Author Interview| In Conversation with Muntasir Hasnat

Today on the board we have a storyteller from another land! Welcome Muntasir Hasnat, who hails from Dhaka and is here to talk about the book –Cowardly Valiance. 

I would like to introduce you to our readers, please tell something about yourself.

 

I live in Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh which is a country in South Asia. I did my Bachelor of Social Science in Economics and then Masters in Business Administration, both from Bangladeshi Universities. I am involved in the business world for the last seven years now. I love reading fictional books and I revere authors.

Tell me something about the book. Why you took up this genre? What can a reader expect from this book?

The book shows that even the best feel extreme pain. It is about the struggle and suffering of a non-professional boxer who is praised for his boxing skills. People only see his tenacity in the ring but no one knows about the crippling fear he feels during the matches. He is considered a legend in the ring but he is actually a person who struggles to make ends meet. The genre is boxing and drama and I selected this genre because I am into boxing and I wanted to share the thrill of boxing matches with others. My experience in life has shown me that a person who is considered strong/successful may actually be suffering immensely but no one can see it and the main character is based on this belief. A reader can expect boxing, drama and I hope against hope that he/she can find a bit of motivation from the book.

Who are your favourite authors? How often do you read?

My favourite authors are Robert Ludlum, J. K. Rowling and John Grisham. I try to read every day but sometimes I fail to do so.

What challenges have you faced while penning down this book? How you overcome them?

The two major challenges I faced while penning down this book are time constraint and the determination to go through with it. I managed to overcome the time constraint problem by spending some time on the book every day, I did not have any specific time for the book but I tried to spend some time on the book whenever I could and I tried to do it every day. I simply kept on writing even when I was discouraged and demotivated and that was how I went through with it.

What was the best feedback you got for your work and from whom?

The best feedback was from a friend of mine who said: ” It gave me hope”.

How was your experience with BlueRose publishers?

My experience with BlueRose Publishers was great, they are very author-centric and I liked working with them.

How you keep yourself motivated to write more?

I keep myself motivated to write more by writing every day, the number of words I have written in a week motivates me to write more.

Generally, how much time you dedicated for writing while framing this book?

Writing and editing it took about five months which is a lot of time for a novella. There were frequent breaks so it took so long.

How has BlueRose helped you in growing as an author?

BlueRose helped me mature as an author. They are one reason why I am still motivated to write more.

What advice would you like to give to the budding authors?

My advice to budding authors would be: “If you want to write something then just pen it down and keep writing until you finish. The finished work itself will motivate you to go for publishing. You can always edit and improve the work but you need finish first.’

Author Interview| In Conversation with Ajish Nair

We have a commoner-turned-author on board today! A teacher who is also an Author — Presenting a glimpse of conversation with Ajish Nair, Author of 3 Aspects.

  • I would like to introduce you to our readers, please tell something about yourself.

I am Ajish Nair, an enthusiastic common man and a writer by passion. Actually, I am a teacher by profession but my strong desire to create some extraordinary love stories compelled me to write my first book, ” 3 Aspects”.I belong to a middle-class Malayalam family but never forget to dream.My father, P Ramachandran Nair always taught me to be honest and chase the dreams.My mother’s simplicity always inspires me to be calm even in the adverse situation.

I was brought up at Kharagpur, a small town in West Bengal.I did my schooling up to 5 at  Balasore in Odisha.I completed my schooling in Kharagpur in S.E Rly boys’ higher secondary school.My love for literature led me to go for English literature. After completing my post graduation, I thought I should write. Casually I started writing but it took around 10 months to complete my debut novel, “3 Aspects”.

I am a dreamer. I want to achieve something extraordinary in writing. At present, I am totally busy in teaching profession but manage to write whenever I get time. I am also busy with my upcoming romantic novel.I also love to write Hindi poems. The poems will be published soon.

  • Tell me something about the book. Why you took up this genre? What can a reader expect from this book?

  3 Aspects is not a typical love story. It has everything that actually readers want nowadays in a love story. Unnikrishnan, the hero of this novel, is a tragic hero. He suffers a lot. He witnesses his downfall. He falls in love but caste system kills his love. Unnikrishnan doesn’t give up. He chases his dream after his failure in love. At last, his hard work brings meaningful result. He succeeds in his dream project “Utkarsh”. He proves that hard work never goes in vain. At last the happy ending, his marriage with his love brings relief for readers.

I took this genre because I think one should not go against one’s interest. Since my early years, I love to watch romantic movies. Even now I enjoy. Emotion and romance I can present well; and I think, to go with that genre in which you have no idea, will be definitely a bad idea. I don’t  know about future but at present, I am happy with this genre.

I have already mentioned that this is not a typical love story. When you complete this book, you will not be without thoughts. The struggle of Unnikrishnan establishes the idea that hard work brings success. Never bring the word ‘impossible’ in your mind. And as far as love is concerned, one should understand what actually love is before falling in love with someone. I would suggest the readers read it because it is very different from typical love stories. It takes you to the world of love and emotion of Unnikrishnan and at the same time, the unexpected end of the story will establish a great concept.

  • Who are your favourite authors? How often do you read?

There are so many authors who inspired me. But I think the great, R.K Narayan inspired me a lot. His way of presentation is indeed extraordinary. He can present even a small incident beautifully.

Many other authors also inspired me a lot. Ther are — John Gray, Jack Canfield, Robert Green, Chetan Bhagat, Sudeep Nagarkar.

  • What challenges have you faced while penning down this book? How you overcome them?

It was difficult for me to write a book. While penning down this book, I faced difficulties related to time. If you are a part-time writer, you will definitely face this problem. Teaching is my main profession. I didn’t find time to write. But not to forget, if you have the passion to achieve anything then time doesn’t matter. You will manage your time. Anyhow I managed to use my two hours to write in a day. And this plan worked tremendously. I think everything is possible if you have the willingness to achieve anything. Time management and proper planning helped me to complete this book.

  • What was the best feedback you got for your work and from whom?

I got so many feedbacks, received the emails, facebook messages etc.But the best feedback which received was something which I wanted to hear. I didn’t know what I wrote would be accepted by people or not but it was accepted with love.

