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Author-cum-journalist Rashmi Kumar’s first book “Stilettos in the Newsroom” was recently launched at the hands of Padmashree Lila Poonawalla at Landmark bookstore, Pune. Madhur Bhandarkar, acclaimed director launched her book in Mumbai on April 21st.    Rashmi Kumar was born in Pune, and  graduated from Jesus and Mary College, Delhi, with a degree in English Literature. She later pursued a degree in journalism. Her first book Stilettos ...
Post by: BookChums
Writer, editor, voracious reader, techie, Paritosh Uttam wears many hats. His first novel, Dreams in Prussian Blue was published by Penguin India under its Metro Reads banner in January 2010.     He has also edited Urban Shots, an anthology of 29 short stories.  While his latest offering, Urban Shots hits the shelves this week, we get talking about his first novel, Dreams in Prussian Blue, writing and much more. Read on...      &n...
Post by: Alpana Mallick
Samit Basu, novelist, screenwriter, writer of comics and local monster, talks about his latest book Turbulence and writing among other things. You wear the crown of India’s first SFF genre writer.  Eight years down the line, how do you feel with that title on your head?  Ambivalent. It’s not a crown in particular, and I don’t particularly believe in book categories. I don’t see myself as a genre writer – if I did, I would be ...
Post by: Alpana Mallick
A versatile new-age writer, Rashmi Kumar represents everything a “girl in the city” should. Glamorous, smart, intelligent and very humane. Currently working for Business India, there’s more to this lovely lady than just being a journalist. Read on to know more… Coming to your first book: Stilettos in the Newsroom-What brought about the ideation of the story? I’ve been a journalist for the past eight years and this book reflects...
Post by: Sonia Safri
Ahmed Faiyaz, Managing Director, Grey Oak Publishers and a prolific writer with a deep insight to relationships, as they exist today in the urban cities, shares his thoughts and views with BookChums.   Beginning with the mundane/clichéd question: When, where and how did the writing bug bite? I’m not sure actually, to be honest. I guess being a voracious reader (as I am) is what pushed me towards writing in the first place. Back when I was 10 years o...
Post by: Sonia Safri
Advertising, writing books, being a family person, Anuja Chauhan has been there, done that, and with much elan and grace. We get talking to the lovely lady to see what makes her tick.   Before we get down to writing, tell us something about your career in copywriting at JWT. I loved it! It never felt like working...and to think I drifted into it completely randomly! I can't imagine any other career where I could've worked so happily and for so long.....
Post by: Sonia Safri
Inauguration Though we were tired, given our travel schedule a day prior to the fest, our spirits immediately escalated to a whole new level as we walked in to the Diggi Palace for the inaugural ceremony of the Jaipur Literature Festival 2011. The bright and colorful décor of the palace and the vibrant atmosphere welcomed authors, celebrities, dignitaries and guests with warmth and love and soon the dropping temperature was almost inconspicuous. Noted Schola...
Post by: Sonia Safri
DAY 1 Thankfully I was scheduled to attend all the events held at the Mughal Tent. Given the fact that I was proudly flaunting and parading in my knee-length boots, the situation saved me the trouble of running from one venue to another. But towards the end of the day as the crowd multiplied four folds, I was lucky even to be able to attend the sessions.   Kuch Sheher, Kuch Ped, Kuch Nazmon ka Khayaal (On Writing Poems) The first session of Mughal Tent ...
Post by: Sonia Safri
Day 2 If we thought Day 1 was crowded, Day 2 surprised us even more. It seemed like the crowd had multiplied over-night.   The first session at Front Lawns was titled “Why Books Matter”, presented by the British Council. The dias had eminent authors including Patrick French, Sunil Sethi, Kiran Desai, John Makinson in conversation with Sonia Singh. Their discussion was intriguing and interactive. Talking about how and books matter, they touched up on t...
Post by: Sonia Safri
DAY 3     The day began on a very light and rejuvenating session that had Ruskin Bond in conversation with Ravi Singh. Aptly named Boys Will Be Boys, the session saw Ruskin Bond read a few excerpts from his various books and a poem he had recently penned for kids. Ruskin Bond is truly one of the finest story-tellers of all times. He proved it yet again as he made up a story, almost instantly, of how escaped a tiger attack when he was 12. And boy! What a ...
Post by: Sonia Safri
DAY 4       Mumbai Narrative saw Gyan Prakash and Sonia Faleiro, in conversation with Madhu Trehan, discuss their books set in the urban cities. Gyan Praskash’s Mumbai Fables and Sonia Faleiro’s Beautiful Thing set in the backdrop of Mumbai reveal different aspects and facets of an urban city in a fascinating way.                              ...
Post by: Sonia Safri
DAY 5     The first session on the last day of the fest that I attended was Duet that comprised readings by Kavery Nambisan and Sarita Mandanna. The duo was introduced by Namita Devidayal. Kavery and Sarita spoke about their evolving styles and subjects during the course of their readings.                   I managed to attend a part of Translating the Classics, at the Durbar Hall, wherein Arunava ...
