Chat with Author Mistral Dawn

Today, I’m welcoming Mistral Dawn, author of Taken By The Huntsman. Let’s get to know her better.

TakenbytheHuntsman Amazon

  • Welcome Mistral! Please tell us how did you come up with the concept of your book? What was the inspiration behind it?

Ha! Actually, a dream.  I had a debate with an online friend about the nature of consent at a time when I was also doing research about European mythology. Somehow the two became entwined in my head while I was sleeping, and Taken By The Huntsman was born.

  • Very interesting! What do you find most challenging while writing a book?

I think the most challenging part of writing a book is the marketing.

I’m an indie author, so I don’t have a publisher to help do this work. Marketing takes an enormous amount of time, but is extremely necessary because, as an unknown author, no one will read my books if they don’t know about them.

  • I agree, being an author is not just about writing, it is so much more. What has been your most rewarding experience as an author?

My favorite part is interacting with people who have read and enjoyed my stories. It’s such a rush to know I’ve been able to entertain other people!

  • That is satisfying indeed! Which book are you working on next? Do you want to share a glimpse of it?

My next book will be about the Winter Court king and his human Anamchara. He’s a fallen god of death, prophesy, and healing (I know, interesting combination, right?), so while he no longer has the powers of a god, he does have some interesting abilities. She’s a human who stumbled into Fairie while running from her abusive fiance on Earth. You’ll just have to wait to see how their story plays out.  But before I write that book, I’ll be writing a short story about Jillian.

  • Besides writing, what is your favorite hobby that helps you relax?

I enjoy taking in kitties who need homes and finding the people who need a kitty to love. Remember everyone, please spay or neuter your pets!!!

It was great talking to you, Mistral! I wish you good luck with your future projects!

Mistral’s Book Links:

Amazon, B&N, Kobo, Smashwords

Social Media Links:

Mistral Dawn’s Musings Blog



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Goodreads Author Page

Dialogue vs. Narration


We have all heard of the “Show and don’t tell” technique in fiction writing. It’s easier said than done, though. As, I am starting to write my next story, I have to constantly remind myself to not let go of this very important technique.

When you start to write a story, it is so much easier to simply narrate it like you would narrate to another person. However, books are different! Readers read books because they want to enjoy the process. They want to be able to make their own conclusions, feel emotions, solve mysteries etc.

Therefore as writers, we have to be aware while writing, if the words written will serve the purpose of stimulating the readers. It is a difficult task that a writer has to keep in mind every step of the way!

Whenever I start to write a new story, I revise my first two scenes (at least) several times until I feel like I have a good balance of dialogue vs. narration. Once I feel that I am in the zone, I keep writing…

Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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Interview with Author Julie Nicholls

Julie Nicholls is the author of the Fallen Angels Series. Lets chat with her today and get to know more about this series.

Demon Within

  • Welcome Julie! Tell us, what inspired you to become a writer?

I read my first fan fiction five years ago and was instantly hooked! I’d never heard of it and I was completely obsessed from the moment I read my first story. After that I started writing my own Fan fiction, and then progressed to writing short erotic stories on my own site before finally releasing my book.

  • How did you come up with the concept of your series? What was the inspiration behind it?

Kai of Darkmide started as a role playing character, and although the book has nothing to do with the role playing that I did, it’s where the original idea came from. When I sat down with my husband one afternoon, and told him I had another idea for a book, and that I wanted to use the idea of fallen angels, it just fell into place.

  • Which scene in your book is your favorite? Why?

In Demon Within, which is the first book in the Fallen Angel series, there’s a scene where Kai and Eloise are in the ‘Temple of Truth”. It’s very emotional, in my opinion, and I actually cried when I wrote it, especially the last question that Eloise asks Kai.

  • Who is your favorite character in your book? Why?

It has to be Kai. He’s utterly beautiful and courageous. He’s suffered all his life, being sold into slavery by his mother from when he was six years old, and for all his hardship, he’s doing well for himself. I love that I’ve been able to bring him from despair to ultimate happiness.

  • That’s interesting! How do you go about developing characters of your book?

I see each of my characters clearly in my mind. I feel the way they do, and I understand their emotions. I usually relate them to people I know or have met.

  • How much research do you do for your books?

I do enough so that my story has as much relevance to factual or folklore as is needed. I’m not a great stickler for quoting things word for word, however, all the angel names and fallen angels I use in my stories are not made up by me. I only adapted them to suite my story.

  • What has been your most rewarding experience as an author?

Seeing my book in print!!! I’ve received in the post only a few days ago, my first book. Seeing it brought a tear, and when my husband said he’s really proud of me, which also made me cry.

  • What do you find most challenging while writing a book?

Starting it!! I have the idea and the story in my head but actually deciding where to start is the biggest issue for me. However, once I’ve got that sorted, I can’t stop, nor do I want to. I am totally focused on getting down.

  • Besides writing, what is your favorite hobby that helps you relax?

I paint and make digital art. I painted the covers for both Demon Within and Angel Within, and I’m currently offering my services at a very low price to any authors who are on a budget. My work is viewable on my Facebook  page.

  • That’s very creative indeed! What advice do you have for an aspiring author?

Have as many people involved in your first project as possible. Feedback is important.

  • Which book are you working on next? Do you want to share a glimpse of it?

I have just recently released Angel Within. This is the 2nd book in the Fallen Angels series, and while the third book is still in my head, I’ve not started it yet. You can read snippets from both my books at my blog.

Angel Within

Julie’s Book Links: Demon Within, Angel Within


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Mouthwatering Ice cream!


A week ago, my daughter and I explored a new ice cream place called Old Town Creamery and our taste buds exploded with joy! This place has some amazingly exclusive ice cream flavors. We had a fun time tasting them all and my favorite was paan flavour. My daughter liked the mango flavour and we bought a bunch of it home to cherish.

I can’t wait to try their cakes!

Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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Effective dialogues!


There are several aspects of fiction writing that are important and as authors we are constantly researching ways to master the craft. My goal, of course is to improve with each book. I am fan of more dialogues and less narration. Of course, there are times when a narration is more effective but I prefer to tell it through dialogues.

Dialogues pretty much reveal the characters as well as the story. One question we need to ask ourselves as authors is what is the purpose of a dialogue? What I mean  is – are we writing dialogues for the reader or are we writing dialogues between the characters of the story? If the dialogue is meant for the reader, it will be superficial and will not be as effective. However, if the dialogues are purely directed towards the characters of the story, they will carry a lot more weight.

Something to keep in mind while writing!

Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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Chat with Author Anita Badhwar!

Author Anita Badhwar publishes children’s books. Lets chat with her today to get to know her better.


  • Welcome Anita! Please tell us what inspired you to write children’s books?

I was inspired to write children’s books because I have always enjoyed creative writing. I’ve always felt that writing came very naturally to me, and that it was something that I excelled at. Also, I was motivated to write the Little Princess Rani and the Palace Adventures series because I found that there were very few Indian-themed books in the market for children.

  • I agree, it would have been nice to read your books to my daughter when she was little. Tell us a little more about the Little Princess Rani series?

All of the books in this series are based on my childhood experiences. As a child, I remember celebrating Holi in India, which gave me the inspiration to write Rani Celebrates Holi. My second book, Rani and the Safari Surprise! was inspired by a visit to Jim Corbett National Park and Rani Visits the Taj Mahal was based on a more recent trip to Agra, India. Rani Saves Diwali is based on how Diwali is celebrated in my family. My mother is a great source of information and my kids also provide great inspiration for some of the story-lines.

  • We all draw inspiration from others. Which author has inspired you the most? Why?

I think Ludwig Bemelmans, author of the Madeline series has inspired me the most. I remember reading the series in French in Canada (where I grew up) and enjoying reading all the books and simple illustrations.

  • What has been your most rewarding experience as an author?

My most rewarding experience is seeing people who don’t know much about India end up with a better understanding about India, Indian culture and festivals by reading my books.

  • That’s great! Do you have any book marketing tip you want to share with your fellow authors?

I think social media is the best place to promote and market your books. Of course, you need to decide which of the social media links work best for your book genre, which takes some research.

  • Which book are you working on next? Do you want to share a glimpse of it?