The book was published and after one month, a boy of 21 came to me for my autograph in my book.There were so many boys girls who came to me for an autograph on the book. But the best feedback was given by that boy. He said, ” The way you presented love, romance and emotion beautifully is not unfamiliar to our day to day life. This is the first novel I read and waiting for the second one. I hope you will present love more beautifully  and I liked most the never give up attitude of Unnikrishnan”

I think that was the best feedback; when you get love and support for your work, you get motivated and think to do more better than before. Expectation always helps to work hard.

  • How was your experience with BlueRose publishers?

Yes, it was really wonderful experience working with Bluerose. It is very important to have a good publisher. After completing my book, what I badly needed was a good publisher. I talked to many self-publishing companies but I was not satisfied. What blue rose was providing was something I was looking for. My publishing manager was very supportive and friendly in nature. All in all, it was really a wonderful experience working with Bluerose.

  • How you keep yourself motivated to write more?

I think nothing can motivate you as much as your dream can. To be a good writer, first of all, you have to be a good reader. To achieve my goal and motivate myself, I read novels whenever I get spare time. Movies also give me ideas and motivate me to think about different and extraordinary ideas. I think you can find stories everywhere because everyone has a story. The life of people also inspires and motivates me to write.

  • Generally, how much time you dedicated for writing while framing this book?

As I already told you that I am a teacher and hardly get time to write. But if one has a passion to do something greater, you manage time. I learnt time management skill to steal time from my busy schedule. I write at night but only two hours. Sometimes I dedicated 3 to 4 hours. But mostly I dedicated 2 hours in a day.

  • How has BlueRose helped you in growing as an author?

To be an author is not as easy as it seems. After completing your manuscript, you have to find a good publisher and to search a good publisher is itself an uphill task. Luckily, I found Bluerose. The way Bluerose helped me in each and every area is indeed remarkable. My book “3 Aspects”  is a result of teamwork. My manuscript was edited and the cover page was designed well and these all things were done by skilled and professional people. Book promotion in social media by Bluerose also helped to grow as an author.

  • What advice would you like to give to the budding authors?

I think everyone has a story to present but my advice is for those who really want to be a writer.You may face challenges while writing your story, especially related to time.I think if you really want to be a writer, you can easily overcome such challenges.

After 3 Aspects, many people contacted me to know how they will get a publisher. And you know all of them were without any manuscripts. I suggested them to concentrate towards them manuscript. Once your manuscript is ready, you should think about Publishers. I want to advise them to write with full honesty. If you have a passion to be a writer, no one can stop you. The burning desire within yourself will lead you to the path of success.

Author Interview| In conversation with Chanakya Saini

I would like to introduce you to our readers, please tell something about yourself.

So it starts with the toughest question one can ever face i.e. Describe yourself. I’d describe myself as a very curious, observant, optimistic guy. Curious in the sense that, I like to learn and know about new things as much as I could. Observant means I like to observe and analyse things in my own way, whether it comes to relationships or life goals. It helps me grow my own scale and attitude towards life. I’m a very optimistic guy, I never quit, I won’t quit till a small ray of hope is there. I believe in hard work and sincerity which should be backed by a good character and discipline, which are necessary to anyone to achieve his/her goals and I feel I have all these qualities. I believe a person should be honest and loyal towards his relationship and dedicated to his profession, only then he’ll be called as a genuine and honest human being.

Tell me something about the book. Why you took up this genre? What can a reader expect from this book?

The book is a romantic fiction. It traces the journey of the lead couple Arav and Pakhi, from their childhood friendship to adulthood romance and what challenges they face during the ride and how they overcome them. I never thought of writing anything else apart from romance, as it’s the most explored genre when it comes to fiction literature. Even in our country, most of the novels come from this genre and most of the movies are made on this subject. There is so much to write and explore in this particular category. My book basically deals with the old school romance. I’m a middle class 90’s kid, where we didn’t have cell phones, social media, the internet etc. at that time. So we had to do a lot of hard work even for the small things. Today everything is just a click away. I want this new age generation to know the concept of love during that time, how it used to be when WhatsApp, twitter, face book were not there. It was a time where couples used to write love letters, they used to call through landlines hiding from everyone’s eyes etc. This book will take you to that kind of old school romance. It has all the ups and downs which a couple faces in our society, which considers loving someone outside our communities a taboo. It deals with a very sensitive subject of casteism, which still prevails in our society and has its roots still dug deep inside us. It’s a story about love, friendship, heartbreak, betrayal, and so many other ingredients.

 Who are your favourite authors? How often do you read?

I don’t have any favourites because I do not read that often. I don’t get enough time due to my profession, though I read my own professional books. But whenever I get time, I do read. I liked books of Khalid Hosseini, Salman Rushdie, Paulo Coelho, J.K Rowling of course. Among Indian writers, I like Chetan Bhagat’s novels, Ravinder Singh’s style of narration. I also like Durjoy Datta’s books, though I’ve read only a few of them, he writes many books within a single calendar year, that is commendable and admiring. I’m a huge fan of Amish’s imagination, his Shiva trilogy is a masterpiece. And much more, the list is quite big.

 What challenges have you faced while penning down this book? How you overcome them?

The first challenge was writing itself. When I started writing only then I realised how much time, dedication, imagination, hard work is required to write something. We used to write exams during our school and college, where you can mug up and write it on the next day. But here you can’t mug up things, you have to imagine everything on your own, from every perspective, you’re the hero, heroine, villain, you’re everything and you have to write according to the character outlines and write them according to the storyline, that’s the biggest challenge you face. But I had only one thing in my mind that I have to write and I have to tell this story to the whole world and that’s what kept me going. The second challenge which I faced was that I come from a very small town and a middle-class family. We are not allowed to pursue our passion or hobbies and transform them into our profession. I used to think that what people will say when it comes out, what would be their reaction, response towards it. So when I started writing I didn’t tell anyone, not even my family members because I could not imagine what was going to be their reaction. So I kept it close and did my work in complete silence. And somehow during the course of writing, it helped me to overcome these roadblocks and evolve as a person too. Lastly, I’m a doctor, and no one expects a doctor to turn out to be a writer. I knew I’m trying my hands at something which could burn my own hands. I knew it’d draw a lot of rejection from my own doctor’s community, but still, some of my friends were very supportive, they inspired and encouraged me to write this novel. And when I completed this book I shared it with my siblings and they were very supportive and helped me with everything.

