Book recommendation!

Pentacles comprises one long story and four short poems by Sabarna Roy. The work delightfully bridges the gap between the mundane and arcane writings of today and provides an interesting, yet intellectually stimulating, treat for the discerning reader. New Life is a long story written from the perspective of a successful adult whose mother had deserted the family for another man. The teenage angst and the scars it has left behind on the psyche of the protagonist are subtly reflected in the character. The different elements and characters of the story are beautifully interwoven to produce an intense and compelling story of an adult haunted by the trauma of being deserted by his mother. The work is interspersed with thought-provoking views on issues like love and socio-economic conditions in India. The traditional rhyme and metre dominated poems are on love, loss and longing. Unshackled by the bonds of rhyme and metre, Sabarna s free verses evoke the stark reality of urban life, hitting you straight in the guts. The use of everyday urban imagery adds to the appeal of the compositions. The concrete prison of urban life and the unfulfilled desire to escape to a simple life is aptly brought out in The Tower. The other poems of the collection are more biographical in nature with the protagonist being the member of the fairer sex. The free verses sketch out their life story with its attendant pathos, poignancy and logic. The best part of all the compositions is that the reader will definitely identify with the poet and will, in one form or other, have similar stories to narrate.

Book recommendation video:

🌤Book Recommendation🌤

Winter Poems is a book that will have my heart forever, I will highly recommend it to everyone! Pick it up!
The poems contained in this collection, Winter Poems, by Sabarna Roy were inspired by the relatively mild season that prevails in Kolkata following the season of festivities, the Durga and Kali Puja, and portray myriad shades of human life. Some of them deal with the imaginations of death and home while still others the idea of loss and coming to terms with gradual wasting of life. Many aspects of human life and commonplace human impulses are examined and brought to life through a range of imaginations and varied metaphorical associations. The poems are sure to delight the readers and generate a whole range of emotions among them.

Also, please don’t forget to check out a book recommendation video on my stories, it’s available on my highlights as well! Yayy!

Victims For Sale

💗I have so much to say about it right now, I am gonna start with the cover and title, so yeah! I would say the cover and title are both are just so apt, but the book holds much more than it depicts from its physical appearance. The story revolves around Sandy Raman. Sandy is a stringer for the BBC and is living with the Sawants as a paying guest. Until she wakes up to a woman with a knife and a dark secret. How spooky this sounds altogether! Ghah,
I would say the heart of the book lies in the characters and the extremely unique plot, the places it’s set in, the time, the way it’s narrated – it is just so amazing. I feel Sandy is in general a very fresh character who holds a lot of secrets. The characters have layers, not one or two but many. The author carefully reveals each layer after every chapter. The way the Sawants are shown is again different and at times it’s dramatic.
Taking about the pace, yes it’s extremely fast paced, the transformations and the ups and downs kept it going without a break. The author’s words hit so hard at times, her words trigger the inner walls of my mind the way the hypothalamus triggers heartrate. I am extremely flabbergasted and overwhelmed. Also, I enjoyed every bit of the narration. The fact that the book is divided so well helped me discover many stories at once. The social issues merged with a fictional story along with spooky twists…everything is just so worth it. I will definitely recommend it to everyone. Go for it.

Interview with Sabarna Roy, the author of five amazing books

1) Hello Sir, can you please introduce yourself? Our audience would love to know more about you.
Hi! I am a senior engineering professional and an author of 5 literary books and a single technical book. I am a person who is interested in delving into the multidisciplinary mysteries of life in a unified manner. Currently, I am working on my 6th literary book, which is a based on Ideas about the ‘certainty of uncertainty’ in life.

2) That’s great. Congratulations for all your five books, all of them are fictional short stories, poems and plays, what is the obvious reason behind this?
My sincerest thanks. As an author, I resort to fiction when I am interested in examining alternative lives. It is also an effective tool by which you can understand your own life in a clearer perspective.

3) I agree, do you remember what you wrote first? How did you develop interest in writing, is this something you always wanted to do?
I remember correctly, the first pieces I wrote were emotional essays, when I was in school. May be the pleasure of writing seeped into my nervous system so effectively that I ended-up becoming a natural author.

