Friday, December 7, 2018

Spotlight :: 'Why Go Indie?: 6 Reasons for Self-Publishing' (Writer's Toolkit Book 1) by Devika Fernando

Why Go Indie?: 6 Reasons for Self-Publishing (TBC Writer's Toolkit Book 1) 
by Devika Fernando 

Have you ever thought of going indie? Are you a traditionally published author interested in switching to self-publishing? Or an aspiring author looking at various publishing options? 

This concise booklet will show you reasons to go indie and give you an overview of the advantages of self-publishing books. It also shines a light on the 6 F's of self-publishing. 

This eBook is part of the TBC Writer's Toolkit series in which experienced authors offer advice. Check out the other volumes for a step-by-step guide on how to become a successful indie author.

Grab your copy from 

About the Author

Almost as soon as Devika Fernando could write, she imagined stories and poems. After finishing her education in Germany and returning to her roots in Sri Lanka, she got a chance to turn her passion into her profession. Having lived in Germany and in Sri Lanka with her husband has made her experience the best (and the worst) of two totally different worlds – something that influences her writing. Her trademark are sweet, yet deeply emotional romance stories where the characters actually fall in love instead of merely falling in lust. She draws inspiration from everyone and everything in life. Besides being a romance novel author, she works as a self-employed German web content writer, as a translator, and as a faithful servant to all the cats, dogs, fish and birds in her home. What she loves most about being an author is the chance to create new worlds and send her protagonists on a journey full of ups and downs that will leave them changed. When she’s not writing, she’s reading or thinking about writing.


Sunday, November 18, 2018

E - Exposition : Authors' Tips A to Z of writing

Today under the Authors' Tips A to Z of writing series, week for alphabet E, I have chosen to write on Exposition.

There are four rhetorical modes or modes of discourse; narration, argumentation, description, and exposition.

Exposition typically means giving information to the readers. While in non-fiction exposition is simply disseminating the information to the readers, but in fiction, one has to tackle it a bit subtly since straightforward exposition at times becomes boring for the readers. But before doing anything else let's understand the term 'exposition'.

‘Exposition’ in fiction or ‘narrative exposition’ refers to the background information in a story, to establish the context. Examples could be, character’s backstory, information about the setting, historical context.

Exposition can be accomplished in primarily two ways: Overt exposition, and Indirect exposition also known as ‘incluing’. Overt exposition is just an information dump, whereas Indirect exposition is subtly releasing information into the narrative—exposing the story world to the readers using dialogues, setting, backstory etc.

Let’s take an example: One can directly say that ‘Nina is a scholar’. But if the narrative says that ‘Using the published research papers, Nina corrected her thesis.’ The sentence now gives the same information and keeps the reader hooked on the environment too. The idea is to gently clue-in the readers to the characters and their world.

Overt exposition is sometimes used in fantasy or science fiction genre since the readers do anticipate and look forward to reading about a totally new world, so one can get away with it.

In conclusion, indirect exposition is the key to building an imaginative, creative and ever-expanding narrative which keeps the readers hooked.

All the best!


Authors' Tips - A to Z of Writing : Complete List

Authenticity in Writing : Adite Banerjie
A is for Anti-Heroes : Reet Singh
Authorpreneur : Devika Fernando
ABDCE Plotting Formula : Preethi Venugopala

Building a Routine, Backstories, Beta-readers and Backup : Preethi Venugopala
Blogging as an Author : Sudesna Ghosh
Balancing work, life and writing : Saiswaroopa Iyer
Background Work : Adite Banerjie
Burnout and Writer’s Block : Reet Singh
Backstory : Ruchi Singh

Cover Design : Sudesna Ghosh
Conflict, Character sketches & Climax : Preethi Venugopala
Coauthoring : Devika Fernando
Clichés in Writing : Reet Singh
Crafting Stories : Adite Banerjie

C is for Community : Saiswaroopa

D is for Deus Ex Machina : Adite Banerjee
Dialogues, Drafts, Developments and Dictionaries : Preethi Venugopala

Dialogue Tags : Reet Singh

Epilogues : Devika Fernando
Exposition : Ruchi Singh

And more to come...

Thursday, October 11, 2018

B-Backstory : Authors' Tips - A to Z of Writing

Dear readers and writers,

Welcome to a new series of blog posts 'Authors' Tips - A to Z of Writing', where eight of us – Devika Fernando, Preethi Venugopala, Paromita Goswami, Adite Banerjie, Reet Singh, Sudesna Ghosh, Saiswaroopa Iyer and I – will post on various writing-related topics with the topic corresponding to the Alphabet of the Week. Complete list is at the end of this post

Today I am writing on 'Backstory' an integral part of story writing.

