Interactive Session with Zuko

Hello Lovelies,

Today we have Zuko whose Figmented Reality got released recently and I am going to interview him on my blog. He is a dyslexic and would enlighten us about it along with some sneak peak of his book.

Lets get started then:

Tell us about yourself?

I was born in Dombivli,Mumbai. I was there till was 9. Then I moved to Chennai after that. I was officially diagnosed as Dyslexic when I was  9-19. I finished my schooling in Chennai and after that did my under-graduation in Mechanical with Spl.in Energy from Vellore Institute of Technology-University. After that, I worked for a company in Kochi where I started writing and finished my book. Now I am in business with my father.

So you are dyslexic? Tell us more about it?

If you had seen Taare Zameen Par, I could call it my childhood biography. He is into art and I was into Maths back then, and ended up being a writer. I was diagnosed at very early age with Dyslexia as I used to write 7 asL or b as d and vice versa. In my mind what I was writing was d but in the book it was b. My mind was faster than my hands could write and so if I wanted to write “I AM NOT INTERESTED”, I end up writing “I AM INTERESTED” because in my mind, I had already written the word NOT but my hands couldn’t keep up. I am in Business now and I read twice every mail, before I send out and also ask my father to read once before I send it because in Business a word can mean a whole lot.

What all problems you faced while going through dyslexia?

The problems I faced were very little to the things my parents had go through. As Seinfield says “Kids are candy moronic brains” and that is true. The feeling was more of helpness rather anything. It wasn’t that I am choosing to write like Mirror. There were times in exam where I would solve the problem in the ROUGH COLOUMN and get the answer say 375 and then I would write ANSWER : 357 . It wasn’t something I was choosing to do but it was involuntary. There were teachers who would give me marks based on the rough coloumn work but there were some who wanted the right answer, and not the right concept.

You write under a pen name Zuko.Please tell us the story behind taking up this name?

I have become tired of explaining Zuko, because it was name I had since I was in first year of college in my Facebook profile. Zuko is a character in the series AVATAR:THE LAST AIRBENDER. In a way I could relate to him. He tries his best to convince his kingdom(mainly his father) that he could be the next king that he starts going into the wrong path and finally decides that the path he is going isn’t the same. I could relate myself to him because I wanted to prove to the world that I am not a useless person and I am still trying to prove and I don’t think I will never stop.

What was the thought process of writing this book?

The book was emotionally draining for me because I had to be in the shoes of the characters to start thinking like them. To think like an addict, to think like a killer etc. it wasn’t easy, it took some emotional burden but I felt I was more matured at Chapter 24 than I was in Chapter 1. I think it reflected on my writing too.

 

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Why you took up a psychological topic as your career background says you are a marketing person?

I don’t know where the fascination of psychology started. I am really fascinated by the human brain and its workings especially on the topic of addictions. I started watching documentaries on human mind, narcissism, serial killers and taken youtube classes on Psychology. It is still my fascination and I would like to a full fledged course in Psychology someday.

Who inspired you for writing this book?

Dr.Nikhil Chandwani and my jealousy towards him. He is junior to me, writer of 4 books, a PhD, has company & a private coal mine by the age of 23 and for him to say that I was a better writer than him, motivated me to start writing Figmented Reality. After the first chapter, I sent it to him and he said to me to complete the book. He used to message me daily evening asking me to write. Once I was in the flow, I took time out of my schedule to write for 1 hour or 1000 words. It was unnecessary for him to do that but he still did.

Siddharth’s character is the most complex one. Can you tell is it inspired from a real character or is it fictional?

I think, no character, be it in book(I have read very few) or a movie(I have seen a lot) is fully fictional. There is always a bit of someone in the characters portrayed. Characters are inspired by someone or the other.

What is your future plans regarding writing?

My passion has always been BUSINESS. I do take time out to write. I have written poems published in my blog www.zukosid.blogspot.com . I am already half way through my second book and quarter in my third, and two in my mind a concept.

Will you take up the same genre or something different? The readers want to know.