4) Your first book, “Pentacles”, how different it is from, “Random Subterranean Mosaic 2012 – 2018 – Time frozen in myriad thoughts”, what kind of transformation you went through, while writing each book?
There are changing patterns in life with time. This gets reflected in one’s books, including the content and writing style. But, I do not think, I have much changed radically from my first literary book to my fifth literary book. A real transformation is expected in my sixth literary book in content and in style. In the last ten years, with each book, I may not have changed a lot, but, I have aged and while my vantage point in looking at life may not have undergone a revolutionary transformation, but, I have become more calm, poised and reticent.

5) I assume you have gone through a lot to bring the things inside your head on paper, so would you like to share your journey?
My style of writing is simple. I capture the visualizations that occur in my mind’s eye through writing and when I garland these separate visualizations by moving a needle with a string through the flowers of memory, imagination and intuition, they become a piece of fiction. It is not tiring. It makes me feel peaceful from inside.

6) That’s truly appreciative. Your recent novel has gained so much love world wide, so is this kinda, ‘Dream Come True’ or you knew this would happen?
I do not think about the consequences of publishing my works. At the moment, when the book goes public, my only prayer is that it reaches a section of intense readers, who may or may not share my vision of the world.

7) How much time you usually take to complete a book? You are so creative while creating characters in your stories, also your poems have the calmness and peace, what inspires you the most when it comes to writing, how you do all this so effortlessly?
Each book takes it’s own time. However, comparatively I would say, I am a fast writer. Inspirations for me are my own life memories, observations, imagination and intuition. It may look effortlessly, as you say, on the surface because I have never written a single word in my life, which was forced out of me.

8) Does your family and friends have an equal share in your success? Do you belong to a literary background? Are the short stories completely fictional or are inspired by real life events as well?
Family and friends comprise the eco system in which I write. No, I do not belong to a literary background. But, literary books, literary movies, music, theatre and arts have been my constant companions through which I have entertained myself. What I write is bound to be an intriguing cocktail of fiction and real life incidents.

9) How happy you actually feel when people read your books and love to read more of your works? Do you take criticism in a positive way?
I do feel happy when people read my books and want to read them more and more. I accept all all kinds of criticisms with an open mind, but, do not react much for the simple reason, because I believe an author’s job ends after writing a book.

10) Amongst all your five books, which one is your most favorite and why?
I forget about my books very easily. So, I cannot say, which one is my favourite book.

Thanks a lot, wishing you goof luck! Thanks for sparing time from your busy schedule.

💖Mindful Musings💖

Mindful Musings is a book full of dreams. It’s an amalgamation of the journey of two sisters and their encounters in life drafted as poems with emotions and perceptions about situations and struggles. It’s a book for those who believe feelings can be described through poems and poems can be described in simple words. Each person can relate and connect to this book easily. It talks about situations and circumstances that everyone goes through in life. It’s a book of shared lessons with a lot of positive messages for self-development.
💖Musings are my all time favorite whenever it comes to reading, I enjoy them so much because they provide a very broad insight with a very less number of hours and words. This is a collection of short musings and poems, there is nearly 50 topics on which the duo had expressed their feelings through their writing. The best part of the entire book is the calmness that I felt while reading each and every musing, it just touched my heart just so deep, whether it’s about care or friendship or love, I feel the intention of writing it was to touch hearts and just in the same way I could feel every single word of it. It’s a very short read, just 60 pages, I completed it within an hour and it was one of those memorable reads which is new and fresh each time I open. I will definitely recommend it even to beginners or people who aren’t into poetries, this little piece of art is something you can start with. Go for it.
Rating: 4.25🌟

Interview with Bidisha Ghosal, the author of, “The Rape Trial”

1)Hello Ma’am, can you please introduce yourself? So that the audience would get you know you better.
Hi, I’m Bidisha, born and brought up in Calcutta, did my college in Bombay, studied fashion and then realised something was off and I moved into writing through journalism. I was awarded for my work in journalism with “The International Press Institute Award for Excellence in Journalism”, and “The Statesman Award for Rural Reporting”. Again, something felt off, and I left the professional life to write my first book- bit of a childhood dream – and simultaneously moved back to Calcutta. While working on my fictional story, I also worked for a youth volunteer organisation, and ended up working on a non-fiction book that has been well-received. So technically, “The Rape Trial” is not my first book, but it is my first novel and a culmination of a childhood dream.
2) That sounded great. Congratulations for your recent novel, “The Rape Trail”, the title sounds distinct and it’s self-explanatory as well, yet I would love know the story behind it? Why did you name it this way?

