Friday, February 8, 2019

J - Journey of a Fiction Writer : Authors' Tips A to Z of Writing

In this post on Authors' Tips A to Z of Writing series, I am writing on alphabet J and would be talking about my Journey as a writer.


Finishing a story and getting a positive review gives an unparalleled high—a feeling very hard to describe in words. No pun intended… :) I had experienced this ecstasy from the very first flash fiction which was accepted for Femina Online reads. 

But before taking a look at my writing journey, I think it is important to look at my reading history. I have a reason to believe that what I have read has had a profound effect on my novels and stories. Reading voraciously and enjoying is also a manifestation of one’s own expression. Understanding someone else’s thoughts expressed through words is a lesson which stays with you forever. In my experience what you read, and enjoy, plays a major role in shaping, what and how you write. Reading is kind of entry criteria for writing a good story.

I have been a voracious reader since the time I can remember. It all started with Nancy Drew series and then to Mario Puzo, Frederick Forsyth, Robert Ludlum, John Grisham and many more. Now as I look back, all the foundation stones had thriller written on them. Romance came with teenage and college friends. The first romance I read was 'Reluctant Bride' by Georgette Heyer, then came 'Pride & Prejudice' and 'Gone With The Wind'. Most of the thrillers dwell on the emotional aspects and relationships of the protagonist, so romance adds that little spice to make the characters more realistic and the story more enjoyable.

All my young life I have imagined stories and enacted them in the privacy of my room, and thought dramatics is my destiny. During the college days, I was involved in dramas and stories, both on and off stage. But life has a way to entangle one in its own web of daily routines, pressures, and practicality take over the right hemisphere of the brain. 

But be assured creativity has a determination of its own and cannot be suppressed for long. It came to me again like an epiphany in 2013 that yes now is the time to give wings to my creativity. I began writing a novel, which after weeks of intense deliberation on the title came to be known as Take 2.

In the meantime, I also set up my social profile on Facebook, Twitter, website, blog etc. I began interacting with fellow writers and was writing short stories too. To test my output and gain confidence, I submitted my short stories in a couple of short stories and was declared as a winner in both. Winning the Indireads Short Story competition in Sep 2014 was a tremendous boost to my confidence and recognition on social media. The story is available as both individual short-read ‘Boomerang’ and part of the anthology ‘Old Voices And New’ on Amazon.

Coming back to the love of my life, my first novel. Every writer or storyteller needs an audience. So the next thought was how to take the book to the readers. I tried the traditional way and got rejected left, right and center. No one was willing to bet on an unknown newcomer, so I decided to publish on Amazon KDP platform.

Being an impatient person and unwilling to lose time, I got the manuscript professional edited, a cover designed, and self-published the book in Feb 2015 on Amazon KDP. The book has garnered adequate attention with readers giving positive reviews both on Amazon and Goodreads.

As one begins to write, an author wants to know what is the impact of his writing on the reader. So the next step is to find readers. If you thought coming up with a storyline and to put thoughts into words was difficult, think again. Finding readers for your story is an equally tough part.

While working on the next projects, I continued writing short stories and won the ‘Times Of India WriteIndia’ season I contest in 2015. It was an awesome experience and added motivation. The anthology ‘Write India Stories’ is now available on Amazon. 

After publishing four novels and numerous short stories, I look back at my writing journey with satisfaction. It has begun well… and will only improve…

__________________________________________________________________




Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Spotlight :: 'Remember When' by Preethi Venugopala

Genre: Romance

Blurb:
On the outside, Tara leads a perfect life. A home of her own, a handsome husband, a doting son and a promising career as an author. 

But inside, she is a wreck. Her marriage is a sham and she hasn't succeeded in forgetting her one true love, Manu, the man she had wronged. The man she had almost married. 

Manu, now the senior editor with a science portal, firmly believes that he has left Tara where she belonged: in his past. But in reality, he hasn't forgotten anything. Not the love nor the hurt.

Their past and present collide when they accidentally meet in Chennai. The city has come to a standstill after facing the worst flood in a century. While nature is unleashing its fury on humans, they must make peace with their past.

Will they have the courage to do that? 
Can they fight the attraction that still burns bright?
Or will the bunch of people they are with, teach them new life lessons? 
How long can Tara hide her secret from Manu when it has the potential to tear them apart?


Excerpt:


