Wednesday, October 2, 2019

My October IWSG Post – Writers and Reading


I have noticed a pattern, every alternate month I forget to write my IWSG post, at the last minute I scramble around, getting it together. For the October IWSG, I prepared this post four days in advance, for this I definitely deserve a pat on my back.

We have reached the 10th post of the year. Two more months to go before 2019 packs up. Most of us have now tapered down our blogging days, restricting it to IWSG (Insecure Writers Support Group) days. IWSG is a wonderful online group of writers, posting on the first Wednesday of the month. In our IWSG posts we discuss our writing fears and insecurities. IWSG is now a force to reckon with. Browse through the IWSG website for all kinds of information from IWSG Twitter Pitch Contests to lots of publishing related information.

IWSG was started by Super Hero, Ninja Captain, Wonderful Musician, Cyber Rockstar, Online Celebrity, Amazing Writer and Brilliant Blogger – Alex J Cavanaugh (author of Amazon Bestsellers: CassaStar, CassaStorm, CassaFire and Dragon of the Stars).

October 2 question - It's been said that the benefits of becoming a writer who does not read is that all your ideas are new and original. Everything you do is an extension of yourself, instead of a mixture of you and another author. On the other hand, how can you expect other people to want your writing, if you don't enjoy reading? What are your thoughts?

I can’t imagine writers not reading. Its not that we writers read to copy other writers (in fact we writers have too many ideas and too little time to work on them)  or get ideas from other writers, reading is just an extension of our writing life. Sorry if I’m offending anybody, but I just don’t understand writers who don’t enjoy reading. I mean how can I expect people to enjoy my books/writing, or to read my books, or to even buy my books, if I personally don’t enjoy reading? And if we don’t have a passion for reading being writers, how can we claim to have a passion for writing?

What about you all?


Wednesday, September 4, 2019

My September IWSG Post


Today I again completely forgot about IWSG. It was while having my tea, I realized that today is the first Wednesday of the month. I literally gulped my tea and switched on my computer and started typing.

IWSG (Insecure Writers Support Group) is a super awesome group of wonderful writers, who all post on the first Wednesday of the month. IWSG has taken on the onus of providing all kinds of support to its members, in the way of informative posts on the IWSG website, holding Twitter pitch contests and conducting story contests as well as many other things. Our IWSG posts focus on our writing fears and insecurities. The IWSG website is a wonderful source of writing information.

IWSG was started by Ninja Captain, Musician, Cyber Rockstar and Online Celebrity - Alex J Cavanaugh (author of Amazon Bestsellers: CassaStar, CassaStorm, CassaFire and Dragon of the Stars).

September question: If you could pick one place in the world to sit and write your next story, where would it be and why?  

If I could pick one place to write quietly, without disturbance, it would be my room, where I have done some of my best writing, because If I were to go to some faraway and exotic location, I would be too distracted by my surroundings. Though I would love to use a faraway location as the setting of my story.

What about you all? Which is your sweet spot for writing?


Wednesday, August 7, 2019

My August IWSG Post

After ages I made my post a day in advance. And I felt very happy doing that. Though I try my best being organized, life manages to waylay me, throwing my well-laid plans into disarray. But this time I was ready, I decided to get the better of distractions. This year I have written a LOT. And I am quite happy with that.

Now let me get on to the task at hand. Its time for another IWSG (Insecure Writers Support Group) post. IWSG is a group of wonderful writers, who all post on the first Wednesday of the month. IWSG provides all kinds of support to its members, in the way of informative posts on the IWSG website, holding Twitter pitch contests and conducting story contests. Our IWSG posts which discuss our writing fears and insecurities, is a huge stress buster for many of us. The IWSG website is a treasure house of writing information.

IWSG was started by All Rounder (Online Rock Star, Author Extraordinaire, Ninja Captain, Musician Par Excellence, Wonderful Human, Amazing Blogger, Super Friend, Envied by Many, Loved by All - Alex J Cavanaugh (author of Amazon Bestsellers: CassaStar, CassaStorm, CassaFire and Dragon of the Stars).

August 7 question – Has your writing ever taken you by surprise? For example, a positive and belated response to a submission you’d forgotten about or an ending you never saw coming?