Thank you. Actually, I never thought of any other title, when I did, this was the only one which actually popped up in my mind. The story is essentially driven by a rape trial that took place years before the story begins, and the trial that we have at the end is, on the face of it about rape culture at large. So, that’s how it came!

3) Do you remember what you wrote first? How did you develop your interest in writing?

I’m one of those authors who’ve been writing ever since they could hold a pencil. So, I have no memory of what I wrote first. My mother tells me that I used to write Bengali poems. I would show them to everyone in the house and then tear them up. Then I started learning english, there was no looking back. I love, love, love the language, with all its eccentricities and oddball inflections and pronunciations. I live and breathe in my mother tongue quite unconsciously, but English is the language I turn to, my second linguistic home.
4)This was an amusing story of what turned you to writing. The book deals with such a sensitive topic, what challenges you faced on a personal level while writing it? Do you connect with it personally?

I definitely connect with it personally. As a rule of thumb, I don’t think any creative work can come to life without the creator feeling a personal connection with it, especially when the work is not a team effort like making a film. The threat of rape has definitely affected the way I’ve grown up, the way I’ve been brought up, the ideas given to me, the thoughts and opinions presented to me. I feel every woman will connect with the story personally. As far as, challenges are concerned, it was my first novel, and I realised that it’s much more difficult to be honest in my expression than I’d earlier thought. It took me some time to articulate even to myself what I wanted to say, because a lot of what it was pure ‘Rage’. To channelise it into coherent language was definitely tough.

5) As this is your debut novel, I assume you have gone through a lot to bring the things inside your head on paper, so would you like to share your journey? Also, writing a rape story in itself is difficult.

The first half of the story came to me on it’s own. It was an act of pure mental venting. Two things were taking place simultaneously. Firstly, I was working on another story at that time, a story that wasn’t coming together. I was realising more and more that it was pointless to carry on with it. Secondly, there were many rape attempts in my city at that time. The situation made me very, very angry, and someone taunted me that instead of arguing about it I should write something about it. Soon, after this I finally gave up on the story I was working on, and a few blank days later the first half of the book popped into my head. Writing this part down was very easy since it was all there, but once I was done and the rush had passed by, I realised it wasn’t enough. I had to come up with the rest and edit what I’d already written in a frenzy. It was probably difficult because I didn’t plan. Stephen King said “The story is always there, the author just digs it out”. It took me some time to see the whole story.

6) Are you a full time author? What makes your book different, I mean why do you think people should read it?

No, I don’t think I can stand full-time to anything. I want to do different things all the time. Right now, even as I am planing my next book, I’m working towards monetising my paper quilling skills. I feel “The Rape Trial” articulates it’s point in a very raw, authentic manner and we all could do with a little bit of that unapologetic vibe. Feminism, at least in our country, seems to have lost it’s bite, and I want to sharpen up its teeth a bit. Those who have been confused about feminism, will find it’s clarity in this story. Those who find themselves at a loss for words when faced with arguments against feminism, will get their clapbacks.
7) How much time did you take to complete this book? No doubt this book is so amazing. Do you think rape is the most sinful crime that’s eating up the social ethics?
I took six years to write it. I believe women are fully capable of moving on and living full, happy lives even if they’ve been raped. No doubt healing from such an assault is a mammoth task that can take years, if not decades, but definitely current society turns it into an ordeal. Society has turned so much about the woman’s body into a mystery, more shameful than not, that we don’t even know the full physical ramifications of pregnancy and delivery, something that is celebrated by us, let alone the ramifications of rape. Also, there’s the psychological trauma that comes about, it’s sad, of course it’s difficult’, but we really need to understand the effects the assault has on a survivor’s psyche, much like we are understanding the effects of depression and anxiety, the way we study our nervous systems in school. We need to destigmatise the experience of being raped. Everyone right from the family members, neighbours and relatives, friends and colleagues they all treat the victim differently and that’s because rape is sexual crime, and we’re very morally antagonistic when it comes to women and sex. We villify the raped women because we hate the unmarried woman who had sex. That’s why marrying the survivor to her rapist is an accepted solution. That’s why a husband is not deemed to be capable of raping his wife.

8) Do you think your family and friends have a share in your success? Do you belong to a literary background?

