Wednesday, May 5, 2021

My May IWSG Post and Readers’ Reaction to my Books

 

I don’t know about Covid in your countries at this point, but it seems to have caught India in its deadly grip. The cases are rising everywhere, so many people are falling prey to Covid. To break the transmission chain, we are in a 14 day lockdown. The second wave has been really devastating, all around me I’m hearing sad news. The spate of bad news has made me anxious and fearful. I’m unable to concentrate on anything. I just pray to God to get us out of this and keep everyone safe.

And before I realized it, April slipped into May. It’s time for another IWSG (Insecure Writers Support Group) post. IWSG is an online group of writers posting on the first Wednesday of the month. Our posts are mostly writing related. Do visit the IWSG website for some amazing writing and publishing resources and tips.

IWSG is the brainchild of Ninja Captain Alex J Cavanaugh, author of Amazon Bestsellers: CassaStar, CassaStorm, CassaFire and Dragon of the Stars, with several more on the way.

May 5 question - Has any of your readers ever responded to your writing in a way that you didn't expect? If so, did it surprise you?

Yes, I’ve often been surprised by readers’ reaction to my books. Many readers told me that they cried after reading my feature on Father's Day in the newspaper. The feature was a dedication to my father. One middle aged lady after reading my book ‘The Lion Who Wanted To Sing’ told me that she was so motivated by the lion and his passion for singing, that in her forties she started pursuing her dreams, saying that if the lion could do it, so could she. A school principal mentioned my book in her graduation speech to motivate the tenth graders to reach out for their dreams. Both these incidents surprised me. I had no plans of writing an inspirational book, but my singing lion ended up inspiring people. Many people, especially children have told me during school visits, that my book ‘Festival Stories Through The Year’ has inspired them to celebrate festivals in a different way, the way the characters in my books celebrate.

I’m eager to read about what reaction from your readers has surprised you all?

P.S. Please pray for us. We need all your prayers to see us safely out of the pandemic that is now a raging like a tsunami.


Wednesday, April 7, 2021

April IWSG Post and my Risk-Taking Habit in Writing

 

I think it’s raining picture books for me. After I met my deadline of 31st March, I happily emailed my manuscript to my editor telling him I am sending it a day early. I had decided that I would take a week to ten-day break to catch up with my reading.

On day one of my break, I had few commissioned picture book offers heading my way from two editors. That was the end of my break. But I am not complaining. For a long time, I have been thinking of focussing on picture books. I have been writing very long books and I desperately needed a change. Hope all of you have loads of good news to share, because I am starved of good news, all I am hearing is Covid 19 news.

It’s time for another IWSG post. IWSG (Insecure Writers Support Group), an online group of writers posting on the first wednesday of the month. Our posts are usually writing related. IWSG members are each others’cheerleaders. Its great to belong to a community of writers who understand us and our problems and support us when our books are published. If you haven’t yet joined IWSG, do go through the IWSG website and click on the join button. I promise you, you won’t regret it.

IWSG is the brainchild of Ninja Captain Alex J Cavanaugh, author of Amazon Bestsellers: CassaStar, CassaStorm, CassaFire and Dragon of the Stars, with many more on the way.

 April 7 question - Are you a risk-taker when writing? Do you try something radically different in style/POV/etc. or add controversial topics to your work?

I’m a big risk-taker when it comes to my writing. I try all kinds of things, from the style (trying new styles, mixing two styles to create something new), to making the anti-hero the main character, to even making non-animated objects as the character of my picture books, to playing with the time, by following a non-linear time frame. I play with the plot and settings, make some elements so quirky, that my editor messages me in alarm.  

What about you all? Do you like taking risks or playing safe?

 

 


Wednesday, March 3, 2021

March IWSG Post and my Reading Preference

 


Time is really flying fast. I clearly remember the first day of 2021 and now we are 2 months down. After a lull, Covid-19 is once again rearing its ugly head and spreading its tentacles in India, though the vaccination of health workers and doctors has started.

I’ve been writing a lot, working on a non-fiction book, with a looming deadline. I’ve written 3 picture books in verse in the last 2 months, for a non-poet like me it’s a big achievement.

I was looking forward to the March IWSG, as I wanted to catch up with everyone. IWSG (Insecure Writers Support Group) is an online group posting on the first Wednesday of the month. Our IWSG posts revolve around writing, most of us build our posts on the IWSG question of the month. Do visit the IWSG website for helpful articles, featuring industry professionals.

IWSG is the brainchild of Ninja Captain Alex J Cavanaugh, author of Amazon Bestsellers: CassaStar, CassaStorm, CassaFire and Dragon of the Stars, with many more on the way.