My first publisher had arranged the launch of my first book ‘The Lion Who Wanted to Sing,’ in the college where I had studied. My other book ‘Bunny in Search of a Name’ too was launched at the same time along with 2 other books. The four books were released by principals of different schools and colleges. Several months later I came to know that one of the principals who had launched my book, mentioned it in her speech for the students graduating from tenth grade. She mentioned that the lion’s story was an inspirational one, that if the lion could pursue his dreams, it showed that anyone else could do the same.  Needless to say, I was surprised as well as delighted, when I heard about it.

Looking forward to reading all your posts.




Wednesday, July 3, 2019

My July IWSG Post


I’m enjoying the pace I have deliberately chosen this year. I am doing projects that I want to do. No unnecessary pressures and deadlines. I am super happy to read a lot of books. I am following the mantra for this year, taking it easy. Making contacts and building up connections. I feel this phase of my life and writing is so spiritual. Each and every book I read and each and every project I work on, is giving me happiness.

Before I digress further, let me get back on track. Its IWSG (Insecure Writers Support Group) day. IWSG started by Online Rock Star, Author Extraordinaire, Ninja Captain, Musician Par Excellence - Alex Cavanaugh (author of Amazon Bestsellers: CassaStar, CassaStorm, CassaFire and Dragon of the Stars) is an online group of writers posting on the first Wednesday of the month.

Our IWSG posts are about our writing fears and insecurities, we discuss all things related to writing and publishing. IWSG is a huge stress buster for many of us. The IWSG website is a treasure house of writing information.

3rd July IWSG Question is: "What personal traits have you written into your character(s)?"

Many of my characters have quite a bit of my traits. My middle grade protagonist Kyna is fiercely loyal and independent like me and also very creative, but in a naughty way. Another middle grade character Rahul has my fear of dogs and dislike of bullies. Ria, the protagonist of my love story is so like me in many ways: her eating habits, her clothes, as well as her determination. I think we writers do this without realizing. Subconsciously we imbue our characters with our traits, likes and dislikes. I don’t even realize it when I am writing. But later I feel, OMG, this character is so like me.

What about you all? What personal traits do you give your characters?

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

June IWSG Post – My Favourite Genre to Read and Write


We are quickly reaching the halfway mark for 2019. This year I have decided to go easy on myself. Though I’m writing a lot, its all a lot of chapter books and picture books, and I’m also revising my middle-grade manuscripts. My goal this year is to read lots, which I’m doing. I’m also spending a lot less time online. And I’m enjoying this off time.

No distractions for me as I’m focusing on my columns and features that I write for newspapers (these actually pay the bills, not the book royalties). IWSG (Insecure Writers Support Group) is the only time I post on my blog. IWSG started by Alex J Cavanaugh (author of Amazon Bestsellers: CassaStar, CassaStorm, CassaFire and Dragon of the Stars) is an online group of writers posting on the first Wednesday of the month.

Our IWSG posts are about our writing fears and insecurities, we discuss all things related to writing and publishing. IWSG is a huge stress buster for many of us. The IWSG website is a treasure house of writing information.

June 5 Question: of all genres you read and write, which is your favourite to write in and why?

My absolute favourite genre to read and write in is fantasy. A world created through my imagination.I love the world building aspect of fantasy. Fantasy which lends my imagination wings, makes me unanswerable to anyone, there is no fact checking or research. There is just pure fun. One of my middle grade novels is a whopping fantasy at 67,000 words. I had a blast writing it, creating the magical creatures and objects and peopling it with eccentric characters.

The awesome co-hosts for the June 5 posting of IWSG are Diane Burton, Kim Lajevardi, Sylvia Ney, Sarah Foster, Jennifer Hawes and Madeline Mora Summonte.

Looking forward to reading which is your favourite genre to read and write in?






Wednesday, May 1, 2019

My May IWSG Post


Sadly, due to work commitments, I have reduced my blogging days from twice a week to now once a month, restricting my monthly posting to the first Wednesday of the month which is the IWSG day, because IWSG (Insecure Writers Support Group) has become an important part of my writing life.

This wonderful online writers’ group was started by Alex J. Cavanaugh, the superstar of the blogging world, the Secret Santa and the Angel in Disguise (I don’t want to say more else Alex will be embarrassed). Alex’s books: CassaStar, CassaStorm, CassaFire and Dragon of the Stars are all Amazon Bestsellers. Alex with his amazing team of dedicated writers has made IWSG a force to reckon with in the writing world. IWSG has to its credit, writing contests, twitter pitch parties, it has brought out several anthologies, the IWSG website has informative and helpful posts from publishing experts.

