Posted in Author Interviews

Author Interview #45: Sujay Malik


Chartered Accountancy, a degree in Law and a degree in Commerce later, Sujay discovered the little writing bug entrenched within him. He comes from a family of legal professionals and his extreme passion for writing made him the winner of MyStory Contest of Tata Literature Live, The Mumbai Litfest 2017. A resident of Mumbai, Sujay enjoys reading, playing table-tennis, taking long walks and listening to music. Let’s get to know him more-

  • Tell us something about your recently published book Different Beads of the Same String.

Well, Different Beads of the Same String is basically a collection of ten short stories. Now the thing with short stories is that it gives you the liberty to explore genres and topics which may be completely disjointed from each other. But if you look at all the stories; as different as they may be from each other, there is an underlying essence embedded in each of them which you may feel connected to. And that is precisely why I have the words, “Different” and “Same” in the title. That, incidentally sums up what the book endeavours to achieve.

I have always believed that stories are nothing but a reflection of the times that we live in.
Hence you will see that in “Different Beads of the Same String”, each story is telling you
something, something about our society, about the ethos, about the values and about how
we look at people and things around us. Inspiration for the book came from all that I saw around me. And as I said earlier I didn’t want to rant about it relentlessly. The interesting way to do it was through stories and I love the idea of short stories to say what I have to. I have tried to ensure that ‘Different Beads of the Same String’ tells you something without raving and overtly preaching about it. At least that’s the attempt and also where I draw my inspiration from.

Read my review of Sujay’s book “Different Beads of the Same String”

  • When did you start writing?

That’s an interesting question. I have actually tried hard to ask myself that question, but I can hardly recall the start of my journey as a writer. I guess I always had a creative skew as far as writing was concerned, since my schooling days. Somehow languages bailed me out in my results always. I remember I was scared to the hilt of Mathematics till eighth standard and was absolutely atrocious at Art and Craft. But the three languages were my saviours always. Being in Mumbai my three languages comprised of English, Hindi and Marathi and I had a penchant for literature in any form. As introverted and aloof as I was, I loved participating in Elocutions and Creative Writing Contests. I remember one of my essays in school exam got selected to be published straight into the school magazine and it was one of my proudest moments. That was probably where the seed of the dream to write was implanted.

But as they say, life intervened. I got involved in trying to shape up a conventional career for myself. I did my Graduation in Commerce and went on to do Chartered Accountancy. I also acquired a degree in Law. Somewhere along the line, writing fell by the wayside. But I used to write sporadically. It started off as poems and four liners in Hindi and English. I loved the idea of conveying a thought or an emotion in just four lines. But as I said it was intermittent and unstructured. But at the same time I also realised I was completely myself when words flowed out of my pen (or as the case is now – from mobile phone touchscreen or keyboard :-) The idea of a book and stories had started to germinate but somehow I couldn’t ensure that it was given an opportunity to perpetuate.

As I started to realise the happenings in and around me, awareness dawned and as some people would say, life happened, for the umpteenth time. Writing was a release. It allowed me a platform. It allowed to present my emotions which I otherwise found hard to exhibit. I am usually critical and honest of myself whenever I do a task or engage in an activity, but when it came to writing I thought I probably did a decent job. If only I could hone it and structure it better!

My stories will always resonate the social fabric and human persona and character, just the way I see it. I figured that instead of just raving and filling pages with stinging words, a better idea may be to give a touch of realism yet maintain a fictional status to a story. Ironically fiction and reality intermingle at times and I loved that idea. Gradually I started looking for public writing platforms and took to reading extensively. Hence, as you can see there is no concrete answer to when my journey started but this is what the journey is all about. I do hope it continues endlessly. I guess it will keep me going for everything that comes my way – this intriguing journey of being a writer.

  • Interesting! What is the purpose of your writing?

Well, the purpose is largely two- fold and these two reasons, as diametrically opposite as they might seem, are the reasons that words flowing out from my pen or keyboard embalm me. First and foremost I write for myself. Now as selfish as that may sound, I believe one can do a good enough job only if the writing is unadulterated and unabashed. If you write to suit others around you, then the writing gets diluted. I know it works for some writers but I choose to follow my own way here. I think if your writing can appeal to you, chances are it may appeal to most others if not all.

And secondly I write because I sincerely think that it does have the power to influence lives. How many times have we heard of a book changing people’s lives or the way they think! Or even simply recalling the message that a particular book conveyed. History is replete with such examples and I do believe if I can prompt my readers to understand my message and thoughts through my books then I think that would be pretty fulfilling. The meaning of entertainment has changed but I do believe that reading is still one of the more productive forms of entertainment. The message imparted to the readers through the written word has the ability to stand the test of time. Hopefully this learning process will continue for me too and help me keep evolving.

  • Given the novelty, do you see a movie based on “Different Beads of the Same” being made?

Well, the subject matter of my stories are pretty off beat, and I use the term off-beat for the want of a better word. But movies are changing with the masses desiring newer ideas and newer concepts. They are lapping up novel themes. So yes, it would be great to get adapted into a movie or multiple movies or even web series for that matter.

  • What is your idea of love, family and relationships on the whole?

Love and relationship is a process. And like every process it must be nurtured to survive. It is important because whatever you do in life, the backdrop is your family and support that
they bring along. Having said that, it is imperative to have your own space and your own identity. One must strive to get better every day. I say this because I see a lot of people getting stifled by relationships instead of the relationship egging them through.

But on the whole if you have a great family then more than half the problems are resolved then and there. There are people who have shone through despite stuffy family atmosphere but that is, more an exception than a rule. Most of them end up succumbing to the eventuality and are left lamenting about what might have been in only…

  • Which of your works have been published so far?

This is my first book. I have also been a winner of “My Story Contest” by the Mumbai Literature Festival i.e. Tata LitLive in 2017 for my short story “Just Legally“. I have been published in an anthology too which is called “Twisted Fates – Break Free”. Besides I have three more stories published on the writing platform of Juggernaut Books App. And hopefully i should have my new book out in early 2019 as well for which I’m working on right now.

  • So how was this journey of becoming a published author?

beads_string

Well I’m learning the tricks of the trade even as I give this interview. So yes, it has been enlightening and quite exerting because it was an unchartered territory for me, as a newbie. My career path has been different and publishing process was a whole new ball game. But I learnt a lot and am thankful to my publishers Notion Press for their work on my book.

  • Have you self-published your book or followed the traditional approach?

I have self published this book and I am pretty satisfied with how it has undergone so far.

  • Which approach is better according to you: traditional or self-publishing, and why?

