EXCHANGING WORDS WITH ANKITA ANAND

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Ankita Anand is a Delhi based scribe who writes in order to pause, to
play “statue” with the self in a constantly whizzing, whirring world, to
take those few moments every day to meditate through words, to be
aware of the self and surroundings, to be still enough to be moved.

1. Tell us about yourself?

I daydream of translating “what ifs”.

2. Your profile says that you have been indulging in many things.

We would love to know about what all you are part of.
I have been associated with activism, theatre, editing, translating,
writing and reporting.

3. When did you start your journey as a writer/poet?

When I wrote my first poem, I was 10.

4. Who is your inspiration?

People with courage.

5. Did you have the love for literature since your childhood?

Yes, though as a child I did not have access to as many books as I do
today, when I read less devoutly.


6. How do you manage your work and writing?

My writing is my work.

7. The best novel you have read so far…and why do you find it the
best?

The Women’s Room by Marilyn French, because it mirrors the life of
so many of us women.

8. Do you think at present the writing industry is growing
rapidly?

It is growing and new forms are evolving, making space for many
more people to write.

9. Tell us about your awards and achievements.

My sense of achievement occurs in the moment when a person comes
and tells me they read something I wrote and that it did something for
them.

10. The biggest fear of your life?

Not being able to look all my fears in the eye.

11. When it comes to reading and writing; what has been your
favourite genre?

I write non-fiction and poetry, but fiction is where I come for refuge.

12. As you belong to Bihar, how do you want to see Bihar in the
next five years?

My parents are from Bihar and Jharkhand and I have always felt a
strong connection to the states. I wish for a future where all children
there, as anywhere else, have access to equal opportunities in life.

13. That one piece of writing of yours which you love the most?

I had written a piece on live-in relationships, which is close to my
heart because I got a lot of flak and a lot of love for it.

14. Your take on the present education system of India?

It should be geared more towards producing people capable of
independent and compassionate thought and action, and not towards
manufacturing blindly obedient bots.

15. Message for young authors and writers?

If you write honestly, you would be read, even if you have not done a
writing course or are not connected to a network of established writers
and publishers.

Blog: anandankita.blogspot.in
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ankita.anand.904

Twitter: @anandankita
Instagram: anandankita2

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EXCHANGING WORDS WITH AKASH VERMA

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1. Writing for you is….. ?

Writing for me is creating a story that is believable, riveting and yet strongly rooted with emotion at its core. My writing always has a significant experience from my life, the stories that I have lived or seen or read. Usually what triggers a new story within me is a unique thought that has a strong overlap with my life experiences. If the thought is compelling enough to fit that way, an idea starts taking shape in my mind instantaneously. After that idea is born; the next thing I look out for is the characters. For defining strong characters, I dive back again into my life, close relationships,acquaintances, people whom I have known casually but having an unseen personality trait, which is very strong, like a magnet.

2. Tell us in brief about your book?

You never know is a racy psychological thriller set in Gurgaon. It is the story of Dhruv who is a highly successful advertising professional leading a happy life with his psychiatrist wife and two children. Dhruv is attracted instantly to Anuradha who is new to his agency and they are pulled into
an unstoppable relationship. Dhruv knew Anuradha was his true love. So, despite being married with kids, he still went ahead with their affair. He hid it from his wife and his colleagues. He told lies so he could be with her-it was that amazing! But he couldn’t save himself from the dark secret she was
keeping. It pulled him into a vortex of danger so deep that he lost all he had.

3. Who inspired you to write?

There wasn’t any particular influence except that there was a compelling urge to tell a story. However, my parents are eminent Hindi writers and my home since my childhood days has always been a hub for the literati. I have been a voracious reader as a child so perhaps unknowingly these
two factors played a part.

4. What were the challenges you faced while writing and getting this book
published?

This is my fourth book so in that sense publishing was not a challenge. However, for this book I have moved from Srishti publishers to Penguin Random House India.

5. When can we expect your new book?

Hopefully in Quarter 1, 2018. It’s a thriller as well.

ORDER THE BOOK FROM: http://amzn.to/2wgeFv9

EXCHANGING WORDS WITH SUJAY MALIK

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1. Tell us about yourself.