March 3 question - Everyone has a favorite genre or genres to write. But what about your reading preferences? Do you read widely or only within the genre(s) you create stories for? What motivates your reading choice?

The awesome co-hosts for the March 3 posting of the IWSG are Sarah - The Faux Fountain Pen, Jacqui Murray, Chemist Ken, Victoria Marie Lees,  Natalie Aquirre, JQ Rose

I love reading across genres and age groups. Fantasy, sci-fi, dystopian, thrillers, children’s books, motivational books, adult novels, non-fiction, middle-grade, chapter books and picture books, I devour them all. I pick books according to my mood and also books by authors I love reading and word of mouth recommendations. I’m also adventurous in my reading choice, I try reading different genres all the time.


Wednesday, February 3, 2021

February IWSG post and my Blog Buddies

 

2021 is moving at a brisk pace. We are already one month down. I’m quite positive that this year will be way better than 2020. 2020 was one unforgettable year that I want to wipe away from my life.

With a new month its time for our IWSG (Insecure Writers Support Group) post. IWSG is an online group of writers and the first Wednesday of the month sees our IWSG blog post, where most of us smartly build our posts around the IWSG question of the month. Do visit the IWSG website to see all the amazing activities of the group.

Lucky for us Alex J Cavanaugh got the idea to start IWSG. He is the successful author of several amazon bestsellers: CassaStar, CassaStorm, CassaFire and Dragon of the Stars, with more bestsellers on the way.

I did something very different in January. I recorded my first ever video interview. I was nervous, it was something new, but as I had been postponing it for a long time, I decided to be bold and go for it. And I must tell you it was fun once I got over my initial reluctance. Will share the link after its posted on the House of Books and Tales website and YouTube.

February 3 question - Blogging is often more than just sharing stories. It’s often the start of special friendships and relationships. Have you made any friends through the blogosphere?

I completely agree. Blogging was a start of wonderful and enduring friendships for me. I started blogging in March 2010 and I must say I have made many awesome friends along the way, every year. I even found my critique partner Mark Noce via my blog.

If I hadn’t started blogging I would never have met such talented authors and come to know about their books. All these wonderful humans: Alex Cavanaugh, Elizabeth Mueller, Elizabeth Varadan, Madeline Mora Summonte, Jennifer Hawes, Natalie Aguirre, Michael Di Gesu, Michelle Wallace, Tara Robinson, Diane Wolfe, Carole Ann Carr, Lynda Young, Carol Riggs, Lee McKenzie, Gwen Gardener, Nick Wilford, Mary Pax, Mark Koopman, Stephen Tremp, Alexia Chamberlynn, Arlee Bird, Chrys Fey, Tyrean Martinson, David Powers King, Al Diaz, and Rahul Bhatia, are there in my life, courtesy my blog.

P.S. I may have forgotten some names. My apologies to those blog buddies.


Wednesday, January 6, 2021

My January IWSG Post and my turn offs in other people’s books

 

Happy New Year Everyone!

2021 has me excited. I hope and pray we have left the worst of Covid behind us. And with the vaccination starting in some parts of the world, things are definitely looking brighter.

I’m excited to see what 2021 has in store for all of us.

Its time for the first IWSG (Insecure Writers Support Group) post of 2021. IWSG is an online group of writers posting on the first Wednesday of every month and more often than not, our posts are writing related, though many of us have taken the answering the IWSG question route, building our posts around the monthly IWSG question. January 20, will also see the IWSG Twitter pitch contest (#IWSGPit). So, peeps get the pitches ready. Make them sparkle. Do visit the IWSG website for more details about the Twitter Contest.

IWSG was created by Ninja Captain Alex J Cavanaugh. He is the successful author of several amazon bestsellers: CassaStar, CassaStorm, CassaFire and Dragon of the Stars, with more bestsellers on the way (I’m sure they are lurking around inside his mind, waiting to emerge.)

The awesome co-hosts for the January 6 posting of the IWSG are Ronel Janse van Vuuren, J Lenni Dorner, Gwen Gardener, Sandra Cox and Louise - Fundy Blue!

January 6 question - Being a writer, when you're reading someone else's work, what stops you from finishing a book/throws you out of the story/frustrates you the most about other people's books?

I really get bugged if a writer has not done justice to the plot, or if there are glaring holes through which I can see the gaping errors in the story. I also dislike inconsistency in both writing (sentence structure and grammar) and the story. As a book reviewer for 2 newspapers, I have had the misfortune of reading several books where I felt that the writers didn’t do justice to the story, or the genre or the characters (made them one-dimensional). And sadly, I had to point it out in my reviews, and I ended up making a few enemies in the process. But my conscience wouldn’t let me lie.

I just hope someone else doesn’t find the same flaws and faults in my story.

What about you all? What frustrates you about other people’s books?