I haven’t quite decided yet on a theme for my fifth book of the Little Princess Rani series, but I am leaning towards writing about another festival.

It was great talking to you Anita. Good luck with all your projects!

Anita’s Book Link:

Social media Links:





Interview with Author John Murphy

With great pleasure, I welcome Author John Murphy on my blog today. Lets chat with him about his sci-fi novel and writing in general.


  • Congratulations on publishing your novel! Please tell us what inspired you to become a writer?

I wanted to accomplish something great with my life. I used to read novels during lunch breaks at work. I always thought that I could do it as well or better. So, I combined the two instincts and began writing in my early 30’s.

My earliest writing experience I recall is from 3rd grade when I created what I thought was a really spooky story. It got me sent to the principal’s office because they thought I might be crazy. If that’s not foreshadowing, I don’t know what is.

I used to carve things as a kid, making space ships out of clay and toilet paper tubes or walnuts. I did a great deal of drawing as a teen. In college, I used to paint murals on dormitory walls, and even in my kids’ bedroom. I’ve always had a creative and inventive streak in me, and writing is just one of several mediums. I took it up in earnest in 1992, completed a novel (after four re-writes, but never published), then began writing a non-fiction Success Without a College Degree a few years later and that changed the direction of my life. After another ten years, I came back to writing fiction, but I’ve been creative throughout. Even while writing my current novel, I’ve been creating graphics that illustrate scenes from the story.

  • How did you come up with the concept of your book? What was the inspiration behind it?

I’ve always been good at making up stories with a little bit of prompting. I read a lot of stories to my kids. However, I’d also make up adventure stories on the fly where the characters were just like them (the kids). Ten years ago I got into making short movies, and I’d create the story around the people I could recruit to be in the video (You can still watch them on YouTube). My youngest son and other friends in their late teens were interested in starring in one of these videos so I set out to write a screenplay.

I didn’t want to deal with drugs, pregnancy or any of the other “teen issues” so I opted for an elite military cadre training on a planet where the atmosphere makes you tell the truth. That was the genesis for the current sci-fi novel, Mission Veritas.

  • That’s very interesting! Who is your favorite character in your book? Why?

The protagonist, Killian, of course. In the ‘movie phase’ of this endeavor, my son was going to play Killian. However, I really like all of them. It is pure pleasure crafting characters, then finding clever ways to ‘characterize’ them through behavior and dialogue. I’m hoping that readers will pick up on the affection I hold for each character.

  • I feel that writing is very gratifying. What has been your most rewarding experience as an author?

Finishing the story. As other writers know, you never feel like you’re quite finished. One can re-write and tweak a story endlessly. Completing the project, getting it edited, proofed, and published means you can move on to the next story and not keep revisiting the first one. I meet a lot of people who tell me they’ve wanted to write a novel, or have started, but have never finished. Out of the gazillion wannabes, I followed through. Writing a novel is a marathon and even if I don’t finish first, I crossed the finish line.

  • How much research do you do for your books?

I can see how historic novelists research their period pieces, but my ‘period’ is in the future, so no one knows. I’m frequently going to the internet to research things about space, physics, and chemistry to make sure things I craft have some basis in science. Most of my non-writing efforts in this endeavor have been divided between studying the craft of writing, and teaching myself graphics so that I could illustrate scenes.

  • What advice do you have for an aspiring author?

Writing fiction can be crazy making. Not so much the writing itself, but getting people’s attention to read it and the marketing aspects. Change your expectations about the endeavor, or it will take a toll on you.

If you were to decide, “This year I’m going to start running and participate in a marathon,” you would be crazy to think you’d finish in the top ten percent. Yet, many new authors dream of their first draft achieving bestseller status, and a movie to be made of their stories. It could happen, but the odds are slim.

It is important to accept reality and derive your satisfaction from other important aspects of the writing process.

One such aspect is that, much like when you read and feel there’s a movie happening in your mind, writing is exactly the same, only better. You get to dwell in that “mind-movie” for months or years at a time, and it’s truly enjoyable because you really like the characters and story. It’s a lot like binge-watching an entire season of a TV show. It’s the best of the best. You never tire of reading your own writing because the author is so brilliant.

Another important aspect is to go into this endeavor knowing that you’ll have to improve your skills.

Many writers jump into it cold with no background. Still, it’s hard to read books on writing, then remember it all when you finally sit down to write. Write a bunch, then read books on writing. Go back, re-write, apply the bits of what you learned, then read more books on writing. Get advice from published authors or hire a critique service. You’ll learn by doing, making mistakes, and fixing them. It’s the same with any creative endeavor, like carving, painting, or making music. Start by assuming your first draft will be terrible and you’ll spend time learning more, re-writing, and becoming better. Resist the incredible urge to self-publish your first draft as an eBook. It’s very simple and cheap, but you’ll embarrass yourself (like I did). You improve through practice, study, and more practice. You’ll likely feel you’re becoming an expert, and there’s a good deal of satisfaction in that. Derive satisfaction from the process and from what you are learning. Writing is free and a pleasurable way to spend your time. If you have a story in mind – start writing! You’ll have a good time and grow as a result.

It was great chatting with you, John. Good luck with your future projects!

John’s Book Link:

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Author’s website:




Interview with Author Larry B. Gray

Lets welcome Author Larry B. Gray and get to know him and his book better.



  • Welcome Larry! Please tell us a little bit about how you started writing.

I have always been an avid reader and often thought about writing. With work and family there never seemed to be the time. Several years ago when blogging started to become popular I started blogging. They say a writer should write what he is familiar with and I am familiar with me.

After blogging stories about my youth I began to get suggestions from people, literally, from all over the world saying I should write a book. So I did.

  • That’s wonderful. Please tell us briefly about your book.

I grew up in eastern North Carolina in a small rural community during the 1950’s and 1960’s which was the best possible childhood you could wish for. Family, church, friends, school, and working on the farm was the center of my world.

I have often heard people say ‘if only I could change this or that of my past’ or ‘if only I knew then what I know now.’ I would not change anything because this is what made me who I am today.

This is a collection of stories of my childhood. I hope by reading these stories the reader is able to think back good memories from their youth.

  • What is one thing you want readers to take away from your book?

The most important lesson I learned dealt with marriage. Watching Granddaddy and Grandmomma work together to make their life taught me how marriage is supposed to be. I saw them laugh together, cry together and most importantly pray together; sharing in everything they did, a true team. Throughout the book family plays a vital part in happiness.

  • What has been your most rewarding experience as an author?

With this book it has been the response I have gotten from readers all over the world. People have told me about their experiences growing up and how similar they are to mine. Some of the countries these have come from are Australia, India, Russia, Switzerland, Canada and more.

  • That’s awesome! What advice do you have for an aspiring author?

Write. If you think you can; write. If you don’t think you can; write. If you are tired, write. But most importantly, if you really, really want it, write.


Larry’s Book Links:  Kindle, Nook, Smashwords, Paperback

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Facebook Author Page:

Book Reviews by Larry:

Author’s Website:


Interview with Author Anish Majumdar

It’s my pleasure to interview Author Anish Majumdar today. His debut novel, The Isolation Door is quite a soulful story! Lets get to know the author and his book better in this interview.

Isolation Door Cover

  • Congratulations on your debut novel! Please tell us what inspired you to write this story?

Growing up, writing felt like a reflex, a way of processing things that were happening in a safe and unrestricted space.

My mother was a former English teacher, so she’d frequently give me writing assignments after I’d finished with homework. Nothing was off-limits- poetry, short stories- so long as I had something for her to read come day’s end.

At age 9, the death of my grandfather triggered the onset of her schizophrenia, and these writing assignments were one of many, many things that disappeared as my father, younger brother and I tried to cope with its effects. I kept a journal during these years. It was the only place where I could dream of a future that wasn’t poisoned by mental illness, the only place where I could express the grief and anger I felt without feeling like an ungrateful son. I worked as a TV and film actor in my twenties, trying on a variety of masks to cover up a very fragile emotional state. I used the same strategy in my personal life, inventing whatever backgrounds and personality traits were necessary to gain a friend or start a relationship. But that only works for so long. At age 25, with my mother suffering the latest in a series of breakdowns that ended with her being forcibly admitted to a mental hospital near my hometown of Montreal, Canada, I began writing a novel based on these “taboo” experiences.

