his guest post and more about his book here.

How did you become a writer, by chance or by choice?

Absolutely by chance. My scribbled notes on people became a full blown body and I felt they HAD to be told.

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

I am not and this one was by chance. I love all kind of genre and maybe my next one will be a novel based on the 1857 revolt of Bareily!!!

What makes this book special to you?

Holding the stories inside me was getting painful and this was a big relief – pouring it out on pages and in print.

A brief description of the book and its main characters.

You will find that in the blurp on back page of the book.

What are your writing fads or quirks?

Writing them on cell phone in the middle of the night, drunk!

What’s your take on these writing dilemmas? (Please specify the reason for your choice)

1) plotter or pantser

Pantser any day. I am too impatient and impulsive to plan and plot though I would like to change that.

2) self publish or traditional

A bit of both; traditional publishing takes way too much time and with chances it will never see the day.

3) Polished first draft or sloppy one?

I thought my first draft was polished till my Editor tore it apart and sent me back to the drawing board four times. Even now there are few errors!

4) Deadline or family/friends time

My own time. Like I said I am too lazy to adhere to deadlines.

5) Writing a certain target everyday or in floods and droughts

Impulsive. I went a year nearly without being able to write a para.

Thank you for sharing about yourself.

Read about Sujit’s book here.

This post is a part of blog tour hosted by The Book Club.

 

#Interview with authors of Twice upon a Time – Jazz Singh and Zeenat Mahal

Today I have with me not one but two authors. So let us get to know Jazz Singh and Zeenat Mahal. They have recently brought out romance novel with the intriguing title, Twice upon a Time. Let’s get to know first Jazz Singh and then Zeenat Mahal through this question and answer session.

Hello Jazz, great to have you here. Here’s my first question:

How did you become a writer, by chance or by choice?

By chance.  Adiana Ray (Rapid Fall),  introduced me to Naheed at Indireads, who was looking for romance writers from the subcontinent. I thought it would be good fun. And it is. Once I started writing I couldn’t seem to stop.

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

I have only written romance so far. I can’t predict if I will switch genres in the future. Right now I enjoy going through the love stories of my characters with them.

What makes this book special to you?

Twice upon a Time is two novellas in one book. Zeenat  made the suggestion and as we both had stories ready, we polished them, thought of a title, decided on a cover, et voila, we had a book. The stories are completely different as our  writing and sensibility are both poles apart. But I think they sit well together. Would love to have your opinion.

TUAT is special because it’s the first time we’ve done something like this. From being friends, we’ve become collaborators in what we both enjoy immensely.

A brief description of the book (your story) and its main characters.

Sunshine Girl is the story of an orphan whose circumstances are dismal but who has a never-say-die attitude.  Aanya is the eternal optimist who doesn’t let anything get her down. She is sweet and innocent but with a streak of surprising maturity that catches Gaurav’s attention.  From wanting to strike a business deal with her he ends up wanting something quite different altogether.

What are your writing fads or quirks?

Can’t think of any. Need a prompt. Perhaps I’m the model writer who has zero quirks 😉

What’s your take on these writing dilemmas? (Please specify the reason for your choice)

Plotter or pantser

Panster, most certainly. And that’s the way I am – without too much planning. I guess that spills over to the way I work as well.

Self publish or traditional

Self publish any day. It’s your work and you are entitled to do with it as you please. In other words, it’s your baby, you look after it.

Polished first draft or sloppy one?

Sloppy L in terms of plot and structure.  I’m in a hurry to get a first opinion from certain people about whether the idea is workable or not.

Deadline or family/friends time

Deadlines are for my place of work. Writing romance is what I do in my free time. So it has to be family and friends, otherwise an activity that gives me pleasure would turn into a chore. I would have no life left. Another advantage of going indie.

Writing a certain target everyday or in floods and droughts

I write as the muse strikes or if I’m in the mood. I don’t stress about routine, etc. As I said, after a day at work, I go with the flow of the mood at home.

Thank you, Jazz! This was a most interesting chat. Sunshine Girl sounds quite fascinating. I have enjoyed reading your work so far and can’t wait to read this one. In fact, it’s on top of my pile right now 🙂

Twicw Upon a Time cover

Now let’s share some coffee and cake with Zeenat Mahal.

Hello Zeenat, welcome to my blog. Let’s put you under the microscope 😉

Here goes:

How did you become a writer, by chance or by choice?

Definitely by choice. Writing is something I have to do in order to be a tolerable person. I’m quite cranky if I’m not writing.
Are you a genre writer? Why (or why not)? Which genre appeals to you the most?
I am sometimes. I write romance. I find it a relaxing exercise where I can do what I like doing best, i.e. Writing, without agonising the way I do over my other books because they have serious issues and serious story lines, often tragic.
What makes this book special to you?
This book is special because first, it’s a two- in-one novel with my friend Jazz Singh. Secondly, it’s our first self-pub venture together.
A brief description of the book and its main characters.
It’s a love story. The main characters are pathans.It’s about growing up, changing relatinships and friendship. Sheru is a typical Pathan, honourable, brave and Zoya is a well educated but constrained by circumstance kinda girl.
What are your writing fads or quirks?
I want silence when I’m working. If I’m disturbed I cant write. My mind just shuts down.
What’s your take on these writing dilemmas? (Please specify the reason for your choice)
1) plotter or pantser

Should be plotter. Having a clear line of work makes it easier, makes the book better. I usually have a very rough plot in my head and I start writing. I should spend more time on the mechanics.

