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Life does lead you to your passion, ultimately. Who better to vouch for it than Mr. Prem Rao himself? Turning to writing after 36 years of professional work as a Talent Management Specialist and Executive Coach, he is an avid blogger whose professional blog People at Work and Play  has gathered a huge fan following. And his recent blog Writing To Be Read is soon catching up globally. Alumnus of The Lawrence School, Lovedale; Loyola College, Chennai and XLRI, Jamshe...
Post by: Sonia Safri
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
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
We did not know much about this brilliant, “new-age” author, Aditya Sudarshan, apart from the fact that he has penned two books – A Nice Quiet Holiday and Show Me A Hero; written a play, Sensible People, and several short stories and television scripts. He also writes literary criticism for The Literary Review and other publications. Having reviewed his second novel - Show Me A Hero recently, we managed an interview with the tall, dark and handso...
Post by: Sonia Safri
We have all lived on classics. From Charles Dicken's Oliver Twist to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice to George Orwell's Animal Farm, we have cried, laughed, chuckled at the various episodes, not-to-be-forgotten scenes from these memorable novels. But have you ever thought about what keeps bringing us back to these timeless pieces of fiction? We tell you what makes the classic what it is today   * The plots of most classic novels are lengthy, c...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
What is it about fiction that attracts more readers as well as writers? Is it the whole idea of "making up" things or the liberty of "exaggerating" normal ideas/scenes of daily life to add more color, flavor and spice to it; or the limitless possibilities of creating a whole new world to explore with words and imagination? Why is it that not many new-age authors venture into the world of non-fiction with that ease? Does the presentation of actual fa...
Post by: Sonia Safri
Last week we spoke about how the author's writing style and character sketches within any given novel enrich the book reading experience. This week we shall touch upon autobiographical traces and visuals, something that again adds greatly to the entire reading experience.     Autobiographical traces Sons and Lovers by DH Lawrence is a good example of semi autobiographical work. The setting, premise and characters of such novels borrow heavily from ...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
In the past few weeks we spoke about how autobiographical traces, visuals,  writing style and character sketches can enrich a book reading experience. In the final part of the series we shall tell you a little about how sub plots and choice of words bring a sea change in the book reading experience   Sub plots Subplots are important to any novel since they weave dimension and complexity into stories. For instance in the novel There’s No Love On Wal...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
We all love going through the small comic strips that appear in newspapers. There is something about them that always catches our attention. No, it not just about the instant smile that they bring, but the satire on certain socio-political or other critical issues that hooks us on to the graphical representation. The works of R.K. Laxman and Suraj ‘Eskay’ Sriram are cases in point. Come to think of it, amongst the first things a baby is taught or shown...
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
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
  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
Many bloggers today have moved on to writing short stories and novels. Writers like Preeti Shenoy, Aseem Rastogi, Sneh Thakur, Naman Saraiya, Nikhil Rajagopalan, Rohini Kejriwal, Kunal Dhabalia, Rikin Khamar and many more have all been avid bloggers first and then moved on to writing novels and short stories. This week we should try to examine what is it that prompts bloggers to try their hand at publishing and do such authors have an upper hand over other first time wri...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
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
Amongst the very many habits, the one that I would certainly like my daughter to inherit is the habit of reading. Seeing her seated in her own private corner devouring good books, being able to use the most fitting words, discovering the importance of pronouncing words rightly and making use of the right punctuations and pauses as and when necessary, would make me a happy mother . But for kids to inculcate such a skill set, it is important for parents to step in and br...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
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
In the concluding part of the series on setting up a library at home, we shall now look at a comprehensive list of 10 must haves in your personal library. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller The novel describes the wartime experiences of an Army Air Corps Captain John Yossarian. Captain John Yossarian, a bomber pilot is trying hard to make it through WWII alive. But the only excuse the Army accepts for refusing to fly a mission is insanity. So Yossarian constantly devises...
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
Debutant author Parinda Joshi is one talented lady. Armed with a Masters in Computer Science to an MBA in marketing and working in Analytics along with being a blogger for GQ and a professional photographer, she has entered the world of fiction by penning an urban, young romance set in two very vibrant cities. Needless to say that she has been able to play all these roles with élan. BookChums caught up with this young author to know how Live From London ha...
Post by: BookChums
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
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
Even if you are an avid reader, you are sure to come across some books that are extremely difficult to complete. The reasons can be many. You may find the books too descriptive or the subject may not interest you much. Also, at times the language or the word usage by the author can be very difficult to comprehend, or in some cases the plot could be too convoluted with too many elements introduced every now and then. But since you have begun, you should do all that you ca...