My main goal was to express the truth of a situation I had never dared confess in public, if only to show that it did not have a hold over me.

During the course of writing The Isolation Door, the plot of the book diverged significantly from what my family experienced. But the emotions that underpin the book, the ache in your heart that says you will never stop loving this person even as you mourn for the life they might have had, are completely genuine.

  • Which scene in your book is your favorite? Why?

There is a scene in the book where Neil and his girlfriend Emily are surprised by a visit from his Auntie, a woman who has served as a kind of de facto mother when his real mother was undergoing treatment for her schizophrenia. Emily, having never met Neil’s mother, mistakes Auntie for her, and in an unspoken moment, both Neil and Auntie continue this deception. They go shopping, the two women bonding easily. At one point, Emily goes to use the restroom and Neil and his Auntie are left alone. Neil tries to explain the deception, tries to communicate the forbidden desire in his heart that she be his true mother and he can be her son, that they could erase all of the pain and disappointment of the past in one fell swoop, but can’t. He turns away, she tells him to wipe his eyes, Emily will be out soon. This was the strongest desire I had during the worst days of my mother’s illness, that I could simply rewrite everything and become someone else.

  • Yes, I remember that scene, it did affect me emotionally as well! Who is your favorite character in your book? Why?

Hard to select a favorite, but one of the characters I’m most fond of is Ganguly, a close friend of the Kapoors who helps Neil with legal proceedings related to his mother’s treatment.

Developing this character really reminded me of the priceless support my family received from Montreal’s close-knit Indian community during my mother’s decades-long battle with schizophrenia.

Men and women whom I’d previously known only as Uncle-this and Auntie-that took days off of work to cook us meals when my mother was in the hospital, or simply spend time with us chatting about everyday things when it felt like we were marooned and completely cut off from “normal” life. The love and loyalty they showed towards us is something that I will forever be grateful for.

  • I always say – write with passion and purpose. What is your mantra for writing?

The story is there, it already exists somewhere out there in the ether: it’s your job to excavate it.

When writing really sings, you become the first reader, discovering what happens as quickly as you can get the words down. It’s important to approach the work with a full heart and a lack of judgment, and let the analysis happen between drafts (not during).

  • What was the most challenging aspect of writing this book?

Re-writing the book after it had gone through an initial round of submissions through my literary agent, and been turned down everywhere, was the most difficult part of the process. For a year, I forced myself to get a certain amount of pages out every day. I kept vampire hours, ignored the voice in my head that said the passion was missing, and kept chugging on. What I ended up with was a soulless book that went nowhere. The breakthrough came when I realized that the initial version of the book had been written when I was 25, and expressed my views on life before things turned around for my mother and, by extension, my family. The reason it wasn’t working was because I was trying to recapture a frame of mind that did not exist anymore.

By re-envisioning this story through the framework of who I am now, which is a happily married man with a family of his own and a mother in recovery, I found that spark again.

As emotionally draining as the re-writing process was, it resulted in a better novel.

  • I feel that writing has a healing effect on authors. Do you agree?

Writing The Isolation Door helped me come to terms with the past and forge a new relationship with my parents.

I’d previously only seen things from one perspective, that of a son. But all of those hours spent crafting this story, forcing myself to look at the situation through the eyes of characters very similar to my mother and father erased much of the distance between us. I saw that this woman I’d been so intent on blaming for a difficult upbringing had tried her best to be a good mother despite the ravages of mental illness. I saw that my father was the type of person who’d give every ounce of strength he had to preserve his family, no matter how bleak the future seemed. Whereas once I’d believed that cutting ties was the only real way to live a happy life, today I recognize that some of the best qualities within me, both as a husband and father, derive from my parents. Seeing the joy on their faces playing with their grandson is something that I treasure. We are all enjoying a second act that seemed impossible just a few short years ago, and I am so excited to see what the future holds.

  • That’s wonderful! What has been your most rewarding experience as an author?

Receiving emails and tweets from readers who’ve connected with the story and want to share a little of their background with me is one of the most satisfying parts of my life nowadays. After years of pretending to be other people, I am finally showing the world my true face, and discovering that many are responding to it positively.

I’m so glad that you are inspiring readers with your courage and story. Good luck with your book and future projects!

Anish’s Book Link:

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Chat with Author Stephanie Samson

I am happy to host Author Stephanie Samson on my blog today. Lets talk to her about her latest book.


  • Welcome Stephanie! Can you tell us briefly about your book and what inspired you to write it?

This book is filled with recipes for people who follow the Shred and Super Shred Diet. My inspiration comes from a few places.

I’ve always been a complete health freak and have always tried every diet that’s been brought to the market.

I soon realized I was good at making recipes for any given diet, because of my ability to cook and in depth knowledge. I also realized that I was spending a lot of money on each new diet book that came out, and there weren’t really many recipes being provided, so I had to come up with my own. I didn’t think this was fair for the average person who just wants to follow a diet and be given plenty of recipes so they can trust they are following the diet properly. So I started writing all of my recipes out and put them into categories depending on which diet they were for. I publish my books at a much cheaper price so people could follow the diets they wanted to without breaking the bank on books when they need the money for ingredients.

  • That’s wonderful. I always say write with passion and purpose and your story is exactly that! What is one thing you want readers to take away from your book?

Enough recipes to follow the Shred and Super Shred diet for a month!

  • How much research do you do for your books?

I wouldn’t call it research, but I do a lot of preparation. As I mentioned, I’m a complete health freak and I try every new diet that comes out. My preparation is mainly to see if the diet works and to see if I like it and would recommend it to anyone.

  • That’s great and I’m sure your readers will appreciate your recommendations. What has been your most rewarding experience as an author?

The messages I’ve had from people telling me how much my recipes have helped them to stick with their diet and achieve their goals.

  • Excellent! Do you have any book-marketing tip you want to share with your fellow authors?

Network with other authors. I personally learn most when I talk with other like-minded people, and I’ve learnt so much about publishing and writing by joining groups and talking with people.

That’s a great advice, I too am a fan of networking. You learn so much from others. Good luck with your books!

Stephanie’s Book Link:

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Character development technique!


As authors, we have a lot of work to do before we start writing a story. From thinking of a concept to research to plotting and not to mention the most important task of characterization!

Authors have different techniques of developing their characters. When I started writing fiction, I used to develop my characters in a word document and it worked fine. However, over the years, I have moved on to excel sheets for filling in details of all my characters in my stories. I’m not sure why but I find that excel sheets work better, perhaps because I can see all characters side by side. This makes me not only focus on a particular character but also do a comparative analysis while I am filling in details.

Hope this helps, happy writing!

Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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Interview with Author Ratan Kaul

With great pleasure, I welcome Author Ratan Kaul today. Let’s chat with him about his book and writing in general.


  • Welcome Ratan! I am curious as to how did you come up with the concept of your book? What was the inspiration behind it?

For this book I was generally inspired by my extensive reading of history books and historical romances, and it wasn’t only the English literature from international authors, but also the Indian classics starting from the works of Kalidas. His concept of Shringar Ras or The flavor of romantic love influenced me a lot.

But the epiphany happened when I visited the coronation park in Delhi. There, as I sat on the steps of the monument with a marble plaque referring to the coronation celebrations of King George V in 1911, the idea of romance between an Indian boy and a British girl came to my mind.

I visualized how would their relationship work and how would they engage in intense romance in that restrictive era of British imperialism and political divide. That gave birth to Wings of Freedom.

  • There are so many ways for authors to get their inspiration and your story is indeed very interesting! Which scene in your book is your favorite? Why?

There is a scene where the male protagonist Raju, distressed by his forced separation from his beloved Eileen, sits on the stone steps near the water’s edge of Arabian Sea in Bombay and gazes at the turbulent waves, frothing as they lash at the large stone boulders skirting the retaining wall.

His thoughts in those moments are encapsulated in the following paragraph of the novel:

His mind raced, reliving the intensity, the sublimity of their love, which transcended the barriers of race, religion, and society in tumultuous times – when India was struggling for her freedom from the British colonial rule. He gazed back to December of 1911 when he – then fondly called Raju – felt the caressing touch of the hand of a bubbly English girl of eighteen, during the coronation celebrations of King George the Fifth, near the Red Fort in Delhi.