I don’t belong to a literary background, but I do come from a family where reading was as natural as breathing. Creative hobbies were encouraged as a matter of course. I briefly learned how to play the piano, though in no way can I play even one note now. I grew up with my maternal family, in my grandparents’ house. The house is as large as colonial bungalow with a garden and a guest house and a library – plenty of space for me to run around and let my imagination loose, to spend hours just reading.

9) Your book is helpful and a lot of readers are appreciating it, how happy do you actually feel about it? When was the time you actually decided to write it and open up strongly and boldly?

Thank you! Yes, I’m very very grateful that the book is being appreciated, the response has been very, very positive. It takes several drafts to write a good work of fiction, and I think I got into my groove around the fourth draft. Until late 2018, I felt like I was writing in a fog. But something shifted around that time and I really, really got into being more accurate with my expression.
10) If you could suggest some ways or operations to eradicate rape, what they would be? What advice you would like to give a rape victim?

I don’t think rape can be eradicated as such, because it isn’t a disease. It’s a massive power play masquerading as a biological urge to excuse the rapists. It’s driven by a sense of entitlement thanks to the patriarchal nature of our society, and deep-seated insecurities. A crucial step at the immediate level is to hold boys accountable. Do away with the phrase ‘boys will be boys’, stop shrugging it off when they ogle girls on the streets. Question them, ask them why they are out, what do they do when they’re out of the house. A huge part of holding boys accountable is also letting girls off the hook for leading their lives. Stop questioning girls about what they are wearing or drinking or smoking or whether they have one boyfriend or ten, especially since none of these things are the cause of rape. Stop moral policing girls, because it only sends boys the message that they are free to do whatever they feel like. A crucial step at the core, more long-term level is to change the upbringing we give to boys. A basic, key factor is to stop telling them to ‘not cry like girls’. That comparison, I feel, is pretty much the first thing that teaches them directly and personally that they are better than girls. This is taught to them at such a young age that this belief becomes a part of their mindset, and is combined with a lot of other things, leads them to believe that they are entitled to do what they like to girls. Advice to rape survivors would be don’t throw away your clothes. There are websites out there, that provide, step-by-step information on how to save evidence from a sexual assault. The minute you throw away your clothes and take a bath, you’ve lost a big chunk of your evidence. Whether you fight or not is a very personal, individual decision based on varying circumstances, but read up on saving evidence because even if you feel like you don’t want to fight at the beginning, you might want to later. And reach out to helplines, to NGOs, to therapists. Because of the lack of study and knowledge, and because of ingrained patriarchal beliefs and attitudes, the people who love us won’t necessarily be able to care for us in the right way after the assault.
That’s all!
Thanks a lot, wishing you good luck! Thanks for sparing time from your busy schedule.

Interview with Nish Amarnath

1) Hello Ma’am, can you please introduce yourself? So that the audience would get you know you better.

I’m a journalist, author, singer-songwriter, romanticist, mystic, an occasional painter and an incorrigible nomad, all rolled into one! Having grown up in many cities and countries, I enjoy traveling to new worlds and absorbing different cultures, practices and perspectives. I play with words, data, imagery, video, multimedia and other forms of sensory stimuli to descend into the life-worlds of people and organizations and weave stories of varying textures and gradients around different strands of lived and imagined experiences. In fiction, I take this process one step further by accessorizing it with ‘maybes’ and ‘what-ifs.’ I believe that connecting with people at a deeper level through love and playing a small part in uplifting the collective consciousness of humanity are the primary purposes of one’s incarnation on this plane of existence. I see storytelling as a medium, which can facilitate and enrich that journey. After all, stories have existed since time immemorial – in literature, music, dance, art, cinema, theater and the news!

2) Congratulations on your recent thriller novel, “Victims For Sale.” The title sounds so dark and deep I would love to know the story behind it. When did your book actually get published?

Thank you. Victims For Sale was published in 2018. As a writer, I try to get into the shoes of my target readers. I thought the title ‘Victims For Sale’ would be compelling enough to spark interest and curiosity. This novel had two previous titles, Falling Bridges and Bread Breaker’s Society, before it became Victims For Sale. I suppose I am a bit dark as a writer. But I also like to give readers enough hope for the protagonist(s) and/or characters in question..

3) Do you remember what you wrote first? How did you develop your interest in writing?

