Wednesday, November 2, 2022

NaNo and my November IWSG Post

 

Two more months before we say goodbye to 2022. This year has raced by at a supersonic speed. But thankfully, it has taken Covid 19 along with it. Life is practically back to normal, but I’m still wearing a mask in public, though most people have shed their masks.

Its time for the November IWSG post. IWSG (Insecure Writers Support Group) was started by Alex J Cavanaugh. Alex is the author of Amazon Bestsellers: CassaStar, CassaStorm, CassaFire and Dragon of the Stars.

Do visit the IWSG website for some informative and amazing posts. The Twitter handle of IWSG is @TheIWSG and the hashtag is #IWSG.

The awesome co-hosts for November 2 posting of the IWSG are Dierdre Knight, Douglas Thomas Greening, Nick Wilford and Diane Burton.

November 2 question is – November is National Novel Writing Month. Have you ever participated? If not, why not?

Though I’ve always wanted to do NaNo, but for some or the other reason I’m unable to do it. Usually, Diwali comes in November. But this time Diwali was on 24th October and I had planned to do NaNo, but so many obstacles came in my way that I was unable to plot and outline the novel in time for NaNo. Infact I haven’t even done a basic character/s chart and sketch. So, its goodbye NaNo this time. But I’ll use November to rewrite a middle grade novel and plot the adult novel.

What about you all? What’s your reason for doing or not doing NaNo?

P.S. I have started a YouTube channel last week. Have posted two videos.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZkhb_HQWeyDe4Xhoy76O9A

 

 

 

 

 


Wednesday, October 5, 2022

My October IWSG Post and the Characteristics of my Favourite Genre

 

From the past two months I don’t know why I’m getting the urge to do NaNoWriMo this year. Hope I can do it. I have a story in mind, I want to plot it out this month and then come November, I would love to take the leap into NaNo. Cross your fingers for me.

It’s time for IWSG (Insecure Writers Support Group Post). IWSG an online writers group was started by Alex J Cavanaugh, the author of Amazon Bestsellers: CassaStar, CassaStorm, CassaFire and Dragon of the Stars. Do visit the IWSG website for some informative and amazing posts.

The awesome co-hosts for the October 5 posting of the IWSG are Tonja Drecker, Victoria Marie Lees, Mary Aalgaard and Sandra Cox!

October 5 question - What do you consider the best characteristics of your favorite genre?

I love writing fantasy and the best characteristics of fantasy are giving a free rein to my imagination, though it requires heavy-duty world building. Writing fantasy gives wings to my creativity and makes me soar high into a make-believe world where I have created each and every aspect, from the characters to the objects they use, the situations they get into, the creatures they meet and the food they eat.

What are the best characteristics of your favourite genre?


Wednesday, September 7, 2022

My September IWSG Posts and New Books

 

Last month saw two of my books making their way into the world. On 5th August, my nonfiction book ‘50 GREAT INDIANS: Extraordinary Lives, Inspiring Tales,’ reached bookshelves. On 11th August, my middle grade fantasy novel, ‘Buddy The Scavage,’ made its way into the reader’s hands.

The month was super busy for me, arranging excerpts of the books, reviews and highlights for the different newspapers I write for. I also received an avalanche of messages from book bloggers aka infuencers on Instagram. I am appalled at the blatant way they demand money for reviews. I had so much difficulty fending them off that I had to add ‘No DMs please’ to my Instagram bio. Even then they were relentless.  

I had planned to take it easy, but frankly speaking that didn’t happen, as I had a few deadlines to meet for my freelance writing.

With a new month upon us, it’s time for a IWSG post (Insecure Writers Support Group). IWSG is an online writers group, started by Alex J Cavanaugh, the author of Amazon Bestsellers: CassaStar, CassaStorm, CassaFire and Dragon of the Stars. Do visit the IWSG website for some informative posts.

The awesome co-hosts for the September 7th posting of the IWSG are Kim Lajevardi, Cathrina Constantine, Natalie Aguire, Olga Godim, Michelle Wallace and Louise -Fundy Blue.


September 7 question – What genre would be the worst one for you to tackle and why?

I think it would be crime fiction. That’s because I feel I wouldn’t be good at it, so I doubt I would do a great job.

What about you all? What genre would be the worst one for you?

P.S. How do you all handle book reviews?