The Definition

‘A backstory, background story, back-story, or background is a set of events invented for a plot, presented as preceding and leading up to that plot. It is a literary device of a narrative history all chronologically earlier than the narrative of primary interest.’ - Wikipedia

Essentially the Backstory is a significant narrative which tells us about the history of a character at the start of the main story, or essential story elements which define the setting and make the readers care about their characters. Remember the emphasis is on essential and significant elements which have an impact on the character’s motivations and the story.

Let’s consider the following passage, which is a brief backstory of the protagonist Esha Sinha from the novel ‘The Bodyguard’ :

Esha’s father, a retired state department employee, never gave her the affection and attention she craved as a child. A broken man after his elder son’s death in a road accident. An accident where he not only lost his first-born but also his legs in the accident and he blamed Esha for all his miseries, just because she had insisted that her brother accompany them to the first day of her new school. Her mother too was lost in her own world of Gods, prayers to manage her own sorrow.
As Esha grew she tried to be a son for her parents, but they never saw her efforts, pain, and guilt. They spoke to her only when they needed something materialistic from her. She earned, took care of them. She even refused to marry the man she loved. But nothing earned her the love from her parents.

Though the story starts when Esha is assigned as a Bodyguard for her employer. The backstory plays a significant role in painting a picture of Esha as a mature, serious, no-nonsense woman.

The Treatment
The backstory can be revealed using flashbacks, character’s reminiscences, or during a conversation between two characters.

As an author, we have to be careful how to reveal the history since the backstory takes a reader into the flashbacks which acts as a roadblock to the pace of the story. Every time the narration goes into the flashbacks, character’s musings, or recollection it puts a brake to the forward momentum of the story.

The Mistakes
Sometimes authors reveal too much history in the opening pages of the story. This amounts to telling the readers—stop don’t go ahead, first listen to me. Sometimes the story goes on and the readers do not have the adequate picture on a character’s motivations. And in another example, the story starts with a terrific first chapter and the second chapter deals with only the backstory. All these are examples of bad handling of the background information.

A good storyteller builds up a rich backstory for their characters and plot, but reveals it cleverly during the course of the novel, subtly and timely. It is also important to understand that not everything needs to be told as long passages. Drop a word or two and let the reader’s imagination do the rest.

Read your written words and question whether the information is really required for the readers to take the story forward and/or to make them understand the character’s motivation. If the answer is ‘yes’ then go ahead, else delete it. Think from the perspective of the character. If in doubt just omit the backstory, probably it’s not needed if it’s creating doubts.

The Conclusion
No matter from where the story begins, there always be a backstory. Key is to create the right balance, listen to your characters and slowly reveal the information during the course of the novel without taking away the pace of your masterpiece.

All the best!


Authors' Tips - A to Z of Writing : Complete List

Authenticity in Writing: Adite Banerjie
A is for Anti-Heroes: Reet Singh
Authorpreneur: Devika Fernando
ABDCE Plotting Formula: Preethi Venugopala

Building a Routine, Backstories, Beta-readers and Backup: Preethi Venugopala
Blogging as an Author: Sudesna Ghosh
Balancing work, life and writing: Saiswaroopa
Background Work: Adite Banerjie
Burnout and Writer’s Block: Reet Singh
Backstory: Ruchi Singh

Cover Design: Sudesna Ghosh
Conflict, Character sketches & Climax: Preethi Venugopala
Coauthoring: Devika Fernando
Clichés in Writing: Reet Singh
Crafting Stories: Adite Banerjie

C is for Community: Saiswaroopa

D is for Deus Ex Machina : Adite Banerjee
Dialogues, Drafts, Developments and Dictionaries: Preethi Venugopala

Dialogue Tags: Reet Singh

Epilogues: Devika Fernando
Exposition : Ruchi Singh

And more to come...

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Spotlight On :: 'Killer Moves' by Varsha Dixit


Everyone has a secret. Aisha Khatri has many! 

Aisha’s life is seemingly mundane on the surface-she writes for television and takes care of her niece Kiara and her retired father. But when Kiara’s life is threatened during a modeling assignment for the famous Kabir Rana, once a suspect for his wife’s murder, the only way Aisha can save Kiara is by accepting the unique ability she has aggressively resisted all her life. 