What was the best feedback you got for your work and from whom?

I can’t say which one was the best because everyone analysed the book through their own perspective. I was overwhelmed with the reviews I got for it. One of my friends called it a complete package of a love story. She said it has all the ups and downs, through which a couple goes through. One of the readers called it addictive and was very impressed with my style of narration. My siblings called it amazing and were very impressed with my style of writing. The other one compared it with bestselling authors. I’m highly grateful to all of them who are comparing it with established and supremely talented writers. It feels good but I know I’m nowhere near to them, but still, I take all of it as a huge compliment.

How was your experience with Blue Rose Publishers?

When I decided to publish my work, I didn’t know anything about it. I didn’t have the courage to approach traditional publishers as I thought my book is not of that level which could be taken up by them. So without even approaching those publishers, I decided to self-publish it. I went through a lot of self-publication houses but sometimes it was not getting in my budget or sometimes I was not satisfied with the term and conditions. Lastly, I got to know about Blue Rose publishers and everything suited my requirements and I signed a deal with them within a few days. My publishing manager helped me with every process of publishing, I gave a very tough time to my cover designers, who relentlessly tried to make it better. The IT department went through all my demands and made everything including my website, according to it. Overall it was a very nice and fruitful experience of working with a publication house like Blue Rose and I’d like to thank all of them associated with it, for making my dream come true.

How you keep yourself motivated to write more?

First of all, I never thought, even in my wildest dreams that someday I’d become a writer. But that is the beauty of life, unpredictability, you never know what future holds in there for you. When I wrote the first draft I showed it to one of my friends and my sister and they liked it a lot, and that’s what pushed me to write more and complete it in the first place. Now, as the book is published and I’m getting a positive response from the majority of the readers, so it’s my responsibility to not let them down whenever I come out with my next book. This thought keeps me going and to write more and more but better at the same time when it comes to the content, characters, narration, everything. I can’t let them down because when a reader buys something, he/she is trusting you with his/her money that you will give them what they are looking for and it is solely my responsibility to give them what they want and that’s what keeps me motivated to write a good and strong content for them.

Generally, how much time you dedicated for writing while framing this book?

I started writing this book when I was in my final year. When most of the people were busy mugging up large textbooks I was busy writing a love story for the whole world. I wrote around 150 pages at that time. During my internship phase I wrote merely 25 pages but after completing my internship I started writing again and finished it by March 2017. It took me around 3 years to complete it and I kept on improving the manuscript till the last phase of publishing.

How has Blue Rose helped you in growing as an author?

When I saw the first edit of the book, I was very impressed with my editor as I never thought it could turn out to be like that. They gave a lot of inputs on my manuscript and helped me improve day by day. I’m highly thankful to Blue Rose publishers for their continuous attempts to make the book better and helping me in growing as an author too.

What advice would you like to give to the budding authors?

I’m not that big as a person to advice something but still, I’d like to tell them that if you want to write something then don’t think much about the rest. Don’t think what people will say, how they will judge you and what could be the outcome of it. You don’t have to think about it all. If you think you can and you want to write, just take a pen and a paper, or a laptop or typewriter and start writing. Whatever you want to write, whatever your heart says, the first thought which comes to your mind, just write it down. And don’t think of yourself as an amateur because of everyone, even the greatest were amateur when they started. They become great with consistent learning and efforts. So just start with whatever you got and give it a shot with whole heart because magic happens when you don’t give up, even though you want to because the universe always falls in love with a stubborn heart.

Thank you, Chanakya for the hearty conversation!

Do come again for more bookish gossips! Till then #keepreading!

Author Interview! In conversation with Shweta Taneja

 

Well, not everyday one gets a chance to peep in a fictional writer’s window that too to the one who writes about havelis and sarcastic women– A totally unique and rebellious genre to write especially in a country like ours! So here with us is Shweta Taneja who has proudly authored the second book in Anantya Tantrist Mystery which appears to me like devilish-blockbuster-movie which has no interval (Read my full Review here.)

Coming back to the current post; I have tried to dig in the life of this author who can keep you awake with her spooky stories. Parts of our conversations are here…

 

shweta1

Shweta Taneja

 

 

What else you do apart from keeping people awake with your spooky stories?

 

Keep myself awake with the said spooky stories. I write all day, be it books, short stories, articles, blogs. Recently when someone expired in the family, someone I was close to, I could only think of writing, so did that on her timeline over Facebook. Writing brings out my soul, helps me delve deeper into my systems and emerge refreshed. When I’m not writing, coming back to your question, I walk, or do a lot of birding or hiking or read or see fantasy and science fiction movies and books. Recently, I’ve also begun to watch a lot NatGeo Wild. Being with the marvels of nature gives me new ideas on thrillers.

 

What made you write about women and Rakshas that live in Havelis?

 

I wanted to read a story where rakshasas are among us, living with humans, with their own social, cultural and ethical mores. Bring alive all the Indian occult I’d read, myths and folklores I had grown up with. Since I couldn’t find anything that could satisfy my reader’s hunger, I decided to get down to it and write it myself JTantrics and nagas in havelis, a bar where all supernaturals of the city hang out late in the night and our city, with a layer of Indian supernatural paraphernalia. In the middle of it all, a thriller, a murder mystery led by a kickass female detective. All are my own desire to read this story.

 

How and why Anantya Tantrist was narrated? What inspired you to create a story which is heroine-centric?

 

Anantya came to me suddenly, like a flash flood, and I knew then that she was a tantric, in a male-dominated society of tantrics where women aren’t accepted into the profession. She’s a gutsy thing, mind-blowingly independent, hilarious, stubborn, irritating and focused on wanting equality for the downtrodden. I wanted to choose a sigh-worthy heroine, a dark role model, someone kickass that I and urban women like me could aspire to. A detective who would go to bars to get drunk between casual sex, equally casual murderous action and solving cases. Why should men have all the fun?

 

shweta2

Shweta Taneja

 

 

Is Anantya Tantrist inspired by a living character? Does Anantya resemble you? 