Post by: Sonia Safri
Everyone has had their share of news to report, their accounts, and their observations and quickly arrived upon conclusions about the Jaipur Literature Festival 2011, so far called the biggest literary extravaganza happening this side of the hemisphere, and being compared to cult festivals like Woodstock. Given it’s been a good 5 days since the fest ended; I thought it’s time I put down my two cents worth of experience.   Once the festival kicked off...
Post by: Alpana Mallick
We’d been planning the interview for over a month, but time and other constraints kept coming up. It has been my experience that most authors prefer to do a “quick one” over email and sometimes take an awful long time to revert. It was thus a pleasant surprise when Faraaz expressed his wish to do a proper interview instead of answering an email questionnaire and what’s more, was easily accessible and quite accommodating. We finally met up on ...
Post by: Alpana Mallick
  An economics graduate from Wellesley College Massachusetts with an MBA from Columbia Business School, Ira Trivedi is the personification of beauty and brains. After having interacted with her during the Jaipur Literature Festival 2011, we were more than eager to interview her and know about her experiences of being an author, a model and about her internship at JP Morgan. This is what she shared with us.    What made you participate in the Mis...
Post by: Sonia Safri
  Devdutt Pattanaik, by some standards, is one of mankind’s last great hopes . Through his work on Hindu mythology and its many nuances, he has been building bridges across the respective cultures of the west and the east, enhancing their understanding of each other. Additionally, he works for the Future Group as their Chief Belief Officer. A broad picture of what his work involves can be had at his website here. His most recent book is JAYA -- an illustrated...
Post by: Vijayendra Mohanty
Abha Dawesar, an internationally-acclaimed award-winning novelist, is amongst the finest contemporary writers of the country. I first saw her during the Jaipur Literature Festival 2011, during a session named “Migritude” (click here to see the session) where she was amongst the panelists. And when I heard her speak about the attitude of migrants, their thoughts, their creative balance, her demure appearance immediately took a back seat and she came acros...
Post by: Sonia Safri
We live in an interesting era. New-age Indian authors are on the rise. The market is flooding with authors churning out English books that revolve around campus fiction, contemporary fiction, murder mysteries, local everyday drama, and the commercial story sorts. They give an almost accurate picture of society as it exists today. The real and sometimes pretentious situations; the fictionally honest thoughts; and the simply elaborate settings gel remarkably to make up for...
Post by: Sonia Safri
Dhondutai’s ‘Little Kesarbai’ grew up to be a prolific writer, a tenacious journalist, a good mother, a lovely friend and a singer. Part of hers is this, part – that and so on …   Namita Devidayal clad in a pink sari looks just like my next-door neighbor, when she passes by with a warm smile you feel like talking to her – if you have had a taste of Aftertaste and entered The Music Room, you would love to continue with the journ...
Post by: Uttiya Basu Majumdar
It all began with author of the famed The Rozabal Line reminiscing Pune as this hill station where tourists could relish the very famous Shrewsbury biscuits at Kayani Bakery. We know Pune has metamorphosed into a hep, busy city just like author Ashwin Sanghi, who after The Rozabal Line (a mythological fiction) has now picked up Chanakya's character from Indian history and intertwined another story of politics, revenge and manipulation to put together Chanakya's Chant, a ...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
Having read the impressive Some Of The Whole I couldn’t wait to know more about the author – Abhijit Bhattacharya. Enter Google. The author is a Marketing professional in the field of broadcast media for more than 9 years now and has worked for media conglomerates like NDTV Media, CNBC-TV18, The Times Group and Viacom 18 Media Pvt. Ltd. (MTV). He was born in Kolkata; attended St. Augustine’s School; headed to Delhi to graduate in Economics from Hind...
Post by: Sonia Safri
Manu Joseph – a renowned name in the field of journalism seeks no introduction. But we shall tell you a tad bit about him anyways. Formerly Features Editor of the The Times of India, Manu Joseph has also written for Conde Nast's wired.com, and the UK Independent.  He was shortlisted for Society magazine's Young Achiever Award and in a website survey among Indian journalists, he was voted 'The Most Stylish Writer'. In 2007, he was a Chevenin...
Post by: BookChums
All ye aspiring authors around…lend me your ears. I need to share with you a bubble of thought that burst in my head. It derailed my cognitive train and killed about a million brain cells in the vicinity. Investigation is on and I know serious damage has been done. But that story is for another time. What I want to highlight today is the present situation of our nation. Nope, not the political one. We have other flag bearers and upholders of truth, honesty, etc. ...
Post by: Sonia Safri
From Kuwait to India via refugee camps; from being a Brand Manager and winning awards to now writing short stories by the beach and photographing the mountains, Sneh Thakur has lived quite an exciting life. BookChums gets talking and digging for more about this beautiful, chirpy and multi-talented lady. In a nut shell, tell us about Sneh Thakur. I would best describe myself in 6 words as: Pint Sized Rapunzel. On a Cloud. I'm 29 years old, born to a ...
Post by: Sonia Safri
Book Launch - Indira Gandhi - The Final Chapter by Suraj 'Eskay' Sriram Friday, April 29, 2011 Pune.   Crossword, at ICC Towers, saw a houseful of audience gathered for the book launch of Suraj 'Eskay' Sriram's latest book of illustrations - Indira Gandhi - The Final Chapter. A book of illustrations, Indira Gandhi - The Last Chapter, lampoons the political figure through witty cartoons. It draws a satirical portrait of the Indian leader while ...
