Thursday, March 30, 2017

Enter into the fantasy world of "The Waterfall Traveler" By SJ Lem

Frankly speaking, I chose "The Waterfall Traveler" based on its cover only. From the cover, I thought that book would be a light read for kids. But it proved me wrong completely. The book was more than a kids genre. 

Book blurb
All eighteen-year-old Ri wants is to cure her adoptive father Samuel from his hallucination-inducing illness. Everyone in her village tells her it's impossible. But when she meets two newcomers in the forest—a gruff rogue with a vendetta against the gods and a charming fugitive with the power to travel through water—she'll be torn away from Samuel and swept across the sea to an oppressed city governed by a ruthless tyrant. Once there, she'll not only have to confront Samuel's unlawful past, but a vicious evil that threatens all mankind.
In this tale of bravery, friendship, and unexpected love, Ri must discover her own strength to save the men she cares for.
'The Waterfall Traveller" is a story in a fantasy world. This world was created and maintained by three God-siblings. A girl name Ri, adopted by a guy called Samuel, spent all her childhood in her village with Samuel. They lived a life of the outcast. One fine day, Ri ventured into the wild. She didn't know what awaited her into wild. Things changed forever after that. She got separated from Samuel because she got attacked by strange wild animals. She was saved by a stranger named Bryce. Through Bryce, Ri met more people and made friends. Together they fought a danger that lurks in their world.

Wild animals with strange powers are attacking various villages in their world. It is taking a toll on human life. Ri and her friends decided to destroy that danger once and for all. Though it is a long book, but pace and storyline have made sure that reader will stick to it to the last page. Overall very nice book.

Talking about rating:
  1. Cover - 4 / 5 
  2. Story Line - 3.5 / 5 
  3. Characters - 4 / 5
  4. Overall - 4 / 5
Book can be found at - Amazon India, Amazon USA
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Monday, March 27, 2017

Meet Ram Sivasankaran - Author of The Peshwa

We are back with another remarkable author Ram Sivasankaran. His book "The Peshwa - the Lion and the Stallion" has got really good response from critic and audience. We will go through Ram's journey as writer of "The Peshwa".

Can you tell your journey through the “The Peshwa: The Lion and the Stallion”? How did you get the idea for the book?
My major inspiration is my firm belief that our history textbooks are biased and even sometimes downright inaccurate in the depiction of events and characters from out past. As an example of a biased report of history, the years between 1100 and 1800 is dominated by chapters on the Delhi, Mughal and Deccan sultanates with almost zero mention of the Vijayanagara Empire and the rise of the Marathas to supremacy. The combined period between the dominance of the Vijayanagara and the Maratha Empires spans across this entire 1,000 years. So why the selectivity and bias in what we learn? I get the feeling Chhatrapati Shivaji is, in textbooks of national boards, shown as something of a brigand – an expert in guerilla warfare who snatched power from the Mughals a little at a time through unfair means. On the other hand, there may be a paragraph or two at most describing what an able, egalitarian ruler he was. On the other hand, the Mughals, Khiljis and Tughluqs have whole chapters dedicated to each ruler.

Of Peshwa Bajirao and his heirs who spread Maratha Saamrajya over the entire subcontinent extending to the far reaches of Afghanistan, we barely hear anything. Of Mahadji Scindia who fought and defeated the British in the First Anglo-Maratha War, we barely hear anything. Of whole dynasties like the Cheras, Cholas, Pandyas and Pallavas, who conquered not only lands up to the Ganga but built fleets to go as far as Vietnam, Cambodia and other parts of Southeast Asia, we barely hear anything. Of Krishnadeva Raya, the greatest Emperor of Vijayanagara who smashed the power of the Bahmani Sultanate, we barely hear anything. On the side of inaccurate history, we study about the ‘Aryan Invasion Theory’ which says a small band of horsemen came from Europe and Central Asia and replaced local culture with their own. I could go on about this but let me stop here.

My book (and future books) are a fictional take on what actually happened in history. Any historical inaccuracies in my book are not only to be expected, they are a part and parcel of my storytelling style. My goal is to arouse interest in the actual history by telling stories in my way – so my readers may be intrigued enough to go out and do some research for themselves. However, I will always narrate the tale in the true spirit of what the protagonists are remembered for. For example, Bajirao is known for his military genius, chivalry and valor. There are zero compromises made in that front regardless of what events and characters I choose to omit or exaggerate.