 

There has to be some resemblance and my friends who have read the series, think there is, but I myself don’t know. I think Anantya is a very different person from me. I sit in my study all day, daydream and write, while Anantya walks out on the road, is in the middle of the action at all times, is fearless in the night, solving the supernatural crime. She is spunky and quick on her toes. I aspire to her and her fearlessness. And I live an alternate life through her. She’s a desire in me to reclaim my city and its spaces.

 

Your writing appears to me like a Technicolor movie, which is kind of a different narration style. What inspired you to adapt this style of narration?

 

Thank you. If you see it as a movie, my job was well done! I saw the story happening like a movie, an incident, one scene after another, breathless and like a mad rush, which is why I wrote it like that. The story itself demanded the narration style.

 

From Anantya Tantrist mysteries and being an author recommended by CBSE. How has been the journey so far?

 

The journey’s been heady and versatile. I love writing a different kind of fiction. CBSE approved fiction that is in school must-reads and dark fiction full of violence and blood that no one in their sensible minds should read. They’re all in me. I hadn’t imagined I could write comics, novels, short stories, and even children books. I’m still exploring and pushing the boundaries of the kind of writer I think I am. It’s fun and ongoing.

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Looking back, what did you do right that helped you to break in?

 

Persevered. I came into the industry with no contacts whatsoever. I’m the first writer in my family and when I first started to write, I didn’t know anyone around me who wrote fiction. I was a complete outsider. But it was perseverance, just a dogged sense of being at it, chiselling at the mountain, a stubbornness to be here, I guess is what made me part of the industry. All you need to do is keep believing and keep working at your story, creative project and you’ll find a way.

 

Something personal about you, that people may be surprised to know?

 

Though my chosen profession is a fiction writer, I’m an extrovert who loves meeting people, interacting, heading outside. My family and friends know me like this. Ironically as a writer, I have to force myself to sit in a dark room, working stories that come in my head. There’s a constant clash of me as a writer, a creator who needs this space and me as an extrovert who hates being there.

 

Tell us something about what you are currently working on… What’s next?

 

There are first drafts of two novels that are lying on my table. After I’m done with promotions for The Matsya Curse, I’ll head back to the third book in the Anantya Tantrist series and polish that one. I also have another novel, a science fiction one, which I’m quite excited to work on. Oh and there’s this chapter book for young kids I’m writing, which my 8-year-old nephew has already demanded multiple times. And you can’t keep kids waiting. That’s what I would be doing until the end of the year atleast.

Author Interview- In conversation with Hrishikesh Joshi

We have a young soul here with us, who has narrated a spell-bounding story and has a very different approach to life and things around. Hrishikesh has set an example for the authors that brilliant ideas can get a spark from simple things like- airport placards. The author of Checkmate (A suspense-thriller; which would make you question a lot many things) a novel that left me in awe for a while. He has surely done appreciable work in his debut novel you can read my detailed review here, but before that let’s check out what Hrishikesh has for us in his pockets…

 

Hrishikesh Joshi is a twenty-one-year-old, reluctant engineering student. Inspired by a placard on an airport he thought of a means to hijack a plane and wrote a story about it. He is a Taekwondo Black Belt, National Referee, an astrophysics enthusiast, studies psychology, loves backpacking in the Himalayas and lives in Pune with his parents, sister and a very jumpy German shepherd.

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Hrishikesh Joshi

I would like to introduce you to our readers, please tell something about yourself.

 

I am Hrishikesh Joshi, the author of Checkmate. I am a reluctant engineer and currently an MBA student at Symbiosis. I have completed 2 psychology courses and I love backpacking in the Himalayas. I am also a Taekwondo black belt and a national referee. I have a hyperactive German Shepherd and my room is generally untidy.

 

Tell me something about the book. Why you took up this genre? What can a reader expect from this book?

Checkmate is a work of fiction, belonging to the espionage or suspense thriller genre. Checkmate is a story of aeroplane hijack and the battle between the terrorists and the Indian Intelligence. Though not based on a true story, it is similar to the hijack of Flight IC 814 which happened in 1999. Checkmate is pacey and a relatively small book and hence suitable for the light readers and beginners as well.

Checkmate points out a real flaw in the airport security of our country. Checkmate has a few raunchy sexual content, which I am sure will be enjoyed by the young readers; not that the senior citizens wouldn’t enjoy it as well.

Checkmate also has undertones that strongly warn against the horrors of misguided passions and religious fanaticism. Through the nuances of its characters, this novel professes a prolonged argument for the freedom of thought, tolerance and the courage to follow one’s dreams, revealing the beautiful vistas that lie upon following the passions of one’s heart. I sincerely hope you enjoyed reading Checkmate, as much as I enjoyed writing it.

 

Who are your favourite authors? How often do you read?

It is impossible for me to choose between JK Rowling and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. That there is magic in Rowling’s writing is undisputed. But apart from her brilliant writing, I find her life story and struggle very inspiring as a writer myself. From being a single parent working as a waitress, struggling to feed her baby, to becoming the most successful writer in the history of world literature, her life is an enchanting story in itself. I also admire her as a human being, for, she was the only billionaire author in the history, and is the only billionaire who lost her billionaire status because she gave away so much to charity.

I also admire the works of Khaled Hosseini, Ayn Rand, Jeffrey Archer, Ian McEwan, John Grisham, Sidney Sheldon and Agatha Christie, P.G. Wodehouse.

 

What challenges have you faced while penning down this book? How you overcome them?

There’s a reason why writing is so hard… and yet so naturally simple. And one cannot hope to have an inkling of that reason unless one tries to write something. Writing is one of the most intimate forms of candid self-expression. Literature, particularly fiction, is a delicate art of building a bridge between imagination and reality. The story must seem realistic and at the same time should be very interesting and entertaining. And it is very crucial to strike that balance. A proper research is necessary before writing a book.

Writing a story is like proving complicated theorems… there are a hundred different ways to reach your destined conclusion, but you must pick the perfect one.

 

What was the best feedback you got for your work and from whom?

I have received critical acclaim from many reviewers like Revathi Raj Iyer and Jaysree Roy. I have also received fan emails that have served as a source of inspiration.

 

How was your experience with leadstart publishers?