May 1 question - What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

It was in seventh grade when my English teacher had given us an essay to write, the topic was Holiday in the Mountains. The reason I remember it so well is because the teacher had praised my essay, telling my parents that I had literally transported her to the mountains, with my writing. At that point I realized that language had the power. And she had also urged my parents to encourage me to write more.

P.S. Thankyou to the IWSG Team for making me one of the Official Judges for The 2019 Annual IWSG Anthology Contest. I’m truly honoured.




Wednesday, April 3, 2019

My April IWSG post and Writing Fairies


I have been so busy working on my new book which I have to submit my mid may, that I completely forgot about my IWSG post. Yes peeps, I have signed another book contract and am currently working on that manuscript, getting it ready for submission. Will share more details about it, as well as other writing news soon.

Insecure Writers Support Group (IWSG) an online group of writers posting on the first Wednesday of the month, keeps me grounded, as it does the other writers who all are a part of it. IWSG was started by Alex Cavanaugh, an amazing guitarist, a wonderful blogger who has made it his mission in life to help other writers and a brilliant author: his books CassaStar, CassaStorm, CassaFire and Dragon of the Stars are all Amazon Bestsellers. Alex with the help of a super-efficient team of dedicated writers has made IWSG a force to reckon with in the writing world. IWSG has to its credit, writing contests, twitter pitch parties, it has brought out several anthologies, the IWSG website has informative and helpful posts from publishing experts.

The April Question: If you could use a wish to help you write just ONE scene/chapter of your book, which one would it be? (examples: fight scene / first kiss scene / death scene / chase scene / first chapter / middle chapter / end chapter, etc.)

If I could use a wish to help me write a chapter it would have been for my first magic realism love story which I have slowly and hesitantly started submitting. There was a crucial chapter in this story that I just wasn’t getting right. I was writing an adult novel for the first time, moving away from my usual middle grade books. I was also trying the genre of magic realism for the first time. I felt so clueless about that chapter. I was practically in tears. It just wasn’t happening. And then one day, it all kind of fell in place. I would have welcomed any help I had, a wish, a writing genie, writing fairies, anything to nail that chapter. Anyway, sadly I didn’t find any magic lamp or powerful genie, it was plain old hard work to the rescue. Cross your fingers that I find a publisher for it soon.

Will hop over to all your blogs later to see which scene troubled you and made you wish for a writing godmother.


Wednesday, March 6, 2019

My March Madness and IWSG Post


Call it March Madness, or just madness, but the moment March stepped into view, I set myself very high goals. My March goals are completing 2 chapter books, polishing a couple of picture books, reading my adult novel to revise it again and ofcourse reading a few books.

Now that we are done with my writing and reading goals, it’s time to focus on my IWSG post. Yes, its IWSG (Insecure Writers Support Group) time again. IWSG is an online, global group of writers. We post on the first Wednesday of the month. In our posts we tackle any of our writing insecurities, worries, fears, discuss our writing and publishing problems, learn from other writers who have overcome these doubts and anxieties and generally use this group to let off our writing steam.

IWSG was started by Ninja Captain Alex Cavanaugh. Adorable, Amazing Accomplished Alex is a guitarist, his blog is the place to visit for writers of all genres, and he is also a best-selling author: his books CassaStar, CassaStorm, CassaFire and Dragon of the Stars are all Amazon Bestsellers. The IWSG with its super-efficient team of dedicated writers has to its credit, writing contests, twitter pitch parties, it has brought out several anthologies. The IWSG website has amazing and informative posts from publishing experts.

The March 6 question - Whose perspective do you like to write from best, the hero (protagonist) or the villain (antagonist)? And why?

I have always written from the hero or the heroine’s perspective. I think this POV works the best for me. I like being inside the protagonist’s head and ultimately it is also about the battle of good versus evil, so I would like to send the message to my readers (I write kidlit: picture books, chapter books and middle grade books) that good triumphs over evil. Though I do want to write a book from the antagonist’s perspective. I have written a book where the hero has shades of grey, but he is not the out and out villain that an antagonist would be.