 


Wednesday, August 3, 2022

My latest book and August IWSG post

 


My first lockdown book baby has been published and is now making its way to readers all over India and the world. 7 months of painstaking research, delayed by more than 1.5 years. Finally, ‘50 GREAT INDIANS: Extraordinary Lives, Inspiring Tales,’ published by Rupa Publications is available. Its also my first full-fledged non-fiction book.

It was a difficult book to write. Two personalities passed away, a few sports personalities broke records and also announced their retirement, a personality won an award (I had to make the changes before the book went for print). I had to be on constant alert mode while I was writing the book and also in the delay period.

Another middle grade novel of mine ‘Buddy The Scavage,’ too is ready. I proofread the dummy copy sent by the publisher. As I asked for some changes in the cover, its currently being redesigned. Will share that book cover the moment its ready. It was sweet of the publisher to send me a dummy copy, they requested that as it was my first dummy copy, I can keep it.

 


 Time is flying, we are already in the 8th month of 2022. With the first Wednesday of the month rolling into view, it’s time for IWSG (Insecure Writers Support Group) post. IWSG was started by Alex J Cavanaugh, the author of Amazon Bestsellers: CassaStar, CassaStorm, CassaFire and Dragon of the Stars. Do visit the IWSG website for some amazing posts.

The awesome co-hosts for the August 3 posting of the IWSG are Tara Tyler, Lisa Buie Collard, Loni Townsend and Lee Lowery.

August 3 question - When you set out to write a story, do you try to be more original or do you try to give readers what they want?

When I write a story, the only promise I make to myself is to be as true to the story as possible. Infact, I sometimes feel I write for myself before I write for my readers. I seldom write for the market, no wonder publishers find it difficult to slot my book into a particular category.

What about you all?

 

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

My July IWSG Post and the book world I would live in

 

June was a super hectic for me, two of my books are hurtling for publication in the next few weeks. So, the entire month I was switching between reading edits notes, editing, going through proofs, finalizing covers, going through typeset copies of both the books. Luckily one is a nonfiction book and the other is a fantasy (my favourite genre). Sending the blurbs, author note, acknowledgement, dedication etc. In between, I was doing all my freelance writing and columns. But it was a nice tension, not the worrying kind but adrenaline rushing type.

I had a school session on the 20th for students of grade 2 and 3 of GIIS (Global Indian International School). The children had returned after two years of lockdown and were super enthusiastic and super keen. I had a wonderful time reading two stories and autographing the books for the students.



Enough of my news, it’s the first Wednesday of the month, it’s time for IWSG (Insecure Writers Support Group) post. IWSG is an online group of writers, it was started by Alex J Cavanaugh the author of Amazon Bestsellers, the successful Cassa series of books : CassaStar, CassaStorm, CassaFire and Dragon of the Stars. The IWSG website is full of informative writing related posts. To read the other IWSG posts, visit the group’s page.

July 6 question - If you could live in any book world, which one would you choose?

The awesome co-hosts for the July 6 posting of the IWSG are J Lenni Dorner, Janet Alcorn, PJ Colando, Jenni Enzor and DianeBurton!

I would choose the Harry Potter world. I am a huge, huge, Potter fan. I can easily visualize myself in Hogwarts attending Potions classes and Defence Against The Dark Arts and walking through the corridors with my wand in hand.

What about you all? Which book world would you live in?

 

 

 


Wednesday, June 1, 2022

My June IWSG Post and when the going gets tough while writing

May was a hectic month for me, I spent the first ten days going over the edits and proofs of my new book, a collection of animal stories titled ‘Chaos in the Jungle and Other Stories,’ published by Ukiyoto Publishing. It released around 11 May (the kindle version) and 14 May (paperback). This was the book for which I had signed the contract in April 2022.

I just saw that amazing Alex Cavanaugh has already given my book a shoutout on his blog in his previous post about new releases. Thankyou Alex, you truly are a gem of a person.

Then in the last one week I have been going through the edits of my non-fiction book, the editor sent me the first edit copy for review. This book will release in August to celebrate India’s 75 years of independence.

 I’m also revising my fantasy novel with my editor’s suggestions. This book is heading for a July release. Will share both these covers in a few weeks.

Things are normal here in India, though I’m always wearing a mask when I step out of my house, some people aren’t. Hope we have left Covid19 far behind us.