Post by: Sonia Safri
Anurag Anand, a marketing professional by day and a passionate writer by night (wait…does that make him sound like some “pseudo Superman/Superauthor”!??!) – recently launched his fourth book –The Quest For Nothing. It is a contemporary love story, tracing the trials and tribulations in the relationship of a young working couple in light of the never ending career aspirations and the zest to succeed professionally. And for those who still...
Post by: Sonia Safri
A man is known by the company he keeps. And a book is any day good company. It reveals more about your character. It reflects your tastes, your desires, your perspectives, and a bit of the real you. Books have a deeper impact on your mind and heart. They become a characteristic trait. Research shows that most of the successful people, read. And read books that broaden their perspective and their knowledge and their thought process. They have more information; learn ...
Post by: Sonia Safri
Not many know about the man whose first book has garnered rave book reviews and is topping the bestseller charts steadily. We are talking about a bright new author Rikin Khamar and his first book The Lotus Queen. There’s more about this bright author who grew up in London; enjoyed his vacations in India; professionally is a business strategy advisor; a passionate photographer and artist; and a poet by choice.   BookChums brings to you an exclusive inte...
Post by: Sonia Safri
Walk into a book store and you are sure to find a heap of novels lined up meticulously. But how many are anthologies compared to the full length novels? Hardly a few! I really can’t say what I like reading more – short stories or a full length novel. Though both have equal, if not less, rewards, they suffer their downfalls too.   My love for short stories began (and somewhat ended) during the school days, where in our “Gul Mohar Reader&rdq...
Post by: Sonia Safri
When I contacted Rohini Kejriwal, for the first time, she came across as a 20-year-old, who, like Alisha, her protagonist from her short story - Learning & Unlearning, a short story from Down The Road - was interested in Maggi parties, masti and friends. But just like Alisha’s character had a lot of depth and acute understanding of life, this girl too knows what she wants to do in life and how she could go about it. With blogging, writing short storie...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
Like most first-time-writers Shrenik Mutha’s novel Broken Hearts has a strong autobiographical influence. The novel talks about love, separation, loss, happiness and romance. Dressed in a white blazer and white trousers, this suave, attractive looking guy, spills the beans as he says, “This love story has originated from my own life,” and blushes just as he was seated between his friends and was being teased about his lady love.   We seldom meet ...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
Not many budding authors end up harnessing the power and potential of social media platforms. And we were pleasantly surprised when Harsh Snehanshu smartly “crowdsourced” the title of his new book. Wait…we shouldn’t be doing all the talking. Here’s Harsh talking about his inspirations, ideas, wit, social media and more!   What inspired/provoked you to write “Oops! I Fell In Love…just by chance”? How did you stu...
Post by: Sonia Safri
Having attended the book launch of Salil Desai's debut novel, The Body in the Back Seat in Pune recently, we were intrigued by his work and impressed with his background of film-making and having contirbuted to many anthologies. We got talking to the author and here's the unabridged version.  You have been a filmmaker for a long time now. Why did you move to writing a mystery novel? Wouldn't a film have been a more effective medium of bringing your...
Post by: Manasi Kakatkar-Kulkarni
I like the fact that some young authors are exploring the lost art of humor writing and coming up with funny books. Here are some of the recent few helpings (of books) that I relished. Horn OK Please - HOPping to Conclusions by Kartik Iyengar, is a fun-tastic read. It chronicles Kartik's journey across the country with his friends. The book is hilarious. It has anecdotes from the journey and snippets of randomness that end up instigating brain waves to ponder on...
Post by: Sanjana Kapoor
   A renowned blogger and a lover of…words, Kunal Dhabalia is a software  professional who enjoys traveling and capturing images for life.     BookChums gets talking to this young man. Here’s all that he told us.      Where do you draw inspiration from? Any author/book that has had the most  impact on your or your writing?  My inspiration for writing can be anybody. Most of my sto...
Post by: Sonia Safri
  Social Media Revolution is taking the globe under its stride. A lot has been explored and a lot still needs to be uncovered. In this scenario, “Social Media Simplified” is a great attempt by Vijayendra Haryal and Anandan Pillai that points out key aspects of social media strategies, along with case studies based on Indian brands highlighting their success. BookChums got talking with the two authors to unearth the story behind the book.   ...
Post by: Sonia Safri
Of late, I’ve noticed quite a few online and offline book clubs spring up. But not many takers. So I got thinking as to why someone should (or not) join a book club. Come to think of it, there are quite a lot of advantages of being an active book lover.   1.    Freedom Of Expression Oh, this sure ranks #1 for me. The freedom to express your opinions about the book, the characters, the plot, the author –to a larger audience is quit...
Post by: Sonia Safri
From Muscat to Pune, via South India...Aseem Rastogi, a consultant with Infosys, is a writer, a proficient blogger, a content creator, and a talented young man with an undying love for music.   BookChums caught up with him to know more about his versatility. Read on...     How different was life in Muscat compared to life in India, esp. Pune? If you see at the outset, life in Muscat and India is much the same. With Indians all around, going to...