In summation, the work on Bajirao exemplifies what I am trying to put out – stories of less sung, formidable heroes who had a huge impact on Indian history despite their lack of adequate recognition in our textbooks.
When did you actually start writing this book?
I started writing my book when I was finishing up on my Master’s thesis in Stanford University in early 2013. So on one hand, I was working on a completely scientific work. I have always been a dreamer so I needed the respite to channelise my writing skills in a medium that gave me greater flexibility to document these dreams in a poetic manner. Why not do it in a field I was interested in and on a historical figure I had grown to admire?
In last 7 years, we have seen gigantic wave of books on mythological or historical fiction. Tell us in which category you fall into and tell us how that category suits you well. 
I would definitely think I fall under the category of historical fiction although I will not rule out exploring other genres in the future. I think that category suits me well because I am driven by a motive and a purpose as I have described on my answer to your first question. Also, history was one of my favorite subjects in middle and high school.
Do you consider yourself as a creator of wave or you got inspired by wave? How?
Neither! I would think of myself as one who is incidentally in the wave (if there is even one) because of my own personal interests.
Did this wave help you to get your book selected by publisher? Would you like to tell us how was the initial response of publishers for this series?
First, there is something fundamentally incorrect about this question. I do not think an interest wave of any kind would help anyone get published. Only one’s writing quality, content in the story (and a bit of luck) and persistent efforts to get noticed would. Without going into details about the specifics, I’ll say that my submissions were graciously approached with an offer by no less than 3-4 top publishers in the country before I settled for one that worked for me. I feel very, very lucky and blessed for this.
Are a perfectionist? Do you plan every character and their role in your story before you put them? Do you write a story with perfect ending in mind?
I am a perfectionist in that I try to tell a watertight story with as few logical flaws as can be found. Obviously, nobody is perfect and I am far from it. I do try to be as detailed and vivid in my descriptions as I can though. I do start with a hazy view of the plot and characters in mind but it is only when one starts putting pen to paper that the story evolves and starts telling itself, often extending to dimensions not previously imagined. Once the book is completed and reread, more dimensions and room for improvement and omission are found – so the process is iterative.
I write my books with one underlying philosophy. Life is not perfectly predictable where good always wins over evil and heroes are indestructible and emerge on the top in the end. Fictional plotlines should follow the same rules.
Do you have a mentor? What is the best advice you have got from your mentor?
In my writing career, nobody has been more supportive than my wife. She is my mentor. As a beginning author, I had been very sensitive to criticisms when my book first came out but it was my wife who coached me into becoming more accepting of the negative with the positive. She makes this hobby of mine possible.
Can you tell something to our aspired author which will boost their confidence?
My mantra is to dream big and write simple. Have a good story in mind and tell it very, very well. There is nothing that can stop you from the dream to publication if you have adequate interest and put in huge amounts of effort to put together a respectable piece of work. Focus on the story, not on dreams of how much royalty you can earn or the publisher who will select you. Once a good work is ready, publishers will line at your doorstep instead of the other way round.
Links for your readers

Vaseem Khan is Coming Back with Baby Ganesh Detective Agency

Third book in Baby Ganesh Detective Agency series "The Strange Disappearance of a Bollywood Star" is planned to published 18th July 2017. Let talk with Vaseem to know more about Vaseem and the book.

Can you brief our readers about yourself?
I have a BSc degree in Accounting and Finance from the London School of Economics. My first major job was as a management consultant. This job took me to India at the age of 23, where I worked for ten years consulting to the hotel industry. My next job has lasted eleven years so far. I manage crime and security research projects at one of the world’s top universities, UCL in London.
Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors? Which author inspire you the most? 
I read 60-80 books a year. I love literary fiction, crime fiction, and science fiction. My favourite authors are Terry Pratchett, who wrote the Discworld fantasy series and first inspired me to write when I was a teenager, and American crime writer Michael Connolly who writes the Harry Bosch series set in Los Angeles.
When did you start writing? 
Age 10, when I would write short stories in long-hand and show to my English teacher. I have no idea if he was impressed, but he did always encourage me!
When did you decide to become a writer? 
At age 17 when I wrote my first novel. I was convinced it would be a bestseller – instead I received my first rejection letter! I wrote six novels over the following 23 years, all of which were rejected, before I got a four-book deal from one of the world’s biggest publishers, Hodder, for my Baby Ganesh Detective Agency series.
What are your ambitions for your writing career? 
To connect with my readers. After waiting 23 years to be published this means more than anything else to me. My series seems to have struck a chord with readers and I hope to continue to write books, featuring Inspector Chopra and little Ganesha, that fill my readers with delight.
How is your day structured to accommodate your writing? 
I am an insomniac, so I write early in the morning, 5am, for two hours before I go to work. Sometimes I write on the cricket pitch. I’m an opening batsman, and if I get out early, I have plenty of time to sit on the sidelines and write!
Tell us more about the book you have written so far.
I have written three books in the Baby Ganesh Detective Agency series so far. The first book, The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra was a Times bestseller, an Amazon Best Debut, and a Waterstones paperback of the year (Waterstones are the largest bookstore chain in the UK).
What genre are your books?
Crime novels which include humour. Sometimes called ‘Cosy crime’.
Can you describe your current book in few lines? What’s it about? 
My new book, the third in my series, is called The Strange Disappearance of a Bollywood Star. In this book Inspector Chopra is hired to find a kidnapped Indian film star. The star in question goes missing while performing on stage in front of thousands of people so Chopra’s first task is to work out just how the crime was committed. With Ganesha in tow he then sets about trying to recover the star, and quickly discovers that lifting the lid on Bollywood and peering behind the scenes reveals a lot more than he bargained for.