All too soon we dropped into June and its time for IWSG (Insecure Writer’s Support Group). IWSG started by Alex J Cavanaugh, the author of Amazon Bestsellers : CassaStar, CassaStorm, CassaFire and Dragon of the Stars. Hop over to the IWSG website for some amazing posts and do try to support IWSG members by visiting their blogs and commenting on their IWSG posts.

June 1 question - When the going gets tough writing the story, how do you keep yourself writing to the end? If you have not started the writing yet, why do you think that is and what do you think could help you find your groove and start?

The awesome co-hosts for the June 1 posting of the IWSG are SE White, Cathrina ConstantineNatalie Aguire, JoyleneNowell Butler, and Jacqui Murray.

For my love story I got so badly stuck that I wanted to shelve that book for some time, at one point. But luckily for me, I continued writing and constantly motivated myself that I could work through that roadblock and writer’s block (I had got stuck at a very crucial point in the book). That book was and is very close to my heart, there was no way I was giving it up for anything. I feel we should just keep writing and the knots will start untangling.

What about you all?

 

 

 




Wednesday, May 4, 2022

My May IWSG Post and my writing highs and lows

 

April was a lucky month for me as I signed two book deals and luckily for me, both the books will be out by June, maybe end of May itself. I’m doing a happy dance. Plus, I also discussed a picture book trilogy with another independent publisher.

With a new month and the first Wednesday of the month, it’s time for IWSG (Insecure Writers Support Group) post. IWSG is an online group of writers, it was started by Alex J Cavanaugh the author of Amazon Bestsellers : CassaStar, CassaStorm, CassaFire and Dragon of the Stars. The IWSG website is packed with writing related posts. To read the other IWSG posts, visit the group’s page.

May 4 question - It's the best of times; it's the worst of times. What are your writer highs (the good times)? And what are your writer lows (the crappy times)?

The awesome co-hosts for the May 4 posting of the IWSG are Kim Elliot, Melissa Maygrove, Chemist Ken, Lee Lowery, and Nancy Gideon!

I have had both the highs and lows and trust me when I say that both have been in extremes. The writer highs have ofcourse been book contracts and amazing reader reviews and the books going into multiple reprints, inching towards 10,000 copies being sold of each title. The lows have been a series of long waits by the publishers for replies and the delays of two of my non-fiction books, due to the pandemic and the lockdowns.

Writer lows: Last year I signed a contract for a picture book with a new and small publisher. I was paid a small advance by the publisher and next week the contract was terminated. Luckily the publisher (the single woman organization) asked me to keep the advance as I had revised the book. Before that in 2019, I had been commissioned a mythology book based on my serialized story, by one of India’s independent publishers, the book was ready, complete with wonderful illustrations and the final PDF was sent to me for approval. I promptly went through the PDF and sent in my changes which were done overnight. Sadly, a day later, on the day the book was supposed to be sent to the printer, the editor calls me to tell me that the book has been put on an indefinite hold. A few months later we mutually terminated the contract. As the advance hadn’t yet been paid, there was no money to return.

Well those were the lows, as I had come so close to the books being published,  and then experienced disappointment.

I try to hold on to the highs, instead of clinging to the lows.


Wednesday, April 6, 2022

April IWSG Post and Audio Books

 

I think March was a very productive month for me. I wrote lots of features for newspapers and magazines and did many book reviews in newspapers. And I also submitted my books to various Indian publishers and got good responses. I hope April will be as productive.

Looks like the pandemic is behind us. Fingers crossed that things stay the same as they are now.

As the first Wednesday of the month rolls into view, it’s time for another IWSG (Insecure Writers Support Group) post. IWSG was formed by Alex J Cavanaugh, the author of Amazon Bestsellers : CassaStar, CassaStorm, CassaFire and Dragon of the Stars. The IWSG website is packed with writing related posts. To read the other IWSG posts, visit the group’s page.

April 6 question - Have any of your books been made into audio books? If so, what is the main challenge in producing an audiobook?

The awesome co-hosts for the April 6 posting of the IWSG are Joylene Nowell Butler, Jemima Pett, Patricia Josephine, Louise –Fundy Blue and Kim Lajevardi.

So far I have just one audio book - Festival Stories Through The Year. My publisher Harper Collins Children’s Book India brought out the audio book during the first pandemic lockdown in 2020.  Luckily for me, HCI handled everything.

What about you all? How did you all handle the audio book challenges?