Post by: Sonia Safri
24th July, Mumbai: So I had quite an eventful Sunday. While all of you were busy sleeping and lazying around, I was on my way to attend the book launch of Growing up In Pandupur, by authors Adithi and Chatura Rao. A bit cranky and a bit annoyed with the early morning travel, I reached Landmark at Kemp’s Corner at 11am sharp…only to find it shut! My first thought: Was I mistaken about the launch date??? But thankfully a kind lady (with a really cute k...
Post by: Sonia Safri
With the number of fiction books being released in the market, it is no surprise that people from all walks of life are trying their hand at writing stories. The purpose behind writing could be to educate, entertain, or simply narrate a tale that they feel deserves to be spoken about. But before any more writers decide to take the plunge we would like to tell you the qualities you need to make it big as a well-read writer.    Discipline: For every writer to...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
There was a blog by Rosemarie Urquico on “Date a girl who reads” that created ripples. That was a response to Charles Warnke’s “You should date an illiterate girl”.   Since I was almost facing a “writer’s block” and couldn’t think of a blog idea, I thought, why not jot points for people who wish to date. So we can take a look at pros and cons of dating people who are well read, vs. others who disregard books....
Post by: Soina Safri
  Shabia Ravi Walia, like every woman, dreamed of being a mother. However, it was not easy for her. She waited for 3 years to conceive after she decided to make an addition to her family. And her first book - Mamma Mania - is an account of all that happened from the time she decided to go for it till it really happened. The book is part funny, part emotional and completely informative. From the funny incident of acting pregnant when she was not, to moments of ...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
There are a lot many books being published nowadays. Keeping a tab on them all is a bit difficult. We were hoping our members would help us by jotting names of recently published books, so that we can add them to our club, and start some discussions. Let us know about the books you've come across recently, and we shall add them to the club. Better yet, go ahead...add them here! -Admin
Post by: BookChums
The Landmark store in Andheri was in limelight once again, this time for the launch of Faraaz Kazi’s debut novel- Truly Madly Deeply, which was published last year.   Present for the event were: renowned Indian Ad-film maker Prahlad Kakkar, Supermodel Aditya Singh Rajput, along with fashion designer and socialite Pria Kataria Puri. Writer, blogger, and now an author, Faraaz spoke about his debut novel, the ideation, the process, and the rave reviews i...
Post by: Sonia Safri
There are a lot many distractions nowadays for everyone. Work, Internet, Playstation, Xbox, or simply the idiot box. Who has the time or patience to read? Right?? But if you put your mind to it, you’d see it’s not that difficult. Here are some pointers to help you: Gather good reading material: There is no dearth if you just look around. With so many books stores, book stalls (those small road-side vendors have to make a living too and more often than ...
Post by: Sonia Safri
The launch of Growing Up In Pandupur in Mumbai gave us a chance to interact with two very versatile and creative authors - Adithi and Chatura Rao.   Growing Up In Pandupur is a marvelous collection of 13 short stories for children. And parents alike.   The writing is mature and stable, but at no place does it feel commanding or overbearing. So kids will have no difficulty breezing through the stories.   Talking to the author-sisters would really ma...
Post by: Sonia Safri
  Corporate World seems like a parallel Universe. It is intriguing, fascinating and yes, shocking! And capturing a bit of the "shock" is Sumit Aggarwal's debut novel "Office Shocks".  The novel encapsulates the protagonists' first day at work. Filled with humor, the shocking incidents make for a quick read. BookChums got talking to the author for his take on the book and the corporate world.     What got you interes...
Post by: Sonia Safri
  Right from childhood days, most of us have grown up with stories of prince and princess’, of kings and queens, of fairies and witches and of God and his magical ways - of casting spells, swishing wand, riding dragons and brooms, and zipping-n-zapping people in to animals and vice versa. Most of us grew up reading (or listening to) stories from the desk of Enid Blyton, L. Frank Baum, Terry Pratchett, Rick Riordan and the like. The mystical land was le...
Post by: Sonia Safri
We have all fallen in love when we were 17. We have all experienced the happiness, positivity that first love brings in our lives. But when the same love fades away, we have all cried, felt extreme sorrow and vacuum. But when Pune-based teenager Shrenik Mutha, fell in love with ‘his angel’ and things did not work out for them, he choose to write a novel Broken Hearts based on his diary. The book was released a couple of months ago and has been praised liber...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
A "lesser known poet", a brilliant author, and an extremely charming young girl - Ismita Tandon Dhankher made waves with her debut novel- Love On The Rocks earlier this year. BookChums got talking with Ismita and here's all that we found out. We saw your blog and it has some real good poetry. So let’s begin with the clichéd one first – when and how did you start writing poetry? Poetry happened to me at the age of twenty-six when I went...