I think there are pros and cons to both the approaches. The key is to understand both the approaches and go with what works for you. Personally I would like to go with traditional publishing for my next since, I do believe that the credibility factor that traditional publishing brings is satisfying and motivating. Having said that, there is nothing wrong in self- publishing. So many authors who were self-published initially, are all bestsellers today.

I think how you publish is important but a critical factor also is, how you market it. Marketing a book is often misunderstood and an understated phenomena. I believe marketing a book is important because if you have a fabulous product then you should also have knowledgeable buyers. Otherwise the goodness of the product is a nullity and helps no one.

  • What should the beginners do today?

Read a lot and write a lot. It is as simple or as complicated as that. Also it is important to understand what your strengths and weaknesses are. Once you know what you can and cannot do and understand yourself in the bargain, things are easier to deal with. Beginners must also learn to be patient. Instant success in writing is rare. You need to stick in there, hone your craft and improve. If you can do this, chances of being recognized and commence a satisfying writing journey increases.

  • What is your take on book publishing as you see the current scenario?

The problem with current publishing scenarios is that practically everyone wants to be a writer. While that is quite welcome, people are becoming or trying to become writers without even going into depths of what writing is all about. I say this with great respect and utmost caution, since I’m a newbie myself but having read some of the books myself I believe that even basic aspects like grammar or sentence construction or even punctuation is being conveniently ignored. Let alone development of character or the depth of literary quality which literature is supposed to deliver in the first place. That is why it is important to separate grain from the chaff. I think it is important to understand that storytelling is an art and has to be nurtured. You have to devote time and effort. There are people who encounter success too, but for me I would want to ensure my books touches in essence to people and the message intended hits them. Idealistic but then I would want to write and continue to write for these and these reasons only.

  • What are your forthcoming writings?

There are some unstructured ideas in my mind which I intend to give more shape to. I love the short story segment but I do have a distorted novel idea too, which I do hope will see the light of day soon. I do hope to give a more structured response to this in the months to come and hopefully I should be on track for that.

  • What are the four top most things you take care of while writing a book?

First and foremost is that I write what comes to me and what I want to write about. I do not try to alter it just to suit a more populist or so-called accepted form of writing. I do that because I do not want to lose the very reason for which I started writing in the first place. I believe that readers are good enough to understand, that the content that they are consuming is told from a particular perspective.

Secondly, I am particular about the language and grammatical attributes that my writings have to offer. I believe that writing must reflect the thoughts, and thoughts can be communicated through the language and the finesse ingrained in it. If you can choose the manner in which the sentences and thoughts are constructed then a simple sentence can be beautiful too. This is not to say that I am perfect in my language. Which is why, I believe a lot in editing and re-editing to fine tune my writing. I usually end up editing my stories at least 3-4 times before availing the services of professional editors to ensure that the book is error- free and reader friendly. There may still be errors which may creep in but I believe I must take as much care as possible to ensure a reader-friendly experience for my readers.

Thirdly, I try and not stick to a plan. What happens is when an idea germinates, I know vaguely where my story is heading but somewhere in the middle I tend to realize that if I do not stick to a pattern then may be I can tweak certain portions suitably. I try to be flexible and not stick to the initial version, a pattern I have done with lots of stories. This may not be a guaranteed solution but if sure has the probability to succeed.

And finally I try and write as regularly as I can. It is a process and needs to be inculcated as such. I enjoy it and till I continue to enjoy I think it will hold me in great stead.

  • What is your favorite genre and why?

Curiously there is not favourite genre. I read what I can and whenever I can, depending on my mood. Thrillers, History, Romance, Self-Help, it all depends on what I like to read at that point in time. But one thing is for sure, I try and read regularly and ensure that there is consistency in my reading.

  • What / Who is your biggest source of inspiration in life?

My biggest inspiration is the spirit with which, the not so privileged segments of society crusade through their lives. I am intrigued by the rigours that they go through and I feel that if they can show so much courage when life can be so challenging then I am sure there are no problems which cannot be overcome. And whenever I am stuck with an issue, I try to think of a solution and not a problem. Of course there are some things which bog me down, but on the whole I try to wriggle out of it in my own way. This thing keeps me grounded, humble and seeking answers always. It also inspires me to be a better person tomorrow than what I am today.

  • What is the biggest challenge you have ever faced and how did you overcome it?

I have gone through a bout of depression early in my life and that has made me what I am today. Very few people supported me through it when I was in the midst of my battle with it. Eventually, with the support of a few well-wishers and my own determination I came out of it. I harbour no ill-feelings about it against anyone, but you do realize that people around you can be fickle-minded and uni-dimensional.

This is a long story but to cut it short, I had to take the onus on myself to come out of it or simply choose to plummet deeper into the vortex. It is easy to say all this today, but while I was going through it, every day seemed a challenge to simply get through. In fact a day was too long. Every hour possibly every minute was hard enough. It has had some ever-lasting effects since it lasted quite a while but I have accepted the fact willingly and I am happy it taught me many lessons which I otherwise wouldn’t have learned. I have realized that if there is a problem in life then more than finding a solution, the key is to have a strong will to find a solutions.

If you keep wallowing in self-pity and immersing yourself in the problem itself then you are only making things difficult for yourself.

  • If you had to live a day of your life as one of the living or dead personality, who would it be and why?

I have immense admiration for Harsha Bhogle, the Cricket Presenter. I have seen a lot of his shows and I am simply in awe of him. His talks are inspiring and I have personally derived a lot of strength from it. I like how he has carved a niche for himself in a world where he was perceived to be an outsider. A lot of people call him the Sachin Tendulkar of commentary, I choose to call Sachin Tendulkar, the Harsha Bhogle of Batting. I may be castigated for this, but that’s how much I admire the man. His humility, commitment and desire for excellence appeals a lot to me. So if you were to ask me what I want to achieve in my field I would say that if I come even remotely close to achieving what Mr. Bhogle has in his field I think I would have done myself a real favour.

  • And finally, any message for the readers?

Read a lot. Read a lot of right stuff. And finally read my books. You may like them 🙂

So that was Sujay for you, author of “Different Beads of the Same String“.

Read my review of Sujay’s book “Different Beads of the Same String”

You can get in touch with Sujay directly at: sujay.malik@gmail.com

Contact Madhuri for your author interview and getting your book reviewed / edited: writermadhuri@gmail.com

Follow her reviews on-
Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/madhurivarmatheauthor
Twitter handle: https://twitter.com/madhu_rv

P.S. Please RATE the post. Hover on the stars and mark it. And LIKE the post if you like the interview.