It has been a great journey so far.

 

How you keep yourself motivated to write more?

I keep reading more to improve my repertoire of writing. I especially re-read the works of authors whose writing style and genre I admire.

 

Generally, how much time you dedicated for writing while framing this book?

Engineering schedule did not permit me to write at all in the months of submissions, vivas, practicals and theory exams. My writing patterns were pretty irregular. If I am was in full flow, I would college and sit in the cafes for 4 to 5 hours at a stretch and write. But during a writer’s block, I was unable to produce a single word for months on end. The longest writer’s block I have had while writing Checkmate, lasted for three months.

 

How has leadstart helped you in growing as an author?

Leadstart has a very strong distribution network which ensured a good availability of my book in the market. They also ensured the availability of Checkmate at various literary festivals. Their policy of sending complimentary promotional copies has increased the visibility of my novel in the digital space.

 

What advice would you like to give to the budding authors?

I am not sure if I have enough experience to impart wisdom to aspiring authors. But I will say this, always focus on improving your writing than your sales. Be glad that you have found your passion of writing. Never take no for an answer when it comes to things you love. Everything else is just noise.

 

You can buy your copy of Checkmate here.

Author Interview- In conversation with Rajendra Kher

Rajendra Kher, a graduate of Pune University, has been writing for over two decades. He has published ten books in Marathi, all of which have been received with critical acclaim. Some of his bestselling novels have been translated into other languages and he has been honoured with five literary awards. Rajendra has worked as an Assistant Director in the film industry, on documentaries, and as a Programme Director for TV. He has also produced and directed the short experimental film, Charlie Chaplin in India. He has had extensive experience with writing scripts and screenplays and has contributed numerous articles and short stories to newspapers and magazines.

In an era when literature is much about reciting ‘below-average-love-stories’, we have authors who are enlightening readers with a tinge of knowledge. The best selling author who took courage to write in an unusual genre; we have Mr Rajendra Kher on the board today. Let’s see what he has in his pockets for his readers…

RajendraKher

I would like to introduce you to our readers, please tell something about yourself.

I was born in Pune, Maharashtra, India on 3rd of January 1961. I did my graduation from Pune University. My father Mr B. D. Kher, was also a prolific Marathi writer. He has written over a hundred books and is the recipient of many national and international awards. I am also known to Marathi world as a best-selling author.

I have been writing books (in Marathi) since the past 25 years. So far I have 10 published works to my credit. My books have received tremendous response from the readers and critics alike. Some of my novels and non-fictions are translated into other languages such as English, Hindi & Gujarati and some of are the bestsellers in respective languages. I am also the recipient of 5 prestigious awards.

Three of my novels are published in English. One of them is a novel on the philosophy of Bhagavad-Gita titled ‘The Song of Salvation’ published by Zumaya Publications, USA. The second, ‘The Silent Reformer’ (printed paperback), a novel based on the life and times of revered PandurangShastriAthavale, founder of SwadhyayPariwar with millions of followers worldwide, is the English version of my original novel in Marathi. This English version is in its 4thedition while the original Marathi novel ‘DehaZalaChandanacha’ is in its 30th edition.

My Books

  1. ‘DehaZalaChandanacha’: a 600-Page Biographical novel on the life of Rev. PandurangShastriAtavale – 30th reprint, sold almost 50,000 copies in Marathi.
  2. ‘Kaya BaniChandan’ (Gujarati Translation of ‘DehaZalaChandanacha’):18th reprint, 20,000 copies sold as on today.
  3. ‘Geetambari’: a 324-Page Unique novel on Bhagavad-Gita – 6th reprint in Marathi. Sold over6,000 copies
  4. ‘Dhananjay’: 648-Page Novel on the life of Arjuna. 7th reprint, sold7,000 copies.
  5. ‘DevanchyaRaajyaat’: (Leadstart published this book in English entitled: EMPIRE OF THE GODS) 200-Page non- fiction. Were Gods astronauts? 6th reprinting, 5,000 copies sold in Marathi.
  6. ‘Digvijay’: 648-Page novel on the rise & fall of Napoleon Bonaparte. 6th reprinting, 7,000 copies sold so far, published by a big Marathi publishing house – Mehta Publishing House.
  7. ‘Bindusarovar’: Supernatural Thriller, 2nd edition in Marathi, over 2,000 copies sold.
  8. ‘Dainandin Bhagavad-Gita’: 3rd edition, Geeta for Daily Reading, 4,000 copies.
  9. ‘Udayan’: (English version will be out by Leadstart.), the 3rd epic from ancient India. A beautiful story of King Udayan and PrincessVasavdatta. The 1st edition sold out. 2nd, under reprinting.
  10. BinduSarovar: English translation of ‘Bindusarovar’, published recently.
  11. ‘Deha Ban GayeeChandan’: Hindi translation of ‘DehaZalaChandanacha’ 3rd
  12. ‘Dhananjay’: English translation of ‘Dhananjay (Marathi) coming soon…
  13. ‘Life After Life; Lifting the Veil on Death’: Will be out soon by Leadstart.
  14. ‘Udayan; The forgottonPandava’: will be out soon from Leadstart.
  15. ‘HollywoodcheVinodveer’(Comedians of Hollywood): Brief biography of 10 great comedians from Hollywood in Black-comedy era. (3rdreprint).

 

I worked in Indian film industry for 10 years as a Chief Assistant Director, with PrakashMehra Productions, Cinema Vision (of SidhaarthKak), Cine men etc…And thereafter I worked as a Programme Director for 2 years, for a TV channel.

I have experience in writing scripts and screenplays etc and I have written numerous articles and short stories as well, for newspapers and magazines.

I was a cricketer in early age, played in school & college. I was selected for Fast bowling scheme sponsored by State Bank in 1978, with the intention to create fast bowlers for Indian cricket team. I was one of them. Playing on Harmonium is my hobby. I love Hindustani Classical music and Gazals.

 

Tell me something about the book. Why you took up this genre? What can a reader expect from this book?