 

 

 


Wednesday, March 2, 2022

My March IWSG and Writing Conflicts

 

In India, everything has opened up now, though everyone is still wearing a mask. I am hoping the pandemic is behind us. I desperately want a return to normalcy, as I have lived under the fear of the virus for too long.

This year my aim is to conquer my fears and explore different possibilities. I have managed to do both (to a certain extent). I will share the details soon.

As it’s the first Wednesday of the month, it’s time for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) post. IWSG was started by the wonderful Alex J Cavanaugh, the author of Amazon Bestsellers : CassaStar, CassaStorm, CassaFire and Dragon of the Stars. The IWSG website is packed with writing related posts. To read the other IWSG posts, visit the group’s page.

March 2 question - Have you ever been conflicted about writing a story or adding a scene to a story? How did you decide to write it or not?

The awesome co-hosts for the March 2 posting of the IWSG are Janet Alcorn, Pat Garcia, Natalie Aguirre and Shannon Lawrence!

Yes, several times I have been conflicted about writing a story or adding a scene to a story. Once, for one of my middle-grade novels, I removed a scene, as I felt that school principals (headmasters) may object to it and ban the books from their school (that would have been disastrous for a children’s book.) After a lot of thought, I decided to rework that particular chapter. For children’s books we authors are always treading a fine line and trying not to cross any lines.

How about you all? How do you handle your writing conflicts?

 

 


Wednesday, February 2, 2022

My February IWSG Post

 

I’m just waiting for this dreadful pandemic to end, life has been on a start and stop mode for more than two years now. Its high time we emerge from this large shadow of Corona Virus and all its variants. Covid19 has become my most disliked word.

January for me was a month of reading lots and lots of books. A book I thoroughly enjoyed was ‘A man called Ove’ by Fredrik Backman. Though slow, it’s a heart-tugging and poignant tale. I also finally managed to read Ikigai and few other books.

Due to family health issues, I completely forgot about IWSGPit on Twitter. I really feel bad about missing it. Hope the participating writers got lots of agent love?

It’s time for another IWSG (Insecure Writers Support Group) post. IWSG was started by the amazing Alex J Cavanaugh. Alex Cavanaugh is the author of Amazon Bestsellers: CassaStar, CassaStorm, CassaFire and Dragon of the Stars. Do visit the IWSG website for more information on this wonderful group and some writing related posts. To read the other IWSG posts, visit the group’s page.

February 2 question - Is there someone who supported or influenced you that perhaps isn't around anymore? Anyone you miss?

The awesome co-hosts for the February 2 posting of the IWSG are Joylene Nowell Butler, Jacqui Murray, Sandra Cox and Lee Lowery!

Frankly no. I don’t think I had any writing support or influence in life. I tend to support myself and constantly motivate myself. But I miss an uncle who always read every story and feature of mine and made it a point to convey his appreciation of the same.

Hope you all are staying safe? Any news to share?

 

 

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

January IWSG post and my writing regret

 

The Omicron variant of the Coronavirus has decided to cast its gloom all over the world. The fifth day of the year and our government has already announced a weekend curfew from this week. We are also undergoing a night curfew from the past few days. 2022 has dashed all our hopes. I pray that as the months pass, things will get better.

My resolution this year is to write lots and read lots. Fingers crossed that I achieve both my goals.

A new year, a new month and we have the first IWSG of the year. IWSG (Insecure Writers Support Group) an online group of writers was started by the amazing Alex J Cavanaugh. Alex Cavanaugh is the author of Amazon Bestsellers : CassaStar, CassaStorm, CassaFire and Dragon of the Stars. Do visit the IWSG website for more information on this wonderful group and some writing related posts. To read the other IWSG posts, visit the group’s page.

January 5 question - What's the one thing about your writing career you regret the most? Were you able to overcome it?

The awesome co-hosts for the January 5 posting of the IWSG are Erika Beebe, Olga Godim, Sandra Cox, Sarah Foster and Chemist Ken!

I regret not submitting widely during the first few years of my writing life/career. For the first couple of years, I had submitted to just one publisher (I know that was very foolish of me) I rue and regret this mistake every single day. I also rue the fact that I didn’t write for different age groups. For many years, I stuck to writing middle grade fiction and short stories for the children's section of the newspapers. Luckily, now I have overcome both these obstacles/handicaps in a big way.

What about you all? What do you regret about your writing career?

P.S. Wishing you all a very Happy New Year.