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Posted in Author Interviews

Author Interview #44: Revathi Raj Iyer


Revathi Raj Iyer, author of “My Friendship with Yoga” published by LiFi Publications, is a freelance writer, book reviewer, company director, service volunteer, and yoga/fitness enthusiast. Professionally qualified as Company Secretary (India & New Zealand) with legal background, she has worked in the corporate field for over a decade. She bid adieu to a rewarding career with a multinational to become a full time mum and pursue her twin passions: yoga and full-time writing. She lives in Ahmedabad, India and has completed her next book which is a collection of short stories. Let’s get to know her more-

  • Tell us something about your recently published book My Friendship With Yoga.

My Friendship with Yoga is about my progression from learning under an instructor to achieving confidence in self-practice and sharing my varied experiences with readers. I have presented the complicated aspects of yoga in a lucid style with practical hints so as to cater book lovers of all age groups and skill levels.

Read my review of Revathi’s book “My Friendship With Yoga”

  • When did you start writing?

I began as a closet writer at a very young age. As a book lover, I have often wondered as to what it takes to be on the other side and how wonderful it would be to connect with readers all over the world. I started reviewing books and was invited to join the panel of Muse India. I also began writing stories, poems, limericks and articles. This was my transition phase. As my work started getting acknowledged in magazines, both print and online, I felt encouraged and continued to write. I then decided to combine my passion for yoga and writing to reach out to a wider audience. “My Friendship with Yoga” thus took shape and was launched on the 10th January, 2017 at the New Delhi World Book Fair. Thanks to LiFi Publications for making this happen!

  • Interesting! What is the purpose of your writing?

Writing is very therapeutic and it makes me happy. I love to connect with people through my work. “My Friendship with Yoga” is my humble attempt to inspire readers and spread awareness of health by sharing all what I have been exposed to.

  • What inspired you to bring forth this idea as a book?

Physical activity was dominant in my life right from an early age. I trained as a classical dancer since my school days and this continued till my late twenties. For almost a decade there was a complete break as I became engrossed with my career together with being a hands on mum to a lovely little daughter alongside other demands that needed my attention. Things changed when we moved to Fiji Islands. I chose to take a break from my corporate career and became a full time mum. I got back into fitness with intense aerobics and strength training, along with a bunch of friends. Around that time when I was in my late thirties, I began to read about yoga, tai chi and was filled with an urge to learn something different. As destiny would have it, a disciple of Yogacharya BKS Iyengar was deputed to Fiji to introduce this ancient tradition to the people of Fiji. Yoga was at my door step and thus began my journey in this paradise island. To me it was an exercise, dance, meditation and gradual awakening of a hidden spiritual side within me. I embraced yoga with heartfelt love and since then it has become part of my routine. It made me realize as to how yoga can change one’s lifestyle and perception. I understood its therapeutic as well as meditative aspects and felt inspired to share my friendship with yoga.

  • What is your idea of meditation and spirituality?

My idea of meditation is being able to improve concentration and develop a receptive, calm and open mind that wishes to learn and evolve. To me, spirituality is self-discovery and being able to experience the divinity that is within each one of us.

  • Which of your works have been published so far?
  1.  My debut book titled “My Friendship with Yoga” was launched at the New Delhi World Book Fair, in January, 2017. Since then it has been exhibited at several International Book Fairs viz. London, Frankfurt, Abu Dhabi, Tehran, Colombo, Indonesia and Beijing under the auspices of The National Book Trust, India. It was also displayed at the College & Research Libraries Conference, Baltimore.
  2. Many of my short stories, flash fiction, book reviews and other writings have been published in Muse India. Click onto author index link followed by my name to view these.
  3. Short story “The Visitor” and “Serendipitous moment” were published in Woman’s era
  4. My poem “She” was published in Singapore based Kitab.
  5. Two of my poems “Timeless friendship” and “Rizzu” were published in The Sunday
    Hans, newspaper.
  6. Another poem “An evening to remember” was published in the print version of Woman’s era.
  7. My Facebook Page “Expression of Pearls” showcases my work.
  • Woah! That’s far too many 😀
    So how was this journey of becoming a published author?

My friendship with yoga

To me, success is being able to accomplish my goals that I set at the start of each year and happiness is to enjoy that journey. Hence, the journey of becoming a published author has been extremely exciting and fulfilling. It is important to follow the guidelines and present a well-crafted proposal to capture the attention of the publisher since that will start the dialogue between a potential author and publisher. Be relentless but patient in your efforts. “Where there is a will, there is a way” is the mantra that kept me on my toes. A professional approach and adhering to deadlines helps build a rapport with the publisher. I used to meticulously check and edit my manuscript at every stage of completion, along with the team of Lifi.

  • Have you self-published your book or followed the traditional approach?

 My book has been published under the traditional method.

  • Which approach is better according to you: traditional or self-publishing, and why?

I think there is a lot more challenge and excitement in the traditional approach as opposed to self-publishing a book. However, the marketing and promotion is something the author has to be actively involved in and support the publisher, regardless of the method of publishing.

  • What should the beginners do today?

They could seek the support of a mentor who will be able to guide them along the way, unless they are self-starters with penchant and drive for excellence.

  • What is your take on book publishing as you see the current scenario?

It is a highly competitive business but still there is room for emerging writers to create their own footprint.

  • What are your forthcoming writings?

 My next project is a collection of intriguing, theme based short stories with interesting backdrop ranging from the dainty dwellings of India to the land of the long white clouds and larger than life characters.

  • What are the four top most things you take care of while writing a book?

 Syntax, Style, Narration, & Milieu

  • I see! What is your favorite genre and why?

My favorite genre is a racy thriller as it breaks my routine.

  • What / Who is your biggest source of inspiration in life?

Humility and generosity are the traits that inspire me the most. My source of inspiration keeps changing all the time that I now have a long list of ones who have touched my life.

  • What is the biggest challenge you have ever faced and how did you overcome it?

Health scare that fortunately turned out to be a misdiagnosis – yoga & meditation helped me through the whole phase.

  • If you had to live a day of your life as one of the living or dead personality, who would it be and why?

 My namesake actress / director Revathi for her talent and versatility.

  • And finally, any message for the readers?

Rejections are a part of the whole process of being ultimately accepted and acknowledged, as a writer. Please do not give up, no matter what, and pursue your passion, despite the road blocks. Do not ever succumb to this self-created monster, the so called ‘writer’s block’, which is a fragment of our own imagination. Think of the book lovers and connect with them. Write for them and the passion will always be with you.

So that was Revathi for you, author of “My Friendship With Yoga“.

Read my review of Revathi’s book “My Friendship With Yoga”

You can get in touch with Revathi directly at: chirminey@gmail.com

Contact Madhuri for your author interview and getting your book reviewed / edited: writermadhuri@gmail.com

Follow her reviews on-
Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/madhurivarmatheauthor
Twitter handle: https://twitter.com/madhu_rv

P.S. Please RATE the post. Hover on the stars and mark it. And LIKE the post if you like the interview.