2) self publish or traditional

Both. In today’s world, self-publishing is unavoidable. One should experience it. Traditional publishing has perks like editors, a must-have in my rulebook of publishing! Without an editor, your book is unpolished and therefore unpublishable.

3) Polished first draft or sloppy one?

Hail to the sloppy first draft. Just write it down. Don’t worry about the beauty treatments till you have a first draft or you may never have one at all!

4) Deadline or family/friends time

Deadlines. Though I have to admit, I will ignore them many times. But having them kinda motivates me.

5) Writing a certain target everyday or in floods and droughts

Should be a certain target—but isn’t with me. I’m more of a floods and droughts person for now (thank you for this coinage. I can name ‘it’ now) It has its own charm, but it’s frustrating and not at all professional. I feel one should have a specific amount of time dedicated to writing every day rather than word limit. It is something I am going to try now.

 

You’re welcome, Zeenat, I too write in ‘floods and droughts’ and the droughts make me really hard to live with! Thank you for the interview. You’ve given us fascinating answers along with some good advice for aspiring writers about the first draft.

Here are Zeenat’s links:

 

Twice Upon A Time is available at :

http://www.amazon.com/Twice-Upon-Time-Two-Novellas-ebook/dp/B016A5SMLM

Blurb:

Two novellas in one. Sunshine Girl by Jazz Singh is about a young orphan girl Aanya, and Gaurav, the hardened businessman. It’s a story of idealism and materialism locking horns. Guess who wins?
Yours Truly by Zeenat Mahal is a story of two people growing up together. Zoya and Sheru, have loved each other all their lives, but now their love is tested in new ways and they must choose their paths.

http://www.amazon.com/Twice-Upon-Time-Two-Novellas-ebook/dp/B016A5SMLM

#Author #interview Ruchi Singh #TheBookClub

Hi Folks,

Today I have Ruchi Singh on my blog, chatting about her book Take 2 and all things writing. Please welcome her.

Interview from Summerita

RS: Thank you Summerita for this wonderful opportunity to talk to you.

How did you become a writer, by chance or by choice?

RS: A bit of both in my case. It started by chance, like an epiphany that yes I can and should write. After the first draft of Take 2, it was my choice to continue writing since I immensely enjoyed the process of creating something new.

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

RS: Yes, I think I am a genre writer. I love reading romantic thrillers and the creative thoughts flooding my mind also resonate with the same genre.

What makes this book special to you?

RS: This book is very special for two reasons. Firstly, because it is my debut book, and secondly, because it captures the emotional vulnerability of women in our society.

I have observed it up-close, women just can’t let it go. No matter how many times an abuser apologises, there is no change in the status quo. It’s like a leopard never changing its spot. The victim has to take that first step to break-free, then only they would find the strength to move ahead in life.

Though it’s a grave issue but I have tried to handle it in a light-hearted manner in the book.

A brief description of the book and its main characters.

RS: There are two main themes which I wanted to highlight in Take 2, firstly the plight of women who were divorced or thinking of divorce, and secondly the co-existence of conservative and modern India.

Take 2 is about Priya, who is a small town, intelligent girl, for whom ethics and family values hold an important place in life. The story revolves around her struggle to carve a life for herself braving the conservative society and realizing that the choice to be happy remains with her.

Abhimanyu’s character was conceived to compliment Priya. He is far more mature than his age. If you are in love with someone you have to nurture it by showing support, care and affection. And that is what Abhimanyu does for Priya. I have tried to bring out that sentiment in the story along with some drama to entertain the readers.

And since I am an eternally optimistic person and all my stories would have HEA. I also admit to bringing a bit of Bollywood to make it a light read.

What are your writing fads or quirks?

RS: I can’t move ahead until all the colourful wriggly lines (the MS editor throws) are resolved in the paragraph/ line that I have written. My friends tell me to switch off the editor, but my conscious doesn’t allow me to.

Thanks, Ruchi. Emotional and physical abuse in any relationship is a grave issue and needs to be brought into open. I am glad you have chosen to write about it in a relatable and light manner. It was lovely having you here.

This interview is a part of the Book Club Tour for Ruchi’s book. Here are the details. Do check it out.

Take 2
by 
Ruchi Singh 
The Blurb
Priya’s idyllic world turns upside down when she realizes her husband considers her dead weight after stripping her off her inheritance for his ambitions and lavish lifestyle.


Instantly attracted to Priya, Abhimanyu knows getting involved with a married woman is inviting trouble. But despite common sense, cautions and hesitations, he is drawn to help her. 


Happily ever after has become a myth for Priya and trying to keep the relationship platonic is becoming more and more difficult for Abhimanyu. 


In the tussle between ethics, fears and desires… will Priya embrace a second chance at happiness?


Buy @
 
 
Meet the Author



Ruchi Singh is a novelist, and writes in two genres; romance and romantic thriller. She has a degree in Electronics Engineering and has worked as Quality Consultant in the IT field. She began her writing career writing short stories and articles, which have been published on various online forums. She has been a contributing author to many anthologies and has published her first book Take 2, which is a contemporary romance with a spice of social drama.A voracious reader, she loves everything—from classics to memoirs to editorials to chick-lit, but her favourite genre is ‘romantic thriller’. Besides writing and reading, her other interests include dabbling with Indian classical dance forms.

 

You can stalk her @

               
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Posted by Summerita Rhayne, author of contemporary and historical romance