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Friday, May 30, 2014

Writing... Its Necessity. Its Importance.

I never knew that to write I require skills, of a sort. I always thought that it was the simplest thing to do. I would find a nice, quiet place, or a place where I could listen to some music and I would begin. The idea has to strike and then one would write away.

I always found it surprising whenever people asked me how I wrote, and I found that I did not have an answer. It is true, I do not know how to write exactly, but it was just doing something which I enjoyed. But the thing is I never knew how to tell people that.

So, right now I am putting down a few tips or whatever I have found to write and write better.

To write, one must read. I have written about the need for reading, even reading fiction. I have also written about editing, but then I realised, what could you edit if you had not written anything.

So, I attempted this post. The beauty of writing and its many advantages. So, let us begin:

Read and read some more.

I do not know how one can begin writing if one does not read; reading is essential. You could begin with newspapers, magazines, essays, short stories, fiction, non-fiction or even articles. Basically, just aboout everything. The idea is to find a path to the written word. This kind of reading could help you to understand the different types of writing and eventually develop your own style.

Remember to write for a little while, every day.

If you read a lot, then you could begin writing. It does not have to be much, just a paragraph a day. If you keep writing paragraph after paragraph, then you probably could write an essay or a short story. It could become a habit and soon, you could be doing, it not for sake of writing but because you just love to write.

Read whatever you write, aloud. 

It would help you to find any mistakes, or check if anything is repetitive or just too long. For example, I found that I wrote ‘misakes’ instead of ‘mistakes’. Missing letters are easily found.

You could find grammatical errors, or even missing punctuation marks. Make sure that whatever is sent out is proofread first.

Also, be to the point. 

Note that whatever you want to say is going through to the other person. It should say what you need to say, not just whatever you want to say. 
Also, do get someone else to read whatever you have written. 

It will make it easier for you to know if what you are saying is understood by the other person.

Make time to write.

If you do it every day, perhaps you could become a writer too. :)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Author Interview: Jaydeep Banerjee, author of 'Serving You'

From an author who lives in a fear of being an abibliophobic, which is the fear of not finding a book to read, he serves up quite the interview. Considering that this book is free of grammatical errors and was effortless in its use of the English language, this book was a treat to  readers. Just like his interview.

His answers, like his characters are simple and straight to the point. From this demystifier of business, we found out a few answers... You could also read the review here.

How did ‘Serving You’ happen?  And what were your resources?

For years, I wanted to write a book—fascinated by the tales writers told and their lasting effects on me, but never put words to my thoughts, until one day I decided I was ready.

It just happened.

Besides a fantastical view of life, a handy MacBook, I had no other resources.

Could you describe the journey from ‘book selling’ to ‘restaurant opening’?

Johnny is a man driven by freedom of thought and the necessity to question conventions. Therefore, when he realised that in selling books or selling food—including humans :) — the business principles were the same; the simple tenets (3 Ss) of retailing — the ideal deployment of stocks, staff and service, it was easy.

How much of your story was part of the book? The education, to the love and marriage and finally the various businesses…

All authors draw from personal experiences and I did too, therefore a lot really and yet very little literally. I only drew inferences and insights and not really the true incidents of my life. This story is a fantasy.

What according to you is different about your book? How was your appetite?

The difference lies in believing anything is possible in this world. It’s only one lifetime and we need to live it on our terms, and yet the book does not preach like a self-help book (personally, I find them disgusting — playing God to hapless souls).

As far as my appetite is concerned, I live on a see-food diet. I eat whatever I see :)

Who was it that told you that you could become the author, you are today?

I am an avid reader; I believe there’s a word that describes me— Abibliophobic—the fear of not finding a book to read. Over the years, I have wished to join the ranks of the luminaries—famous authors and their fantastical minds—in the hall of fame.

How would you relate the lives of characters to the lives today? Any similarites?

In all the characters the reader can spot shades of a people they know, though I strongly believe all human beings are essentially similar but what makes us unique is our convoluted thinking.

What was the most challenging part about writing ‘Serving You’?