Posted in Author Interviews

Author Interview #43: Shree


Author of over 10+ books, Shree has made her mark in the literary world with her work. I spoke to her at length about one of her unconventional books “Silent Invaders” and to know more about her. Below is an excerpt of our conversation-

  • Tell us something about your book Silent Invaders:

Silent Invaders is my debut novel (or novella, if you want to call it), published in June 2016 and I am honored it is still being talked about. It is a mystery-thriller revolving around the life of a young woman Sana and hate crimes which were nurtured due to childhood assaults. Sana develops a horrific mental illness, which impacts her normal life drastically. She remains totally oblivious of what is happening to her and around her. But her near and dear ones finally stir the society to become aware of the reasons and the consequences of the traumatic condition Sana went through.

Read my review of Shree’s book “Silent Invaders”

  • When did you start writing?

As a kid I was fascinated by my mother’s storytelling talent, and I tried my hand at essays and poems for school magazines. I really loved the experience when my teachers and classmates patted my back with appreciation for my work. That encouraged me to write more. I had been writing poems, articles, and short stories in local magazines and newsletters regularly and finally I decided that this is what I really want to do in my life.

  • That’s amazing! What is the purpose of your writing?

To feed my brain with knowledge, to feast my imaginations, to quench my thirst for learning, and to involve the masses in reading with my simplicity in storytelling.

  • What inspired you to bring forth this idea as a book?

There is a real story behind the written story 🙂 One of the very talented and critically acclaimed directors of the Indian film industry, Mr. Jaideep Chopra, requested me to write a crime thriller with a female lead for his upcoming movie. He gave his own ideas on how he was visualizing his film on silver screen and then completely relied on me to shape up the story. I was honestly nervous as it was a huge responsibility to live up to his trust. During that time one of my very close family members was suffering from serious depression issues and I was trying to deal with it. Unfortunately or fortunately that situation sparked my imagination to go wild and think about a plot based on mental illness.

  • Interesting! Which of your other works have been published so far?

(i) Secret Expressions – Two Stories (collection of two short stories)
(ii)
Silent Invaders (selected in Quarter Finals of Screencraft Cinematic Short Story [for Hollywood] Contest 2017)
(iii) The Stunning Banff – A Travelogue (part of an anthology “Flock – The Journey”)
(iv) The Pastoral Calling – short paranormal (part of anthology “Different Strokes”)
(v) Onuronon – kichhu kobita, kichhu ghazal (Bengali Poetry collection and translation of ghazals)

  • That’s pretty impressive, Shree! So how was this journey of becoming a published author?

silent invadersFor me to become a published author has been a massive learning process. It has been nearly two and half years since I got my first book published. And since then I am constantly acquiring knowledge on various methods, techniques, trends, networking, genres, promotions, opportunities, and value-additions. Publishing is a whole new world for me — entirely different than the introvert world inside my study with myself and my laptop. It is a complete eye-opener.

  • I understand! Based on your experience, what do you think the beginners should do today?

Identify their interest, do a lot of research as resources are available in abundance nowadays, build their own tribe, and most importantly — follow their heart.

  • That makes sense! What is your take on book publishing as you see the current scenario?

In the current scenario, doing anything is extremely tough as there is a huge competition. There are millions of writers and poets and everyone wants to get published. It is very difficult to stand out in this situation. Hence selecting the right time and option and setting targets and strategy accordingly are extremely important.

  • What are your forthcoming writings?

I am currently working on several short stories for various American and Commonwealth journals and magazines. And a poem has been confirmed to be published in an anthology.

  • Wow! Since you write so much, I’m intrigued to ask what the top four things you take care of the most while writing a book.

Good question! Although all books are different, like all babies are different 🙂 , there are some basic factors which I personally take care of :

  1. The most important thing is editing the manuscript technically before publishing, so that the story is free of silly errors
  2. Give my story an attention-grabbing start
  3. Keep the story-telling gripping yet easy-to- read
  4. End my story such that the readers yearn for more
  • What is your favorite genre and why?

My favorite genre is Flash Fiction because it is a fast-paced read where the writer has to distill every conversation, every action, every description and every gesture within a few given paragraphs. Writing flash fiction is deceptively complex, but is incredibly rewarding.

  • What / Who is your biggest source of inspiration in life?

In my initial life my dearest maternal grandmother and my mother, who is a writer too, have inspired me. Currently my life-partner has picked up the role. 🙂

  • How nice! 🙂 What is the biggest challenge you have ever faced and how did you overcome it?

For me life itself has been a challenge. It has tried me at different times in different forms and shades. I have progressively learned to remain positive and determined and overcome challenges with the energy of happiness and good “karma”.

  • That’s something everyone should follow! Shree, if you had to live a day of your life as one of the living or dead personality, who would it be and why?

Oh this is a tricky one because over time I have been fascinated by various personalities for several reasons. But at this moment I can think of none other than Nelson Mandela, the only reason being his unfathomable determination of converting his dreams into reality. Every time I think about that tiny prison cell where he evolved a university within himself to develop and prepare for the future, amidst all the pains and losses he had been through, my eyes well up with uncontrollable tears. To me he is the real meaning of “Invictus”.

  • And finally, any message for the readers?

Identify your interests, dream big, be positive, and have faith. Always remember two things, again quoted by Nelson Mandela: “It always seems impossible until it’s done” and “I never lose. I either win or learn

So that was Shree for you, author of “Silent Invaders“.

Read my review of Shree’s book “Silent Invaders”

You can get in touch with Shree directly at: shreeauthor@gmail.com

Contact Madhuri for your author interview and getting your book reviewed / edited: writermadhuri@gmail.com

Follow her reviews on-
Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/madhurivarmatheauthor
Twitter handle: https://twitter.com/madhu_rv

P.S. Please RATE the post. Hover on the stars and mark it. And LIKE the post if you like the interview.

Posted in Author Interviews

Author Interview #42: Gautam Dutta


An academician by profession and associated with various Universities both in India and abroad, Gautam has an unflinching thirst for knowledge and is interested in eclectic topics such as Science, Psychology, Philosophy, and International Geopolitics. Let’s get to know him more-

  • Tell us something about your recently published book Strangers With Known Faces.