Well, Professionally, I am a Chartered Accountant and also hold a degree in law and commerce. I work with Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group. So that much about my work! I have also been a –tennis player competitive table-tennis player. Although I do not play anymore, the game continues to be a big part of what I have been and
learnt in life. I am also a brooder. I can be with myself for hours on end. I
like simple pleasures of life. I do not have too many extravagant interests.
I do not have many friends and I do not make friends easily but I have a
set of friends who I am comfortable with and we are pretty thick.Apart from this I am a huge cricket fan and an ardent admirer and follower of stand-up comedy, which I think is one of the toughest arts to
practice.

I had never been a reader but now I have taken to it like a fish to water.
Novels and stories happened pretty late to me. Irony is, that I loved to
write always but I was never much of a reader. But as I said this has
changed and thankfully so.

2. When did you realize your love for writing?

I always loved writing from ever since I can remember. As an introvert the written word gave a huge outlet to me and my thought processes. As I grew up and looked around me, I realised there was a lot that I wanted to say and I found the idea to articulate those thought processes into written words, very stimulating. I think I had a natural flair but I definitely have had to and continue to hone my craft. There is definitely a long way to go but I am decently satisfied with my start.
The idea of writing stories brings the best out of me. I like to pass on my
thoughts to the reader in the form of stories. There are lots of things that I
want to say and saying them through stories is definitely enchanting for
me.

3. How much research did you do before penning down the book?

If you look at my stories, they are all fictional stories but relate to certain events in our recent and distant history. So I had to do some soul searching and fact finding, before I ventured out to write them. It was interesting and a great learning experience.

4. In brief tell us what your book is all about?

I have always believed that stories are nothing but a reflection of lives and times that we live in. This world is nothing but a fragmented collection of tiny stories just put together. I always had a strong observational streak in me. When I looked around me there was so much that I saw. I have always believed in the power of writing.
So when I looked around me and felt anguished or despaired I knew there
wasn’t much point to just keep rambling and ranting about it. It needed to be given some structure. And so I felt stories were the best way to put these ideas across.
You will see such emotions being reflected in all my stories. The
inspiration for each of them comes from situations existing around us.
And I have tried to capture each one of them as objectively and neutrally
as I could. I am sure the reader will be able to identify with not just the
characters in each story but the story itself.

5. Any message for budding author?

There are no short cuts. I am a newbie myself but there’s definitely one piece of good word that I’d like to share with my compatriots. Read a lot and write a lot. Believe in yourself and be very
patient. Instant success and recognition is not for a writer barring precious few. If you love writing then everything else should be secondary. You will achieve it with time though.

ORDER THE BOOK FROM : https://www.amazon.in/gp/aw/d/1947634526/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1507703970&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SX118_SY170_FMwebp_QL65&keywords=sujay+malik&dpPl=1&dpID=51q55e5P%2B5L&ref=plSrch

EXCHANGING WORDS WITH PRASHANT KAUL

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1. Prashant Kaul in 5 words?
 Persistent
 Passionate
 Placid
 Polite
 Personable


2. Writing for you is…..?

Writing for me is the best form of stress buster. When I feel down, I write something to boost myself. I don’t write out of any compulsion, I write because it gives me peace and tranquillity. In my life if there is anything which I cannot set right, I can always change it with the power of written words.

3. In a nutshell, what your book is all about?
It’s about love, sacrifice, friendship, family and about self belief.


4. At what time do you prefer to write?
I am working as a Zonal HR Manager with HDB Financial Services (a
HDFC group company), so I hardly get any time from 10 to 6. Usually I
prefer to write in the evening between 8 – 11 p.m. Most of the pages in
my first novel I have written in the evening.

5. What are your hobbies except writing?

I am a big time movie buff, and love to watch movies. I read a lot, though
my speed is bit slow. I read all kind of novels genre could be thriller,
suspense or romance. A good story and nice characterization is what
attracts me the most in a novel. I love to sing.