Give us an insight into your main character(s) 
Inspector Ashwin Chopra is in his late forties. He was forced to retire from the Mumbai police service after thirty years, but is still determined to pursue justice, and thus he sets up his own detective agency. He cares deeply about the social problems in his country, and hates the fact that sometimes, in India, if you have wealth and influence you can get away with crimes. He is an honest and serious man, but with a generous heart. 
Where did you get idea for this book? 
The idea for this series came when I first went to India in 1997. I was in a taxi going from the airport to my hotel, staring at the main road and the river of passing traffic with honking rickshaws and hooting trucks, cows and goats and dogs - and that’s when I saw, lumbering through this chaos, the surreal sight of an enormous grey elephant. At that moment I fell in love with these wonderful creatures and when I got back to the UK ten years later and decided to put those memories of India into a novel I knew elephants would have to be involved.
How much research did you do for this book? 
Living in Mumbai for ten years was the best research! In Mumbai you cannot escape Bollywood. It permeates the air; it obsesses everyone.
Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
The film director, B.P. Agarwal (also known as Blood Pressure Agarwal), who is obsessed with creating films that show India’s social realities … but ends up directing a big budget Bollywood production.
Who is your least favorite character and why?
Mr Pyarelal, a sinister character, who seems to roam around the set of the movie that Chopra is investigating. 
What was the most difficult thing about writing your latest book? 
This book was a joy to write, because I adore movies. Researching the history of Bollywood cinema was a great experience.
Release date. 
UK launch date of The Strange Disappearance of a Bollywood Star: May 4th 2017
Can you tell us about response you got for your first two book in series?
The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra was a bestseller in the UK:
What are you working on at the minute? 
The fourth book in my series, which is about the murder of an American billionaire at India’s most famous hotel, in Mumbai. Chopra and Ganesha are hired to find the killer before an international scandal develops.
What are your thoughts on writing a book series? 
I love returning to these characters. India is such a vast place that there are an infinite number of stories to tell. My series allows me to explore ‘Incredible India’ in depth.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers? 
Write until you are sick of it. Then write some more. Getting better at writing takes practice, like anything else. I wrote six novels before being published. With each one I improved my skills. There are no shortcuts! Here is an article I wrote about how to get published:
Links for your book readers

Meet Young Energetic Vishwesh Who Became Author at Age of 15

Vishwesh Desai was born and raised in Ahmedabad, India, a hardcore Gujju who shares the infamous Gujarati sweet tooth. 
A 15-year-old with a fierce passion for reading and writing, the publication of his short stories in the Estrade magazine and the 2015 edition of the ‘I CAN’ book preceded the completion of his debut novel, “Shadows of the Northlands”, a fantasy fiction, which also just happens to be the fourth one he started. “Shadows of the Northlands” was in the Crossword Top 10 list soon after its launch in Ahmedabad and continues to be very well received among readers. Vishwesh has been awarded the ‘Rana Kapoor Young Talent Award 2016’ by Kumaon Literary Festival and Yes Bank in October 2016. 
His creative streak extends to painting and sketching, and he has a few art exhibitions under his belt. 
In his spare time, Vishwesh has worked with NGOs such as Akshaya Patra, Prabhat, Seva Café, Heal and Blind Peoples Association. 

When did you start writing?
I started writing in bits and pieces way back in 2009, when I was eight, but I began writing properly in 2013, when I was twelve. My first short story, A Spell Gone Wrong, was published in the literary magazine, Estrade.
When did you decide to become a writer?
I didn’t, actually. It just, sort of… happened. I was having a good time writing, and after having published a short story, I wanted to publish another one. This second short story that I was working on, however, soon grew too big for its boots. The plot grew too large to be resolved satisfactorily in the span of a short story, so short story became novella, novella became novel, and I became an author.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
Right now, I just want to see my book go from the Crossword Top Ten in Ahmedabad to the Top Ten in India.
Do you have a special time to write, or how is your day structured to accommodate your writing?
I don’t have a special time to write, but I do feel at my most creative in the late morning to early afternoon. I usually don’t structure my day beforehand, but I assign myself targets of a thousand words a day during the week and two thousand a day during weekends.
What genre are your books?
My book is technically classified under High Fantasy, but I feel that any good book is a mélange of most genres. Accordingly, my book features elements of horror, mystery, and adventure, replete with humour.

Click here to get your copy of "Shadows of the Northlands" 

Can you describe your current book in a few lines? What’s it about?
Shadows of the Northlands is a fantasy novel set in a military-oriented medieval world, where the dominant nation on the continent is the Empire, which is at war with a neighbouring kingdom and at less-than-friendly terms with its other surrounding nations.
When the Crown Prince hears about cities and villages attacked and razed to the ground, the land blackened and left infertile, the already shackled military commands the maverick bounty-hunter Merin and the slick courtier mage Rikkard to find the root of the destruction. However, as they tackle this mystery, they discover an ancient hatred spanning centuries, with a dark secret linked to Merin and the painful past behind the satirising cavalier.
Shadows of the Northlands deals with many themes, chief amongst them the rise and fall of civilisation, the role of desperation as an enabler, the unifying and empowering effect of camaraderie, the psychology of rebellion, and finally how loyalty can not only reinforce relations but alter the course of history.
Give us an insight into your main character(s)
My two main characters are named Merin and Rikkard. Merin is a bounty-hunter whose favorite past-time is annoying the hell out of other people. No parallels to the author. He was a lord, and still has his noble title, but was forced to live on the streets after his father’s death and destitution when he was a child. He was picked off the streets by the Imperial Spies, and he triples as a spy, infiltrator and a bounty-hunter for the Empire. Merin is the quintessential ever-immature 30-year-old smartass, and he excels at everything from comebacks to combat.
Rikkard is the head of one of the greatest aristocrat families of the Empire, and he’s stiffer than old leather, with as caustic a tongue. His father went missing in mysterious circumstances, leaving only corpses and a carriage wreck, when Rikkard was a child. Rikkard’s a slick courtier mage, the archetypal Watson, and he excels at talking like a thesaurus. Again, no parallels to the author.
How much research did you do for this book?
Most of the research was related to the world-building. I had to rationalise the world I created, like the size of cities, the structure of governmental organisations, distances... I think I must have spent hours researching the size of Tokyo and New York for context! 
Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
Merin;  because he’s a smart-ass like me!
What was the toughest thing about writing your latest book?
Maintaining all the technical physical details about my world was a pain.
And, of course, managing studies and school with my writing. I pretty much sacrificed my social life. In fact, my class went on two separate trips to Bhutan and Kutch during the course of my writing, and I missed out on both of them.
Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book?