I read the book ‘Chariots of Gods’ by Eric Van Daniken some 15 years ago and found there is a lack of reality at some places. When my cousin also read this book, he once told me that nowadays, he has stopped to visit temples and offerings to God. I asked him the reason. He had answered, ‘I realised that God is nothing but astronaut, extra-terrestrial, visited from the other galaxy. I told him, ‘this is not at all ultimate reality. There is difference between Gods and Supreme-Being…’ We had a good discussion. At that time, I realised that such readers are making themselves a fool. This was the inspiration behind writing this book. Then I read and researched a lot on the subject, read many books published in the west and east and of course, studied Vedas, Upanishads, Bhagavad-Gita etc and wrote this book in Marathi: ‘DevanchyaRajyaat’. Leadstart published the English translation of this book. Readers should fetch the path of reality or the truth behind the living. This book will definitely help them to find the path of their further spiritual journey.

 

Who are your favourite authors? How often do you read?

I love books, not all books of the same author. However, my favourite authors are ENGLISH: Daphne-Du-Maurier, Paulo Coelho, Charles Dickens, Dan Brown, Tolstoy, Khushwant Singh, etc. I greatly love to read the books of PandurangShastriAthavale, his books are an ocean of knowledge and I love to read those often. Also, I love to read great works of MaharshiVyasa, Kalidasa, suchbooksBhasa and moreover, ancient Sanskrit literature such books often which give me peace and of course bundle of knowledge. MARATHI:  V. S. Khandekar, ShivajiSawant (Marathi), GUJARATI: Dinkar Joshi, HINDI: Bhagavaticharan Sharma, P rem Chand (Hindi) etc.

 

What challenges have you faced while penning down this book? How you overcome them?

The most challenging thing was not to disrupt spiritual faith of religious people towards God or Supreme Being. The book presents a knowledge that is beyond cast & creed. Also I had to present comparative study of information & knowledge from East-West. That was challenging thing. I could overcome them with available references.

 

What was the best feedback you got for your work and from whom?

During my speech, a girl came forward and told me, I was frustrated in my life. But when I read your book, I am comforted and started new, peaceful life. Even if I have to die very moment, I am ready! (There are 100s of letters and mails on my this book and other books; and some of them terminated the idea of suicide.) I received great reviews (by letters/mails)on my other books from every corner of the World.

 

How was your experience with leadstart publishers?

The book EMPIRE OF THE GODS was published last year. Editor Chandralekha did great work. This was a translation of my Marathi best-selling book: ‘DevanchyaRajyaat’. To maintain essence of original writing was very hard task. Translator did his job. But Chandralekha edited and worded it finely with current English language and phrases. Being established and professional author, I never go for self-publishing. Mr.Swaroop Nanda, CEO of Leadstart honoured me by publishing this book with proper contract.

 

How you keep yourself motivated to write more?

I strongly believe that literature shows the right path of enlightenment. A Sanskrit saying is ‘SahitayaanenaSahityam.’ It means intension of literature is for betterment of mankind. I follow this saying and try to bring out such literature.

 

Generally, how much time you dedicated to writing while framing this book?

2 & half years. But I was reading reference booksfor the last 10 years before framing this book.

 

How has leadstart helped you in growing as an author?

I have already 1 million direct readers! (Copies of my one book sold about 100,000. 10 readers read each copy. This is related only one book. Not calculated for my other best-selling books). I hope, Leadstart will contribute some 5/6 million readers in the future!

 

What advice would you like to give to the budding authors?

I have no authority to advice. However, I would say one thing… Literature is for the betterment of society and mankind. Write anything, sky is the limit; but it should NOT affect the faith of readers. Just to accelerate the sell please don’t write adversely on any past character or episodes.

Author Interview- In conversation with Sanjay Tari

 

“Sanjay B. Tari, after having completed his B.Com and ACA, now works as a Finance Controller at Sharq Investment Company, Kuwait. The author has interest in reading historical books, biographies, autobiographies, philosophical books and fictions. He is also interested in watching different forms of art performances. Writing is an important medium through which one can at a certain level influence the society around. Although fictional, the stories are a source of inspirations for youngsters and/or administrations and the subjects they handle. This subtle message, and inspiring various people and institutions for the benefit of the society as a whole inspired the author to write. He has contributed articles to the, ‘The Chartered Accountant Journal’ and ‘Newsletter of the MMK (Maharashtra Mandal)’. ‘The Youngster who became a Spy’ is his debut novel.”

 

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I would like to introduce you to our readers, please tell something about yourself.

I am a qualified CA working presently as a CFO in an Oil Marketing Company in Kuwait.

Reading is my passion and this habit had been inculcated since childhood. Both, my parents and my school encouraged me in this inclination, and I have carried it through to this day.

I like reading biographies, autobiographies, historical books, science research and fiction. I believe reading gives an individual a wider perspective in life which helps oneself in being happy and self-satisfied.

Playing football and cricket were my important part of my student life. Football still continues on some weekends. Watching football and cricket is also an integral part of my routine life.

I prefer watching content based movies or comedies and love the oldies like Sholay, Anand, Choti Si Baat, The Great Gambler and so on.

I also keep myself updated by reading news on the BBC website or news.

 

Tell me something about the book. Why you took up this genre? What can a reader expect from this book?

The idea of writing this story was to inspire youngsters, who might have become wayward or may have been misguided in early life, to get on a right track and achieve well for themselves and in the process make positive contributions to society. It also gives a message to the rulers – i.e. the government for making an effort to integrate the common man into the whole state set-up, make laws for prompt and effective justice and implement rules without any favour.

The novel is about a young boy who is a bit wayward and lost his direction in life. How his parents, the state and his determination set him on the right track and how he achieves greatness and in the process contributes to the kingdom, is described in the first half of the story. It also describes the life of a common man, and in that setup, the way in which the protagonist creates a niche for himself. The contributions in terms of spy missions and detective works are part of the second half of the story.

The reader can expect to experience the historical life of a common man, the ways and customs of that period, war and spy story in this book.

 

Who are your favourite authors? How often do you read?

I am a fan of Jeffery Archer novels because I admire his style of narrating a story in a scuttle manner with a flowing analysis of the mind and actions of his characters. Other authors I like are John Grisham, Dan Brown and Subramanian.

Most of my free time is spent in reading, whether newspapers, biographies, history books or fiction. I read at least three biographies and historical books during a year.