Amazon link to order the book :

In India :

https://www.amazon.in/Its-Got-Love-Prashant-Kaul/dp/1947429647?_encoding=UTF8&keywords=9781947429642&portal-device-attributes=desktop&qid=1500974698&ref_=sr_1_1&sr=8-1

Out of India :

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1947429647/ref=sr_1_2

KALKI BY KEVIN MISSAL

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TITLE : KAlKI

AUTHOR : Kevin Missal

PUBLISHER : Kalamos Literary Services, LLP

ISBN-13 : 9788193503300

NUMBER OF PAGES : 462


PRE ORDER LINK : 

https://www.amazon.in/dp/8193503309?_encoding=UTF8&%2AVersion%2A=1&%2Aentries%2A=0&portal-device-attributes=desktop

http://www.pustakmandi.com/Dharmayoddha-Kalki-by-Kevin-Missal?search=Kalki&description=true

1. What makes your book different from other books available in market ?

Not many people have written about Kalki and mixed it with five different genres- Romance, mystery, drama, suspense, fantasy. 

2. How much time did you spend on research before writing the book ?

Well my research has always been off and on. I read few Puranas, watched a bunch of videos, read about Kalki Avatar from a historical point of view. I began researching for another novel which was based on Aswatthama but it ended up being used in this. 

3. Writing for you is… ??

Obsession.

4. What challenges did you face before getting published your book ?

Marketing problems. It’s always marketing. 

EXCHANGING WORDS WITH MANVENDRA KUMAR

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1. Tell us about yourself?

Well, my name is Manvendra Kumar but people generally call me Mannu. I grew up in a small town of district Bijnor, Uttar Pradesh. I completed my graduation in Mechanical Engineering from JSS Academy of Technical Education, Noida in 2014 before taking up a job in corporate firm. I am currently working in NTL Electronics India Ltd, Noida as a design engineer. I wanted to be a singer but destiny wanted something else.

Cooking is my favorite time pass. Apart from this I love watching sitcoms and travelling with friends. And yes I love photography too but only when someone offers me his/her DSLR because I don’t have my own Camera by now.

2. Writing for you is .. ?
Writing is something that gives me peace. This keeps me busy in nights. This gives me exactly the kind of rest and relaxation your body needs after a long working day. 

3. Who inspired you to write… ?

There were two things which continuously inspired me during this journey. In the initial phase, my dream girl. She always stood by my side and encouraged me to work harder. This book is a tribute to her and her family. I used to be wanderer, a maverick before she came in my life and when she arrived, the trajectory of my life changed.

In the last phase, when I was about to complete the book and searching publishers, I decided that I would donate half of the book’s earning to an NGO. And the day I made this decision; I felt a different kind of energy and enthusiasm within me. Every time I felt low, I reminded myself that, Manvendra, you are not writing this book just to make money or get fame; may be your book’s earning could make someone’s life better; could feed him/her for a month or more than that, could get him/her a new pair of clothes, could pay his/hers a month’s school fee. So you have to write and get it published at least for that someone.

4. How much research did you do before writing this book?

I did a lot. I want to tell you; reading was never my hobby and still it is not.  In the initial phase, I searched almost everything on Google like- how to start, how to write a particular scene, how to write an effective character description etc… etc… I don’t think without the help of Google I would have been able to complete this book in 7-8 months.

5. What were the challenges you faced while writing and getting this book published?

The biggest challenge was how to start. Initially, there was nothing creative was striking in my head but I kept writing… writing shit. I wrote and deleted and I did this till around one month. In the middle of the book, many times I went through the writer’s block.  Sometimes I spent whole night sitting in front of my laptop and ended up writing only 2-3 lines.

The second challenge was making a proposal to impress the publishers. It took me around 15 days to write a 600 words’ synopsis. It is always a tough task to summarize your 200 pages into a single one. 

Since I work in a private firm, so whole day I spent in office. I only get time in night for doing anything personal.

7. Who are your favorite authors?

Honestly Speaking, I am a writer by chance. I just read 5-6 books in my whole life and that too when I started writing this book, just to get an idea about “how to write a book.” So, basically writers were never the source of inspiration during my writing journey and I have no author in my ‘favorite author list’ by now.

8. Tell us why one should buy and read your book?

This book has a perfect content who loves to read rom-com. This book has everything that a common reader seeks in a good novel- humour, love, emotions. This book would make you believe in the power of true love. The ones, who dare to love and believes in “Never give up” phrase must read this book.