During the early days I tried to edit whatever I wrote. Invariably, I would prefer a better sentence or a more descriptive character or an incident. I could not proceed and it was frustrating.

Once I overcame the urge to edit, it was smooth sailing after that.

What are the most fulfilling parts in your book?

The ability to think freely—without fear of prejudice or failure that lead to the simplicity of setting up business even if it was of human meat.

Which particular character did you feel most close to? Why?

Johnny Django. Especially, when friends and relatives felt it is autobiographical. I guess I am different in the eyes of my beholders.

When will your next book be out?

I hope within the next three months. I have completed parts of it and enjoying the process all over again

Which book are you currently reading?

Two of them: 'Why we Buy' by Paco Underhill and 'Luminaries' by Eleanor Catton.

Who are your favourite authors?

There are quite a few to list here. But my all-time favorites are Satyajit Ray, Arthur Conan Doyle, Tess Geritsen, Ayn Rand,
Eliyahu MGoldratt but only in the order of inner feelings on that day.

What else do you do on a daily basis?

I work on behalf of my clients to help them set up a retail company in the same simplistic manner as described in the book. I demystify business.

What advice do you have for the young writers of today?

Write till you get the breakthrough.

It’s like a long distance run — have to endure till the breathing and feet synchronizes into a rhythm before the run becomes painless, or like learning to play a musical instrument —seems impossible, frustrating and impenetrable in the beginning but suddenly it happens to you.

The rest is pure ecstasy.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Book Review : ‘Exodus 2022' by Kenneth G Bennett

Joe Stanton is fast asleep when he is suddenly awakened by the thought of his missing daughter, Lorna Gwin. Worried, he wakes up his girlfriend who is asleep beside him. He rushes around the hotel on San Juan Island in Washington State. The hotel owners are woken up, as are the other guests, before the police are finally called in. 

The problem with the scenario is that Joe does not even have a daughter. It is a little while later that Stanton realises it. Stanton, 28, who is a priest at an Episcopal church, is rushed to the hospital by his girlfriend, Ella who is a nurse. He created a whole uproar for somebody who was not living, at all. Or so, he thinks… 

People attribute the entire situation to drugs, but that was not the case. What is not known to them is that three other people are suffering similar mental breakdowns, and it has killed all the others on the Pacific coast.

Meanwhile, we find ourselves on a ship in the Pacific coast, wherein there is a huge corporation at work. With the help of scientists, Sheldon Beck, the leader of the corporation, wants to find out what went wrong with his plan. He with the help of other scientists is discovering the powers of telepathy and telekinesis.

He also has help from ex-SEAL officers and they are all a part of the team. A billionaire weapons contactor, who is behind this whole calamity, Beck is the super villain of this story.

In the meantime, Stanton is back at work but he wants to know what exactly it was that went wrong with him, and where the voices were coming from. With his girlfriend’s help, he manages to find his way out and soon discovers that the voice is coming from Mia, a whale in the Pacific Ocean. Mia, who is heading a migration of all the sea animals, has a problem and she wants Stanton to take care of it.

How Stanton finds this out, how he discovers people ready to help him, what his role is in the global disaster, how the villains of the corporation want to handle things their way, how he discovers telepathy to handle the global catastrophe are all just a part of this tremendous sci-fi episode.

I did not like it when it started off, but as pages were read and sources discovered, I began to understand the book better. It’s not every day that we discover whales and their communication skills. Pretty brilliant, except for the super villains, whose part was a little overdone. 

What I liked best about it is the fact that, the author, Kenneth G Bennett was never in a hurry to explain everything at one go. He took his own time in letting parts of the book sink in. It is a mix of sci-fi, fantasy, romance and even ecological statements, that it has to give out to the readers.

An interesting scheme and partly likable characters. I say that, as I thought that the villain could have been given a better developed plot. I felt that his part was roughly written and not given its due, whereas the book seemed to go on and on. His part was largely underdeveloped. Overall, a good book, well researched and well-written, and I think another part is due, it since Exodus 2022 definitely calls out for it…

Author: Kenneth G Bennett
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Booktrope Editions
ISBN: 9781620152126
Price: Rs 1232/-