It’s my favorite because it sums up the theme of the novel—an intense love between Raju and Eileen.

  • You certainly come across as a passionate writer. Tell us what has been your most rewarding experience as an author?

Well, besides the satisfaction of having given expression to my experiences, thoughts and emotions, I felt rewarded by several 5 and 4 star reviews that Wings of Freedom got globally from readers and reviewers in USA, UK, Australia, Europe and India, as well wide acclaim in Indian print media.

  • That’s wonderful. Congratulations! How much research do you do for your books?

For Wings of Freedom, a historical romance novel, it took me over a year’s research in government archives, archaeological departments, libraries and museums.

It was supplemented by digging up the newspaper reports of over a century back. For example, some headings in New York Times editions of 1911, relating to the coronation celebrations of King George V in Delhi, have been referred to in the notes given at the end of my book.

  • Wow, that’s a lot of research! It is certainly inspiring to hear. What advice do you have for an aspiring author?

First, the aspiring authors need to inculcate discipline of writing, meaning thereby that they need to write regularly, may be just a page per day. Second, they must have the determination to execute it to the last page, irrespective of breaks or writers’ blocks.

  • Which book are you working on next? Do you want to share a glimpse of it?

The first draft of my next novel, The Full Circle is complete and presently it is undergoing a revision. Basically, it depicts a triangular romance, with the backdrop of cultural identity crisis faced by Indians emigrating to overseas countries.

Great, that sounds like a wonderful subject, I am looking forward to reading it. Good luck!

Ratan’s Book Links:,, Google Play

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Author’s website:


Year of the Sheep!

We are celebrating Chinese New year today which marks the beginning of Year of the Sheep for 2015.

For the longest time, the only astrology I believed in was Western astrology. As teenagers, we were all smitten by Linda Goodman’s book of sun signs. I was however enlightened by some of my Chinese colleagues when they introduced me to their astrology.  Chinese astrology works by year and not by the month that you are born in. They kept telling me how my daughter is so lucky to be born in the Dragon year.

This whole conversation intrigued me quite a bit and then I looked up and read Suzanne White’s book on Chinese astrology. Suzanne has done quite a wonderful job of describing Chinese astrological signs. After reading it, some of my questions were answered such as why would two Scorpions behave differently even though they are both born under the same astrological signs.

For someone interested in astrology, it would be worth exploring Chinese astrological signs and understanding them.

Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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Pineapple upside-down cake!


I made the Betty Crocker pineapple upside-down cake today after a long time. I used to make it quite a bit and then for some reason forgot about it. Its probably the easiest cake to make and quite delicious too.

Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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Research is sexy!


Just a couple of years ago, I ventured into fiction writing and I am now moving beyond the phase of “write what you know about”. I am certainly outside my comfort zone and therefore research becomes all the more important.

Research for a book could be on several aspects such as setting, characterization, plot points, career of a character etc. What I have found is I get energized about research more than the actual writing of the book. There is an enigmatic feeling of what I am going to uncover and how I am going to stitch my research into my story.

Research is sexy!

Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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Delicious Pav Bhaji!


A couple of years ago, I had pretty much given up on making Pav bhaji, since it never turned out good. I kept following all recipes but I would never got the desired taste. My frustration grew because if you think about it, its not such a difficult dish to make!

Recently while conversing with a friend, I figured what I was doing wrong – I used too much potato! Potato soaks up water and made the dish very dry. The trick with Pav bhaji is to make it not too dry and not with too much curry, just the right consistency.

Yesterday was the eureka moment for me when my Pav bhaji turned out not only good but quite delicious! I used the Badshah Pav Bhaji masala and for veggies I used – potatoes, peas, zucchini, green bell pepper, beans and cauliflower.

Serve this dish with warm burger buns and optionally grated radish, which enhances the taste.

Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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Freshly squeezed Orange juice!



I can’t wait for Spring to arrive. I love the spring weather and something about it tells me to eat & drink healthy. I love freshly squeezed orange juice with just about any meal. It’s quick and easy and if you add a pinch of black salt to it, it makes the taste even more delicious!

Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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Writing: Influence of personal experiences

Today, I am hosting Author Paulami Duttagupta who has recently published her book, Ri – Homeland of Uncertainity. It is adapted from the National Award Winning movie.


Paulami will tell us about – How much of an author’s life experiences influence her writing?

Thank you Aditi. You have actually given me an opportunity to talk about something close to my heart. Writing to me is influenced by a lot of things. It totally depends on the genre. When it comes to romance a lot of it is imagination. Some of it borders around my crushes. Also in romance, a lot is inspired from Jane Austen classics. In romantic comedy, Richard Curtis has been a great influence.
However, when I was writing Ri- Homeland of Uncertainty , a lot of it was based on real life experiences. The treacherous phase that my hometown had gone through is probably imprinted on my memory forever, and the film (and also the book) gave a voice (and words) to my thoughts. My two protagonists Kyndiah and Manbha are like any random men of the state who have suffered and fought to bring back sanity and justice in the state.
Fictionalizing is perhaps the best way to share your thoughts and experiences with other people.

Even though I know I get carried away at times; my experiences form a large part of my writings.

Imagination however adds the filmi tadka and makes the entire idea more presentable.

Paulami’s Book links:, Flipkart, Infibeam, SapnaOnline

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Yankee Candle


If you are looking for a good fragrance in a candle to spruce up your home environment, try Ocean Star from Yankee candle. It’s amazing, love the fragrance!

Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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Interview with Author Devika Primic

Let’s welcome Author Devika Primic and chat with her about her latest book.


  • Welcome Devika. Tell us what inspired you to become a writer?

When I moved to a foreign country I started writing more and more each day. My knowledge of the Croatian language was poor and I had to stay focused on the English language, my first language. The whole experience allowed me to share some of my personal stories online.

  • Please tell us briefly about your book and what motivated you to write it?

Herbs and Other Cures: Rare Herbal Healing is about the rarest of herbs from around the world. This includes some of the rarest African Herbal plants. My interest in writing about such herbs came about after my minor ailments healed through the use of herbal medicine. My extensive research had opened my mind to many avenues of herbal healing. I was keen to go another step forward and to introduce to readers about the rarest of herbal treatment from around the world.

  • What is one thing you want readers to take away from your book?

I want readers to learn more from my book and to gain more perspective of the topic.

  • What has been your most rewarding experience as an author?

To have my work published, read and for readers to have gained more knowledge on the topic provided.

  • What advice do you have for an aspiring author?

My advice for an aspiring author is to be patient, persistent and positive on achieving their goal in the writing field.

Devika’s Book Link:

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Are Secondary Characters Important?

Today, I am hosting Author Shilpa Suraj who has recently published her book, Rescued by Love.


Welcome Shilpa! I love the cover of your book! For our readers, can you shed some light on how important are secondary characters in fiction books?

Imagine a world where you’ve never rolled your eyes at your parent’s advice. A world where you weren’t squabbling with your sibling or sharing confidences with a friend. One without charming two minute conversations with random strangers. A world without all those little interactions with family, friends and even acquaintances that can be both the most aggravating and the most precious parts of your life. That’s what a book without impactful secondary characters is to me.

In my books, my secondary characters give you insight into the protagonists – the way they think, the way they react to situations and most importantly, into the people they are.

Nobody lives in a vacuum and I wouldn’t like my characters to either. In ‘Rescued by Love’ Aryan, the hero Arjun’s younger brother, is the person who lightens the mood and offers unquestioning, uncomplicated support. He’s the voice in Arjun’s head, asking the tough questions, the sometimes unanswerable ones. A fun voice! You’ll see what I mean when you read the short excerpt below:

She’d almost made it to the bar before she found her way blocked. Not by Arjun. Just his better half.
“Can I help you with something?”
A sleek orange dress skimmed the tops of her knees and left her shoulders bare. She was a pretty, angry and slightly tipsy package all rolled into one.
Keen to avoid a scene, Naina continued to smile. “What can I do for you?”
“You can stop making cow eyes at my husband.”
“Fiancée.” Aryan’s slow drawl cut through the little silence that followed her pronouncement as he came to stand behind Naina.
Appreciating Aryan’s support but more than willing to stand up for herself, Naina commented, “I’ve always wondered what that phrase meant. Making cow’s eyes. It doesn’t make much sense, does it?”
“It would if you mooed at the same time.” Aryan offered. Smothering a giggle, Naina asked, “Would you feel better if I did?”
Fury at being mocked by someone she considered beneath her in every possible way had Jahnvi clenching her fingers around her wineglass. “I should have known someone like you wouldn’t be capable of sensible conversation.”