Second book is a crime novel, partly sequel of first. Third is on dreams and a pure fiction which I am writing with one of my friend, he is an author too. Third is on religion, which I need to be sensitive on, so I am thinking on how to make it as sensitive as possible which is in the concept stage. Fourth is law drama which I have just started thinking couple of days back. I hope it all becomes a book. It ain’t easy to convert concept to a 30,000 word book.

About the Author

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Siddharth Sabari is a blogger and writer from Chennai. Born in Mumbai and he spent half of his schooling days in Mumbai and half in Chennai. As a child, he was diagnosed with dyslexia and found it difficult to cope with language in his early years. Inspite of his difficulites, and with support of his mother, he passed out from Vellore Institute of Technology in 2013 as a Mechanical Engineer with specalization with Energy, and worked for a public limited company for two years before joining business with his father in Chennai. He was awarded the First Indian Dyslexic Writer by K L University Vijayawada. He can be contacted at zukosid@gmail.com or at https: //www.facebook.com/siddusab

Also Read the book Review: https://captivatingmode.wordpress.com/2016/08/05/book-review-of-figmented-reality/

 

Candid Talk with Sharmishtha Shenoy

Hello Readers,

Today I would like to invite Sharmishtha SHenoy, the author of Vikram Rana Investigates to my blog for an interview. She is an amazing lady. I had a word with her personally and late on I sent her the questions. She is a hard working woman and is really inspiring. Lets start with the session:

What was the thought process while writing this book?

I first made the outline chapter wise. Then started writing. I already had planned where to add the twists and turns. Of course after beta readings, editors reviews I further added/modified.

Why a particular region was focussed in your novel?

I am inspired here by Saatyaji Ray who had based his stories in different settings like Kolkata, Bangalore, Darjeeling etc.

I set my novel in Hyderabad, as I have lived in Hyderabad for past 20 years. aknow the city quite well.
When did you feel you should write about crime?

I love a good murder mystery. Right from my teenage years I was drawn to murder mystery stories. You might think that a loving mom like me would steer clear of murder. But you would be totally wrong. I have raised my child while reading about victims being stabbed, hung, bludgeoned, gassed and generally disposed of  in unpleasant ways. I just love mystery novels. But why does this genre appeal to me so much? Whether I am trying to solve a crime or attempting to take down the villain myself I love mysteries because of the high stakes tension and suspense.
 Have you tried any other genre than crime?

No – this is my debut novel. But I have written short stories which have been published in e-fiction magazine, Kolaj. I also won the first prize (cash prize of 50 euro) for a story competition by Typotic.com

About The Author and her Book

 

 

 
VIKRAM RANA INVESTIGATES
BY
SHARMISHTHA SHENOY
 
BLURB
 
Vikram Rana Murder Mysteries set in Hyderabad…… 
 
The Mysterious Affair of the Lohia Mansion 
 
When the glamourous socialite Richa Lohia is poisoned in her mansion in Jubilee Hills, her brother-in-law hires his mate, ex-cop Vikram Rana, to solve this murder. This is Vikram’s first case and he, along with Inspector Gopi Reddy, must solve the case even if they face opposition from the richest and powerful family in Hyderabad, who would stop at nothing to defend themselves. 
 
The Sonia Sinha Case 
 
When property developer Krishna Dhavala is stabbed to death in Necklace Road, everyone suspects Mrs. Dhavala to be the murderer of her alcoholic and abusive husband. But is that really the case? Vikram Rana and Inspector Reddy have a tough time uncovering the murderer and Vikram himself almost dies trying to solve this case. Experience the mystery along with the duo as they fight their way through the maze of lies, deceit and greed. 
 
Read an excerpt…

 

From “The Mysterious Affair of the Lohia Mansion”

“Kinshuk sprang out of bed and followed his uncle, Rohan along the passage to his mother Richa’s bedroom.

Rohan’s wife, Kiara joined them along with Richa’s personal maid Lakshmi and two more servants. Everyone seemed to be in a state of awestricken fear.

Kinshuk turned to his uncle, ‘What should we do? Father is not here.’

Never had Kinshuk’s weak nature been more apparent, Rohan thought in distaste. Rohan rattled the handle of his sister-in-law Richa’s door violently, but with no effect. The whole household was aroused by now. The most alarming sounds were audible from the interior of the locked bedroom. Clearly something must be done.”