Tara had been looking forward to the book launch since months. Yet now, when it was happening, she was in a stupor of sorts. All thanks to the man who was sitting next to her.
She was on autopilot and not fully aware of anything that was happening around her. She did what she was supposed to do. She answered the random questions that were thrown at her both by the audience and by the moderator. She also read out from her book and signed copies for those who had bought her book.
Manu had not changed much in appearance. But his attitude towards her had undergone a sea change. The lover who cherished her presence had transformed into a stranger who made her feel unwanted.
Manu’s questions during the launch had felt personal to her.
"Why do you write romance?"
"Do you believe in true love?"
Tara didn't remember her answers. She had faced the audience when she answered them. Whenever their eyes had met, Manu’s eyes asked her a thousand questions for which she had no answers. Together with guilt, regret held her heart in an icy grip.
All through the function, she prayed for a chance to ask him for forgiveness. When he left her on the stage to allow the readers to get the books signed, Tara watched him stealthily whenever she got the chance. If he had slipped away, she might have abandoned all pretence and ran after him.
Much to her relief, he didn't leave. Maybe he wanted to talk too. He kept standing, hands in his pocket staring around as if bored by whatever was happening. Next time when she looked up, he was gesturing to Aryan to go to him. Aryan pulled at her saree, asking for permission. When she nodded a yes, he ran toward Manu, clutching his angry bird plush toy.
When Tara glanced up next, Manu who was listening to Aryan's babble, burst out laughing. The sound sent a shudder of excitement through her. She had not forgotten his laugh. The deep, hearty sound always did strange things to her heart. It had been one of the first things that had endeared him to her.

                             Find the Book at Amazon

About the Author:

Preethi Venugopala is a civil engineer during the day and a writer and blogger in all her free hours. She has many short stories traditionally published on Juggernaut books but she opted to self-publish her novels on Amazon KDP.

Being a voracious reader, Preethi writes the kind of stories she loves to read.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Book Blitz :: 'Daffodil' by Shree

Format: Kindle Edition

  • File Size: 534 KB
    Print Length: 83 pages
    Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
    Language: English
    ASIN: B07KDDS452

  • Blurb: 
    Daffodil is a story of an ordinary girl who was compelled to lead an extraordinary life right from her childhood. Contrary to the meaning of her name, the flower which blooms in the spring, Daffodil had to brave squalls and struggle in retribution. Happiness came to her life only to obliterate it mercilessly. She witnessed darkness like nobody did but she persistently followed the light at the end of the tunnel. The tempest could not wither her roots ̶ she surfed through the ebb and flow of her life with robustness and proved her life to be worthwhile. Daffodil's story is all about how she survived beyond the season of blooming amidst deaths, crimes, corruption, prison, and vengeance.

    Ranking on amazon.in 

    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars   2 customer reviews
    Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #79,652 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
    #15733 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction
    #34591 in Books > Literature & Fiction
    It would be great if you can add this book to your TBR


    About the Author

    Shree from Houston, TX, is an IT Pro turned author / poetess since 2015. Her works include short stories collection 'Secret Expressions: Two Stories', novella 'Silent Invaders', which has entered the quarter finals of Screencraft Cinematic Story (for Hollywood) Contest 2017, and Bengali poetry book 'Onuronon', released in International Kolkata Book Fair 2018. Her latest release is a novel titled 'Daffodil: Blooming Beyond the Season'. Shree is a contributing author of 'Flock-The Journey', 'Different Strokes', '50 Shades of Women' and 'Petals of Love'. Her upcoming anthology is 'Muffled Moans - Unleashed', where she has contributed two of her poems. She is a regular writer on several writing platforms, portals and magazines. She also works as a freelance writer / editor.

    Click here to check out all the titles by the author...


    You can stalk her @
          
            


    Grab Your Copy From





    This Tour is Hosted by 



    We Promote So That You Can Write 


    Monday, January 21, 2019

    Book Blitz :: 'Draupadi – The Tale of an Empress' by Saiswaroopa Iyer


    Blurb :
    Being born a princess, and raised by a loving father and three doting brothers would make life seem like a bed of roses to any woman. Born out of the sacred fire, Draupadi is no ordinary woman, and her destiny cannot be to walk the beaten path. Witnessing estrangement and betrayal within her own family makes her perceptive and intuitive beyond her years. Complicated marital relationships, a meteoric rise and a fateful loss, humiliation unheard of and a pledge of revenge, all culminating in a bloody war—her ordeal seemed never-ending. Yet she stands up to it all—never succumbing, never breaking. One of the most unforgettable characters of the Mahabharata, Draupadi shows what a woman is capable of. Told with great sensitivity and passion, this book brings alive a character of epic proportions that resonates with every reader across space and time.

    Excerpt :
    An awestruck silence overtook them, each drowned in their own memory. Uttara was remembering her association with her enigmatic mother-in-law, and Janamejaya was thinking about Rishi Vaishampayana’s narration of the exploits of his ancestors and their much-celebrated queen. He saw Uttara fiddle with her silvery white plait, still long and lustrous, despite her ripe age of nearly eighty springs.

    ‘You lost a lot in the great war, Grandmother,’ he murmured, shuddering while he imagined the dance of destruction at Kurukshetra. ‘Was there ever an occasion when you felt your life would have been better had you not married into the Pandava household?’

    ‘Depends upon how one defines the word “better”, Janamejaya,’ Uttara replied, still staring into space, as if she was viewing the incidents of her past right there.

    Janamejaya moved closer, taking his place by her feet. ‘After listening to the most learned rishis of Bharatavarsha for days, I have still not been able to come to terms with my father’s death, Grandmother Uttara. How can I even dare to imagine how it must be for you who lost…’ he could not complete the sentence, partly out of the numbness his empathy generated.  and partly because he did not want to refresh her moments of bereavement. Uttara had lost her father, brothers, and a very young husband with whom she had hardly spent a year of marital life, to the war at Kurukshetra. Her unborn child, Parikshit, Janamejaya’s father, had escaped from an episode of horrific midnight slaughter.