Can you imagine that conversation without Aryan adding his two-bits worth? I certainly can’t and I don’t think any of my readers can either. Which explains why more than half the messages I get are requests for me to write Aryan’s story next!

Shilpa’s Book links:, Flipkart

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Potato Casserole


I ran into an easy recipe for potato casserole that I tried yesterday. It is a good side dish to make with pasta or pizza. All you need is thinly sliced potatoes, some diced onions, cheese, vegetable stock, garlic salt and pinch of mustard. Microwave it for 20 minutes and it’s all ready to be consumed.

Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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Aromatherapy Pillow Mist

IMG_1070I generally use a lot of aromatherapy products and love all of them. The pillow mist that I bought from Bath&Body Works is amazing! It helps soothe an overactive mind and helps it relax and sleep well.

Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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Interview with Author Devika Fernando

Let’s welcome Author Devika Fernando and chat with her about her latest book.

Blank bookcover with clipping path

  • Devika, tell us what inspired you to become a writer?

Reading and my love for language. I was a bookworm even as a child, and as soon as I knew how to write, I did it.

I wanted to create magic like the other authors.

  • What is your writing process? How much time do you spend in plotting?

As soon as an idea hits me, I write it down in a special notebook I have for that. At that time, I usually outline the plot and conflicts and short descriptions of the protagonists. As soon as I feel like working on a story, I create documents on my PC. I create character sheets and sometimes chapter summaries or important research items. The rest all happens while writing, so I don’t plot too intensively.

  • How much research do you do for your books?

I usually try to keep the research light – probably because I have to do research all the time for main job (as a web content writer). For my first three books, there was not much to research. This was different for the co-authored book “Forbidden” and is also different for my upcoming novel “Saved in Sri Lanka”. Both of them involved lots of geoographic research about locations as well as other research. I’ve discovered this can be fun if you know where and how to search.

  • Tell us, who is your favorite character in your book? Why?

I think I like Felicia the most. She’s full of strength and determination once she discovers her true nature, and she learns not to be afraid of risks and of change.

  • What is one thing you want readers to take away from your book?

To believe in themselves, and to never give up.

It’s the lesson my heroine ultimately learns too.

  • What has been your most rewarding experience as an author?

The whole experience as such is rewarding. Apart from that, 5 star reviews are always nice.

  • Do you have any book marketing tip you want to share with your fellow authors?

I don’t quite like just selling my book. What I prefer is to support others and share so I can create a general interest in great books.

I also think choosing a picture that goes well with your post on social media is a good idea. It’s an eye catcher that will make people want to check out an excerpt or link.

Great suggestion! I wish you good luck with your writing!

Devika’s Book Links:,, Smashwords

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Chat with Author Reet Singh

Today, I am extremely delighted to welcome Author Reet Singh who is a surgeon but still finds time to write. Let’s welcome her and get to know her more.


  • Welcome Reet! Tell us what inspired you to write?

Hi Aditi, lovely to meet you in your space!
My inspiration for writing is definitely because of my love for reading; and the belief that I had several stories whirling about in my head – stories that were dying to come out and be heard.

  • How much research do you do for your books?

Quite a bit. I love Google – ask it anything and it tells you whatever you need to get ahead with the plot. Picking the brains of people in the know helps too – husband, friends, colleagues – and they happily share. I acknowledge their help by dedicating the book to them. Next time you pick up one of my books, check the dedication page!

  • Besides writing, what is your favorite hobby that helps you relax?

I love word games. Scrabble is a hot favorite, followed by Book Worm. I bless the day Scrabble came online and one did not have to cajole a beloved family member to play. I also love solving cryptic crosswords, so yes, definitely word games!

  • Who is your favorite author?

Hands down – PG Wodehouse. I can read him over and over again, and laugh myself silly each time!

  • What advice do you have for an aspiring author?

Write and write, and then write some more. You get better with every word you write. There are fabulous resources available for authors to learn how to hone their skills. Read them. These days I swear by helpingwritersbecomeauthors.
Also edit a LOT! Try not to fall in love with everything you’ve written, at least not irrevocably! Because you are going to have to kill off some of it to improve the tension and generally tighten it up to ready it for the discerning reader.

  • Do you have any book marketing tip you want to share with your fellow authors?

Every author struggles to find a balance between writing and marketing. It takes a while – a good long while – to build an audience. So start early. Start engaging with potential readers even before your book is half done. Blog. Comment. Share snippets from your book. Read other authors. Interact. Engage! Engage! Engage! Meaningfully, of course – don’t spam!

  • Which book are you working on next? Do you want to share a glimpse of it?

I am writing a book for middle-grade readers. “The Mystical Amitree” is an adventure story featuring Arjun, an 11-year old boy, who sets out to solve the mystery of his missing uncle, and finds himself in another world altogether. I’d like to share the first few paragraphs. I am planning to self publish it, soon after I finish writing it during NaNoWriMo 2014.

Chapter 1

Bad News!

Arjun pumped the pedals harder and harder. His bicycle shuddered with the effort, but bravely responded by speeding up. Heart hammering wildly and eyes watering in the breeze, he careened around blind corners praying he wouldn’t meet oncoming traffic head-on. A hundred thoughts tumbled through his brain as he struggled to make sense of what had happened.

Why? But more importantly, why today?

Arjun had been waiting impatiently for today to dawn – but not like this. He had never wanted his first day of vacation to start with a frightening phone call; followed by this mad dash to stop his father from boarding the bus to work.

Shaking the hair out of his eyes, he continued to cycle, thankful to see the tall form of his father in the distance. The bus was just drawing up; another minute and it would pull away, taking his father off with it. Arjun drew in a deep shuddering breath and yelled as loud as his exhausted body would allow.


The Mystical Amitree sounds interesting! Good luck with your writing.

Reet’s Book Links:

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Interview with Author Sudipto Das

Today I am welcoming Author Sudipto Das. Let’s chat with him about his book and writing in general.



  • Welcome Sudipto, Tell us, what inspired you to become a writer?

This passage from my book (in Kratu’s words) speak it all:
‘Tits,’ I said looking into her moist eyes, my own moist too. ‘Even you? Even you won’t understand me? Tits, I don’t want to be just another fucking rich guy like a hundred others in the Bay Area. Every day a new start-up appears from some garage in Mountain View or Palo Alto, almost all of them go public in a few years and make the founders rich enough to retire to a life of leisure and impotence. I’m not indispensable for GameIT. Sam will be successful even without me.’ Taking a couple of deep breaths, I continued, ‘I want to do something that only I can do, something for which I’m indispensable, something which will happen only if I do it and won’t if I don’t. Do you understand that Tits?’ My voice rose sharply. ‘Do you understand?’

I wanted to do something, whatever small or insignificant it could be, which would have my signature, which would live beyond I live.

At some point of time I thought I would compose music, but found that would be even harder. Writing seemed to be the only other option left for me.

  • Your book is very interesting. Tell us about your writing process.

To start with I wanted to write a book only on Bangladesh partition as I felt that part of Indian history was not well covered either in literature or films. You get a lot of stuff about the Punjab side of the partition. But a similarly horrific episode of our history in the eastern side, the partition of Bengal, has been almost forgotten by the creative people. I grew up hearing stories of partition from various people in our family who went through the ordeal. So when I grew up I always had in mind to write about it. But when I started thinking about a book I realized it’s not easy to write partition sagas. People like Khushwant Singh, Amrita Pritam Singh and others have written such prolific tales about it that it would be really a herculean task to write something in that genre and find a place. That’s when I wanted to have something more that than just partition. That was when the idea of using ancient Indian history came to mind, the inspiration is surely Dan Brown and Indiana Jones. So now I had the ancient Indian history and the partition of India. Then I decided the novel to be set in the 90s, with the partition shown in flashback. So that created the three timelines, the 90s, the 40s partition and the ancient historical times. A little thought to sew these timelines eventually created the novel.

