Friday, September 25, 2015

An advertisement to sell one of my characters

I don’t know why by Friday my brain wants to take it easy. Seriously, whenever I have been stupid enough to write my blog post at the last moment, I can never think of a serious or a hard-hitting topic.  The only thing I can come up with is a fun post.

This will be a short post: an advertisement to sell one of my characters.

Name: Nina Mahtani

Age: 10 years, but very worldly wise.

External appearance: Looks like an angel, no wonder she is able to prank people, as no one expects mischief from her.

Occupation: Pretends to be a student, but is a genius prankster.

Nature: Loyal to her friends, gentle when it suits her, rest of the time she is busy cooking up a storm of pranks to play on unsuspecting people. A genius in the making. Respects creativity in other pranksters. Excellent in academics, as well as extra-curricular activities.

Dreams: Hopes the Middle Grade book in which she is the main character gets made into a movie. Has very high aspirations for herself. At the moment she is pretty disgruntled, as I have stopped querying the manuscript (I just hope that she doesn’t play a prank on me as revenge).

Reason for selling: Nina is getting very demanding. She has become an attention grabber. Even after innumerable rewrites, she wants one last makeover, because she believes her story must be read by children all over the world. I really don’t have any more time to spend on her, as my other characters need me.

Price on request.

If you all were to write an ad for one of your characters, which one would it be? I am waiting to read every one’s ad. I am sure the answers will be fun.

Friday, September 18, 2015

My muse is on a dating rampage

I had once mentioned that my muse has a roving eye, a tendency to pack his bags and do the disappearing act, that he was moody, irresponsible (drops ideas and then does the vanishing act), had no sense of a timing (from the shower to the dining table, he drops in unannounced and expects me to leave everything and follow him around). Well, that was just the tip of the ice-berg.

Now, I have realized that my muse has started dating multiple story ideas. Just when I had convinced myself that it was high time I started my adult thriller (though mentally I have been working on it from some time), my darling muse drops another adult novel idea into my head, complete with the names of all the characters (Ria, Rohit, Payal, Kunal,Tara and Siddhant) and what they do, how they look like. My generous muse has even dropped the story title.

And to make matters worse, he even convinced me to start outlining the new story. I started it yesterday and have written around 250 words and made mental character sketches of the different characters. All this is happening while I’m revising my MG book which my critique partner sent back with his detailed notes.

Though I’m thrilled that the new idea has jumped into my head (I always wanted to write a YA novel) I am also scared that I’m working on too many things. Fingers crossed that I keep up the momentum and work on my YA idea secretly (not so secret anymore, since I blogged about it.)

I have decided that this new project will be written alongside my MG stories, so that if I flop in my adult book, I’ll still have my children’s books. I’m seeing it as a win-win situation. And this kind of double-dating two story ideas  is actually quite nice.

P.S The winners of the giveaway of Brutal are Alex Cavanaugh (he has won the Ebook) and Mary Preston (she has won a hard copy).  Congrats Alex and Mary. Mary please email me your postal address.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Interview with Uday Satpathy and a giveaway

Today, I have an interview with Uday Satpathy, author of Brutal.

A brief write-up on Brutal
"Death penalty looms over a schoolteacher who commits a heinous crime with absolutely no motive. The nation wants revenge, and an obscure vigilante group delivers it brutally, even before the trial could begin. Just when the world thinks that the bloody saga is over, two journalists dig deeper into the case. And so begins their nightmare. Treading over bodies of their leads and chased by assassins, they will soon realize that some mysteries should better be left untouched."

Q. Tell us something about yourself?

I work in the IT Industry, serving Life Sciences clients. I am an Electrical engineer and an MBA by education, though they don’t add much to my writing skills J. I am an avid thriller reader and follow this genre a lot. My dream is to write a top-class legal thriller some day.

Q.  Brutal is your first book. How long did it take you to write it?

Brutal took around a year and half for me to write. But, the editing and rework must have taken another six months.

Q. What’s your writing process like? Are you a plotter or a panster?

I am predominantly a plotter, though I don’t believe in too detailed plotting. My plot usually divides the story into 5-6 major chunks and major twists. Within those boundaries, I have a free brush and I can use any colour.

Q. How did you go about doing research for this book, especially the characters of Doctor and Sultan.

My background in Pharma and Healthcare helped me a lot in shaping the character of the Doctor. On the other hand, I had to do a lot of research on Indian Special Forces to make Sultan’s character credible.

Q. I was fascinated with the Kushwaha family and their work. What was the inspiration behind creating such a family?

My inspiration for such a family comes from Robert Ludlum’s works which often talk about megalomaniac corporations and families. His books have had a profound influence on my writing.

Q.  I made an instant connection with the main character Prakash Sinha. Any chance of seeing him in future books?

Oh yes. Prakash Sinha will remain a major component of the realm of my novels. His background in a sleazy magazine, his troubled childhood, his family are some angles which I have not explored deeply in Brutal. These stories will probably surface in the subsequent instalments. In fact, a few more characters of Brutal might make a comeback.

Q. Did you try submitting to traditional publishers?

Yes. I did try submitting to traditional publishers for almost six months, without much success. A couple of them rejected my proposal, while others didn’t respond. At that point I made a decision of not waiting further and showcasing it on

Q. Any tips for writing a thriller?

Invest a lot of time in plotting and doing research. Cut, cut, cut. Remove sub-plots which might bore the readers.