‘Strangers With Known Faces’ is a story of five friends in the University, who split up after a bad fight. They are reunited two decades later when one of them is murdered, and the other four happen to be suspects. During interrogation, they tell their story- how they met, why they fought and separated, and why they were involved in the same case all over again, despite not knowing each other for more than twenty years. Now they have to find the real murderer to prove themselves innocent. And for that, they have to trust each other, which is easier said than done given their past history and the present set of circumstances, where evidence is heavily loaded against one of them. During investigation, they realize the hidden aspects of the human personality that is latent in everyone (including themselves). This hidden self can manifest in unpleasant ways.

Read my review of Gautam’s book “Strangers With Known Faces”

  • When did you start writing?

I had the story idea back in 2012. But I started writing only in 2015, during a period of unemployment.

  • Interesting! What is the purpose of your writing?

To express myself. People need a creative outlet. Different people find it in different activities- painting, sculpture, photography, music, culinary arts, etc. I have an active imagination, and like to think ‘If that had happened, what would be the scenario’. That makes me a writer!

  • What inspired you to bring forth this idea as a book?

Two things. One, this book is a symbolic confession. I had a message to convey to a few people, saying that I am sorry. I also wanted to tell someone that I have moved on, I am happy without you, I do not miss you anymore, and that you should move on as well. I could not do that directly. To relieve myself from the misplaced sense of guilt, I wrote a story where the characters face the same dilemmas that I did.

Second, it was an attempt to cross two distinct genres of fiction — conspiracy thriller and romantic drama. A visit to a bookstore revealed that the fiction section primarily comprises of two kinds of books- those that are about life in college, life after college, friendship, romance, etc (a genre made popular by Chetan Bhagat and the likes); or books about spies, terrorists, and government conspiracies (Tom Clancy, Frederick Forsyth, Robert Ludlum, etc). I decided to write a story that would fall under both these categories.

  • Do you see a movie based on “Strangers With Known Faces” being made?

Yes, a lot of them. If you ask me, this book is a hybrid of Dil Chahta Hai, Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna, and Mission Impossible. A character narrating his backstory during an investigation has been done before as well- in Slumdog Millionaire and Kabir Khan’s New York. I had the story idea in my mind since 2012, but I wasn’t able to pen it down. The movie that actually prompted me to write is the Ranbir Kapoor starrer Roy. In that movie, a filmmaker with writer’s block takes inspiration from real life for his next project, and weaves his own story into that of notorious thief. After watching the movie, I adopted the same approach. I mixed real-life incidents with newspaper headlines (like the Augusta Westland Scam) and plots of the above-mentioned movies. It is something akin to hybridized orbitals in Organic Chemistry. And the result of that is ‘Strangers With Known Faces’.

  • What is your idea of love, family, and relationships on the whole?

This is a rather complicated topic to speak on. We all look for relationships in the hope of fulfilling something incomplete in our lives. That should not be the case. We are all complete and perfect by our own selves. The purpose of a relationship should be to find someone with who we can share that ‘completeness’. Real love is not something that binds; it is something that sets you free. And no love for others is possible unless we give love to our own self. If you find your own company boring, how can you expect others to enjoy it?

  • That’s a very different thought and intriguing indeed! So moving on, which of your works have been published so far?

‘Strangers With Known Faces’ is the only novel of mine to get published. Besides this, non-fiction articles written by me have appeared in certain journals.

  • So how was this journey of becoming a published author?

strangers with known facesOnce the manuscript was ready, I came across certain publishers who publish books written by debut authors. I phoned the office of the Gurgaon based Invincible Publishers. At that time, it was quite new in business. The founder, Mr. Ajay Setia was very much interested in my book’s plot. After my book was selected for publication, I paid a small amount to cover for the printing cost. I already had the front and back cover-design in place. The entire process did not take much time. Within a month, the Kindle Edition of my book was ready. Two weeks later, the hard copy got printed.

  • Have you self-published your book or followed the traditional approach?

The word ‘self-publication’ has more than on meaning. I certainly did not publish the book myself. As mentioned before, my book has been published by Invincible Publishers, Gurgaon. But I did pay a small sum for the printing cost.

  • Which approach is better according to you: traditional or self-publishing, and why?

This depends on an individual basis. Self-publishing is a boon for debut authors who have no credentials beforehand. The other option is to contact multiple publishing houses either on your own or to outsource the publisher hunt to a literary agent. This latter generally is a time-consuming process. But it is easy for people like established journalists. The publishing circles take a good notice of both fiction and non-fiction works by that community. In this case, self-publishing is a redundant option. One advantage of the traditional publisher is the in-house editor who corrects typos and grammatical mistakes at no extra cost. But then these editors are also known to interfere in the story’s plot. Sometimes that is a good thing. A constructive suggestion should always be adhered to. But it many cases, this may go against the author’s vision.

  • What should the beginners do today?

The beginners should get a good story first. For that to happen, one has to read a lot. Thanks to the encouragement to newcomers by various publishing houses, there is a glut of fiction in the market these days. Without taking names, I can safely say that the only stuff that these people have read are novels with mushy 6/7 word titles. If you are a serious reader, please stay away from those books. If you cannot read non-fiction books on psychology and philosophy, at least start with classic literature. And by classic, I do not necessarily mean Charles Dickens or Leo Tolstoy. Closer home, both in distance and time, there are authors like Ruskin Bond and Anita Desai. Once a good story has been envisioned, the next step is to put it into words. The Queen’s English is not a necessity these days, but blatant grammatical errors do take away the charm of the reading process. Thankfully, we have software like Grammarly that give suggestions for the more grammatically appropriate alternative in case of an error. And most important: all literature may not be in English. An author should writein a language he/she is most comfortable in. Literature, like music, should not be bound by language.

  • What is your take on book publishing as you see the current scenario?

Like all other industries, the book publishing sector is going through a transitory phase. The rapids strides in Information Technology and the prevalence of the ubiquitous social media have given people a lot to choose from. The Kindle reader and concepts like self- publishing have made the game more interesting. The changing social, cultural, economic, political, and technological scenario throughout the world has given birth to a lot of new ideas. There are so many topics to write about, and so much for the readers to choose from. Publishing houses need a different marketing strategy to cater to the current market. What worked two decades back will certainly not work now.

  • What are your forthcoming writings?

The title of my next novel is ‘21st Century Breakdown’. It is inspired by the eponymous Green Day album. Without revealing much, I will say that it is also a coming-of- age story where that spans two decades. It is about characters that suck at maintaining personal relationships. And the general collapse in social structure that comes as a result of it. It will be a tearjerker with certain humorous parts. And no novel of mine is complete without action scenes. The reader can expect shootouts, vehicle chases, one-on- one street fights. But the focus is on the action; it is on the characters. I promise to give you characters that you cannot easily forget!

  • What are the four top most things you take care of while writing a book?