Post by: Sonia Safri
While some authors are synonymous with comic-fantasy fiction, it is worthwhile to spend some time looking for books by lesser-known comic-fantasy authors too. One could stumble into a book that is equivalent to a Thursday Next or a Nursery Crime . Such a book could be a pleasure to begin with and open a reader’s mind to a new frontier of imagination. It thrills the senses and leaves the reader yearning for more of such literature. Comic fantasies bring humor i...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
Some authors write after calculating how commercially successful a subject would be, while some write for the pleasure of expressing and sharing their feelings/observations. For some, writing is as natural an activity as eating or sleeping. And one such contemporary writer is Sweta Srivastava Vikram. Sweta began writing chapbooks titled  Because All Is Not Lost, Kaleidoscope: An Asian Journey of Colors, and Beyond the Scent of Sorrow and has now released her...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
Reviewers claim that Chitralekha Paul’s writings are similar to Jhumpa Lahiri and Anita Desai’s treatment and writing style. The dilemmas, issues and small pleasures of the protagonist of Delayed Monsoon, Abhilasha, has given critics and reviewers enough reason to applaud this lawyer-cum-writer’s debut venture. The way in which Abhilasha and Arvind fall in love, the anticipation of meeting her beloved for the first time (she fell in love with Arvind onl...
Post by: Sonia Safri
For Prakash Iyer, the CEO of Kimberley Clark Lever, there is a winner inside every one of us. It is just a matter of realizing and acting upon. And to help Iyer share his experiences, he first began blogging and then contributing motivational and inspirational columns in Careers 360. Eventually, when Iyer realized that he was doing a good job at improving people’s success rates, he came out with a book titled The Habit of Winning that has some great stories on visi...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
A reading log (or a book journal) is a great way of keeping a track of what you have read, or are and will be reading. And truth be told, not many of us make or maintain a reading log. It is in fact good practice that helps you record your reactions to a book, and its characters. You can note your thoughts and gain further insight about the theme, the plot, the appeal and even its relevance. This will help you expand your overall enjoyment of reading and going ba...
Post by: Sonia Safri
You might pass Shrabani Basu as any other lady with a warm smile. But this lady clad in a white top and a green shrug, is much more than the lady-next-door. Author of three very successful non fictions Curry, The Story of Britain’s Favourite Dish; Spy Princess, the story of a descendent of Tipu Sultan who spied for the British during World War II and Victoria & Abdul, Shrabani Basu has solved many a jigsaw puzzles pertaining to important but relatively unknown ...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
You know a book has lived up to its promise when it engulfs you in a world of its own and keeps you there till the very last page. This is especially true for Mystery, Suspense, Thriller and Crime novels. If they keep you captivated for hours together and give you goose bumps, rest assured that your time was absolutely worth it. The mesmerizing “who-dunnit” reads, or the old fashioned mysteries complete with red herrings, or the more contemporary puzzle ...
Post by: Sonia Safri
Continuing the list of top mystery / suspense novels, here are the remaining ones that make up for a thrilling read.       A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes makes his debut in the mystery of a corpse found in a run-down, abandoned house. He encounters a strange clue, the word RACHE written in blood on the wall near the body. Only the astute mind of Mr. Holmes can make sense of such a cryptic clue.      ...
Post by: Sonia Safri
  From a business journalist to an author, Sudha Menon’s journey hasn’t been an easy one. Her debut non-fictional, Leading Ladies, inspired her all the way to show the different facet of the lives of women who have indeed made a difference to society by sheer determination and focus.   The book covers the stories of: Amrita Patel, Anu Aga, Kalpana Morparia, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Lila Poonawalla, Mallika Sarabhai, Mallika Srinivasan, Meher Pudumj...
Post by: Sonia Safri
  Not many authors choose to write for a cause. While most fiction writers are happy talking about relationships and other humdrum stuff, Saptarshi Basu, is a new author who is writing to make a difference. Through his writings Basu is determined to make things better for people around. His latest book titled Autumn In My Heart, touches upon the sensitive issue of student suicide.     Bookchums chats up with the author of Love, Logic And The God's A...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
It's not often that you get to read a book so powerful that keeps you up, and moves in your mind even after you are done reading it. Prey By The Ganges, by Hemant Kumar, is one such novel, with its far-reaching imagery and an utterly spine-chilling thrill. I couldn't resist the opportunity to interview the author to know more about the ideation and the writing process. Here's all that the author shared with us.     To begin with, we suddenly saw Hemant ...
Post by: Sonia Safri
Rightly said, “never judge a book by its movie” stands tall and true with so many books and their weird movie versions. Here’s a list of some books that ruined the reading experience of the books.     The Time Traveler's Wife   The Time Traveler's Wife was the debut novel of American author Audrey Niffenegger. It is a love story about a man with a genetic disorder that causes him to time travel unpredictably, and about his wife, ...
Post by: Sonam Kapoor
An MBA by profession, Nishant Kaushik, an author with three books to his fame certainly has come a long way. BookChums managed to rope in this entertaining author for a few questions.   How and when did you begin blogging/writing? I began writing well before blogging existed as a concept – only that my writing was awry and all over the place. I wrote mostly on a notepad during a boring lecture, and those ‘blogs’ often did the rounds in ...
Post by: Sonia Safri
He enters and he is welcomed with a thundering round of applause and a standing ovation. All of a sudden you overhear people say, “He’s here… Wilbur Smith’s here” and he walks in and flashes a warm smile. As soon as he sits and gets comfortable, this writing phenomenon, Wilbur Smith, takes the mike and clarifies, “I am NOT here to sell my books but to gain sympathy as a writer!” And this is how begins this hour-long warm, candid...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
Reading is an expensive pass time. Considering we read books (talking about fictions here) once, we really need to pick them carefully. For instance, I remember buying Mistress Of Spices and was stuck with the book. I had paid a reasonably large sum for it and it was such a drag. It was then that I made a promise to myself to buy books only after reading book reviews. In other words I pledged to begin judging a book by its review (and not movie) before I bought it. ...