You book was released on May 22, 2016. Quite good time passed since your book released. Can you tell us response you got from readers and critiques?
My book was listed on Crossword Top Ten. Book average ratings on Amazon is 4.4 and on GoodReads is 4.1. I have been awarded The Rana Kapoor Young Talent Award for 2016 by Kumaon Literary Festival, Yes Bank and Yes Institute.
What are you working on at the minute?
I’m working on the plot of my second book right now. 
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
First of all, of course, never stop reading, because reading is one of only ways you can improve as a writer. But I think the most important thing for a budding writer is to not be discouraged no matter what happens, no matter the naysayers or your latest writer’s block—even JK Rowling had dozens of rejections before The Philospher’s Stone was published and history was made.
Links for your book readers
Click here to get your copy of "Shadows of the Northlands"

Meet Tejaswini Author of These Circuses That Sweep Through the Landscape

Tejaswini has recently published her first book These Circuses That Sweep Through the Landscape. It is a collection of short stories covering different levels of life circus. She is going to talk about her new book with us today.

Can you brief our reader about your educational & professional background?
I grew up in Mumbai and attended the JB Petit High School for Girls. Later I moved to boarding school at the United World College of Singapore. I then did my BA at the University of Sussex (English Literature with Development Studies), and MA at the University of Kent (Image/Media Studies). 
I started off as a journalist at The Asian Age in Mumbai, and then moved to Screen magazine where I worked as a features writer. I then worked with the NGO Kalpavriksh Environment Action Group in Pune, as a researcher and writer.
Which author inspires you the most?
My literary heroes are Roald Dahl (his short stories for adults) and Doris Lessing. I love the way Dahl dissects human nature with a certain ruthlessness. He lays bare a character’s inner truth and their darkest sides, in a few concise words. That kind of precision and concise style is something that I have always aspired to. And of course there is the allure of the classic Dahlesque twist in the tale. Doris Lessing also uses words with the precision of a knife-edge, and to that she adds a beautiful compassion towards her characters
When did you start writing?
My first published article was for The Asian Age, when I wrote a film review as a freelancer. Later I started working at the newspaper.
When did you decide to become a writer?
I’ve always loved writing – there was no conscious decision to become a writer. I didn’t think I was writing a story collection. I began writing these stories with a fairly hazy idea that perhaps I could publish a few in a literary journal or magazine. When I had written about seven or eight stories which I was happy with, I began to think that perhaps I had a short story collection on my hands. Eventually the stories turned into my book These Circuses That Sweep Through the Landscape.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
I’m working on a novel, which will be my next book. My ambition is simply to enjoy the process of writing it, and to create a gripping, memorable story. It’s very interesting to write in a completely different genre this time, particularly since it involves a good amount of historical research. 
Do you have a special time to write, or how is your day structured to accommodate your writing?
I usually set aside about 3 hours a day to write, whether or not I feel inspired to do so –because I’ve found that waiting for inspiration to strike is simply a way of procrastinating! Also, being a mom means that I don’t have the luxury of sitting down to write whenever I feel like it – I have to fit in writing during a limited number of hours in the day (read: only during school-hours, and definitely not over weekends or school holidays!) My husband’s job requires us to move countries every couple of years – we’ve lived in 7 countries over 14 years. Of course, this is a fascinating way to see the world. But it also means that there are frequent, extended periods of moving and settling into a new country and culture. This does break the flow of writing and it takes a fairly long time for me to get into the groove again. Given my lifestyle, I’ve had to be very disciplined in order to make progress in my writing projects, whether as a fiction writer or, formerly, as an environmental researcher and writer.
What have you written so far?
These Circuses That Sweep Through the Landscape is my debut book as a fiction writer. Previously I’ve written two non-fiction books on environmental issues – one on biodiversity planning and the other on intellectual property rights in relation to biodiversity and traditional knowledge - written when I was working as an environmental researcher and writer.