The first thing is a good story. The blurb should make the reader interested in knowing more about the book. I take a lot of time to come up with an appropriate name for my book- one that justifies the content inside while being catchy enough to command attention. An important thing is to make sure that there aren’t plot-holes in the story. This is especially important when writing the thriller genre. Don’t include stuff for which there is no explanation- even if that does not matter in the long-run. And do not include stuff that goes against the human nature. That is why I have stressed about reading non-fiction books on psychology. I try to get in the mind-set of the character while writing a story. I try to analyze the character’s fears and motivations. And finally I check for typos and grammatical errors. This is not a perfect process. But as I am reliant on self-publishing, I have to do that on my own.

  • What is your favorite genre and why?

In non-fiction, I like reading books on psychology and spirituality. The former offers a good insight into the workings of the human mind, while the latter gives clues on how to transcend the human mind! In fiction, there is the thriller/mystery genre that has been a perpetual favourite. As far as mystery stories are concerned, I prefer reading short-stories than full length novels so that I can read more of it at the same time!

  • What / Who is your biggest source of inspiration in life?

A lot of people have inspired me in different ways. But if I have to name one person, let me tell a personal story. It was the first semester at my Engineering College. Two mid-terms tests had taken place, and the finals were just fifteen days away. We were all apprehensive as we were writing a University level exam for the first time in our lives. As a lot of people already know, the subjects in the first year of Engineering is common for all students, irrespective of the stream. One subject in the first-semester was ‘Electrical Science’, which is the basic subject of Electrical Engineering. The instructor in that subject told us to be confident and not to worry. The only people who should be concerned are those who scored a zero in both the first and second midterm. There was only one student in my section who had a zero in both midterms- Parikshit Yadav. Cut to the present day, there is only one person from my entire batch who has a PhD in Electrical Engineering. That is Pariskhit Yadav! That too from the National University of Singapore.

  • What is the biggest challenge you have ever faced and how did you overcome it?

The biggest challenge in my life has been to let go of my hard-held beliefs in light of new knowledge or information. We all have secrets- some that we keep and some that are kept from us (Quote Courtesy: Spiderman!). What one does when faced with the truth is more difficult than you think (Quote Courtesy: Wonder Woman!). It has been difficult for me. I am still trying to overcome. One of the things I did was to write my book ‘Strangers With Known Faces’. As mentioned before, it was a good release for all the pent-up emotions.

  • If you had to live a day of your life as one of the living or dead personality, who would it be and why?

I cannot think of any one personality. But if it was possible, I would like to live one day as a common man in different places and time-periods. For example, I would like to spend a day in WW2 London, post-independence India, the Samurai-dominated 16th century Japan, so-on- and-so- forth. This would give an interesting insight into the progress we made as a human civilization.

  • And finally, any message for the readers?

This was a long interview. Thank you for reading!

So that was Gautam for you, author of “Strangers With Known Faces“.

Read my review of Gautam’s book “Strangers With Known Faces”

You can get in touch with Gautam directly at: gautamdutta5678@gmail.com

Contact Madhuri for your author interview and getting your book reviewed / edited: writermadhuri@gmail.com

Follow her reviews on-
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P.S. Please RATE the post. Hover on the stars and mark it. And LIKE the post if you like the interview.

Posted in Author Interviews

Author Interview #40: Swapna Rajput


A Karnataka girl brought up in Hospet, Belgaum, and Bijapur, Swapna Rajput is a chirpy girl residing in Thane, Mumbai. Having completed her post graduation in Marketing, she has worked in the marketing sector for 5 years. Writing was her hobby since her teenage years and as a writer she loves to write romance. Let’s get to know her more-

  • Tell us something about your recently published book Amazing Legends of India.

My genre is romance; my books The Beautiful Roses and In search of a Soulmate are romantic novels. Amazing Legends of India is my first attempt to pen history for the reason that I love reading about Indian history and our legendary heroes.

If we wish to know about any legends, we have to either search on internet or read various books, which have vast info and are obviously time consuming, so it is always tough to gather knowledge about Indian legends from various sources. So I thought, why not compose a single book with short and true information about all the legends of India from the time of mythology till 18th century, and composed this book which contains all the important, known and unknown Indian legends stories.

Read my review of Swapna’s books-
Amazing Legends of India
The Beautiful Roses

  • When did you start writing?

I started writing when I was in high school. I wrote shayaries, short storie,s and jokes which were published in Kannada magazines. Later, I took long gap due to my academics, career, and marriage. In 2010, I quit my job and decided to be a full time writer and published my first book The Beautiful Roses in 2011. It is a first Hinglish book, an anthology containing 6 romantic stories. And the rest is history…

  • Interesting! What is the purpose of your writing?

It is my passion, writing gives me wings. I am a daydreamer and writing is my source to make those dreams come true.

  • Which of your works have been published so far?

I have published many Shayaries, short stories etc., in magazines previously. As far as books are concerned –

  1. The Beautiful Roses (First edition published in 2011 and second edition 2015).
  2. Amazing Legends of India (First edition published in 2015, and now I am publishing second edition in this April)
  3. In search of a Soulmate- First published in Jan 2017.

I do write articles on various topics @ my blog- www.swapnarajput.in

  • So how was this journey of becoming a published author?

amazing legends of india

It’s a dream come true! I feel awesome to see my imaginations and stories come true in the form of books. Publishing efforts are endless. We, authors have to maintain the patience and keep on writing and promoting, toughest part of this job editing and promotions.

  • Which approach is better according to you: traditional or self-publishing, and why?

There is nothing like traditional publisher or self publisher. Both charge money to publish. Traditional may charge less but pay low royalty and Self-publisher may charge more but pay good royalty. Both do promotions on paid basis.

  • Which approach is better according to you and why?

Self publish is easy, no waiting to see your work published.

  • What should the beginners do today?

First of all they should trust their work and publish it, no matter which publisher. Don’t think about fame or earning money, that will flow in one day. Publishing a work is very important as it stays for life and beyond that.

  • What is your take on book publishing as you see the current scenario?

Lots of publishers emerging these days; this business is growing fast with several competitions. Earlier, it was not the scenario; only traditional publishers were present in the market and would work on their own policy, but with a bang of self -publishers the market has lots of scope for ambitious authors.

  • True. Sounds intriguing. What are the four top most things you take care of while writing a book?
  1. Uniqueness
  2. Page turning flow
  3. It should have a message for the society
  4. It should be paisa vasool and entertaining for the readers
  • What is your favorite genre and why?

Romance; I am ingenious to narrate romance with all the romantic ideas with my fictional characters.

  • What / Who is your biggest source of inspiration in life?