Q.  What are you working on now?

I am working on a sequel to Brutal. Hope it will be better and more gripping than my debut work.

Author Bio
Uday Satpathy is an Information Technology expert in the world of Healthcare and Life Sciences. He has a degree in electrical engineering and an MBA from one of the top B-schools of the country. Brutal, his first novel, was born out of his love for thrillers with intricate plots. He is a movie connoisseur, a cricket fanatic, a quizzing enthusiast and a travel freak. As if that was not enough, he has a special place in his heart for cooking as well.

Author website:
Uday on Twitter

Bloody Good Book has generously offered to give two books (a hard copy and a ebook to two of my followers). This giveaway is open to all my followers. Let me know in the comments section which one you prefer.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Book Review of Brutal by Uday Satpathy

I normally don’t review books on my blog. Read my last post for the reason I don’t review books. But when a new publisher BGB (who I had not heard about) approached me to review their first book, I was intrigued by their publishing process (its unique and I will blog about it soon) and I wanted to showcase their concept and approach to publishing, to writers in India and abroad. In India as there are so few publishers, I feel that we must give new publishers a chance to show what they have to offer to writers and readers. And when I read the prologue and the first few chapters, there was no saying no. I broke a rule and reviewed a book I had enjoyed reading.
The prologue of Brutal, a thriller published by Bloody Good Book and Westland Books, hooked me from the first word. Brutal, written by Uday Satpathy is India’s first crowd-curated novel. The cover as well as the title sends a chill down one’s spine.
It must be said that Uday has been Brutal with his readers. He has written a fast paced thriller that you need to swallow in one gulp. There is no respite for the reader once they start reading. They just have to finish the entire book in one sitting.
The book starts with crime reporters covering the trial of Nitin Tomar, a school teacher who has murdered eleven of his students. While being led into the courthouse, amidst tight security, the school teacher is gunned down in broad daylight. An obscure militant outfit claims responsibility.
Two crime reporters Prakash Sinha and Seema Sharma who were assigned to cover the trial think otherwise. As these two ace journalists follow the story, they uncover an entire nest of sinister motives, with ruthless people who would do anything to achieve their goals. Their search leads them to the forests of Bandhavgarh, where a similar incident happened 8 years ago.
Prakash and Seema are hurtled from one destination to another at breakneck speed, with a deadly assassin chasing them. One by one, all their leads are killed, leaving them alone, to face their ruthless enemies. The action unfurls at a speed that gives the readers no time to take a deep breath.
The several sub-plots: a doctor on a mission to destroy humanity with a deadly drug, a powerful family who is hell-bent on bringing countries to the brink of a war with their evil agenda, a business magnate who is scared of all the skeletons tumbling out of his closet, all these plots intersperse to make the story that much more intriguing.
At no point does the author let the pace slacken. Holding the plot firmly in his hand, the author with his crisp writing, short chapters that are easy to read, ensures that the readers are constantly sitting on the edges of their seats.
I loved the characters of Prakash Sinha and Seema Sharma, two reporters who make it their mission to rid society of the evil that has infiltrated it and is threatening to destroy it. Both Prakash and Seema, with their own demons to tackle, are absolutely believable and make an immediate connection with the readers. 
Uday Satpathy is a writer I will be watching with interest. Infact, I would go as far as saying, that I won't be surprised if his book will soon be turned into a movie or the fact that Prakash will feature in more books.

P.S. Check out the Bloody Good Book website to know what crowd curating is all about.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

IWSG Post – Fear of hurting another writer

I always look forward to the first Wednesday of the month, as it’s our monthly IWSG (Insecure Writers Support Group) post. This awesome and inspiring online group was started by Alex Cavanaugh, Author of Amazon bestsellers: CassaStar, CassaStorm, CassaFire and Dragon of the Stars. 

In our IWSG posts, we discuss everything related to our writing: from the troublesome first draft to the million and one revisions we writers do, we also cry over the heart-breaking query process and vent out our writing frustrations, anxieties and insecurities. Let’s not forget that we also support and encourage each other. Don’t forget to check out the IWSG website for awesome writing tips.

As many writers and even publishers request me to review their books on my blog, I always feel guilty turning them down. It’s next to impossible for me to review all the books that people want me to review. For one I won’t get the time to read all of them. The second reason is, I have this big fear that I may not like the book.

So many people who approach me have self-published their books. Trust me when I say this, the quality of writing sucks. Most of these writers haven’t bothered hiring a free-lance editor. As the soft-hearted girl that I am, I hate to hurt other writers, especially when they have self-published their books. I politely decline and wish them good luck.

I’ve nothing against self-publishing. It’s the quality of writing that worries me. This is not to say that the quality of writing that comes from the bigger publishers is good. Sometimes, even the books published by the biggies suck big time.

In India, there are just a few publishers (good ones) and I feel that by being honest in my review, I will be rubbing a lot of people (read editors of the publishing houses, the marketing and sales team who have a say in which book to publish and the writers themselves) the wrong way. Honestly, I’m not here to make enemies. It happened with me once, I was honest in my review of a book, and to make matters worse, the said editor had three chapters of my manuscript. You all can guess the outcome of my three chapters.

I’ve decided that I’ll not review a book that I didn’t enjoy reading. Never mind the fact that it’s been published by a big publisher or I know the writer or the editor personally.

How do you all handle such delicate situations?