Click here to get a chance to win copy of the book

What genre are your books?
My genre is accessible literary fiction. I enjoy writing stories which are slightly dark and twisty. I like to explore the shadowy boundary between dark and light – it is such a small step from one side to the other side. ‘Normal’ is an illusion that is easily broken. This has endless dramatic possibilities. 
Can you describe your current book in few lines? What’s it about?
These Circuses That Sweep Through the Landscape is a collection of ten short stories, published in December 2016 by Aleph Book Company. The stories are about different forms of passion, violence and love. Many of the stories are a bit dark and twisty. My characters are tussling with some kind of dilemma or facing a moment of truth, and often they make choices with the dark part of their minds. 
Give us an insight into your main character(s)
There are a varied bunch of characters in my short stories. There’s a beetle-collector whose jealous obsession with his wife manifests itself in a very twisted way; there’s a girl who falls in love with a superstar from a bygone era, and she has a major problem on her hands because he has been dead for years; there’s a shopaholic woman who is stuck in a mall for a year, unable to find the exit; there’s a woman who begins to find inexplicable, creepy bits of cotton strewn around her house. And many other characters!
Where did you get idea for this book?
I get a lot of inspiration from observing people and also reading widely. Each story is inspired by different observations. For example the story “Drinks At Seven” was inspired by a well-dressed man I observed who was standing on the road, screaming at his wife or girlfriend on his mobile phone. I began wondering what kind of relationship this couple had – and the man ended up featuring as one of the main characters in my story, right down to the screaming and the physical description. The story “The Mall” was inspired by the enormous shopping malls of Bangkok where I would often feel lost and claustrophobic.
How much research did you do for this book?
Some of the stories needed some factual research – for example, the main character in “Homo Coleoptera” is a beetle collector. So I had to find out how beetles are collected and mounted for display. In “The Girl Who Loved Dean Martin”, I had to research the life and background of Dean Martin who was a singing superstar in the 1950s in America. For “The Mall” I had to look up various designer brands to see what kinds of shoes, handbags and dresses they produce. It’s very important to get even the small details right, otherwise the writing appears shabby and the story seems unrealistic.
Who is your favorite character in your book and why? (If applicable)
I don’t have a favourite character – but my favourite story is the title story, “These Circuses That Sweep Through the Landscape”, because it was the most challenging to write. It is about an old architect and his former student having a conversation about the old days – there is an undercurrent of menace throughout, and the story is told through their alternating perspectives. It was a challenge to look at the same conversation from two completely different viewpoints, so when I finally got it right, it was very satisfying. It was also very enjoyable to work at creating a slow, controlled build-up of menace through the story.
What was the toughestg thing about writing your latest book?
That’s difficult to pinpoint, because I found the whole process of writing and editing very enjoyable. There are ups and downs, of course. Sometimes you are having a bad day and the words just don’t flow. Another time you might have a story or a character which is not working out the way you want it to, but you can’t figure out how to put it right, how to fix the problem. But all this is part and parcel of the process of writing – even the ‘hard’ parts are really just interesting challenges for me.
Release date.
These Circuses That Sweep Through the Landscape was published by Aleph Book Company in December 2016.
Can you tell our reader how well your book accepted by readers?
The book has received some very good reviews so far, particularly in Hindustan Times, Midday and Jet Wings (Jet Airways magazine) and on Radio One, as well as by a range of bloggers. It also has very good reviews on Amazon, Flipkart and Goodreads. For reviews see my website:
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Write every day, whether or not you feel like it. You can always edit what you’ve written if you don’t like it – but you can’t edit a blank page. There is something to be learned from all the writing you do, whether it is good or bad. Be prepared to throw away something you’ve labored over, and start again. It’s also important to read widely - everything from literary fiction to a film magazine, exposes you to wildly varying ways of seeing, living and writing. Read beyond your own genre of writing – for example, if you’re writing a novel you should also read screenplays; if you’re writing short stories you should also read poetry. Cultivate the habit of reading like a writer, i.e. always be aware of the techniques used by an author to achieve a certain effect, whether it is in the choice of words, or choice of narrator, or the structure of a chapter.
Links for your book readers
Click here to get a chance to win copy of the book

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Meet Toffee - Author of Finding Juliet

We never leave opportunity to know author. Taufeeq Ahmed who writes with pen name 'Toffee" is with us today. 

Can you tell us about your educational & professional background?
I pursued Computer Science Engineering from Chaitanya Bharathi Institute of Technology, Hyderabad. After working with Dell International services for a few years, I am currently pursuing my Master’s in Business Analytics and Information Systems from the University of South Florida. 
I have worked as a Software Development analyst with Dell International Services as a day job while I was writing books in the night. 
What were you like at school/college apart from studies?
I was a topper in my school, but got spoiled after joining engineering. In college, I became this happy-go-lucky guy with zero worry about my future. I had a bunch of friends with whom I would hang out and waste a lot of time in useless pursuits. But it all changed in the final year when I started taking life a little seriously.  
Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors? Which author inspire you the most?
I really wish I had more time to read books as I feel that I don’t read as much as I should. My favourite authors are Malcolm Gladwell, Khaled Hosseini and Paulo Coelho. I like Khaled Hosseini’s books the most but I am inspired more by Malcolm Gladwell.
When did you start writing?
The only time I remember writing something (other than the answers to questions in exams) is an essay in an essay-writing competition in 6th standard. After that, I wrote my first book after finishing engineering.
When did you decide to become a writer?
After getting rejected by a girl a few years ago. 
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
I want to write books that are quite entertaining with subtle insights about life. 
Do you have a special time to write, or how is your day structured to accommodate your writing?
Yes, I write only during nights, usually from 10 PM – 4 AM. I finish all my works by 8 pm. Relax for an hour before having dinner and shut everything by 10 PM and focus completely on writing. 
Is this your debut work?
I have written two books till date – An Idiot, Placements and IntervYOU and Finding Juliet. Both are published full-length books. 
What genre are your books?
First book was a narrative non-fiction. The second one is a commercial fiction/Romance genre
Can you describe your current book in few lines? What’s it about?
My current book is about a nice guy turning into an irresistible flirt, about his journey as he tries to figure out women and discovers the meaning of love, lust and life.