 

What challenges have you faced while penning down this book? How you overcome them?

Although quite extensive historical books are available, almost none of them give a description of life during those times from the perspective of a common man. The protagonist in the book and most of the characters are common people. Therefore, to visualise how they may have led their life, and how the general ways of living were, was somewhat challenging.

 

What was the best feedback you got for your work and from whom?

The best feedback for my book was from Ms Dhwani Swadia who owns the website Thereandtheir as it came from an independent person.

 

How was your experience with leadstart publishers?

Leadstart Publishers is a professional organisation. They have a larger interest in developing the habit of reading. This has motivated them in identifying new authors. They are not hesitant to publish books of the different genre. Communicating and obtaining professional help and other matters required in the whole chain of publishing was easy, as all the staff were very professional and dedicated. The Project was handled efficiently till the required outcome.

 

How you keep yourself motivated to write more?

I think writing is natural and therefore it does not require a particular motivation. The thought of writing itself is a great motivator.

 

Generally, how much time you dedicated to writing while framing this book?

It took almost 8 months for writing the book. I spent at least 2-3 hours every day during this period. Another 1 year was devoted editing it myself while almost 8-9 months were required during the publishing phase.

 

How has leadstart helped you in growing as an author?

 

Leadstart is a professional organisation and they have helped me in every way. Giving an opportunity to a new author is something not less than a social responsibility. All those factors required for making a good book – editing, proofreading, marketing have been passionately done by them. What else does a new author need?

 

What advice would you like to give to the budding authors?

Since I am also a budding author, I am not in a position to give effective or experienced advice to other authors. However, in my opinion, any work requires passion and dedication.

 

 

 

Author Interview- In conversation with Sumathi Kulkarni

Sumathi Kulkarni has more than twenty-five years of teaching experience, with a post-graduate degree in English, a post-graduate teaching certificate, and a post-graduate diploma in teaching certificate, and a post-graduate diploma in teaching English from English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU).

A few of her writings have been published in Newspapers, Femina, Frozen Thoughts and a couple of defence magazines.

We are not any less than proud to have you here with us ma’am. A lady that inspires and motivates at the same time to fulfil the dreams of oneself and when it comes to living up to your dreams, no obstacle can be big enough. You inspire us, ma’am. 

Here is a part of the conversation she had with me…

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Author Sumathi Kulkarni

I would like to introduce you to our readers, please tell something about yourself.

I have worked as a teacher for the last 25 years and was so involved that I could not go for book writing due to constraints of time. I am married to a defence personnel and come from a defence background. I had written articles in Femina, Frozen thoughts, a couple of defence magazines and articles in local newspapers.

My first book was BOUQUET OF BRAINWAVES, an amalgamation of articles and poems. Again my second book belongs to the genre of non-fiction.  A tale of two dogs in STRING OF PEARLS is purely a collection of POEMS.

I am an animal lover.

I love to travel, see and observe places.


Tell me something about the book. Why you took up this genre? What can a reader expect from this book?


Basically, I am a sensitive person which is clearly reflected in my poems. It may be about animals, girls, women or spirituality touch the core of the reader. It is nothing but sensitivities expressed through experiences.

As an English teacher I loved teaching life, in other words, literature is nothing but life itself.  This can be experienced in Shakespearean dramas which are universal as they mirror life. I learnt to play with words. A couple of poems are evidential.

I took up this genre as I was able to put across my thoughts effortlessly.

A reader can experience through my effortlessly flowing thoughts. One comes across out of box ideas irrespective of one agrees or not. Understands the hearts of animals.

Feels one with weaker or socially downtrodden sex.

Sometimes one dive to the depth of spirituality and at times goes beyond skies to reach the unknown.


Who are your favourite authors? How often do you read?


 I don’t have any favourite authors rather I read only newspapers and magazines and spend more time in writing. I love to express myself.


What challenges have you faced while penning down this book? How you overcome them?


 My main challenge was to write along with babysitting my grandson.  Other than this probably things were smooth writing comes to me effortlessly.


What was the best feedback you got for your work and from whom?


 Life is struggling irrespective of humans or animals which come out as the main essence. A close critic’s feedback was it is depressing quite a few times. That is what life is most of the times. My day was done as it touches the core of your being.


How was your experience with leadstart publishers?


 It was very smooth and supportive. Not to forget it is an expensive hobby to publish a book.


 How you keep yourself motivated to write more?


I have been teaching throughout. In the process learnt a lot by observing and experiencing. It gets processed in my being and struggles to come out. That motivates me to write.


Generally, how much time you dedicated to writing while framing this book?


 About two hours early in the morning when I am fresh.


How has leadstart helped you in growing as an author?


I came across so many things which I did not know.  This interview is certainly one of them.


What advice would you like to give to the budding authors?


 Every one can not write. There is something in you which makes you write. If that life force propels you to write then these budding writers should go ahead and write.

Author Interview- In Conversation With Sudipta Mukherjee.

Author Sudipta Mukherjee was born in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand and raised in Kolkata. After finishing her graduation from Calcutta University, she went on to do Masters from Central Sericulture Research and Training Institute of (CSRTI), affiliated to the University Of Mysore, where she was awarded a gold medal for her academics. She had worked with multiple organisations before quitting the professional world to pursue her dream of being an author. She lives with her husband and daughter. THE CROSSROADS is her debut novel.

She is here with us to share her experience of being a published author by a leading publishing house of our country. Her distinctive lookout and courageous steps of quitting the professional world to fulfil her dreams can inspire and motivate the people who come in touch with her. Following are the parts of the conversation she had with me…

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Author Sudipta Mukherjee

Please tell us something about yourself.

I am an author by passion and by profession. The Crossroads is my debut novel with which I entered this amazing world of story-telling. A lover of music and a voracious reader, I am a traveller for life. I wish to linger in the minds of my readers long after they have turned the last page.

Tell me something about the book.

The Crossroads” is a journey through a woman’s heart, tossed between love, ambition and separation. The story revolves around Aparajita Basu (the protagonist), her evolving relationship with her childhood sweetheart, Aniruddha, and all the people she meets and mingles in her life.

As for the rest, I leave it for the readers to find out for themselves.

Why did you take up this genre?

