I adore bloggers turned writers; I follow many a bloggers and adore a few. When I first heard about Blogadda and their #CelebrateBlogging campaign, I was thrilled. To know that Blogadda throws a few characters to them asking to knit a story as a team, judges being dignitaries like Ravi Subramanian Sir and Ashwin Sanghi, and to add more spice a few participants are bloggers whom I follow religiously quickened my interest to read this book. And, when Blogadda posted a call for reviews; I grabbed the opportunity. Click here to read about the birth of the concept.
I don’t want to compare the 3 stories, so am reviewing each one by one.
The Awakening – A sci-fi fiction in a matter of 150 pages. The opening scene was normal, nothing different from usual fiction but the end of the chapter is a good twist which makes you want to read more. At the end of each chapter there is a plot twist knit, and it was interesting. Good characters and detailed motivation behind each. Overall a good story! I follow Preethi Venugopala and she is one of the team members, so my expectations wrt The quality of writing, language, and diction are on par and commendable
Frown factors: The novel “Shows” than “Tell” – very descriptive. The pacing was not levelled; the chapters are slow from the beginning and at the end it picks speed, could have been done better types. The hype that the end of each chapter created didn’t justify the end of the novel.
Entangled Lives – An exotic murder mystery. Very well-done! One of the best reads this year as I love mystery thrillers. The investigation part was handled properly without amiss. Interesting plot twists, one after the other. A real page-turner indeed. Loved the experience of reading this work. Kudos to the team! Am a fan of Srilakshmi’s lovebytes and I follow Sneha, good job! A fast paced novella with fleshy character traits and motivation. One cannot skim through this story; it has a lot of details in every line.
Frown factors: The world-building was a bit confusing in the middle.
Missing – A journey within – The blurb talks about a child gone missing, I was afraid if that would fall under the lines of many thrillers I’ve read so far, surprisingly, it is not. A beautiful tale around LGBT and a man getting raped. The emotions are handled well, a very nice story around the plot with good conflicts knit throughout. Kudos to the team for working on this theme.
Frown factors: The guy’s interest towards another guy, and discovering his sexual orientation was not dealt properly.
I received this book from blogadda for a video and blog review.
So, I approached my most favourite authors whom I have read, interacted, nudged with doubts, asked opinions, help, and what not?
I would rather happily die as a reader than an author; there are awesome authors I met in my journey who redefined what writing is to me! I myself find a good difference in me, my reading habit, my writing, and here are 10 questions to 10 authors, respectively!nei
Neil – One of the most promising Indian Author, reading his made me a better reader. His books are those that I would give to those friends of mine who say they would not read Indian authors, to prove them wrong. One of the best critics ever!
I asked him about his views on Social media for Marketing books and tips as well.
As a self-published author, I have used social media for marketing majorly. My initial presence as an author began when I started posting stories on Wattpad, Figment, and later on my website. I shared a lot of excerpts on Facebook as well. All these things received a lot of positive feedback and, apart from building for me a significant fan base, it also motivated me to take up writing more seriously. It was apt that I released all three of my books on social media first and then had physical events for them.
Having been using social media for book marketing since two years now, I would say that marketing does not work if you only talk about yourself. There are so many people who just put up posts about their books and such and do not engage in other ways at all. Remember that it is you who need to be visible on social media and not your books. It is equally important to interact with other people when they have something to say. You don’t get listeners here unless you are a listener first.
I don’t know about marketing mistakes as such, but I do have a grouse. And that is, social media marketing takes up a lot of my time, time that I would have otherwise used for writing. At present, I am trying to cut down on my Facebook time so that I can devote more time for my writing, but that could be just a passing phase for I have two books releasing shortly.
An interesting and strong author who self-publishes chucking traditional contracts, someone who is a catalyst of the change to help authors self-publish their books at ease! She is a strong woman and her books also touch base a lot on problems faced by woman in India and the taboo and clichés, she was shortlisted for the 2012 Tibor Jones South Asia award. Also, UK’s Glam magazine calls ‘Tell A Thousand Lies’ one of their ‘five favourite tales from India.’