Click on the link to participate in book giveaway

Give us an insight into your main character(s)
There are three main characters in the book.
  1. Arjun – a boy next door who just wants to live a happy life with the one. But he doesn’t really get what he wants because he realizes that girls of his age friendzone nice guys and fall for jerks. He transforms into a flirt and gets girls. But is he really happy with what he has become? 
  2. Krish – A charming flirt who knows everything about the psychology of women and all nitty-gritties about wooing them. He is the one who changes Arjun completely. But why did he become a flirt?
  3. Anjali – A girl who is as sweet as an angel and as patient as a mother. He is Arjun’s best friend and confidante. She likes him a lot, but Arjun takes her for granted. What will happen to their friendship?
Where did you get idea for this book?
I got the idea for the book during a random conversation with friends about girls. 
How much research did you do for this book?
A LOT. (Caps intentional)
Who is your favorite character in your book and why? (If applicable)
My favourite character in the book is Krish. I wonder if I will be able to create another interesting character like him again. 
Who is your least favorite character and why? (If applicable)
I love all the characters in the book.
What was the most difficult thing about writing your latest book?
The hardest thing about writing any book is to keep it interesting so that the readers will stay hooked. Going by the reviews, I do think I have fairly succeeded in my attempt.
Release date. 
Dec 14, ,2016
Can you tell us response of your book?
There are more than 150 reviews on amazon and 75 reviews on goodreads. The book was at #14 in best sellers list in Indian writing. The book has got mixed reviews. It was liked more by youngsters and despised by adults. 
What are you working on at the minute?
I am working on an assignment that I need to submit tomorrow. Jokes apart, I am currently writing the story for my next book. 
What are your thoughts on writing a book series?
Writing a series should come out naturally if the story of the book demands it. 
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
It may seem a silly advice but I would advise writers to maintain a journal and write every single day, at least for 15 minutes. 
Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?
Yes, I would like to thank your team for this interview. 
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Sumana Khan Author of Encounters

Sumana Khan has proven her mettle in her last two novels. Her books were always became sure shot page turner. We got chance to know more about her.

Can you brief us about yourself? About your personality, hobbies, likes & dislikes.
I was born and raised in Bangalore; I live in the UK now. I was an IT consultant for a little over a decade. I’m now full-time into academics and writing.
Hobbies – of course, anything related to books takes up a lot of my time. I’m either reading or writing. I’m also a movie buff and loiter around movie halls often.
I wouldn’t term it as ‘dislike’ but I do find social media interactions tedious.
Readers usually expect author as big time reader. Under which reader category you put yourself. Avid Reader, Normal Reader or Casual Reader? Tell us more about your reading habit.
I’m a voracious reader. Books accompany me everywhere; I don’t buy handbags which cannot accommodate a thick hardback! My interests range from serious classics to pulp fiction. I tend to read more literary and crime/horror than any other genre. I also keep an eye out for interesting debuts – some of the debuts by British and American authors have been exceptional.
Two of your books are already published and got good acceptance. From that experience, can you tell us which one is your stronghold as storyteller and which one is still weaker, where you would like to explore more?
I wouldn’t categorise it as weaker or stronger but both formats, be it a full length novel, or short story/novella/novelette present their own challenges. I do find writing short stories immensely challenging because you have very less elbow room to play with, yet you have to pack a punch with a self-contained story in limited word count. For a fledging writer like me, short stories provide a good and rigorous exercise in writing. A novel on the other hand requires a lot of commitment, patience and slavish devotion. From a technical perspective, I know I have a lot of work to do – when I see the debuts in the UK, their quality of writing, the superb execution of the plots, the nuanced complexity of the characters – yes, there’s a lot of room for self-improvement!
How deep you plan when you write? Do you plan everything or keep it upto your mood and imagination at time of writing? Do you keep changing roadmap of the characters of your story?
I usually develop the basic plot and the characters first. Then, I begin any relevant research that is required for the manuscript. Once I have my research notes in order, I usually decide at this stage about the narrative voice. Thereafter, I make a broad chapter outline and begin my writing. Of course, midway my characters can change, or an entirely new plot twist might pop up. If it makes sense, I do go ahead and rewrite. In other words, I don’t plan everything; I give myself enough flexibility to change course if the calling is very strong. However, I don’t depend on my mood etc for writing – I just park myself and begin to write.
If god gives you chance to pick one of the litarary work of any person on the earth as your own work, which one would you pick? Why?
That’s a great question! Although I have a lengthy list of books I wish I’d written – as an aspiring crime/horror novelist, top of my list are two books – Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Thomas Harris’s Silence of the fact the entire Hannibal Lecter collection including Red Dragon and Hannibal.
In terms of gothic horror, the sheer canvas and terror of Dracula is unsurpassable. To have created a character that spun off an entire genre, spilling into the next century – what more can a writer ask for? Dracula is a perfect example of creating a mood with words – dank, dark, squalid terror. The setting is exotic and forbidding at the same time. Naming the book after the anti-hero in itself is unique. The visualisation of a creature such as this one; propping it up with a historical background, Same with Silence of the Lambs and Red Dragon – the plot is so brilliant – it is a bible of sorts if you want to write about serial killers. True to its genres, Harris fully exploits psychological mind games, the reader finds the sordid details reviling, yet riveting. The books offer a master class to all writers of crime/thrillers where our biggest challenge is to balance pace and character development without compromising either.
Can you tell some interesting experience or event of your life which can inspire them?
Well, I can’t think of any actually. However, I can tell with conviction that to be a writer, you must also be open to constant learning, and you must look beyond your immediate frame of reference in terms of your personal world. You must cultivate an interest in understanding different world views, different cultures and different life experiences. 
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Meet Madhav Mathur Author of Dvarca

