Friday, May 26, 2017

My book reviewing woes

I’ve mentioned many times that I review books for two newspapers. With so much responsibility comes a big headache. It’s not possible for me to like every book I read and review and my editor has specifically asked me to be very honest in my reviews and point out the flaws in the books.

Just two days back I finished reviewing a book for the newspaper, to be honest my review wasn’t a favourable one. Actually while reading the first few pages I realized that I didn’t like the way the writer had treated the historical character. Infact, she had made him look like a buffoon. I was absolutely shocked that the book had been published by a big publisher. I mean it made a mockery of an entire section of history, so as to come across as cool and funny, and it had such a flippant tone that I was tearing out my hair in frustration.

Sometimes I wonder how do the commissioning editors overlook all this. I mean when they have so much power vested in them, shouldn’t they be extra careful about the kind of books they publish? Shouldn’t they be concerned with the kind of writing that comes out of their publishing house. Here I’m not saying that the book was badly written with poor grammar and sentence structure. Far from it. I admit that the author had done a lot of research and familiarized us with things we had no knowledge of, but she could have done so without lampooning so many things in history.

Though my review has not belittled the author or her writing skills, I’ve mentioned what I didn’t like about the book (there were many things) and I have clearly mentioned all of them. I feel when the review is published in a few days, I will be ruffling quite a few feathers. But there was no way I could lie and give the book a good rating or praise it when it didn’t deserve it.

Do you think I did the right thing? Should I have overlooked what I didn’t like and not mentioned it in my review? What would you have done in my place?

Friday, May 12, 2017

My Interview on Victoria’s Blog

From the past few days I've been so immersed in family health issue that I had no time to come online, or post on my blog or even visit any blogs.

Last week on 2nd May Victoria Grace Howell of the blog Wonderer’s Pen posted my interview about my country and my writing.

You can read all about my favourite food, the places to see in Bangalore, the books and movies that represent my country best and our festivals and customs.

Hop over there for a small virtual tour of India.

Here is the link to the interview on Victoria’s Blog

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

IWSG Post – The weirdest/coolest thing I have researched for my story

It’s time for another IWSG post. The months seem to be hurtling past with my deadlines waving sarcastic goodbyes to me, my writing goals are just not getting accomplished and let’s not even talk of my reading goals and I won’t even mention my fitness goals. See how well I started my Insecure Writer’s Support Group Post (IWSG) by grumbling, grumbling and grumbling some more.

The purpose of IWSG is to allow the members to talk of their writing worries, anxieties, doubts, fears and grouses. On the first Wednesday of the month we post about whatever is bugging us where our writing is concerned. The IWSG has a fabulous website.

This wonderful group was started by Ninja Captain Alex J Cavanaugh (author of the Amazon Bestsellers: CassaStar, CassaStorm, CassaFire and Dragon of the Stars). This online group works as a major stress buster for us writers, helping us let go of all our writing angst.

The May IWSG question: What is the weirdest/coolest thing you had to research for your story?

For my last book, I researched about dogs, and anyone who knows me well, knows about my fear of dogs (I can run faster than any Olympic athlete when I see a canine.) I spent one whole day on Youtube watching videos on dogs: how they walk, bark, run, chase and fight, wag their tails and believe it or not how they kiss. My mom who happened to enter my room at that time was shocked. I’m sure she thought I was going mad.

Two days back I completed a commissioned story for The Young World supplement of The Hindu Newspaper where I wrote a story on the Olive Ridley Turtle. I spent some time watching videos on how turtles come to the shore to lay eggs.

As writers we research a lot and trust me if someone were to see our search history on our laptops they would be shocked and spooked (perhaps they will stop keeping in touch with us).

I’m eager to read what is the coolest/weirdest thing you all ever had to research for your story?