It began in early childhood. I started writing when I was adrift in an oasis of trauma, tragedy and culture shock upon relocating to India from Europe. My first short story was published when I was eight. Long before that, I had won a Kindergarten contest when I told the story of Rabindranath Tagore’s ‘Malancha.’ When I got older, I drew inspiration from Enid Blyton (the Magic Faraway Tree series and the Wishing Chair series were the best!). I was nine when I took a stab at my own version of a fantasy novel about children in a magic land! The writing picked up after I had a near-death experience preceding my diagnosis of Type-1 Diabetes in 1996. Not long after, a middle school crush inspired a series of school-based novels that continued through most of high-school – mostly a combination of scenes, ramblings and reflections. The notebooks where I wrote all of that are tucked away somewhere in a loft in my childhood home. But all of those years of voracious writing – and reading – gave me practice.

4) I consider writing a thriller is so difficult, it’s a genre which demands a lot, what you have to say on this?

As human beings, many of us are often curious about matters of life and death as well as imagined worst-case scenarios and/or how far something can go on before there’s a breaking point. Exploring various permutations and combinations of each intricacy in that space in our psyche is what interests me about the thriller genre. I’m starting to write a corporate thriller novel, which will most likely be a sequel to Victims For Sale. My approach to writing thrillers has involved laying trauma as a foundation for characters to explore dark, disturbing, lurid and/or creepy thoughts, behaviors, actions and interpretations, and justify their subsequent choices with the trauma they experienced. Having minored in psychology, I like drawing upon my insights into various intelligence measures, personality theories and drivers of social and interpersonal dynamics. These insights have been very helpful in my writings. Today, readers are increasingly interested in thrillers inspired from real events or those that carry elements of realism.

5) I assume you have gone through a lot to bring the things inside your head on paper, so would you like to share your journey?

This novel grew out of my experiences as a journalist investigating into the sterilization of mentally challenged women for a newspaper story. The sources I spoke to included a widower who had considered a hysterectomy for his mentally challenged daughter and gynecologists who decried that practice. I wanted to channel my anger and empathy toward fiction. Victims For Sale was originally intended as a literary novel, but evolved into a commercial crime thriller upon elaborate research on the ground in London. Those research efforts involved sitting in on a murder trial at the Old Bailey (or Central Criminal Court of England and Wales) in London, shadowing with producers at the BBC and having face-to-face interviews, discussions and follow-ups with multiple subjects across the UK, including Scotland Yard officials, a gynecologist, a care home director and a barrister. The court experience at London’s Old Bailey helped me flesh out the character of my antagonist.

6) Are you a full time author?

I’m not a full-time author at the moment, but I do hope to eventually be one! I try to be disciplined about setting time aside for my fiction-writing. I have completed writing another novel, Twin Flame, which is a multi-geographic love saga with historical overtones and elements of magic realism. I am now seeking a new literary agent for that novel and future titles. It’s always a balancing act for me to do give enough time for my husband and family as well as my fiction-writing, my tours / promotions and a heavy-duty newsroom job that I’m currently holding,

7) What makes your book different, I mean why you think people should read it?

Victims For Sale endeavors to stand out in terms of how it addresses a social issue that is relatively understudied / underreported yet so rampant among South Asian communities worldwide – that of stripping mentally challenged women of their reproductive rights without their informed consent, especially in the context of their families’ desire to preserve their honor, avoid unwanted pregnancies and/or keep these women from romantic / sexual relationships. If you look at the bigger picture, the concepts of sex and abnormality continue to remain taboo in India. I think readers will be interested in this book as I have sought to create a strong character-driven story touching upon these issues in the form of a racy, fast-paced psychological thriller with elements of crime, suspense and romance. Finally, the instance of an Indian female student heading to the UK for higher studies and embarking on adventures there while embracing her vulnerability is one that many readers across India will likely relate to.

8) How much time did you take to complete this book? No doubt this book is so amazing. Which was the most difficult part of the book, writing wise and why?