I give different funny answers whenever this question comes up! *winks* Inspiration comes from each and every person, thing or place, so all are an inspiration to me. Although, I observe a lot, and imagine more realistically, take time out from my hectic schedule to write, I don’t compete and write in my own unique way. So, I would say I am an inspiration for myself. *laughs out loud*

  • What is the biggest challenge you have ever faced and how did you overcome it?

Writing while taking care of my small kid is a biggest challenge ever! Recently, this book Amazing Legends of India has quite a number of editing issues due to negligence by my previous editor; I went for publishing the book as the deadline was close by, but couldn’t do much of marketing and promotion due to the same reason. In the meanwhile, I was busy completing my new romance idea In search of a Soulmate throughout 2016, and now back with this book; I got it done with all the good editing and soon it will be ready with all the freshness.

  • If you had to live a day of your life as one of the living or dead personality, who would it be and why?

I am happy living my own life, as you never know whose life is good or bad from inside. Everyone is living their own life with their own struggles and happiness so there is no point in peaking into anyone’s life or getting into their body! *laughs*

  • And finally, any message for the readers?

This era of stressful life, work, competitions absorb everything from an individual, technology and social media life is cherry on top to distract one from his/her goal. People spend hundreds of hours a week reading forwards, useless messages, jokes and thus, are addicted to their smart phones, which actually are making us dumb!

So taking time out from all this hectic & addictive life of technology, holding a book in your hand to read, you readers are doing a great job! Thank you! And keep it up, hence you read we write!

So that was Swapna for you, author of “The Beautiful Roses” and “Amazing Legends of India“.

Read my review of Swapna’s books-
Amazing Legends of India
The Beautiful Roses

You can get in touch with Swapna directly at: http://www.swapnarajput.in

Contact Madhuri for your author interview and getting your book reviewed / edited: writermadhuri@gmail.com

Follow her reviews on-
Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/madhurivarmatheauthor
Twitter handle: https://twitter.com/madhu_rv

P.S. Please RATE the post. Hover on the stars and mark it. And LIKE the post if you like the interview.

Posted in Author Interviews

Author Interview #39: Ayushman Jamwal


Ayushman Jamwal, author of Chameleon Lights, is a 27-year-old journalist, a Senior News Editor at CNN-News18 based in New Delhi. He graduated from the Cardiff School of Journalism, United Kingdom and started writing poetry when he was a student at The Doon School in Dehradun. He lives with his parents, younger brother, grandmother, and dog Leo. Here is small excerpt of my conversation with him-

  • Tell us something about your recently published book Chameleon Lights.

Everyone goes through a unique journey, well lit paths, and dark corners to come face to face with their identity, their spirit. Chameleon Lights is one such journey wrapped in 20 poems. Love, despair, enlightenment, and struggle, these emotions vividly dance on the pages of the book. Everyone can find a part of themselves between the lines.

Read my review of Ayushman’s book “Chameleon Lights”

  • When did you start writing?

I started writing when I was 15 years old, studying at the Doon School in Dehradun. I used to publish short stories and poems in the renowned Doon School Weekly and went on to become Chief of Production of the publication in Class XII.

  • Interesting! What is the purpose of your writing?

Ever since I saw my name in print in the Doon School Weekly, I have been hooked to writing. The joy of creating something worth publishing has been eternal. Beyond that, writing poems has always been a therapeutic way to express myself, even connect with myself. I have learned that the Universe rewards those who live with an open heart. Poetry is a way I express my devotion to the Universe.

  • What inspired you to bring forth this idea of Chameleon Lights as a book?

As a senior news editor of a national channel, ‘negative news’ is my business. Demonetization, dirty politics, and terror, there are seldom uplifting stories that I put on the air. Poetry is my release switch from that world, where I can capture a fleeting sentiment, emotion, and thought in words. The rat race of life made me feel I may lose connection with those words, so I gathered them in a book, to share and keep them alive around me, maintain the link with all those moments — the emotional turbulence, the eye opening enlightenment and power of expression.

  • Is Chameleon Lights inspired from real life?

All literature is inspired from real life, especially poetry. Growing pains, moral struggles, the ecstasy of love, the pain of despair and defeat all have been immortalized in Chameleon Lights

  • What importance do you think love, family, and relationships hold in an individual’s life?

Love binds it all, making family and relationships the greatest of strengths and the most terrible of weaknesses. Yet there is enlightenment, awe, and hope at every turn, under the bright lights and in the dark moments. Relationships rooted in love make us all feel immortal, closer to the divine.

  • Which of your works have been published so far?

Chameleon Lights is my first book.

  • So how was this journey of becoming a published author?

It was exciting. All publishers had guidelines for sample poems and book descriptions, and it didn’t take me long to prepare them both. I sent my proposal to all publishers, and I got a call back from Authorspress. Moreover, the publisher, Sudarshan Kcherry, is very passionate about poetry. He liked my work and encouraged me to keep writing, and network with other editors, poets and poetry lovers. I was lucky to get a publisher who not only is encouraging and passionate about his job, but who helped me expand my horizons and guide me to new and exciting opportunities.

  • Have you self-published your book or followed the traditional approach?

Traditional approach.

  • Which approach is better according to you: traditional or self-publishing, and why?

No matter what approach, every author, namely new authors, need a support structure and intellectual investment from their families and peers, especially their publisher. It helps any author flourish beyond the pages of a book.

  • What should the beginners do today?

If you have an idea, get the bare bones ready. Book description, sample chapters, or poems should be ready to go at a moment’s notice. Once the framework is ready, shoot it to publishers in every direction, but keep working to complete the product. Persistence is key to become an author. Do not fear or dismiss rejection and criticism. Keep working to fine tune your product by reading and re-reading. What you come up in multiple readings will surprise you. At the end, you have to enjoy and savour different hues of life to be a good writer. Always live with an open heart and mind.

  • That is a very useful piece of advice! What is your take on book publishing as you see the current scenario?

I feel there are not many opportunities for poets to publish their work as many feel it is no longer a popular form of literature. Like I said I am lucky to have encountered Authorspress, which is one of the few publishers actively publishing poetry. I feel poetry is still a popular art form, but the market is directing the majority of publishers, publishers are not guiding the market. I believe with poetry, they have a unique opportunity.

  • True. What are your forthcoming writings?

I am working on a novel, a slasher thriller involving a war veteran based in New Delhi.

  • Sounds intriguing. What are the four top most things you take care of while writing a book?
  1. Clarity
  2. Emotional punch
  3. Simple language, yet emotive terms
  4. Brevity
  • What is your favorite genre and why?

No favourite genre. If any story can weave a vivid world and a moving human tapestry, then I am a fan.

  • What / Who is your biggest source of inspiration in life?