Eager to read about all your writing perspectives.


Wednesday, February 6, 2019

February IWSG Post


2019 is moving faster than 2018. I just blinked and we are already in the second month of the year. But for a change I can pat myself on my back. This year it looks like I will meet many of my writing targets. This shows what a little extra discipline and dedication can do, and ofcourse switching off from online distractions goes a long way and staying focused and being on a deadline.

I digress as usual. This post is about IWSG (Insecure Writers Support Group) not about my goals. IWSG is an online forum where writers from all over the world participate by posting on the first Wednesday of the month. In our posts we tackle any of our writing insecurities, discuss our fears, learn from other writers who have overcome these doubts and anxieties.

IWSG is the brainchild of Ninja Captain Alex Cavanaugh. Alex is an accomplished musician, an awesome blogger and a best-selling author. He is the author of the Amazon Bestsellers: CassaStar, CassaStorm, CassaFire and Dragon of the Stars. The IWSG has to its credit, writing contests, twitter pitch parties, it has brought out several anthologies. The IWSG website has amazing and informative posts from publishing experts.

February 6 question - Besides writing what other creative outlets do you have?

Besides writing I don’t do anything else creative. At one time (a million years back) I did a little bit of embroidery. A few years back I taught creative writing in college for several years. But that’s about it. I write, write and write. I have been thinking of doing something else creative, but haven’t found anything (not that I have been actively looking).

Will be visiting all your blogs later to see what other creative outlets you all have.


Wednesday, January 9, 2019

When Readers Love your Book




It’s been just two months since my book Festival Stories Through The Year has come out and the reviews have started pouring in. It feels really great when readers search for me on Facebook and tell me that not just their kids but even they loved my book.


One of the very first review was a poetic review by a ten-year-old girl Naysa Punhani. I was touched that a child has gone out of her way to write a poetry on my book. Naysa has captured the essence of the story in her review which her mother Sonia Bareja a story-teller, shared with me.

Here is the review by that child.

I felt elated when Toka Box did a small review and included my book in the 7 must read festival books. This review too has captured the colour of my stories. Here is Toka Box's review.

An American writer I have admired a lot (I have read her wonderful books) has reviewed my book on her blog. The fact that she went out of her way to buy my book in America and reviewed it so meticulously has completely overwhelmed me. That amazing lady is Elizabeth Varadan, author of The Carnival of Animals (13 tales based on Camille Saint- Saens’ Musical Classic), Dragonella, Imogene and the Case of the Missing Pearls and The Fourth Wish. Do visit her blog to read her super review and while you are visiting do yourself a big favour and follow her (if you aren’t already following her). Here is Elizabeth's review. 


Wednesday, January 2, 2019

My January IWSG Post


Happy New Year to all of you. May 2019 be filled with writing achievements for everyone. May the God Of Publishing smile down upon us and may the muse never leave our side.

The first IWSG of 2019 has arrived, bringing with it a whole new world of hope. IWSG (Insecure Writer’s Support Group) is an online group of writers who post on the first Wednesday of every month. Our IWSG posts are centered around our writing insecurities, worries and anxieties, which we happily post without a fear of being judged as many other writers are in the same boat.

IWSG was started by Ninja Captain Alex J Cavanaugh, a super musician, a best-selling author, a wonderful blogger, and a good Samaritan all rolled into one amazing package, who has various names to his credit: Amazing Alex, Super A, Rockstar Alex, Angel Alex, Ninja Captain, Courteous Cavanaugh, Captain Cool…. Before I get carried by Alex’s names, I must tell you that he is the author of the Amazon Bestsellers: CassaStar, CassaStorm, CassaFire and Dragon of the Stars. If you haven’t read his books go buy them ASAP. You will thank me for introducing you to this wonderful author. Do visit the IWSG website for amazing and informative posts from publishing experts.

The awesome co-hosts for the January 2 posting of IWSG are Patricia Lynne, Lisa Buie-Collard, Kim Lajevardi and Fundy Blue.

January 2 question – What are your favourite and least favourite questions people ask about your writing?

My favourite question is what are you writing next (I’m always excited to talk about my writing projects) and my least favourite question is when is your next book coming out (I wish the publishing schedule works according to my diktat and not to the publishers’ moods and fancies).

Looking forward to reading all your posts.