Victims For Sale took me 12 years from conception to publication, but the actual writing part would have been about 5-6 years; it was written in the midst of two post-graduate degrees, multiple relocations between continents and full-time editorial or consulting jobs. Once I finished writing it, it took me nearly a year to get a literary agent, another two years to sign with a publisher and an additional 18 months after that for the book to release.
The hardest part for me to write was the ending. I struggled a bit to find just the perfect closing scene for it. I remember that earlier iterations of the draft had a climax that involved a helicopter ride followed by a fire breakout scene, which took up almost an entire chapter. My former editor at the literary agency, Subhojit Sanyal, was extremely helpful in making the climax the best it could be. I think writing the ending was challenging for me because it was quite violent, and I’m a person who feels very faint at the sight of blood, needles, knee-scrapes, injections, etc. I can’t even see a kid getting vaccinated on television and I once blacked out during a biology class when I was made to talk about red blood corpuscles. So, it was challenging to manufacture that violence in the ending – and then read and re-read those scenes and edit them numerous times.

9) Do you think your family and friends have shared in your success?

My family has been extremely supportive of my endeavors and has certainly been instrumental to my success. My husband, Swami is a sounding board for most of my career pursuits and has never given up on me. Right from my childhood, my parents have encouraged me to do whatever makes me happy and have actively assisted with many stages of my professional and personal development. Given the success of Victims For Sale in India and the fact that I’m based in New York, my Mom, Swati, who is a journalist and writer herself, is managing all my affairs as an author.

10) Do you belong to a literary background?

My Mom used to be a banker. However, she transitioned from banking to the media and became an editor and writer. She has written tens of thousands of articles over the past few decades as well as a book of short stories and a few novellas. My Dad works in finance, but he’s a creative and spiritual person. He often made up stories from figments of his imagination on-the-spur-of-the-moment and told me those stories to entertain me when I was a child. He did this until I was about nine or ten!

11) What should the reader expect while reading, “Victims For Sale”?

When I write, I like to encourage my readers to take ownership of their own creative and interpretative processes, so I’m not comfortable suggesting what readers should expect while reading Victims For Sale. As it is said, ‘the customer is the king.’ For me, readers are leaders. Readers are my lifeblood. So, my readers have as much right to dislike or detest one or more parts of the book as they do to fall in love with the story and its characters. Every reader is different too. What has greatly appealed to one reader might not appeal to another. So, the process of fiction-writing and reading is also highly subjective. I have received such tremendous support from bookclubs and the reading community that I have been encouraged to write more. Victims For Sale’s protagonist, Sandy has also captivated many hearts, so much so that it has been suggested to me that I make my new corporate thriller novel a sequel to Victims For Sale. I was ambivalent about that, but now, I’m writing this new book with Sandy in mind and it is a story that is set in New York and Washington, D.C.

12) Is the book entirely fictional or some parts are also inspired from real life events?

The book is fictional. But, as I said, it’s inspired from one of my field-reporting experiences as a journalist in the mid-2000s. Around that time, I was one of the youngest journalists in India, if not the youngest. I have projected parts of myself as well as friends, coworkers, sponsors, patrons and other people I’ve interacted with through my work onto the characters in the book. I feel my enriching experience of England during the years I lived there has made the novel more authentic too. For instance, I worked for some time a court interpreter in London while I was a student at the London School of Economics. This gig as an interpreter gave me an opportunity to visit Wormwood Scrubs Prison, which was dark, foreboding and scary. In my head, it was a vague sense of this image of that prison, accentuated by my own imagination, which guided my description of the Bread Breakers’ Community Residence in Victims For Sale.

13) How writing has changed you as a person?

I was a precocious kid who always challenged many ways of doing things and wondered about life, death and the afterlife. Writing was a perfect channel to explore those constructs and ideas. For me, storytelling is a way of guiding and expressing one’s wishful thinking and desire for escapism by bringing life and color to words through imagined yet realistic characters that one can birth, empower, destroy and rebuild through self-created situations whose outcomes one can maneuver as an author. So, writing is helping me evolve into a truer and more real version of myself. For me, writing is addictive, meditative and cathartic. It helps me make sense of this plane of existence and draw upon my external experiences to delve into the infinite world within me and share my perspectives with the world. Writing has become a part of me that makes me feel whole and complete.

14) Who are your favorite thriller writers?

Oh, I grew up on Sidney Sheldon, Mary Higgins Clark, John Grisham and Robin Cook! My more contemporary favorites are Gillian Flynn, Tana French and Nora Roberts. I read across genres and I’ve always enjoyed Charles Dickens and Thomas Hardy classics as well as Wilfred Owen’s war poems and Erich Segal novels. J.K Rowling is my biggest source of inspiration as an author. My latest read is American Dirt by Jeannin Cummins and I can say that Jeannin has now found a new fan!