9. When can we expect your next book?

I have started working for my next project. If everything goes well, it will hit the market next year.

10. Any message for new writers?

Two things I would want to say. First – “Never give up”. When I started writing this book; I was very scared because the hardest thing in writing a story is where and how to start. Nothing new will strike in your head in initial days. But be patient; keep writing shit and one day surely something good will come out. And second- always put your source of inspiration in your head because that inspiration will motivate you in your bad times. That inspiration could be anything – your lady, your parents, your children or someone else.

ORDER YOUR COPY FROM :  http://www.amazon.in/dp/B06Y5V4X6V

 http://onlybookshop.com/product/on-the-moon-between-the-stars-mickesh-roy/

 BLURB :Mickesh Roy, on the very first day of his office, meets Gauri Trivedi in an elevator and her beauty leaves him spellbound. His sole aim was to woo her and for that he left no stone unturned.

He reads a quote on Quora: “Even if the path taken is a malicious one, it is justified if the destination is a temple” and does every damn thing which could have taken him a step closer to his love. 

He tried all possible funny and cute proposals until Gauri rejected him straightforwardly.

They say everything is fair in love and war, and for him, it was a combo. The one-sided love and the war, he had to fight against all odds. 

And then Gauri decides to take a new job in Kolkata, without giving a second thought about Mickesh. And this hammered the last nail in Mickesh’s coffin. He is heartbroken and completely shattered.

But will Gauri ever recognize his colossal efforts or she keeps playing the part of a confused girl? Is she going to take her new job or will Mickesh follow her to the eternity? Will she accept his proposal in the end or the doors to her heart are as cold as Arctic?

Accompany Mickesh in his journey to find out what it takes him to solve the complex equation of his first love when it is entwined together with social stigmas.

“On the moon, between the stars” is the journey of an ordinary guy and his extraordinary efforts to get his love.

Facebook: 

https://www.facebook.com/Otmbts.Manvendra/

Goodreads: 

https://www.goodreads.com/mickesh

EXCHANGING WORDS WITH SHREYAS BHAVE

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Shreyas is a 21 year old guy currently pursuing his B.Tech in Electrical Eng. from VNIT Nagpur. His love for history since his childhood prompted him to write his take on the story of Asoka who was one of the towering figures in the history of India.

Apart from writing, his hobbies are songwriting, composing music, painting watercolors and sketching with pencils. He loves hiking in the hill forts of Maharashtra, is fond of blues & southern rock music, plays the guitar.

He is currently working on a startup to provide quality services to the end users of Transformer and Switchgear products in the country.

He is also presently working on the second part of this trilogy which shall be called The Scourge from Taxila.

He can be reached on theasokatrilogy@gmail.com

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1.Tell us about yourself ?
Hi! I am Shreyas, currently studying electrical engineering at VNIT Nagpur. My debut novel, called ‘The prince of Patliputra’ has been published recently and is available in the market. Apart from writing, my hobbies revolve around songwriting, playing lead guitar and trekking in the hill forts of Maharashtra.

2. Writing for you is …. ? 
Writing for me is a restless activity! To me, there is no other joy which compares to the completion of a story. While the story is being written, I am totally jumpy and agitated. But when a story is complete, it can be any story, whether a short story or a 100k words long manuscript, the completion of a story brings its own sense of calm and achievement that can be compared to trekking to the top of a mountain peak. Sure, we have a long way to go to descend after that (I.e. Publishing and book marketing), but the calm of being high on the peak of the mountain is what brings me joy.

3. Who inspired you to write ?
Reading and watching movies inspired me to start writing. My first stories were fan fictions. Then, I began to copy styles of famous authors until I finally developed my own style. Now days, whenever I read a new book, it drives me to go write something. Same is with watching a good movie or a nice TV Series. That is the way I deal with my writer’s block.