Post by: Lakshita Grover
All it really takes to hook a person to a good book, is the opening line. Though they are stand alone sentences, they lure and entice (sometimes quite literally) the readers to discover more.      I recently happened to glance at the opening passage of Gary Shteyngart’s forthcoming novel, Super Sad True Love Story and it read,  “Today I’ve made a major decision: I am never going to die. Others will die around me. They will be ...
Post by: Sonam Kapoor
•    "[Mother Teresa] was not a friend of the poor. She was a friend of poverty. She said that suffering was a gift from God. She spent her life opposing the only known cure for poverty, which is the empowerment of women and the emancipation of them from a livestock version of compulsory reproduction." •    “[George W. Bush] is lucky to be governor of Texas. He is unusually incurious, abnormally unintelligent, am...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
Rajeev Ranjan, who has been serving as an Indian Coast Guard Officer for the last 15 years one fine morning began scribbling his thoughts and ideas in a secret little notebook that lay by his bedside. Slowly he started finding this activity de stressing and he continued to write. After a gap of some days when he opened the book, to his surprise he felt that the book had some potential. After his brother seconded his opinion, Rajeev developed his work and thus was born A ...
Post by: BookChums
  21st December 2011, Pune.     As I walked in to Landmark for the book launch and reading session of Judy Balan’s debut novel - Two Fates: The Story Of My Divorce, I looked around to see if I could spot her. Amidst the crowd she easily passed off as a kid...alright a teenager! Yes, you read me right. A teenager. A young, chirpy one (and I’m tempted to add bubbly too) at that. Her smile, definitely infectious…and her book – o...
Post by: Sonia Safri
  As I walked in to the bookstore for the launch of Judy Balan’s debut novel, Two Fates: The Story of my Divorce, I was greeted with a sweet smile and a hint of a rollicking time! I managed to get Judy’s time and attention before the launch and indulged in a candid interview. On enquiring about the ideation of the story, she was quick to respond, “I happened to be in a store and noticed Drink, Play, F@ck, the parody of Elizabeth Gilbert&rsqu...
Post by: Sonia Safri
The first time I met author Manasi Vaidya was at a book launch event in Pune. She happened to tell me that Penguin was releasing her romantic comedy No Deadline For Love under the Metro Reads section. As soon as I got back to office, I read her blog, I fell in love with her writing style. Her topical subjects, situations and reactions were incredibly funny. From how she ran to the loo to key in her novel or how she came across a group of daughter-in-laws who faked linger...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
People know him as "a Chartered Accountant and Management Consultant by accident, a civil servant by day and a writer by night. A voracious reader and a lover of cinema. And of course the Managing Director, Grey Oak Publishers." But this barely sums up the personality of author Ahmed Faiyaz. Those familiar with his previous work will vouch for his insight to observe and meticulously jot human emotions and relationships. And with his latest offering Scammed: ...
Post by: BookChums
One of the comments on the back cover of Kankana Basu’s books - “With Basu around, you don’t really need Jhumpa Lahiri” – is sure to raise the bar about what you expect from the work, but her writings definitely meet all the expectations.  Cappuccino Dusk (novel) and Vinegar Sunday (collection of short stories) offer a very interesting take on Bengali families, their lifestyle and culture, and the way they these people have adapte...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
Love’s Journey is the debut novel of Rashmi Singh, a freelance Personality Development and Soft Skills Trainer at Faridabad. From talking about her personal and professional life to her take on love, Rashmi gives us an insight on present day society woes and much more. Read on. Tell us a bit about your professional background. How did you steer towards becoming a Personality Development and Soft Skills Trainer? I had been quite active during my school/colle...
Post by: Sonia Safri
  Friday, 20th January, 2012 Landmark, Pune:  I was recently invited to the book launch of two of the most awaited anthologies -  Urban Shots Crossroads and Urban Shots Brightlights.   I walked in to the store, towards the book launch area, recognizing a few familiar faces, and smiling at the new ones. I could sense the excitement. It reminded me of the launch of the first Urban Shots anthology by Grey Oaks and the launch of Down the Road th...
Post by: Sonia Safri
A graphic designer and copywriter by profession, Vibhuti Bhandarkar began blogging a few years ago and ended up churning a fast-paced and delightful collection of ten short stories, Not Totally Unbelievable. Talking about her life and her passion for writing, Vibhuti told us upcoming work as well. Read on.     Tell us a bit about your professional and personal background I was born and brought up in Mumbai, India. I was a student of G.D. Art at The Sophia...
Post by: Sonia Safri
Dr. Vivek Banerjee, the author of ‘The Long Road’ is a self-confessed “full time pediatrician (by choice) and part time author (by chance)”. Also known by his pen name Ben, for his blogs earlier, Vivek shares snippets of his writing career with us. Read on.   Could you share with us your earliest memories of writing? What got you blogging and finally writing a fictional tale? The earliest memories in writing are contributing to my sch...