But Aisha is not the only one with secrets. There are others who have secrets and will kill to keep them. Aisha is determined to protect Kiara even if it means placing herself in the crosshairs of a depraved killer who butchers beautiful girls and leaves them as grotesque displays. 

Is Kiara a target of a serial killer or is the killer closer to home-and Aisha’s heart? 

Who is Kabir Rana? An elusive and moody fashion photographer burdened with a dark past or a murderer who got away? 

How will Aisha save Kiara from a killer who is several steps ahead of an entire city’s police force? When the dead come calling, will Aisha answer? 

From the bustling streets of Goa to the beautiful palaces of Sirsa, Killer Moves is a fast-paced, gripping, romantic suspense tale with strong thriller and supernatural elements. 

Grab your copy @

About the author

Varsha Dixit, the best selling author of six successful contemporary romance books. Her debut book, Right Fit Wrong Shoe was a national bestseller for the year 2010. Varsha was a part of the Indian Television Industry and worked as an assistant director and online editor. She considers herself a dreamer who thinks deep but writes light. Even though creativity is gender free,Varsha feels blessed and enriched to be a woman.Currently, with her family, Varsha resides in CA, USA.

You can stalk her @


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Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Book Review :: 'Groomnapped' (The Groom Series #1) by Sundari Venkatraman

Genre: Romance
The lovely and feisty Surekha is the eldest of three daughters of a carpenter from the wrong side of the tracks. She teaches science and maths in the Bihar Public School. 

Ameya is the only son of a millionaire farmer-cum-builder and over and above that, he’s educated too. 

They meet and fall in love quite easily, the drawback being the dowry system prevalent in Bihar. With Ameya’s parents expecting a huge dowry and Surekha’s parents having a tough time eking a living out of their humble income, it seems like the match between the two lovers is one made in hell. 

Ameya isn’t one to take things lying on his back. But when the parents who adore him otherwise are so set against the marriage, will he be able to make Surekha his?

Sundari Venkatraman again comes up with a fantastic idea to base the story of romantic pair Surekha and Ameya (I love the name BTW) which pertains to a certain region of India. No doubt the Indians’ idiosyncrasies and fads are equally unique as it’s culture and heritage.

The protagonists Surekha and Ameya fall in love with each other and want to spend their lives together. They know that Ameya’s parents will never give their blessings for the match due to the difference between their financial and social status. Ameya concocts a scheme so that there is no room left for his parents to reject the relationship. What does he plan? And is the road to happily-ever-after going to be so easy? Read Groomnapped to enjoy a lighthearted yet a poignant romance.

I loved Surekha’s character for her principles and independent streak. Ameya is drool-worthy and sweet. The existence of both modern and as well as traditional mindsets in the families correctly reflects the prevalent social fabric of India. The secondary characters compliment the story very well. Additionally I could sense the romance brewing between the Surekha’s sister and Ameya’s friend. Would love to read their story as well.

The story is fast paced and narration is characteristic to author’s writing style—fresh and honest. I would have loved if the wooing period between Ameya and Surekha would have been prolonged. I love the build up of the romance, so I guess it’s my own quirk.

Dowry system is menace and a serious problem in the country and the story tries to bring the focus on the issue in a light and entertaining manner. The sentiment that protagonists did not run away and wanted to include the parents in their lives shows the rich values ingrained in them.

I highly recommend this light breezy romance.

Grab your copy @

About the author

Sundari Venkatraman is an indie author who has 31 titles (27 books & 4 collections) to her name, all Top 100 Bestsellers on Amazon India, Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada and Amazon Australia in both romance as well as Asian Drama categories. Her latest hot romances have all been on #1 Bestseller slot in Amazon India for over a month.

Even as a kid, Sundari absolutely loved the ‘lived happily ever after’ syndrome as she grew up reading all the fairy tales she could lay her hands on, Phantom comics, Mandrake comics and the like. It was always about good triumphing over evil and a happy end. 

Soon, into her teens, Sundari switched her attention from fairy tales to Mills & Boon. While she loved reading both of these, she kept visualising what would have happened if there were similar situations happening in India; to a local hero and heroine. Her imagination took flight and she always lived in a rosy cocoon of romance over the years. 

Then came the writing – a true bolt out of the blue! And Sundari Venkatraman has never looked back.

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

You can stalk her @

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