Love. The greatest of strengths and most terrible of weaknesses.

  • What is the biggest challenge you have ever faced and how did you overcome it?

The biggest challenge I have ever faced is not being able to express myself. Writing poetry really helped me achieve peace with my restless spirit, become confident to face the world.

  • If you had to live a day of your life as one of the living or dead personality, who would it be and why?

Lord Tennyson when he was composing the poem Ulysses, so I can find out what was going through his mind when he was writing that masterpiece.

  • And finally, any message for the readers?

Live life with an open heart and the universe will reward you with inspiration and strength.

So that was Ayushman for you, author of “Chameleon Lights“.

Read my review of Ayushman’s book “Chameleon Lights”

You can get in touch with Ayushman directly at: ayushmanjamwal@gmail.com

Contact Madhuri for your author interview and getting your book reviewed / edited: writermadhuri@gmail.com

Follow her reviews on-
Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/madhurivarmatheauthor
Twitter handle: https://twitter.com/madhu_rv

P.S. Please RATE the post. Hover on the stars and mark it. And LIKE the post if you like the interview.

Posted in Author Interviews

Author Interview #38: Sujit Banerjee


Born to Bengali parents in Lucknow, Sujit grew up in Patna. He finished his post-graduation in Psychology from Patna University and ended up becoming a tour operator instead of a Psychologist. His work took him all over the globe and introduced him to the worlds of Mayans and Aztecs. He started getting interested in Shamanic ways, in healing, and joined Pranic Healing courses to become a certified healer. Today, he both heals as well as reads Tarot cards. He continues to work in tourism and lives in Delhi. Let’s get to know him more-

  • Tell us something about your recently published book Rukhsat- The Departure.

Rukhsat is a short story collection. Each story is an alphabet and the lead character’s name starts with that alphabet. It is not for the weak-hearted since most stories deal with the dark side of human psyche.

Read my review of Sujit’s book “Rukhsat- The Departure”

  • When did you start writing?

Few stories were written some good 10-15 years back and then I had dropped it. I started writing again in 2013, the rest of them, and also edited the earlier ones. But you can say it took me over 3 years to complete the book.

  • Woah! That’s a long time! What is the purpose of your writing?

None! I had never thought of becoming a writer. I was and am happy doing what I do. It will be too much if I said maybe it was divine intervention! That I was always meant to write this particular book!

  • If that is the case then what inspired you to bring forth this idea of Rukhsat- The Departure as a book and be persistent over he 3 years during which you were writing this book?

In this case, ideas. I wrote because something inside me egged me on to put all of them down, get them recorded. When I had over 14-15 of them written, my friends read it and pushed me to make it into a collection and get it published.

  • Is any story from Rukhsat- The Departure inspired from real life?

Almost all of them are inspired from real life incidents. I have met the characters and heard them recount their tales. They were such powerful events that they stayed with me for years. You can say I fictionalised the real life stories.

  • Do you see a movie based on Rukhsat- The Departure being made?

Absolutely! They are powerful stories and can be brought to celluloid. It is embarrassing to admit – I sent copies to Anurag Basu and Gulzar Saheb! For a TV Serial though.

  • Oh! Good luck with that! I am sure it must be your closed ones who would be keeping you motivated at all times. What importance do you think love, family and relationships hold in an individual’s life?

Ah, that’s a tricky one! Let us just say that one does need them to be “whole”, unless you are on the path to renouncing the world. Yet I do admit that these can also be a hindrance in the path of spiritual journey. To manage both Karma and Dharma is a tough act.

  • Well said! Which of your works have been published so far?

This is my first publication. Few poems and stories have appeared in magazines and dailies.

  • So how was this journey of becoming a published author?

rukhsat-the-departure

It is a very long and tedious journey for those who take writing seriously; I don’t so perhaps it did not affect me much. Writing is just one part of the process and the trial begins when you want to get it published with stars in your eyes and a firm belief that no publisher can possibly turn it down. And that is what exactly happens. I doubt that many even bother to read through a book before sending out the rejection slip. So you need to have time, a lot of time, to plod through this part of the journey if you wish to see your book in print.

  • Which approach is better according to you: traditional or self-publishing, and why?

I would like to believe both. At least that is what I understand from my publisher – Leadstart Publishing, when they made an offer of split cost wherein I put in half and they put in the rest. But then it all depends on how many book you have sold. The maths change if you have not crossed the 500 mark.

  • What should the beginners do today?

Take reality checks. Be brutally honest in accessing your work and have money to put behind the book. Be diligent in marketing your book; no one else does it for you, not even your publisher, beyond a certain extent. Learn every trick of social media to promote your book. And if you are thinking of making money out of your first book – then just drop the idea.

  • What is your take on book publishing as you see the current scenario?

Its business and it should be. Publishing houses no longer wish to take a risk with new authors – you get them dime a dozen. Today, self publishing seems to be the only bet for new authors. There are no free lunches so don’t expect publishers to lap up your book unless you are a well-known writer.

  • What are your forthcoming writings?

I have a historical story at the back of my mind – a real life story of my great great grandfather who was part of the 1857 revolt and his love for a courtesan. 

  • What are the four top most things you take care of while writing a book?

I have no such things in my mind. I write when I wish to write and what I wish to write. For me this is not business – it is just a hobby.

  • What is your favorite genre and why?

Oh, I read every genre possible, except biographies as they bore me. I just love to read. Period.

  • What / Who is your biggest source of inspiration in life?

As far as writing goes – Gulzar Saheb, O Henry, Manto, Ismat Chugtai, Premchand, and Ray Bradbury.

  • What is the biggest challenge you have ever faced and how did you overcome it?

At a personal level, my mother who is totally paralyzed and in bed with only two senses working – sight and hearing. I bleed for her; I have proved everything possible to make her physically comfortable but I just do not know what goes through her head.

  • If you had to live a day of your life as one of the living or dead personality, who would it be and why?

His Holiness — The Dalai Lama. He is everything that I would have liked to be but just lacked courage and wanted to play it safe in life.

  • And finally, any message for the readers?

Buy the book and read it please. I promise you will not be disappointed. And do post your review on Amazon and Goodreads.

So that was Sujit for you, author of “Rukhsat- The Departure“.

Read my review of Sujit’s book “Rukhsat- The Departure”

You can get in touch with Sujit directly at: skban05@gmail.com

Contact Madhuri for your author interview and getting your book reviewed / edited: writermadhuri@gmail.com

Follow her reviews on-
Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/madhurivarmatheauthor
Twitter handle: https://twitter.com/madhu_rv

P.S. Please RATE the post. Hover on the stars and mark it. And LIKE the post if you like the interview.