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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Book Review : 'Loyal Stalkers' by Chhimi Tenduf - La

He’s back! Chhimi Tenduf – La is back, with a whole new book, 'Loyal Stalkers'. This time however, he chose to go the short story way. But, of course there are his favourite characters and his favourite location, of course! Set in Sri Lanka, the stories carry you off into his emerald island.

So, let us begin. These stories are all interrelated in subtle ways, and the author does manage to touch our heart in the same way, he has done the first two times. It is about the various genders and their characters and sexual characteristics, each of them may possess because of their particular circumstances, at any given point of time in the book.

Actually, the way I read it, made it sound so different. Because, it was not read like a regular book, in the sense not the first story after the second. Instead, I chose to read the stories, in a haphazard manner. And that is how my review sounds too. Hopefully I will be forgiven, for the same, because I felt so much closer to the book :). Because I felt closer to the situations, than I would have if I had read it, the usual way.

It could be a topic such as child abuse and even love for the child, born under such circumstances, or even an impulsive security guard’s love for his child. The killing of a man by a lusting woman would have been the situation if it was not for her circumstances, a regular workout at the local gym, would have been situation if it was not for the loyal stalker. A teenage cricketer who seems to fall headlong, into his coach’s vicious ways. Gayan’s back too.

And even the ultra-cool story of Aiyo, a dog and you have the ‘Suspiciously Brown’ victim, smuggler, or handicapped victim, or perhaps a loving father? The rich and the poor are all told about in this one.

If you have been reading his books, you would know about Sri Lanka, like no other man can tell you. It is all about love for an adopted nation, and the love for the family, all told in a dark humour, which is definitely his. The twists are here and there and refuse to take away any wittiness away, from the book.

You can Read this Book, right here.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Author Interview : Sowmya Rajendran, author of ‘A Rule Breaker's Club Adventure : The Dog who wanted More'

Sowmya Rajendran
Read up, the Interview with Sowmya Rajendran, author of 'The Dog who wanted More. In this Interview, she tells us, how the entire book came about, what according to her was different about her book, which particular character felt most close to, the most challenging part of the story, what she thought was different about her book, her favourite authors, and much more, Folks…

How did 'Rulebreakers’ Club Adventure : The Dog who wanted More' happen? Could you describe the journey?

I was approached by a publishing house some years ago, to write an adventure series for them. This was right after my daughter was born, so I was hesitant to take it up, since I barely had any time. However, the writing proved to be a welcome break from childcare and I completed the series pretty quickly.

However, the publisher had some trouble on their end, which I don’t want to go into. Eventually, Penguin (with whom I’ve worked, before) agreed to publish the books and I’m very glad to be associated with them once again.

What according to you is different about your book?

That’s really for readers to say. I enjoy creating characters, who are original, funny, and think for themselves. I hope my readers will agree.

What was the most challenging part about writing this book?

Finding the time to write it and not getting discouraged by constant interruptions.

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

I like all of them, though the grandma is my mental image of how I’d be at that age!

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

Me. I’ve always wanted to be a writer and never gave up.

When will you next book be out?

I have a picture book coming out, probably later this year.

Who are your favourite authors?

JD Salinger
Vikram Seth
RK Narayan, JD Salinger, W Somerset Maugham, Rohinton Mistry, JK Rowling, Vikram Seth, Virginia Woolf, Margaret Atwood, Chimamanda Ngozie Adichieall of them have given me some insight into human nature and taught me to be a more forgiving person.
Which books are you currently reading?

What else do you do on a daily basis?                                       

I work with ‘The News Minute’ as Deputy News Editor.

You can  Read the Review, too and Buy the Book, here as well.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Book Review : 'Moongphali' by Neha Singh and Mukesh Chhabra; Illustrations by Sonal Gupta Vaswani

Moongphali’ is a witty and humorous collection of stories, which has been written by Neha Singh and Mukesh Chabbra. I have never forgotten the only time was in a fancy dress competition. 'Dress up as Santa Claus', said my teacher! And so, there I was with a big beard and a whole load of gum dripping from my face. I do not remember how I did it, but the first prize was mine. 

So, I was very interested in this book, where Nandu dresses up as ‘The Watermelon God’ by Neha Singh. So, in his green ‘melony’ costume, Nandu sets off to school. But the poor boy, who wanted to be a king instead, misses out on the costume. So, he decides to skip school. And the adventures, he gets into are comical to read. Read this one, to discover what happens and say, all ‘Hail the Lord of Watermelons’.

This story is followed by Mukesh Chhabra’s ‘The Perfect Doll’. Sneha was gifted a ‘Tennis Doll’, with a black beauty spot. It was a wonderful sight, until her friend spots it, and calls it a defect in the doll. Dejected, Sneha got rid of the doll, by throwing it away in a drain. Then begin the doll’s adventures, since it was found by a boy, who then and later has a car run over it and then has a few stray cats and even a few rats have at it. 