Post by: Sonia Safri
Two years ago, Arnab Ray decided to play it safe. After tasting immense success and a steady fan following on his blog: greatbong.net he compiled his first book, May I Hebb Your Attention Pliss with detailed essays on two of his favourite topics – Bollywood and politics.  He says, “In my first release I experimented with styles of comedy but not with the subject. My latest The Mine is experimental with respect to writing style and subject matter.&rdquo...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
Most creative writing experts argue that writing is all about evolving and improving continuously. It is also about beginning from a certain end and imagining the unimaginable. It is also about describing what it feels like or something that a person should never feel. This is the first of  a three part creative writing programme for all you budding creative writers to follow and hone your writing skills. And remember this is just the beginning… Exerci...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
Interview with Prionka Ray We chatted up with debutant author Prionka Ray who has penned Sia, a novel that tells us about the different hues of the relationship shared by sisters. The book is also a departure from the kind of novels being released these days.  In the conversation, author Prionka Ray talks about being an educator, living in many cities and what kind of writing appeals to her. You have written on your blog that biographies in general are r...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
This week we speak with author Astha Suneja who has authored two fictions: Owe You My Fate and Yes... I Flaunt My Diamond. This young author talks about blogging and what inspires and compels her to put pen to paper. You work with TCS and writing is not what is demanded of you professionally. So how did you go about releasing two novels in quick succession? I have always had my interests in the field of communication. In spite of having a technical academic degr...
Post by: BookChums
Nayana Currimbhoy’s first work of fiction, Miss Timmins School for Girls, elevated this non-fiction writer and journalist’s repertoire of work. In fact, her boarding school descriptions were compared to Enid Blyton’s writing style! Currimbhoy’s account of this all-girls British boarding school in Panchgani where rich Indian girls studied in the 1970s was applauded for the wonderful world that it created. Nayana Currimbhoy talks to BookChums ...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
Payal Dhar is one of the few Indian writers in English who have succeeded in creating a whole new parallel world; a world, where she is God, where she gives birth to so many characters, and dictates the situations and their reactions. In her four novels, Dhar also creates her own cultures and laws of physics. The author of Satin and Shadow Trilogy speaks about what it takes to write good speculative fiction and what editors would love to see in a finished manuscript. ...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
April 23, 2012, Pune, India: BookChums interviewed Sam Vaknin, editor, columnist, psychologist, financial advisor & consultant, and author of the popular book, Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited. This book is a treatise on narcissism and explores the depth of the Narcissistic Personality Disorder and how individuals afflicted with this disorder tend to abuse others; thereby destroying relationships. In this witty and crisp interview, he described his writings ...
Post by: BookChums
Where I grew up, cool kids played sports and losers read books. Can you guess which side I belonged to? When my mother came to find me for swimming lessons, I would hide in a bank of violets with The Dark is Rising. I’d nestle in the same spot with The Railway Children while the other kids in the neighborhood enjoyed softball games. I declared my “time of the month” lasted two weeks, with dreadful cramps, to excuse my absence from gym class. Naturally...
Post by: Sujata Massey
Food and family mean the world to Mita Kapur. It’s no surprise that both her passions found her way into her first book,The F-Word, which is a part travel, part recipe and part memoir. This book should truly be bought and reread by every foodie, as it is multi-dimensional and a textured read. We talk to this freelance journalist, founder-CEO of Siyahi, a literary consultancy, who apart from providing creative and professional help to new writers believes fi...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
Deepti Naval is a celebrated actor, photographer, poet and painter. She made her cinematic debut with Ek Baar Phir and has done more than 60 films since then. She has starred in Chashmebaddoor, Kamla, Mirch Masala, Ankahi, Main Zinda Hoon, Panchvati, and more recently in TV serial Muktibandhan. She has authored Lamha-Lamha and Black Wind & Other Poems and a short story collection The Mad Tibetan that was released last year. We talked to her about how she gives...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
This week we interviewed Annie Zaidi who has consciously experimented with various forms of writing. From short stories to non-fiction to scripts to poetry to blogs, she has pretty much done it all. Annie Zaidi takes a break from her constant bouts of writing, improvisation and experimentation to answer questions about her books Crush, Known Turf Bantering with Bandits & Other True Tales and The Bad Boys’ Guide To The Good Indian Girl along with her views on bl...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
Celebrated journalist and author S Hussain Zaidi was in town to launch his third book, Dongri to Dubai. After the success and applause for lucid storytelling in Black Friday and Mafia Queens of Mumbai, this was certainly one awaited book. The launch was held at Landmark Store. Filmmaker Sanjay Gupta was at the event to promote Zaidi’s release. At the event, Zaidi the great storyteller, told us all a story; a story of how journalism happened to him, how he look...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
Anita Nair is one of the most popular contemporary writers in Indian Writing in English. Her novels, The Better Man and Ladies Coupe have been hugely applauded and translated into 21 languages. Nair reveals how good stories and character driven narratives compel her to put pen to paper. Critics have appreciated your works for delving into the “deepest recesses of man's psyche”. Where do you look for inspiration and how do write about feelings so deep?...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