I asked her about the view on women’s fiction these days, the view on woman writers and also, wanted to know her favourite book on the same line.
There is no doubt the same fiction written by men gets way more
There is this attitude that what women do carries less weight. I remember a recent interview with Times of India where I and another male writer were interviewed. The male author was called a full-time writer, and I was called a housewife even though I gave up my IT job (I have an M Tech.) to pursue writing full time AND I make good money from it,
I read so many books that I am trying to recall names. Toby Neal is one underrated writer. She writer crime fiction based in Hawaii. Her books are excellently researched and authentic. She does bring up the private lives of the main characters – which isn’t surprising considering everyone involved is either a cop or an FBI agent. But doing that somehow seems to dilute the impact of her gritty novels in some eyes.
I see Devika’s books just like a minion that sees a banana. I so adore them for the language, diction, vocabulary and the way she writes. Love oozing stories! And enticing books are all in her kitty.
As she self-publishes her books I wanted to know her thoughts on it and the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing?
That’s a good question. For me, I love the freedom and flexibility of self-publishing. I have a full say in all aspects and can control whatever I feel the need to. I also think payment is fairer (at least for eBook royalties). It can be a bit difficult to handle all aspects; especially marketing – but even traditionally published authors have to carry a lot of the burden or are never discovered because the publishing house doesn’t really give them a chance. Ultimately, each author should make their own choice.
An approachable and ambitious author whom I follow diligently, her book is always on the best sellers chart competing with the US and UK based authors. An artist herself who loves art, crafts and paintings that look as lovely as her book ‘without you’ is!
I asked her if she believes whether the book cover plays an important part in the buying process.
Yes! I can even tell whether it is literary fiction or commercial fiction by just looking at the cover of a book. Most readers, including me, pick books looking at the cover. They say not to judge a book by its cover, but most do. I made my designer change the cover design three times to arrive at the final cover. Many readers have told me they were attracted towards the book initially due to the beautiful cover.
More of a friend to me, and a person I look up at, one of the most approachable to ask any doubt at any walk. Sometime I talk to, before I take any decision. She was polite enough to answer me, even when she had her book launch scheduled the next day.
I asked her about her biggest learning experience with respect to publishing, as all her books are traditionally published.
The contract is the first thing that strikes my mind when you asked this question. Not all publishing companies are the same and not all companies would have the same set of procedure. So, one has to properly go through the contract before signing them. One should discuss with the publishing consultant about the terms and conditions, In India, traditional publishing is the way which will cost less and also, gets the books to the book store, so any author would find any traditional publisher as the best bet but still there are many glitches.
There are copy rights issues, royalty issues, transparency in selling, and many more to quote that author would indeed suffer if they choose to traditionally publish. It is important to choose the right publisher
Ganga’s third novel A sip of coffee and a sip of love has been launched recently! Wishing her good luck to hit the best sellers charts and here is the link to follow her!
An author who writes on romance, she is well-known for her lively and not just happily-ever-after but slice-of-life writing! She is one author who proved her capability with her blog posts before her debut which made publishing and the aftermath a privileged entry! If you want to learn the right route to blogging to author, one would point her as the best person to follow.
I asked her about the notion in general that whether romance is easy to write when compared to thriller or mystery. I wanted to know if romance is a difficult genre as well. Because, there are millions love stories with minuscule differences. How difficult it is to make a romance novel to stand out?
Romance is definitely not easy to write than any other genre. In my opinion any comparison is waste of time. The thriller or mystery tales are plot driven, whereas romance is character driven. Unlike a mystery or thriller, the characters in a romance novel need both internal and external conflicts. While external conflict is tangible and could be easily expressed; internal conflict needs to be developed and has to be taken to a successful closure. It is extremely difficult to articulate internal conflict which connects with the readers.