15) Any advice you would like to give to the upcoming authors or your buddy authors?

Being a writer involves embracing every part of yourself, the good and the bad. It involves being fearless. Writing is hard. Every process it involves, ranging from character development to scene construction, is intense. Finding a literary agent and publisher is hard. So is marketing and selling a book. And all of this is an extremely slow process. None of it is for the faint-hearted. Neither is any of it for people who don’t feel they’re passionate enough about writing to die for it. I would advise authors to be patient, believe in themselves and their work and continue to write, write better and get better every time. I understand it might be easier said than done. But all of it helps you find your voice as an author. That isn’t an overnight process. A unique voice comes with rich experience and self-belief, so it’s also helpful to be open to different realms of every personal and vicarious experience life throws at you as all of it gives you substance and experience as a storyteller. I’d also advise aspiring authors to continue reading ardently across genres, subjects and categories.

Only from the heart can you touch the sky.

Thanks again, Nish for taking out time to have this amazing conversation with all of us. I hope you continue to inspire us more. Good luck.

Interview with Tina Sadhwani

1) Hello Ma’am, can you please introduce! yourself? So that the audience would get you know you better.

Hello, before pursuing writing, I have been a student/disciple of the yogic arts as well as a teacher. I did my Masters in psychology, and then I used to teach Indian psychology and Transpersonal psychology to Master’s students in Bangalore. But then I quit so that I could dedicate my full time to writing books.

2) Congratulations for your recent novel, “Sliver Of Shiva”, it’s the second installation in the series! The title sounds so dreamy and deep I would love know the story behind it?

Thank you, Rutuja. The story behind the books began when I was five years old. I remember, my family used to take me to visit an ancient Goddess temple, far away from the city. Every time I entered that place, I remember the feeling of ‘magic’. The walls of the inner sanctums were adorned with portraits of the ancient sages of India. Even now, I remember sitting there on the ground as a child, staring at those portraits in awe and fascination. I did not know who those sages were at that time, but I always felt they were supernatural. They were my first icons, my superheroes. And after that, every tree, every river, every stone, and every mountain in India that I encountered, began telling me the story of our magical civilization, of our seers, gods and goddesses. They all came alive in my vision.

3)That’s amazing. Do you remember what you wrote first? How did you develop your interest in writing?

I’ve actually never had an interest in writing per se, and so I still don’t consider myself a writer or an author, but more of a scribe, because my real interest and love has been for Indian philosophy and ancient vedic teachings. I have had a lifelong passion for this mystical knowledge which teaches us about our reality, and which answers existential questions like “Who we are?”, or “Where we came from?” And so writing became a medium for me to express the primary passion, to assimilate all this knowledge of our ancient culture.
Consequently, my first writings were about Indian philosophy. I wrote many articles and research papers on it. I even wrote a whole book on it, which I didn’t publish. But in the middle of all that, one day I accidently found myself describing scenes, backgrounds and dialogues between gods and sages. And it came so naturally that I discovered a more primal love and penchant for the fantasy style of expression.

4) I consider writing a book which has a blend of various genres like fantasy, vedic fiction and philosophy, it demands a lot, what you have to say on this?

Blending different genres in the book has actually not been very difficult for me, because this is something I learnt from our own culture right from my childhood. If you read our Amar Chitra Kathas, Vishnu Puran, Bhagavad Puran or even Ramayan and Mahabharat, you will find that they contain not just boundless stories within stories, but also a mix of different fields of knowledge – from cosmology, to metaphysics, to philosophy, spirituality, astrology, history, culture and so on. So blending different knowledge systems was something that I internalized from the ancient Indian way of thinking itself.

6) I agree on this. What makes your book different, I mean why you think people should read it?

Well I wouldn’t demand such a thing 🙂 … but if anyone has ever had an interest in our ancient civilization, or in our magical culture, then I would surely love to share these books with them. It would introduce them to the ancient teachings of India in a very simple yet entertaining way.

7) How much time did you took to complete this book? No doubt this book is so amazing. Which was the most difficult part of the book, writing wise and why?