I created a rough outline of the plot but it underwent several changes in the course of writing. I started my research in 2008 and finally the book was out in 2013.

It included 2 years of time to research and come up with the story line, then 1 year in writing and revising it several times before I was ready to approach publishers, 1 year to get one and one year of final editorial work.

  • Thanks for sharing that. Which scene in your book is your favorite? Why?

The scene when Kubha sees her children for the last time, minutes before the children would be braving killing waves and rains of the monstrous Meghna River during a raging monsoon. The scene is semi-autobiographical, loosely based on a similar incident from my father’s life. The entire Bangladesh chapters are based on the real stories I heard about my father and uncle and grandmother. That particular scene, when my father – he was just seven then – left his mother and escaped to India with his elder brother who was just fourteen, would bring tears to my eyes whenever I listened to it from an old aunt who stayed with us. She would baby sit me and my young brother after our school as both our parents would be out at work. She would tell me the same stories again and again and I would insist on listening to this particular story. It was etched in my memory as if I was there, when all these were unfolding.

  • I am curious, how do you go about developing characters of your book?

Most characters are based on someone I know. It’s not that I wanted to create a character like that, but while characterizing, unconsciously, someone creeps into my mind and at the end I find glimpses of many people I know in my book. I think that’s a way to make the characters look real too.

  • Tell us, besides writing, what is your favorite hobby that helps you relax?

Music. I’ve a band named Kohal and we do at least one big gig in a year. This year I ventured into composing music, doing ten songs for a Broadway styled musical named “Schweyk in the Second World War”.

  • Awesome, music is a great healer. Do you have any book marketing tip you want to share with your fellow authors?

The biggest marketing is word of mouth.

Please request all your friends and acquaintances to read your book and talk about it. There are several other things I did which I can share with anyone who would be interested. Marketing is everything now a days so it’s very important to have a great marketing strategy.

  • Which book are you working on next? Do you want to share a glimpse of it?

My second book, a first draft of which I’ve already completed is called Prembajar.

It’s a modern day adaptation of a Greek mythology. Women – friends, relatives, acquaintances – play a very important role in my life. I’ve very high regards for all the women and girls in my life. Most of my inspiration comes from women and perhaps that’s why all the strong characters in my book are women. Prembajar is all predominantly a women centric book with a number of very strong women characters. It’s a sort of my tribute to womanhood, the women of India. In a country like India, where women still don’t get proper share of the 3 “R”s, Rights, Regards and Rewards, it’s my humble endeavor to talk about certain unsual aspects of women and womanhood.

I’ve also started my research on a sequel of The Ekkos Clan, which would be very likely called “The Aryabhata Clan”.

As the name suggests, it would be a thriller based on Aryabhata.

Great talking to you Sudipto. Good luck with your writing!

Sudipto’s Book Links:,, Flipkart

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Author Devika Primic’s latest book!

Today, I am hosting Author Devika Primic. She will discuss her latest book.


The Simple Uses of Herbal Teas and Indian Spices is an informative and helpful book. I have a greater interest in all unique herbs through personal experiences. It has opened my mind to another way of life. The natural way of living.
I speak about a topic that most people still lack the knowledge of. In this book you learn about Herbal Teas and different Indian Spices from around the world.  All in moderation is the key to eating and drinking and it is the same for the use of all herbal teas and spices. The many different Indian spices and Herbal Teas have been used for various ailments, and yet still some people don’t think it can be a treatment. You should not ignore healing with Herbal Teas and Indian Spices.

The thorough researched information in this book allows you to know more about some of the forgotten herbs; the places where it originated from and how the herbs and spices can affect one if consumed in large amounts. The herbal spices and unique herbal teas, to the top cures from around the world, of the best traditional medicine, and of the different remedies for a younger looking skin are all included in this book.
The modern time we live in is often focused on modern technology. What about the traditional herbs which many tribes have used for centuries and are still using these remedies to heal and relieve pain? The Herbal Teas and Indian Spices are not often used in daily cooking because most of you don’t know much about the healing properties of each. In this book, your knowledge is broadened on the most common to the rarest of Indian spices and Herbal teas from around the world.

Author Bio:

Devika is an Indian writer who was born in the Republic of South Africa. She has found her peace in tranquility in beautiful Croatia. The life experiences and challenges gave her more strength to move forward in a new life and culture. The different lifestyles from one country to another have changed her in many ways. Acceptance is the main focus to a new life and writing about experiences has led the writer to believe in herself.
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Thanks Devika for stopping by. Good luck with your writing!

Pilates – my new craze!


I have recently joined pilates fitness class. To be honest, it was hard at first. I had muscle pain in places that I could never imagine and it would even hurt to laugh out loud. But someone told me to stay with it and it will get better. Now, after having attended five sessions, I am getting the hang of it and my muscles are no longer sore. It is a very good exercise routine to strengthen your core muscles and a good supplement to aerobic and strength training.

Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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Interview with Author Yamini Vijendran

Yamini is a software professional who has discovered her passion for writing stories. Let’s chat with Author Yamini Vijendran today.


  • Welcome Yamini. Tell us what inspired you to become a writer?

I am a very emotional person. My uncle and cousins used to tease me, calling me a “tap”, for I used to start shedding tears at the drop of a hat. An emotional scene on TV or a raised voice in an argument, that was enough to get me choking. Somewhere down the line I realized, I was better at putting down all that I meant to say (and all that my tears prevented me from saying) in writing, than voicing them. And that was how I started writing. I wrote to express gratitude, I wrote to express anger, I wrote to express frustration. And eventually, my writing started exploring the world around me too, the people I met, who left an impression on me. I guess that is how I gradually morphed into a writer.

  • I agree, emotion is a big part of writing. Tell us what motivates you to write everyday?

I am a very impulsive writer. I try to do some writing every day, but some days I succeed, some days I don’t. What with a child in tow, some days become very exhausting to even boot up my laptop and think of something to type. However, whenever the inspiration strikes, even if it is at 2 in the morning, you can find me propping up the pillow and furiously typing away. My motivation comes from the complexities of the lives of people around me, both known and unknown. Life is such a beautiful enigma; it never ceases to surprise you. And whenever it does, I try to pen down my amazement into a story, long or short.

  • I am curious about your writing process. How much time do you spend in plotting? Do you outline first?

Yes. For me, I need to know where my story will head to, at least a vague idea. I spend considerable time plotting, trying to imagine my characters by giving them faces. Most of it happens inside my head though, as I cook or work around the house, so when I finally sit in front of the screen, I am all set to let the words flow.

  • How did you come up with the concept of your book? What was the inspiration behind it?

My book is set in a retirement home. I had visited one before I started writing, since my parents were looking to invest in a retirement villa. The place impressed me so much, and it stayed in my mind for so long that it had to be the place where my story would unfold.
We all go through our lives with buried regrets, unfulfilled wishes, and haunting memories, only the magnitude and intensity differing from person to person. For that is how life is, imperfect, yet magnificent in its imperfection. And love, especially first love, is something that never leaves you, no matter how old you grow. Even behind the most complete looking lives, there could lurk the yearning for something lost far behind. That was the thought that metamorphosed into Full Circle.

  • Indeed, a very interesting concept! Which scene in your book is your favorite? Why?

It has to be the scene where Ranjan almost expresses his love for Malini. The setting for the scene, a walk at night, and the chemistry between them both, gave me goose bumps even when I was writing it. I would have loved to be proposed to in such a setting. It was dreamy, and it was the scene I enjoyed writing most.

  • Besides writing, what is your favorite hobby that helps you relax?

I love dancing and listening to melodies, especially Illayaraja.

  • What advice do you have for an aspiring author?

My personal belief is that you should not write just because you want to be called an ‘author’ or want to earn fame or money (all though, those are good too, undeniably). Wait for a really good story to come to you, either through your research or through inspiration, and don’t plunge into writing just to complete a deadline or because ‘all others are bringing out so many books so fast’. Give time for your unique style to develop.

I agree, we should all strive to find our own niche. Good luck with your writing!