The rest of it goes off in finding out that Sneha’s friend, Mallika finds and keeps the doll. And the loving care she gives to the tennis doll, and the fact that a small, cool looking tennis court is up in her house.

The book runs into other stories by both these authors, which are fun to read and adventurous and mysterious too. So, we have Poonam’s fancy chappals, Hanur’s mysterious stones, and then we have a hundred rupee note, and a happy day, and double trouble, complete with Lalita’s gift!

The two authors have written an enjoyable book to read up on a holiday, complete with cool stuff to make at the end of every chapter. Only one point is that in the story, ‘A Happy Day’, is that the spelling of dinosaurs is misspelled as ‘dinasours’. Sonal Gupta Vaswani, who is the illustrator, has done an excellent job with the drawings, to see it complete.

You can Buy the Book, right here

Friday, August 04, 2017

Author Interview : Priyanka Talreja Garegrat, author of ‘Kitten the Dog’

Priyanka Talreja Garegrat
Read up, the Interview with Priyanka Talreja Garegrat, author of 'Kitten the Dog'. In this interview, she tells us, how the entire book first began, what gave her the core idea, how the main characters came about, the most challenging part of the story, what she thought was different about her book, how did the element of the dog trying to meow come about, her favourite authors and books, and much more, Folks…

How did ‘Kitten the Dog’ begin? Could you describe the journey?

One day, I had gone to meet my cousins and there I saw that they had adopted a newborn pug. I asked them if they had to take any precautions, and they happened to mention that because he was so low and close to the ground, he was more prone to infections, so they had to be mindful about where they take him.
And that is how my protagonist came about. I started to wonder what it would be like to be so small and look at the world from that point-of-view. Then I wondered what would happen if this small dog got mistaken for a kitten. And that was the birth of 'Kitten the Dog'.

How did you come up with the core idea and develop it? 

Once I decided that I wanted to explore this idea further, I started to make a skeleton with chapter names. I would write a one-line brief for each chapter.

But all through my journey, what helped me the most was the fact that I had started with the end in mind. So, I knew where I was going. I just needed to fix on the route.

How did the characters, Margi, her father, Kitten and the pet thief come about?

I must admit that I take great inspiration from real life. And Margi and her Dad are a result of just that. I knew of a girl like Margi who had to face a big loss at a very young age. I saw how she tried to deal with it. I observed her journey and realized she grew to be fairly independent. And these traits helped me build Margi and Dad.

Kitten and the pet thief on the other hand have been completely cooked up in my head. When I was writing down their characters, I too was shocked to see how they were turning out. I did not know them till I wrote them down.

What according to you is different about your book?

To be honest, I feel everything is different. Right from the illustrations, to the voice of the book. All have been presented in a very fresh way. But apart from those basics, I feel Kitten has touched upon a pressing issue that some preteens have to go through, which is the loss of a parent.

This book also highlights the huge role that social media plays in the lives of children today. And lastly, this book has a mystery that is waiting to be solved as well. These factors make Kitten different when compared to the other books currently on the shelves.

How did the story, especially Kitten and him trying to meow come about?

Kitten tries to meow because of Margi. And that is a reflection of Margi’s state of mind.

And as I mentioned earlier, her behavior reflects her coping mechanism, which is the underlined message for the readers.

What was the most challenging part about writing the book?

The writer’s block. At one point, the story was just not moving forward and I had to force myself to write which resulted in utter crap that I had to scrap. 

This way I ended up scrapping three story lines before I fixed on this one.

When will your next book be out?

Right now, I have numerous ideas, but I am not working on a book. So, it might be a while before we see the next one.

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

My Dad was the one who kept telling me time and again to write a book. I would just keep brushing it off by telling him it was not that easy. Then one day, after being told for the thousandth time, I started believing that maybe if I did try, I could do it. 

And without much thought, I just decided to go ahead and see what happens if I do complete a manuscript. In the end, I realized that all efforts always pay off.

Which are your favourite books and why?

My favourite books are the trio from the Hunger Games series because there is just so much happening in them and it is all so unpredictable. The pace of the narrative is just perfect and there is never a dull moment.

Who are your favourite authors and why?
Suzanne Collins

JK Rowling, George RR Martin, Suzanne Collins – these are among my most favourite because of the kind of worlds they have been able to imagine and build.

Now that I have written a book, I understand just how difficult fiction writing is and have newfound respect for these authors. 

What else do you do on a daily basis? 

I am a content-writer as a full-time professional. I write and curate content for a successful jewellery portal and also take up freelance articles, stories for print and digital media.

You can  Read the Review, too and Buy the Book, here as well.