Indian literature has seen less number of books under the dystopian genre. Madhav Mathur's recent book Dvarca is able to get readers attention in short span. Let's meet Madhav and try to know about him and Dvarca.

Can you tell us about your education?
I’m an engineer, but I’ve done a lot of MOOCs. I try to keep learning new things formally and informally.
What were you like at school/college apart from studies?
I always had a submission or two for the school magazine, loved debating, quizzing, and participated in sports. I also wrote and acted in a number of plays in university. There were never enough hours in the day.
What are some day jobs you have held?
Banking, Management Consulting, Strategy Consulting
Which author inspire you the most?
I love reading and my favourite authors are Mikhail Bulgakov, Herman Hesse, Hemingway, Philip K Dick, Rabindranath Tagore, Albert Camus, and Solzhenitsyn.
When did you start writing?
I have been writing since I was a kid in school. I wrote a poem making fun of the principal and it made people laugh. I enjoyed that feeling and have been writing ever since.
When did you decide to become a writer?
It’s been a lifelong journey, as writing is something I have always done. I started taking it seriously in school, writing poems and articles for the magazine. I had a few publications in youth sections of newspapers before I went on to write plays, films and novels.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
I hope to keep searching for truth and to share it with people in an entertaining way that makes them think and ask questions. I don’t want to sound like anyone else. I don’t want to say things that have been said before, or in ways that are worn.
How is your day structured to accommodate your writing?
I usually write for a couple of hours in the morning before going to my day job. I edit the same work later in the evening. It’s a decent way to get a fresh perspective.
Can you tell us about your first book?
“Dvarca”, published by FingerPrint is my second book. Before this, Penguin published my novel – “The Diary of an Unreasonable Man”. Apart from novels I have written and directed numerous films, including two feature-length productions.
What genre are your books?
“Dvarca” is dystopian, speculative fiction. “The Diary of an Unreasonable Man” was a thriller.
Can you describe your current book in few lines? What’s it about?
Dvarca is the first of an admittedly ambitious trilogy. It is a satirical take on family life in a future totalitarian India. It takes readers into this frightening world and lets them see things through the lives of common people.

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Give us an insight into your main character(s)
There are three main characters in Dvarca. Through them I have tried to explore the ways in which we can challenge authoritarianism. Jyoti, a mother of two, is treated like cattle. She has very little control over her hours, and her body. Everything is monitored, curated and run by the State. She starts to question this regime and comes in contact with an underground movement plotting to overthrow the Government. Her compassion drives her choices and she faces great peril with courage.
Her husband, Gandharva, is a lowly bureaucrat who works at the Ministry of Finance and Salvation. He is obsessed with getting promoted and will do anything to advance his career. His fatal flaw is his curiosity, which leads him to uncover a sinister secret about Dvarca.
Their son, Nakul, is an outstanding student. He is patriotic, pious, and well on his way to becoming a great soldier. Something happens to him that changes his relationship with everyone around him.
Where did you get idea for this book?
My reasons for writing this book are related to a troubling childhood experience, that I think I share with most people of my generation. We were kids when the Babri Masjid was demolished. We were kids when the blasts shook Mumbai and riots took lives. These incidents left a mark on me and made me aware, for the first time, that friction or unresolved anger exists in society. Dvarca is a way to take these divisive elements, and project them into the future while imagining the worst. It is speculative fiction that hopes to find a peaceful way back from a horrible scenario. I made a short video to explain my motivations for writing Dvarca.