Yamini’s Book Links:,, Indireads,   Goodreads

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Chat with Author Summerita Rhayne

Author Summerita Rhayne loves to write sensual and emotional romance. Let’s chat with her today to learn about her books and fiction writing in general.


  • Welcome Summerita! Tell us, what inspired you to become a writer?

I would say a big part of the inspiration was reading. Becoming lost in all the different worlds and able to live vicariously all the characters lives and their exciting journeys. I was off spinning stories before I knew it and penning them seemed a natural follow up…

  • How did you come up with the concept of your book? What was the inspiration behind it?

I don’t know how I came upon them but I had these characters in my mind for a long time. A man who is embittered by his divorce and his secretary who’s halfway being in love with him but too proud and introvert to show it. At first in my story, it was an accident he suffered which brought them together but then when I started writing the book, it morphed to a new situation. You have to read the book to see what that is!

  • Which scene in your book is your favorite? Why?

My favorite scene is when he propositions her. He suggests a short term affair which shows how much he is bound by his internal demons because that’s exactly the sort of thing he never would suggest to his PA in usual circumstances. That is a turning point for him. And also for Samara because she must make a decision that is hard for her both ways.

  • You have some interesting characters. Tell us, how do you go about developing characters of your book?

Mostly the story arises in my mind as a situation but of course you cannot go on just by a story idea. It’s only gradually that characters become clearer and that takes a lot of writing and rewriting. I used to fill in character sheets when I started out and they can be really useful. Especially to keep track of their histories. Holly Lisle has this great character designing sheet you can use

  • Thank you for the great tip on character development! How much research do you do for your books?

Quite an extensive chunk though most of it doesn’t appear in the book. I like to have characters in different professions and places than mine, so research is definitely required! Then it’s a question of the mindset of the character also. If the heroine is a horse trainer for example, I would have to have most of the knowledge a horse trainer is expected to have – at least as far as is relevant in my book. In a book which focuses on emotional struggle of the character, this may not be visible in the book but should not be wrong for the character if you know what I mean.

  • Yes, definitely emotions are a big part of romance books. What do you find most challenging while writing a book?

A book is a challenge all the way but especially difficult for me is fitting in logic to the story. I expect it’s difficult for most writers since right brain which is responsible for creativity hasn’t a clue about logical thinking! It’s a bad speller too. For example I write a scene in which heroine is caught in the rain and forced to propinquity with the hero and I can picture them in the kitchen when she comes for a nightly tea comfort. I can see they are in night gear and write accordingly but can you imagine how difficult it is to work out the reasoning of that? How did they get close to his house to take shelter there? Was it the season for heavy rain? How did she come by the night gear? So, I have my work cut out channeling right brain whimsies to rigid left common sense.

  • Yup, we all balance between right and left brain, I love that part about writing. What advice do you have for an aspiring author?

I think I am still aspiring in some ways to become an author. For what it’s worth, here’s my take on writing. Read voraciously in your favorite genre and start writing in that. Don’t dream too high, don’t have too many expectations from your writing but don’t give up either. Above all, keep your eyes open and trust your instincts. Be prepared to be a marketer as well as author if you’re serious about publishing.

  • Your advice is bang on! Which book are you working on next? Do you want to share a glimpse of it?

I’m currently working on a historical romance. It is set in the Early Middle Ages in India around 600AD. I’ve always found the era of Maharajas and pretty princesses very romantic. In this book the heroine, Rukmani, is the youngest daughter of the Kamboj clan who finds King Deveshwaraya too attractive for her peace of mind. But the problems of monarchy stand between them. Here’s a teaser for you:

Hidden-passionHidden Passion
…when the walls of politics rise high between them, will her passion prevail?….

Rukmani paused, her eyes anxious as he turned away. Was this what love was? Did she love him? Was that why she had come to him, forsaking even the family she had been cocooned in? She only knew she wanted him, more than any other man on earth. And she wasn’t giving up till she had him, even if it was just for a short span of time. Was it lust or love? Or both? Whatever it was, was a heady thing.

Thank you, Aditi, I loved answering your questions.

My pleasure, it was great having you visit my blog!

Summerita’s Book Links:*Version*=1&*entries*=0*Version*=1&*entries*=0


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Meet Author Sundari Venkatraman

Today, I am interviewing author Sundari Venkatraman. She has a passion for reading and writing, let’s get to know her better.


  • Welcome Sundari! Tell us, how did you come up with the concept of your book? What was the inspiration behind it?
    I was watching a TV serial based on child marriage. Not a regular TV fan, I just happened across this one while browsing channels one day. I was shocked to see child marriage portrayed so casually. The worst part was that the child bride goes to live with her in-laws and becomes a part and parcel of that family. Checking on the internet, I found that child marriages are still quite common in rural India. That’s when I decided that I must write a book on this premise. But I couldn’t just sit back and watch my heroine go to live in her husband’s home at the tender age of eight. That’s how the bridegroom decided to run away giving birth to The Runaway Bridegroom.
  • That’s very interesting. I love the cover as well! Which scene in your book is your favorite? Why?
    How does an author choose a favorite scene from her own book? Tough! But since you ask, there is a dream scene towards the end that seemed so real. I enjoyed the way it fell into place when I wrote it.
  • How do you go about developing characters of your book?
    I don’t develop my characters. I create them and let them loose in my head. I just sit back watching the film before writing out the scenes.
  • That’s instinctive. Tell us, what do you find most appealing about being a writer?
    Playing God! I just love doing that. I can create people and situations that suit my taste absolutely. Does that make me a megalomaniac I wonder!

Thank you, Sundari, for the marketing tip! It was great chatting with you!

Sundari‘s Book Links:,

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Interview with Author Adiana Ray

Author Adiana Ray likes to juggle multiple stories. Lets chat with her today and get to know her more.


  • Adiana, I am curious, you have written a number of short stories. Is it a natural inclination?

I have the habit of working on many different stories at the same time. This unfortunately takes up a lot of time and resources and you do tend to get bogged down with the plot skeins all tangling up. So rather than lose the idea, I convert it into a short story with the thought that it can form the basis of a novel later.

In fact I have written one called ‘The Guardian’ which was published in efiction India Vol. 2, Issue 6. This is the basis of a historical romance that I am writing right now based on Razia Sultan, told through the eyes of her ‘wet nurse’.

  • How did you come up with the concept of your book, Rapid Fall? What was the inspiration behind it?
    I am from Mumbai which is this great big melting pot of people who come from all over the country. I have actually come across many girls like Sonia; young, educated trying to work their way up the corporate ladder in the city. What they lack in exposure, they make up in spunk. That was the starting point for Rapid Fall.
  • That’s very interesting! What do you find most challenging while writing a book?

Writing the fourth to approximately the seventh chapter is where I tend to struggle. I have the idea and also where I would like to take my characters but it is the in between part where the characters are not fully developed and the structure is still quite nebulous that I find challenging. Writers block, bad grammar you name it, I face it.

  • What advice do you have for an aspiring author?

Don’t wait for everything to be just right, just keep writing and fill in the blanks later. If you are writing about something research it thoroughly. One wrong phrase or reference can give the reader a negative opinion and never underestimate the importance of a good editor.

  • I agree, writing is quite instinctive. Besides writing, what is your favorite hobby that helps you relax?

Reading would be a big one, watching TV, going for long walks, playing tennis.

  • Which book are you working on next? Do you want to share a glimpse of it?

Aha! To air the skeletons in my cupboard…my bad habit it to cast a wide net; currently not working on one book but four. Hopefully at least one of them will see the light of day. One is the historical romance that I referred to before. It is the one that I am finding the most exciting but it is going slow as it involves a lot of research plus there are phrases and couplets in Urdu solely due to the period that it is set in. I have given translations but do not want to change the language in those parts as Urdu is such a beautiful language just made for romance.
I am also working on a very woman centric collection of short stories.
Then, a story which is going to carry on where Rapid Fall left off. This time though it will be about Navin who was a secondary character in the previous book.
Lastly, a light breezy contemporary urban romance.

Adiana’s Book Links:,, FlipKart, Indireads

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Interview with Author Anamika Mishra

Anamika knew at a very young age that she wanted to write and her dreams have come true! Let’s welcome Author Anamika Mishra today and get to know her better.