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
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
From discussion on varied writing styles, hike in divorce rates and writing about sex, the Pune book launch of Preeti Shenoy’s third book Tea For Two and A Piece of Cake had it all. The blogger and writer, a Bangalore-based writer was in town to promote her third release, Tea For Two and A Piece of Cake. Preeti Shenoy was in conversation with Sonja Chandrachud. The event began with Chandrachud complimenting Shenoy on her writing style. Chandrachud commented th...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
  Love is an emotion of exultation, of extreme happiness, bordering on delirium and superficial onlookers may term it as insane, as many things of the heart are so readily termed. As far as books are concerned, the most popular of the love stories are the oft-repeated boy-girl romance sagas. Look at the most downloaded book of love st...
Post by: Bookchums
Writer, trekker, mountaineer, motivational speaker and philanthropist, Bear Grylls is an individual who dons several hats and he inspires today’s teenagers. Synonymous with the popular television series, Man Vs. Wild, he was the youngest Briton to climb the Everest and he has narrated his dare-devil climb and experiences in The Kid Who Climbed Everest . His believes, “The difference between ordinary and extra-o...
Post by: BookChums
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
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
Short Stories are a beautiful offering. In a few pages these quick reads tell so much about characters, their lives and the relationship between them. When compared to the full-length novel, the short stories too are packed with all the necessary elements. Be it Roald Dahl’s drama, Guy De Maupassant’s social comments, Manto’s strange and shocking turn of elements or Jhumpa Lahiri’s study of relationships, the world of short stories are e...
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
  “What makes the Pune event very special for me are the people out here.” - Lata Gwalani   The book launch function of Lata Gwalani’s debut novel Incognito was a cheerful, friendly session held at Crossword, S.B.Road on 14th July, 2012. The bonhomie at the event was very evident with friends from Gwalani’s Pune college days making an appearance. Gwalani was flanked by Harry David, Principal Correspondent, The Times of India a...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
  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
  “I dislike feeling at home when I am abroad.” -      George Bernad Shaw George Bernard Shaw (26 July 1856 – 2 November 1950) was a popular Irish playwright. He wrote more than 60 plays and his writings concentrated on social problems. His works had a streak of comedy that made the stories more palatable. Shaw looked at education, marriage, religion, government, health care, and class privilege. Shaw eventually...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
  “Be sure to enjoy language, experiment with ways of talking, be exuberant when you don’t feel like it – language can make your world a better place to live.” - Deborah Levy Deborah Levy has experimented with fiction, plays and poetry. Her plays have been staged by the Royal Shakespeare Company, and her novels - Beautiful Mutants, Swallowing Geography and Billy and Girl and Swimming Home have received astounding response. She has also...
Post by: Deepti Khanna
  Few writers write with such an easy assurance as Anita Desai. Her prose exudes eloquence and charm, both rare qualities. Desai won the 1978 Sahitya Akademi Award for her novel Fire in the Mountain and the British Guardian Prize for The Village by the Sea. She has received three Booker Prize nominations so far, but it yet to win one. Ironically, her daughter Kiran Desai’s 2006 Man Booker Prize winning novel – The Inheritance of Loss had characters an...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
  Sarnath Banerjee belongs to a growing motley group of artists, popularly known as the Indian graphic novelist. The Kolkata-born artist (presently based in Berlin, Germany) has a bunch of graphic novels to his name, starting from Corridor (2004), The Barn Owl’s Wondrous Capers (2007) and The Harappa Files (2011). In this interaction, Banerjee talks about his first tryst with drawing, about storyboarding, his inspirations, upcoming work and much more&hellip...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
The theme for this week may seem odd and even puzzling for many of our readers. We have thus embarked on an elaboration through this article. We live in an age of short, concise communication. Abbreviations used in cell phone SMS’, online chats, the ROFL’s and LOL’s, the 140-character limit on Twitter – all signs of getting the message across in the least possible time. Rapid urbanization and the resulting homogeneity can be attributed as reason...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
  If there is the novel and its contrary variant the short story, there is something in between called the novella. Longer than a short story, shorter than a novel, the word ‘novella’ has its origins in Italian, where the word means ‘new.’ The novella is usually not dissected into chapters or parts; it may have paragraphing though to indicate a change of location or scenario. The characters are well-defined and usually less in number, as t...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
    It is yet another week once again and it gives me a lot of pleasure to interact with you. How has last week been for you guys? Was it fun? Are you enjoying yourselves this week? Here are the questions and answers for this week.   Q 1:  Can you help me with some books on geographical facts for a twelve year old? Thank you. Neerja Punja, Pune   Answer: Thank you for writing, Neerja. Please check National Geographic Kids Everything Rocks...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
You may have watched all those haunted movies with thrilling background scores and creaking backdrop scenes on the screen. The list of paranormal movies is long. Equally fascinating is the list of books that belong to this genre of literature. From bat stories to the zombies, the paranormal activities described in the list are beyond the scope of imagination and promise to leave readers in a total wreck.   These 5 books will be the best from the paranormal genre i...
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