    ‘Everyone lost someone dear to them in the war, Janamejaya,’ Uttara sighed. ‘My marrying into this household at least gave me the satisfaction of bearing an heir to this empire. In fact, I am proud that the thought of unborn Parikshit gave the much needed hope and strength to Uncle Yudhishtira to take up the reins of this devastated land. I had the good fortune of being a daughter to Mother Draupadi when she lost everyone born of her womb to that midnight slaughter.’

    Janamejaya’s eyes filled with a sense of admiration. ‘Old men and women at Hastinapura still blame Empress Draupadi and her anger for their losses in the battle.’ With a pained shrug, he added, ‘The gap of understanding that exists between the wise and the mundane.’

    ‘As the emperor, it is your dharma to dispel misunderstandings surrounding the history of this land, Janamejaya,’ Uttara’s voice was stern. ‘The whole point of reciting the records of the past is to learn from the exploits of our ancestors, take pride in their valour, strength and courage, while gaining wisdom from the stories of their tribulations. If people judge their ancestors because of false notions about history, it is only a matter of time before the population is uprooted from the values their ancestors fought for, and falls apart.’

    Janamejaya nodded. ‘That is the reason why I have impressed upon the rishis and acharyas to impart the timeless record of Bharata to students while they acquire education from their gurus. I have also appealed to the erudite disciples of Bhagavan Veda Vyasa to conduct recitation sessions in public gatherings during the festivities.’

    Uttara smiled in satisfaction at his genuine attempts. ‘Janamejaya, lazy intellect puts the blame of the Great War on one person. Those who truly understood what led to the eighteen-day-long slaughter at Kurukshetra would reflect on the events and choices of three of the four generations that led the entire empire to war. Blaming someone like Mother Draupadi is not only foolish but also a disturbing sign of misogyny that would be frowned upon by the learned rishis who recorded history and composed the timeless story. Mother Draupadi, in fact, saved the empire from many disasters with the sheer power of her desire to protect this land.’

    Janamejaya listened to her animated discourse and smiled. ‘Grandmother Uttara, I have never seen a woman defend her mother-in-law with the passion that you did just now. Pray, tell me the story again, this time through her eyes.’

    Uttara rejoiced at Janamejaya’s undying enthusiasm to listen to the tale of his ancestors repeatedly. Very few were fortunate enough to carry the legacy that he did and even fewer realized and strived to live by it as he did. She was more than delighted to narrate the tale, especially from the perspective of the woman who had captured her respect, awe and love for this life and the lives to come—from the perspective of Draupadi.


    Find the book at Amazon



    About Author:
    An Alumnus of IIT Kharagpur and an investment professional turned satisfied writer, Saiswaroopa is the best selling author of four novels, all based on legendary female protagonists from Ancient Hindu Literature. Her second novel Avishi, based on a Rig Vedic hymn, has been acquired for screen adaptation by a major studio. Saiswaroopa is passionate about Ancient Indian history, philosophy and literature. She holds a certificate in Puranas from Oxford School of Hindu Studies. As a trained Classical Singer, she has also been awarded a Gold medal by TTD (Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams). In her spare time, she likes to search for her next inspiration in books, pravachanas and historical temples. She lives in Bangalore with her husband and daughter.



    Friday, January 18, 2019

    Spotlight :: 'Deceptive Baritone' by Reshma Ranjan



    Deceptive Baritone 

    by Reshma Ranjan



    BLURB

    Sitara Menon is eager to meet the man for whom she has been carrying the torch since her teenage years. She hopes to rekindle their love and romance.

    Giriraj Parapuram, one of the lead vocalists of the Benson Town Rock Band, considered music, their band and his friends his world. The last thing he wanted was to come face to face with the woman who had made him lose his faith in women and love.

    Sitara organizes the concerts in Denver for the US tour of the Benson Town Rock Band, eager to meet Giri, mesmerized by his baritone voice, sweet memories and an unforgettable passion.

    Giri is shocked to find the girl of his dreams changed into a woman who challenges him, infuriates and brings out his baser instincts.

    Will their past force them apart yet again or will their desires bring them together? 

    Will Sitara be able to rekindle their romance?

    Will Giri be able to trust and love her again?

    Grab your copy @


    About the author


    Here is a passionate romantic who loves literature and has created many happy ending in her imagination, for every movie or book with a sad conclusion.

    She soon began to create her own characters and situations, creating plenty of romances and happy endings to satisfy her imagination. "But for my laziness and diffidence," says Reshma "I would have penned umpteen stories of unexpected pairs meeting and falling in love, overcoming troubles and hurdles to unite for a lifetime."

    A voracious reader, Reader, Reshma is a poet as well and feels that she would be blessed as a writer if she could bring a happy content sigh on the reader's lips.

    Click here to check out all the titles by the author...



    You can stalk her @
          
            


    This Tour is Hosted by 




    We Promote So That You Can Write