Too hard to handle

  • Having gone through the journey yourself, what advice do you have for an aspiring author?

For all the aspiring authors, I just have one advice. If they have a plot or story ready, before sending it to the publishers, research for it. Look for the competitors and try making it better. Secondly, they should not loose hope when their manuscript gets rejected. With the faith in their heart and with firm determination, they should try again, until they get success.

  •  Everyone has a favorite author, who’s yours?
    Paulo Coelho
  • Besides writing, what is your favorite hobby that helps you relax?

Traveling and photography! When I am not writing or reading, I am busy in traveling around and trying my hands in photography.

  • I am curious; how much research do you do for your books?

According to me, researching phase is the most important phase in writing a book. Before starting to write my books, I research for at least 2-3 months. And once, I am done with researching on each and every single aspect of my book, I start writing it.

  • What do you find most challenging while writing a book?

Writing a book itself is a challenge, as you try to create something meaningful out of nothing. You just have a word or theme, and you need to weave the whole 50,000 word story from it. Though, I take writing every book as a challenge to me, as I try to set a time-frame and try to complete writing the book within that time-frame only… but I enjoy each and every phase of it, whether it is planning, plotting or writing!

  • Which book are you working on next? Do you want to share a glimpse of it?

At present I am working on my third book!! I am still developing the plot of that book, so it’s kinda really early to share a glimpse of it. But yes, I can share a bit about my second novel (with Jaico Publishers). It is due around November/December . Title of this book is ‘The VoiceMates’!!

  • Do you have any book marketing tip you want to share with your fellow authors?

I am seriously against the aggressive promotion of the book on social media. Promoting your work is good, but aggressive promotion starts bugging the readers and fans. They get bored of the work which usually tends in making them loose their interest in the book. Just promote your work in order to make people around you aware of your work. If they like it, they will surely consider it. But if you will force them to read, they will loose interest in it.

Anamika’s Book Links: : Paperback, Kindle : Paperback

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Meet Author Adite Banerjie

I am delighted to interview Adite Banerjie today. Adite has been writing professionally ever since she graduated from college. Let’s talk to her about her latest book.

troublehasanew name

  • Welcome Adite! I am curious about your writing process. Tell us if you outline first? How much time do you spend in plotting? 

Hi Aditi. Thanks for hosting me on your blog. This is the first time that I have an interviewer who shares my name and it feels like I’m talking to myself!

My writing process changes with every project. It depends on the aspect that I find most intriguing or fascinating about my WIP. For instance, when I started writing The Indian Tycoon’s Marriage Deal, I was fascinated with the dilemma of a woman who falls in love with the son of the man she wants to destroy. So I started thinking about who this girl is, what she does for a living, what’s her background, and how she would come into contact with a guy who lives in a world that is completely different from her own. To find some of the answers I started working on the heroine’s character and the plot began to take shape. As a result, I outlined my story very thoroughly before I started writing it.

For my second book, Trouble Has A New Name, I focused mainly on the characterization as the story is set in a wedding and has more to do with the inter-relationships between the characters. So, for this book I didn’t plot the storyline too rigorously.

  • Scenes are where a book comes alive. Which scene in your book is your favorite? Why?

In The Indian Tycoon’s Marriage Deal, I love the scene where Maya and Krish meet each other for the first time and Krish asks her for a dance. It was something that I could visualize in my mind —a glittering party, the lavish ambiance, the sensual moves of a couple doing the tango and sizzling chemistry …all in all a true blue Bollywood cute-meet scene!

As you can guess I’m a big Bollywood fan, and not surprisingly, my favorite scene in Trouble has a New Name is the one featuring Agra Aunty at the sangeet rehearsal.

  • We have more than the name in common, I am a Bollywood fan as well. Tell us about your favorite character in your books?

In The Indian Tycoon’s Marriage Deal, Maya is my favorite. She is passionate and independent, with a core of strength that comes from her emotional trauma. There is also a vulnerability and an innocence to her. When she falls in love with Krish, she struggles to do the right thing for her family. I loved writing her character.

In Trouble Has a New Name, I loved writing Rayna Dutt who is a bundle of contradictions. She is independent and feisty and yet is absolutely paranoid of what people will think about her. She is all professional ramp model one minute and klutz the next… It was fun coming up with the crazy situations that she finds herself in.

  • Besides writing, what is your favorite hobby that helps you relax?

My husband and I are huge movie buffs. Spending an evening watching back to back movies is a great way to unwind. I also love spending time with my dog, Veeroo. He is getting old and is not as active as he used to be but when it comes to amusing antics, Veeroo is an excellent performer!

  • What do you find most challenging while writing a book? For instance, I often find writing the middle part challenging.

Honestly speaking, writing a book is a constant challenge. Cranking up characters that are likeable and engaging, creating a storyline that will hold the interest of readers, making sure the plot works seamlessly…sometimes I wonder why I want to go through that process every time! Of course, that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy writing. Just that there are days when it seems to flow beautifully and then there are those when nothing seems to work. So I prefer to take it one day at a time—with fingers firmly crossed!

You certainly are passionate about writing! It was a pleasure talking to you Adite!

Adite’s Book Links: | | FlipKart 

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Interview with Author Ruchira Khanna

Today I’m welcoming Ruchira Khanna, who is a biochemist by profession and author of Choices.

book cover


  • Welcome Ruchira! Tell us what inspired you to become a writer?

I started getting some time alone, when my  thoughts would give me company. That led to putting my introspection onto paper. Thus, a writer was evolved!

  • Do you write every day? What motivates you to write?

I try to write each day since it helps me vent over the state of affairs around me. Pain, Agony is my motivator. I get goose bumps when I see them around, and unfortunately there is plenty thus, motivating me 24/7.

  • Tell us about your writing process. How did you come up with the concept of your book?

I actually think of a theme first, and then start my plotting. In my book, Choices – Destiny/Fate were some prime words that I wanted to focus upon. With that the characters, and the setting evolved.

  •  Which scene in your book is your favorite? Why?

My favorite scene is right at the beginning of the book when Mateo and Albert are seated in the warden’s office. When both go into silence as they reflect over their past and their turmoil over just a dialogue!

  • Who is your favorite character in your book? Why?

I have two favorite characters in my book. One is Maria who is Mateo’s wife and the other is Amelia, Albert’s wife. Both these women play an important role in shaping the lives of their respective men by their patience, endurance and tenacity thus helping them make a choice in their respective lives!

  • Besides writing, what is your favorite hobby that helps you relax?

I believe in universal energy. Thus, practice it as Reiki.

  • Who is your favorite author?

I have read many authors and surely they all have impacted me in some or the other ways. But, I keep myself up-to-date on recent publications of Deepak Chopra, Nicholas Sparks, Paulo Coelho.

  • What advice do you have for an aspiring author?

Just follow your heart! My first book is not perfect, but then at least I have the satisfaction of putting my words across.

  • Do you have any book marketing tip you want to share with your fellow authors?

I am still getting acclimatized by this path. However, I can guarantee that by joining a book review group it will help you learn and market your book at the same time. Thank you The Book Club Group for hosting my Book.

Ruchira’s Book Links:

Amazon, Barnes and Noble

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Revision checklist

Writing-GuideSelf-editing is a must for all writers. After finishing my first draft and even while writing my draft, I run through many revisions. A great book for self-editing is Self-Editing for Fiction Writers. This book and other resources will give you plenty of pointers on what to look for while revising your manuscript.

I also believe that each author has her own quirks while writing first draft and things that she may forget to take care of. These quirks will not be spelled out in any book. These are things for us to remember for ourselves. What I really find useful is keeping a revision checklist that I keep updating as and when I come across any quirk of mine. This running checklist is a great resource for me to feel confident that I have taken care of things.

Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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Desi Girl Trilogy (Women’s Fiction)


We often hear the phrase, work-life-balance. Incidentally, it is also used in reference to the female employees more than the male counterparts. In some cases we have seen women sacrificing their career for the sake of family life. There are some scenarios where the husband’s career takes a back seat to favor his wife’s career.

Women’s career and how she manages it is a complicated subject and there is really no one right answer. This is the premise behind the story of Desi Girl Trilogy.

Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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