Since it is a popular genre everything has been done, every plot has been explored. So the setting and presentation has to be unique for a romance story to stand out.
I was introduced to Paromita through a book marketing community created by her to ease the marketing burden of authors.
After reading her works, I understood it was edited very well and so, my question to her was on editing!
Thank you so much Kavipriya for this opportunity. This is my personal views and in no way should be taken personally. Being good in English does not make you a good editor always as in the publishing field. You can correct the grammatical mistakes perfectly fine but when we are talking about books we are also taking about sales and above all readers. An editor should be able to gasp the nerves of the readers or rather the market. If you have a good editor, you will not only have corrections done but also have your manuscript edited as according to the market. Chop off the areas that are not necessary. Trim down scenes and make it more presentable. It’s like dressing your dish before serving. That’s what the editors are for. Hence according to me choosing editor for your work is very important part of publishing your book.
We crossed paths at for writers, by authors group. His book ‘1000 kilograms of Goa’ is a huge hit, and the best part of his book was the world building.
So I asked him about his views on world building, how important it is and if it is possible to write a story based on a place that an author has never been.
Kavipriya, Of course you’ve heard of James Hadley Chase. He lived in Britain all life. But almost all his novels were based in the US. Frankly, I find it difficult to set my story in a place where I’ve not been. Even though I live in Goa, I visited many of my locations, some of them even thrice.
It all depends on how much the place has a relevance to a particular location. If it’s just a regular story, I could do a Google search and find info on certain places and look into their maps. But if the location is highly relevant (like in my case ) it’s near to impossible to do it
Even when James Hadley Chase wrote his stories on the backdrop of US, all the specifics he needed was the law in that country and functioning of other law enforcement bodies, In order to keep it real.
I’d just share with you something very embarrassing
For the second novel, i wanted to insert a scene in a red light area. So on my regular trip to Mumbai, I visited Grant Road and had a chat with a couple of ladies. I was finding it difficult to visualise what a real red-light -area looks like. Also, for the first novel, I visited a casino and was asked by the bouncers to leave, because they didn’t like me interviewing their staff, they thought I was a journalist or something.
Things that an author does to write a book and get information are indeed a great journey itself! Follow Rohan Govenkar for more updates on how his second novel is shaping up!
The one who redefined ‘mythology’ – with her ‘soul warrior’ she just hit that a writer has no limits to creativity.
I asked her what an author should primarily do? Or start with, when they want to try their hands with fantasy fiction or historic, that is not common and different in every aspect.
Firstly, thank you for saying that I’ve redefined “retelling” a story. Ok, so to answer how I did it and what other authors can do to make their stories different is that learn the story so well and from so many angles that you know exactly where to tear it apart. Alexander McQueen, the infamous dress designer, has said that to know where to make that daring alternative cut, I needed to know traditional dressmaking. Does that make sense? Have I answered your questions?
Every “change” I made in Soul Warrior has a basis in Vedic literature and mythology. Literature and history tells us that Karna was the perfect mate for Draupadi. If that is true, why did fate work against them? There had to be a reason why Krishna manipulated events so Karna and D did not get together. That’s the basis. Then I had to imagine the subtle changes and differences I could introduce. And if they made sense.
One of the promising debut last year with a short story collections. His styles are one of a kind, a very experimental and level headed author with whom I shared a stage for a workshop.
I wanted him to talk on his mastered area on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
Writer’s block is a sign that your mind is bored with the script running the story and scenes time and again, because we writers are prone to read the written a few times before re-starting our work, right? So I would suggest to forget writing and to start reading! I bet that your mind will miss the lingering torture of your characters that they would start calling you back.
The above is applicable only to writing, but there are chances that you have a block in you plot itself, this is when you should stop fumbling and start working on something different, it can be a short story or some prompt or any whimsical idea – basically give a nice vacation for your brain.
Take a vacation between your books and keep observing things! It will change a lot of perspectives and make more room to write about.
Here is all you would like to know about him and his books!