Honestly speaking, I did not pick up the genre. The genre chose me, would be a good way to put it. I just penned down the story that came into my mind. Its origin is entirely organic. That’s how I write most stories.

What can a reader expect from this book?

The Crossroads is a bouquet of human emotions. Each reader will find a little something for his/ her delight.

Who are your favourite authors? How often do you read?

Well, I have a whole bucket of authors as a favourite, and certainly not one that I could point. A good story written in a great style is what appeals me, even if the author is someone lesser known.

When I am not writing, I am reading.

What challenges you faced while penning down the book? How you overcame them?

Writing this book was not much of a challenge because as I said, I penned down the story that first came into my mind. There was not much of engineering to it. I just went on adding details, characters and scenes that the story demanded.

The real challenge was when I ventured into publishing it. Dealing with the refusals, emotionally handling the rejections and all. It was difficult to keep the spirit high, I admit. But again I was hopeful, that I would get a chance sometimes. And that hope kept me alive and working.

What was the best feedback you got for your work and from whom?

There have been many since release, and I am thankful to every one of them. But out of that entire bunch of feedbacks, I would like to highlight two very special ones.

The first came from Moira Forsyth, the Editorial Director of Sandstone Press. She had been very honest and encouraging in giving her review when the book was still under process. I remember to have remained awake (in excitement), half the night, after reading her mail. I am thankful to her, for that little spark of encouragement when the situation looked bleak.

The second once came for a senior friend of mine, Mrs Sikha Mitra, after the publication of course. She had enormously praised my work and compared me with a prominent literary genius of the West. I am so thankful to her for her good words, and wishes. Although little selfishly drawn, I will always love her for this.

I hope that I keep up to their expectations.

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Author Sudipta Mukherjee

How was your experience with Leadstart Publishers?

I would like to thank Leadstart Publishers, for publishing my first work. It is because of them that I could call myself an author. And I will never forget it.

My experience with them has been good so far.

How do you keep yourself motivated to write more?

Motivation is an inner thing. It’s a deep desire, a desperate wanting to prove you to do something that you love above everything else to see yourself successful in it.

Generally how much time you dedicate for writing while framing this book?

Well, I am not a disciplined writer. There are days when I write for ten hours straight. Or for as long as ideas keep coming into my mind, or I can keep my eyes open. There are days when I don’t write at all. The Crossroads is a product of many such days and nights.

How has Leadstart helped you in growing as an author?

Leadstart has helped me in establishing myself as an author. It has played a big part in transforming me: from Sudipta Mukherjee, the individual, to Sudipta Mukherjee, the author. If that is what you mean by growth.

What advice would you like to give to the budding authors?

Write for the love of it, and not exclusively to get published. If you make small steps every day, you are sure to reach your goal. As somebody once said, follow the headlight of your car, and you will reach your destination.

A talk session with Author Chaitanya

Here is a Talk Session with Young author Chaitu Rish. Lets see what he has for his readers after the launch of his novel ‘I dunno how to handle you…the reason behind losing u.’ Here are some excerpts from a hearty chit-chat! Have a read!

Me: Tell me something about your background and what inspired you to write?

Chaitu: I am Chaitanya from Vijayawada, a city located 300 KM away from Hyderabad. I have been working as Software Engineer. I always strive to be only one in the crowd. I always wanted to prove myself. Since my childhood, I have been in love with books. I didn’t know how many books I have done with. I was mainly into Thriller novels, I wanted to scribble a novel with highly suspense thriller and I started in that way. I had completed that one. But some incidents happened in my life were the reason behind this book.So, I have been in the romance way.

Me: Nice! What are your expectations from the book?

Chaitu: 1000 copies were sold. What more can I expect? People are loving my work. To be frank, many love stories are in the same verge- in some lives, ego is the main villain. And in some lives, boy or girl would be a villain. I just want everyone to experience the divine feeling called ‘Love.’ I always believe, “Love is a reflection- how much amount we show is the amount which we receive.” If a couple or any person changes their negative feeling which faced in the past and move with positive spirit, I believe my novel would be rather such a hit. I never believe on numbers. If atleast a single person changes, I would be very much happy.

Me: Is this your true story?

Chaitu: It’s a truely spirited fictional love.

Me: Any advice you would like to give to budding authors?

Chaitu: Budding authors- do whatever you would like to. What could you say! Today’s budding author can be a tomorrow’s national best author.

Me: Any favorite or remarkable comment on your work?

Chaitu: I was elated by the compliments and comments I received for my novel. Out of which few made me much happier. Among them, one touched my heart. A guy who lost his love texted me and informed that I have done a great job with the novel and he wants to scribble his story. He wanted me to guide. And  said I would like to. He started narrating and all I had come across is betrayal… betrayal… betrayal… he used to comment, “she betrayed me. She messed up with my life, etc.” And I asked him, “have you gone through my novel completely.” He said, “he skipped note to my love.” I asked him to read that and get back to me. After 30 mins, he called me and started speaking that he was a kind of guy which wasn’t notice his gf’s love when they were in relation. He was simply neglected her and her feelings. Within no second thought, I told him to call her. At first he insisted to do that. But later he moved on and kept in conference call and I was on mute. The way she had spoken to him after a gap of two years was wrenched my heart. The care she showered on him, the love she showed. He was such a lucky guy. Thank god! He realised and they are happy together. I am glad that true love still exists and they realised because of the novel. This is the best and happiest moment I have ever faced.

Me: When can your readers have a second book from ur pen?

Chaitu: I am not sure. But definitely another book would be there from me.

Me: Who all are your fav. Authors?

Chaitu: I just love John Grisham’s books. I was planning to give a try on Thriller based novels. But Ravinder Singh’s I too had a love story changed my opinion towards love stories. I may try thriller novels in future. John Grisham and Ravinder Singh are my all time fav.

Me: What does writing means to you?

Chaitu: Expressing ones thoughts freely. In my view, an author and a journalist  makes the society prodigious.

Me: So what all can be done with this talk? Any more questions u wud like to suggest?

Chaitu: Feeling awesome by the interview and by the way… I would like to see you as a fulltime author. Beauty with brain.

Me: Thanx for your time! I am trying, hopefully will be published soon! 🙂