A fiction writer can write about candy floss romances, innocence associated with childhood, issues plaguing the society or simply be a how-it-is writer. This week we speak with Palash Krishna Mehrotra, the author of Eunuch Park (short story collection) and The Butterfly Generation (novel) who chooses not to “write polite books which can be discussed over tea in drawing rooms”. In the interaction, Mehrotra mentions that he likes exploring gray areas without ju...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
  On one of her blogs Kiran Manral blogs about fashion, jewellery, bags, shoes, cosmetics, home décor and food. She claims to be obsessed with them all; we are sure most women will understand why… In the interview, the author talks to us about how her first novel The Reluctant Detective was born, why blogging is so much fun and how she founded India Helps (a network of volunteers who work with disaster victims). How was the storyline of The...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
  Many of us would remember Premchand's priceless stories that we were introduced to us way back in school.   His works, sometimes humourous, used literature for arousing public awareness about grave national and social issues. He wrote about topics like corruption, widowhood, prostitution, feudal system, poverty, colonialism and India's freedom movement.   Premchand wrote over 300 short stories, 14 novels along with a number of essays, letters, p...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
    Many writers put pen to paper because they have a story to tell. However, author of four bestsellers,If God was a Banker (novel), Devil in Pinstripes (novel), The Incredible Banker (novel) and I bought the Monk's Ferrari (nonfiction), Ravi Subramanian wrote books for a rather unusual reason. He wrote books for posterity, for leaving behind a legacy.   But once he began writing and did a good job of it, his aim changed drastically. He becam...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
  We participated in a live chat with Ashwin Sanghi of The Rozabal Line, Chanakya’s Chant and The Krishna Key. Here are the excerpts from the chat with the author of two bestsellers… Any genre that you think you will never write? Why? (Asked by: BookChums) I can't see myself writing romance, horror, or sci-fi. I think that my sensibilities as a writer have been shaped by the sort of books that I was interested in reading. These genres were ...
Post by: BookChums
Bloggers share a part of their lives with you. After having followed a few bloggers for months at length, I have known people, got acquainted with their interests, passions and quirkiness. So after following Bishwanath Ghosh’s blog for a year now, I was delighted to do this interview. His blog posts had already told me that he loved poetry, Bollywood and old movie songs. Plus, his blog had these lovely, sometimes naughty short stories and travel stories that gave...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
Judi James, the author of “The Body Language Rules” is an expert on body language and behavior patterns. She is one of the leading profiles on UK’s TV and radio channels and has also written six novels. She also writes on a regular basis for newspapers and magazines and is Heat Magazine’s body language expert. She also writes as the agony aunt for More Magazine and enjoys a huge fan following among her readers. She is also a regular contributor ...
Post by: Tathagata Behera
Ismita Tandon Dhankher's new book, Jacob Hills has created quite a stir with its titillating storyline set in an army camp in the 1980s. After having read the book and amazed by it, we sat down with the author for a quick chat. Here is an excerpt.   Congratulations on your new book, Jacob Hills. It would not be a stretch to say that the book is rather scandalous. Could you walk us through the writing process for this book? Perhaps, 1980s was a scandalous period...
Post by: Manasi Kulkarni
Meghna Pant is the award-winning author of Happy Birthday! (July 2013 Random House) and One & A Half Wife (May 2012 Westland). After attending the book launch session of Happy Birthday! recently we interviewed the author about her latest novel and her experiences as a short story writer. Here is an excerpt.   1.       As an author what was it like writing the stories of Happy Birthday!? What were your inspiration points? ...
Post by: BookChums
You are a doctor by profession, a teacher by vocation and an author by destiny. Tell us about your journey and tryst with writing. How did it all begin? Thanks for hosting me :) it's difficult to pinpoint when it began. Since an early age I liked to write. I read comics by the hordes and play acted stories with my friends. This grew into the writing of short stories and poems, some of which got printed in the school magazine. My English teachers always appreciated my es...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
  BookChums wishes American illustrator and children’s author, David Weisner a very Happy Birthday. He was born in New Jersey. He attended the Rhode Island School of Design where he received a BFA. He has written and illustrated books including Loathsome Dragon; Free Fall; Hurricane; Tuesday, June 29, 1999; Sector 7; The Three Pigs; Flotsam; Art & Max; and Mr. Wuffles. He has illustrated for books like Honest Andrew by Gloria Skurzynski, Man from the Sk...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
  BookChums Interviews Canadian Writer, Deni Y. Bechard - Cures for Hunger, Vandal Love and Empty Hands, Open Arms    This week, BookChums interviewed Canadian writer, Deni Y. Bechard. His book, titled Vandal Love was the winner of the 2007 Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book. His other books include Cures for Hunger and Empty Hands, Open Arms - his latest book to be published. In this interview with us, he discussed Empty Hands, Open Arms...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
  Polish writer Stefan Grabiński was born on February 26, 1887 at Kamianka-Buzka in Ukraine. He was a very special writer who wrote in the fantastic literature and horror genres and was often compared to Edgar Allan Poe and HP Lovecraft. He was referred to as Polish Poe or  Polish Lovecraft although his works were inspired by surrealism. He attended the University of Lwow where he studied Polish Literature and Philosophy.   Some of Grabinski...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal


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