4. “The Prince Of Patliputra” is your debut book. What made you choose to write this historical book ?
I was visiting a mountain pilgrimage called Girnar in Junagarh district few years back. It boasts of a vast Jain temple and also the highest point of Gujarat state. When I enquired who had built the Jain temple, the answer I received was it was built by Chandragupta Maurya. The question which came to my mind is why was a king from Patliputra faraway, building temples at the edge of his empire? Afterwards I visited a underground network of Buddhist caves nearby. I was impressed by its architecture. “Who built these caves?” I asked and the answer that came was “Samrat Ashoka.” This was the incident that drove me to find out more about this great Grandfather-grandson duo and the outcome is the Asoka trilogy.

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5. How much research you did before writing ?
I was visiting a mountain pilgrimage called Girnar in Junagarh district few years back. It boasts of a vast Jain temple and also the highest point of Gujarat state. When I enquired who had built the Jain temple, the answer I received was it was built by Chandragupta Maurya. The question which came to my mind is why was a king from Patliputra faraway, building temples at the edge of his empire? Afterwards I visited a underground network of Buddhist caves nearby. I was impressed by its architecture. “Who built these caves?” I asked and the answer that came was “Samrat Ashoka.” This was the incident that drove me to find out more about this great Grandfather-grandson duo and the outcome is the Asoka trilogy.

6. What were the challenges you faced while writing and getting published? 
The greatest challenge I faced was of course is the plotting of the book. Any book must have a great plot, it must have a great climax, or else, people will not love it. The chapters must end on anticipation; The plot must be a page turner. Lot of thinking time goes into the plotting of the story but once the plot is perfectly prepared, everything else flows very smoothly. I have detailed my experiences in writing a historical fiction like ‘The Prince of Patliputra.’ In my blog here.

7. Why readers must read this book?
The Prince of Patliputra is not just a historical Thriller. It is also a philosophical treatise. For sure, on the front end, it is a story about Ancient India, set in the times of the Maurya Empire and focuses on the rise of two Emperors: Chandragupta Maurya in 326 BC and Asoka in 272 BC. But its scope is far greater than just telling a story about A game of thrones. It is the political discussions of Chanakya and Radhagupta in the story that are the most important part of it.  Their thoughts on issues of religion, society, economics and warfare which are reflected through their conversations are still relevant in the modern world and that philosophy of the great minds of those times is what I am trying to convey though this story.

8. Name few books you love the most and why?
I’d like to take the liberty to mention two books here. The first one would be ‘Atlas shrugged’ by Ayn Rand. The book introduces the philosophy of objectivism and preaches that selfishness is the greatest virtue of human life. The other one would be ‘The man who speaks with flowers.’ By Glenn Frey which is a biography of the American Inventor George W Carver whose life was the emblem for selflessness.

9. As this is just the first part of the book,where can we expect the other part ?
The next book of the Asoka trilogy shall be called The Scourge of Taxila. I have already uploaded sample chapters from this book at https://authorshreyas.wordpress.com/2016/01/21/the-scourge-of-taxila-coming-soon/ The second part will detail the great siege of Patliputra by Sushem in 270 BC as well as by Chandragupta 50 years ago and will end at Asoka’s coronation as Samrat. The third book then will venture into the times during and after the Kalinga war.

10. Message for new authors…. ?
I am a budding writer myself so I’m sure just having one book published out there does not qualify me to give advice to my peers. What I can always do is share my experiences. What I noticed while pitching my first manuscript to everyone was that publishers prefer a writer with an established audience over a good story any day. So If budding writers can maintain a blog and write about a topic which really moves them, then they can generate a good amount of following which will be invaluable to them when they pitch their first story for publication. Also, having skills in video editing or let’s say image processing will also help them to create professional book marketing tools like ‘Book Trailers’ and ‘promotional posters’ but that is definitely a bonus and not a necessary point. To summarize, write about topics you really want to write about, generate a fan following who love your persona and be open to new ideas is what I’ll want to tell them.

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Facebook link : https://www.facebook.com/shreyas.bhave.9
Page link : https://www.facebook.com/theprinceofpatliputra/
Twitter link : https://twitter.com/shre14uses
Mail id : shre14uses@gmail.com
Links to buy the book : http://www.amazon.in/The-Prince-Patliputra-Shreyas-Bhave/dp/9352015509?tag=googinhydr18418-21&tag=googinkenshoo-21&ascsubtag=78a651bb-c27d-4ad6-9f60-62ac805513df

Nidhi