How much research did you do for this book?
There was a lot of research that went into creating Dvarca. My study still looks like a library hit by a hurricane. From foreign policy and international relations to scripture and its interpretations, I spent a lot of time reading and understanding more about the subjects I wanted to explore. The technology and science that exists in Dvarca also went through a rigorous process of discovery and investigation. I interviewed a significant number of people with views opposed to mine, to try and distil their arguments as best as I could, to debate them fairly through my work.
What was the most difficult thing about writing your latest book?
Dvarca was a difficult book to write, for three reasons- first there were many occasions when I would stop mid-sentence and wonder if I was crossing the line, entering dangerous and unchartered territory. This was echoed by some publishers who rejected my work, finding the content risky. Second, an entire world had to be created for this trilogy. It was not easy balancing character development, the story and world-building all at the same time. Thirdly, I gave myself the challenge of writing a story that did not answer violence with violence. Very often, books in the dystopian genre end up sticking-it-to-the-man with a bloody rebellion or uprising. My goal with the Dvarca trilogy is to bring change without becoming what you hate.
Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book?
There are a couple of short videos that we created for my book. One that talks about my motivations, which I already mentioned above and another, on the Facebook page, that describes what the book is all about.
How was the response from reader about your book?
It’s been less than six months, but “Dvarca” has an average rating of 4.1 on GoodReads and almost a full 5 stars on Amazon.
What are you working on at the minute?
Dvarca is a trilogy and I am completing books 2 and 3 at the moment. I have also started on a deeply personal project on a different topic. I hope it too will see the light of day.
What are your thoughts on writing a book series?
Writing a trilogy has given me the freedom to explore huge, far-reaching themes in a comprehensive way, while giving me the structure and discipline to make it happen. The Dvarca trilogy is like a world tour of fascism.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Write only if you feel you have something new to say. Don’t write for a market, don’t write for ratings. Write if you have seen or experienced truth and would like to share it in a way that is fresh. Once you have this motivation, nothing should stop you. Also, read as much as you can, all the time. It is as important as breathing, eating and sleeping.
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Meet S. J. Lem - Author of The Waterfall Traveler

Author S. J. Lem's debut book "The Waterfall Traveler" is touching market on April 19th, 2017. Let hear from her about her book.

Can you tell us about your education?
BA Digital Media Technology
What were you like at college apart from studies? 
Honestly, I was a bit of a workaholic. On top of going to school full-time (sometimes taking 18 credits or more), I also worked full-time. I had to pay for my education and housing myself, so I took it very seriously.
What are some day jobs you have held?
Currently I'm the Manager of Digital Design Direction for a large company that I've been with for the past thirteen years. But while in high school and college I held various jobs, from waiting tables to retail to freelance design. I also try to volunteer when time allows, and have done everything from volunteer gardening to dealing blackjack at a healthcare fundraiser.
Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
I do try to read as often as I can (though with raising a baby, work, and writing, it's been difficult to read as much as I'd like to lately). My taste in books is rather varied, and there are way too many to list, but here's a few: True Grit by Charles Portis, Watership Down by Richard  Adams, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, and 1984 by George Orwell. Now that I'm a mom, I've been revisiting many of my childhood favorites as well, including: The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams, The Serendipity Book Series by Stephen Cosgrove, Charlotte's Web by E.B. White, and Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice  Sendak.
When did you start writing?
About four years ago I started writing as a hobby. Shortly after that, I joined a writing group with some incredibly kind folks who helped me learn how to improve. I enjoyed it so much that I decided to attempt a novel. After many rounds of revisions--and countless cups of coffee--I completed The Waterfall Traveler.
When did you decide to become a writer?
I'm not sure there was a specific moment when I had this thought. It was just something that felt natural to me, so I did it.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
Ultimately, I would like people to read my book and enjoy it. Delivering a quality book for readers has always been one of my top goals. My other goal, and also a definition of success I think, is to do something that I love. I fell in love with writing and look forward to creating new worlds for many years to come.
Do you have a special time to write?
I have a 45-minute train commute to and from work each day, so I write rough drafts on my phone. I try to squeeze in time during my baby's nap to work on polishing those drafts.
What genre are your books?
Give us an insight into your main character.
Ri has spent most of her life caring for Samuel, so she is a very caring person. However, this has also isolated her to some degree, so while she is curious about the world beyond her village, she has not experienced it. In this story, she is swept away from her homeland and must confront not only dangers, but emotions that are unfamiliar to her as she grows close with her new companions. At times she sees things very black and white in terms of what's right and what's wrong, and at other times she makes impulsive decisions based solely on emotion. She is strong-willed and at times stubborn, and does tend to remain that way throughout the book. However, her understanding of the world, friendship, and love evolves throughout her adventure.
Where did you get the idea for this book?
The general idea just came to me, but it changed over time as I learned more about my characters, their past, their challenges, and the forces against them.
How much research did you do for this book?
A lot! Since this is my first novel, I read many books on all things related to the craft--from how to develop characters to how to write vivid fight scenes. I also wanted to write dimensional characters, with believable flaws and motives, so I also read a few psychology books. I like to have as much hands-on research as possible, and have taken classes that range from fencing, to hatchet throwing, to wilderness survival.
Who is your favorite character and why?
It's a toss-up between Carter and Mallory. Carter is a womanizing con artist, but he changes drastically overtime, and the reader learns that there is much more depth to him. I enjoyed writing him as he has some great, witty lines throughout the book. Mallory, on the other hand, is a madman with a vendetta against the gods. When Ri first meets him, he is an uncaring jerk obsessed with revenge. However, once his past is revealed it humanizes him, and he becomes almost a mentor to Ri. He has bone-chilling lines throughout the story.
What was the hardest thing about writing this book?
I think getting over self-doubt. Often I would write a scene, only to reread it and think it was terrible. But, I joined a critique group and the encouragement I received from other writers helped me get past this hurdle.
What are you working on at the moment?
In between marketing initiatives, I'm in the process of outlining the second book in the series.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Don't doubt yourself and just write. Learn as much as you can from others by joining a critique group.
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