What could have been going on the room? What triggered it?

Mrs Lohia was lying in her bed having seizures. In her agony she must have overturned the bedside table. As they entered, her limbs relaxed and she fell back on her pillow.

“I cannot see properly” she complained. Rohan and Kinshuk looked at each other helplessly. A strangled cry from the bed startled them. A fresh bout of pain had seized Richa. The seizures were terrible to behold. At that moment dr Agnihotri pushed his way into the room authoritatively. At the same instant, Richa cried “Rohan…. Rohan” then she fell back on the pillows motionless. 

Why was Richa killed? Why did she take Rohan’s name?

From the Sonia Sinha case:

“He reached the meeting place at 8 pm sharp. The headlights of his car revealed a woman in a burqa waiting by the roadside. She waved her hand. Krishna stopped the car and she got in. As she removed her veil, Krishna started in surprise. At the same time another man got into the back of his car. Confused, Krishna looked at the man. Then his eyes widened in fear.”

Whom did Krishna see? Who was the woman in burqa?

Grab your copy @
 
 
About the author
 
 
Sharmishtha Shenoy
 
Sharmishtha Shenoy loves writing murder mysteries, the kind of books that she herself likes to read. Her favorite authors are Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie. She also likes the work of Satyajit Ray – especially the Feluda Series. She was born in Calcutta and has done her post-graduation from University of Reading, Great Britain. She lives in Hyderabad.
 
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Also Read my review of her book : https://captivatingmode.wordpress.com/2016/08/22/book-review-of-vikram-rana-investigates/

Book Review of Vikram Rana Investigates

Vikram Investigates Tales of Murder and Detection in Hyderabad by Sharmishtha Shenoy is a collection of novellas or rather say, two cases that includes suspense, thriller, mystery, murder, illicit relationships and many such elements. This book highlights the secrets behind the high profile society. Let us go deep into the details:

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Cover- The cover of the book has dark blackish grey colour and we notice a man and a woman there. It is a perfect scene of investigation and it intrigues the readers by minor backgrounds of Delhi and Hyderabad’s monuments.

Title- The title perfectly matches the novellas as the story revovles around the ex- officer, Vikram Rana who sets up his private investigating agency.

Plot- The plots of the two novellas are identical as they focus on murder mysteries, though the scenarios are same. One is the murder of a celebrity while the other is the murder of a property developer. Both these plots are well knit and beautifully woven. the author has done a fantastic job in plot construction.

Characterisation- The author has artistically portrayed her characters. Vikram Rana, Inspector Reddy and Veena were present in both the novellas. Vikram Rana is an ex officer who is loyal towards his work. He is a foody and has a very sharp mind. He knows the knack of reading between the lines as he could see those things which others seem to ignore. The clues he found during Richa’s murder case and Sonia Sinha case were beyond other’s imagination.

Inspector Reddy is the cop who is a dear friend of Vikram Rana and helps him in every way possible. The duo’s friendship is strong and with each other’s support they solve the cases.

Style- Honestly speaking, I loved the frank style of writing used by the author. The dialogic delineation was simply superb. The narrative technique was good. Some of the sentences were witty which is the strength of the novel. The author throughout maintained the elements of suspense and mystery in both the novellas.

Coming to the flip side, The editing needed attention and some of the sub headings were bit long but all these negatives could not overshadow the positives of the book and I am sure suspense lovers would instantly fall for this book and as a first timer, Sharmishtha Shenoy has done a great job.

Availability- http://www.amazon.in/Vikram-Rana-Investigates-Deception-Hyderabad/dp/B01FG6WIKW?ie=UTF8&qid=&ref_=tmm_pap_swatch_0&sr=

https://www.amazon.com/Vikram-Rana-Investigates/dp/1533376204/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1471890252&sr=8-2&keywords=Vikram+Rana+Investigates#customerReviews

About the Author

Sharmishthashenoy

Sharmishtha Shenoy loves writing murder mysteries, the kind of books that she herself likes to read. Her favorite authors are Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie. She also likes the work of Satyajit Ray – especially the Feluda Series. She was born in Calcutta and has done her post-graduation from University of Reading, Great Britain. She lives in Hyderabad.