The actual conceptualization of the book has gone on for years inside my mind, since I was a teen. All the while, when I was researching our ancient history, learning our philosophies, it was creating impressions within me and archives of different concepts. Then finally when the inspiration came alive few years ago, the writing manifested, wherein all this came together and I started connecting the dots of the story. But the actual writing of these two books has taken four years.
The most difficult part for me in writing has always been about detachment, about forgetting myself, my beliefs, my ideas about how I think the story should develop. Because whenever I think I know what I should write, that is when I get stuck. When I forget my plans and my ideas, then the story automatically presents itself.

8) Do you think your family and friends have share in your success? Do you belong to a literary background? I would love to know your favorite characters from the book along with their significance.

I do not have a formal literary background. But my grandfather introduced me to and taught me all the Indian philosophies ever since I was a teenager. And my mother taught me the spiritual and yogic arts of our ancient culture. Everything I know about our Sages, Gods and Goddesses, I learnt from her. And so she has played a key role in the foundation of these books.
With regards to the book’s characters, well, inside my mind, all the characters have been alive and interactive. And I do not feel that I created them. I feel that through my mind I accessed a subtle realm where they all exist; and historically they do. And, I merely found them and responded to them, and heard their story.
But amongst all of them, the one that stirred and delighted me the most was the dynamic yet peculiar sage, Astavakra. The air of mystery that surrounds him, his non-conformist behavior and his unpredictability has always fascinated me.

9)I enjoyed reading him so much. Well, what should the reader expect while reading, “Secrets Of the seers”? Is the book entirely fictional or some parts are also inspired from real life events?

For me the whole story has been non-fictional and real, happening in some hidden realm or altered state of consciousness. And many scenes in the story have also been inspired from real life events.
I suppose different people will find different elements in it, but I’m hoping it is as magical for the reader as it has been for me.

10) How writing has changed you as a person? Shall we expect the Book 3, if yes what it would consist of?

Writing has definitely changed me, it has become a sort of sadhana, a deeper communion with the source, through which I have learnt the values of detachment and surrender. It has taught me that in the essential sense I am not the writer or the doer of anything in life, but only the ‘instrument’, guided by the “Higher Power”. Yes, maybe soon because the seeds of it have been sown in Book 2. Book 1 was about Shakti, Book 2 was about Shiva, and I feel that Book 3 maybe about Brahma, but I don’t know yet, it all depends on the “Guiding Shakti”!

Thank you Rutuja, for your time, and for listening to my story.

Thanks a lot Tina, I feel there is a lot more to come and we all are eagerly waiting for your next book.

💖Every Frame Is A Painting💖

In this anthology, you will find genres of Comedy, Drama, Psychological, Social, War and Thriller. Some of the intriguing plots for short stories have a non-linear structure which keeps the plot moving and simultaneously to build up for the final moment of the story.
The psychological drama where the protagonist expresses the guilt or their negative thought about society with a sudden twist of macabre feel.
💖This is basically a beautiful collection of stories, poems and drama, the book started with plays, I was never was so much comfortable while reading plays but when I read this book my fear of reading play just vanished. The plays are not just easy, but they are quite interesting, this is kind of a perfect weekend read when you just want to relax and focus on the good side of your life, it just gives out so many positive vibes while reading it along with different kinds of emotions accompanied by different moods.

The best part for me obviously was short stories and I just loved the story, “Every frame is a painting”, it was so just insightful. It was a short read with many emotions juggling in my mind. It brought the nostalgic moments back and gave me feels that am actually watching plays live in a theater. I will definitely recommend it to everyone.
Rating: 4🌟

💮Think Design Live💮

This book attempts to help you understand yourself better —your motivations, your uniqueness, your needs and desires, your dream for yourself and the life you would love to live, and what is holding you back or blocking you from it. You will find transformational tools that help you design your own life, by breaking through your mental and emotional blocks and stuck states, enabling you to live a life of purpose and fulfillment.
💮I am a person who doesn’t enjoy motivational books because most of the time they aren’t practical but guess what, when I read this one, I was so so charged up. This is not a common motivational book, it’s different from the ones I have ever read. Filled with energized quotes the book talks about various life problems one has to deal and how one can actually solve them, the author teaches that nothing could be permanent and no problem is bigger. The best part is, the book is divided into chapters and yes you read any topic you want in any order because though they are relatable but aren’t much connected, so if you feel you need to read this topic today, you can without even thinking. I loved the writing, it was gripping and very simple. It’s a short yet impactful one. I will definitely recommend it to everyone.
Rating: 4.5🌟