Conversation with Sapan Saxena

Hello Lovelies,

Today we have Sapan Saxena, author of UNNS- The Captivation. He is an amazing person to interact with. This book is his second novel, first one being Finders, Keepers. Apart from this, he is a great cook and a die hard fan of Shahrukh Khan.

Sur:Tell us something more beside your bio mentioned on social sites.

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Sapan: That I am a great singer when I am in my bathroom? OK, jokes apart, I am a good dancer as well and have won many prizes in my college. In fact, I did a little jig on SRK’s Jabra Fan and SRK himself shared it on Twitter from his official account. Also I like cooking a lot, and Hyderabadi Biryani is my specialty. My wife has no complaints except that the kitchen is a mess afterwards.
Sur: When did you realise that you have thoughts of being a writer, even though you are a software engineer?

Sapan: So, that’s a great question, in fact. My father accidently gave me the idea of my first book. I thought the idea was interesting enough to be converted into a book. But still, the social stigma was very much there. My wife was very helpful in pulling me out of the social stigma. Every time I would doubt, she would just say, you can write such complex algorithms, why cant you write a book.

Sur: What inspired you to write this book?

Sapan: To be honest, UNNS was supposed to be my last book. Well, if not last, at least after 4-5 books as I believed I was not ready to handle romance. I could write another mystery, a thriller like my first book. But then, I moved to Nashua during winters and it was snow all around. Somehow I had imagined the last part of my book in hut blocked by snow. This pumped me up and I wrote UNNS.

Sur: I really loved the names, Atharva and Meher Qasim. Are these characters fictional or you have met someone whom you wanted to write about?
Sapan: I usually like to keep the names of my characters inspire by people I know, or my friends. But Atharva and Meher Qasim just clicked. There are other characters like Shruti, Shobhit, Dev, Sasha and I know people with these names.
Sur: This book has a potential of being converted into a movie under crime or detective thriller. So, do you have any plans for that?

Sapan: Yeah, only if SRK agrees to play the lead. Anyways, just kidding. I am trying to take one step at a time. So, right now, too focused on marketing of the book, but anything which comes would be a decent surprise.

Sur:How was your experience with the publishing industry?

Sapan:I have been fortunate to meet some really nice and hardworking people here. The experience overall has been a positive. To break into a new industry leaving behind my comfort zone was tough, but the people here are creative and very enthusiastic. But like any other industry, this has some black sheep as well. Just be aware of them and you are fine.

Sur:Which genre makes you more comfortable?

Sapan:Well if you ask me, I am most comfortable in thriller/mystery/suspense genre. If I add a pinch of mythology to that, I am back into my comfort zone. That said, I have tried to shape up UNNS like a thriller/mystery in spite of it being a romance based on Sufi-styles seven stages of love.

Sur:Is there any genre which you master your skills in it?

Sapan:Mythology and Indian history is something I can easily claim I master my skills in them. I am not generally a fan of mythological or historical fiction, but I like touching those topics in any forum or my literary work. In fact, even in UNNS, you will quite notice how history tidbits keep popping their heads time and again.

Sur:What are your thoughts about the detective stories. Is there any author that inspired you?

Sapan:Well, a friend of mine, Dev Ashish once quoted, “Simplify. Then amplify.” For a good detective story, as per me, there should be a very simple and basic emotion, be it love, revenge, anger, greed, and then it needs to have layers of complexities, which should be revealed to the reader one by one. The shock value is always recommended and the pace should match up with mystery quotient of the book. I am a big fan of Sherlock Holmes. How he would use the simplest of idea and knowledge to analyze hints which would be too normal or obvious to an otherwise semi-attentive eye.

Sur:What matters for a book to be a bestseller? Good Marketing or a Good writing?

Sapan:So my viewpoint may not necessarily echo with others, but having a stable job has its own perks. I can afford to take risks and not bow down to the whims of the market. For that reason, writing is always important. I mean you can invest in a good marketing anyways. Good writing always guarantees that your book has the potential to reach there.

Sur:Why you chose an Indian publisher beside of being living in a foreign land?

Sapan:Well firstly the context and the theme of the book was something I found more relatable to India. And then, I already had worked with some people from the industry, so was on a familiar territory. Fortunately, Inspire India came along and decided to publish it. So, it all fell into the right slots thankfully.

Sur:Your choice and profession are totally opposite. How you manage both the things side by side?

Sapan:Well a lot of people ask that question.
See, my theory is “lack of time is just a state of mind”. I mean you can complain, but if you really want to do something, you will find out time.
I get a lot of support from my wife. She manages a lot on her own while I am busy writing.
Software is a very demanding industry, but if there is work, that takes priority over everything else. If the load is lesser, time to write!

Sur:How far your relations helped you in your growth?

Sapan:The recent trailer of Injustce 2 has a line. “Nobody wins it all by themselves. Not even Batman.” So, that’s true. Friends and family are your basic support system. They have always helped, supported in anyway they can in my journey as an author till now. For that reason, I have a big big list of acknowledgements in my books.

Sur:Please tell us in brief about UNNS-The Captivation.

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Sapan:So, UNNS is a romantic espionage thriller. UNNS is largely inspired by the Sufi themed 7 stages of love. UNNS, in fact of the 2nd stage of love. It’s the story of Atharva Rathod and Meher Qasim who fall in love when they are in school, and separate and then meet again. But this time, Atharva is carrying a secret. Will their secret consume their love, or destiny has planned a surprise for them? Contrary to what a lot of people believed and have asked me, its not a Hindu-Muslim love story, per se.

Sur:Your message for the budding writers.

Sapan:Invest your time in writing great stories. Blog, and build an audience early in the day. Network and try to make a positive use of social media. Writing a book is a tough job, if you are thinking about it, just do it. If you have done it, pat yourself and work on a marketing plan. Always remember, everyone remembers a good story, so write it for them.

You can also read the review of the book here.

 

 

Book Review of 4 am Conversations

4 Am Conversations by Ayushee Ghoshal is a collection of poems and nanotales which mesmerises your mind. Honestly speaking, I am new to this poetry reviews. But when I started reading this book, I couldnt stop myself from drowning in the thoughts poured by the author. She is full of myraid thoughts. I completed this book in 20 minutes.

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The cover is black in colour and gives us the vibes of night time. It surely attracts the readers.

The title of the book is intriguing and its sub title surely brings chills to your spines. There is an essence of horror element in it but the insides of the book gives us a complete surprise.

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From the Ferris Wheel of Love and anticipation to the Carousel of Loss and despair.
 From the darkness of delusion to the bright rays of self discovery.
 Four AM Conversations with the ghosts of old lovers is a handpicked selection of poetry written for the love that got away and also for you.
 You, who forgot to love the lover you’re meant to love all your life. Yourself.
The poems are divided into parts which have different essence and flavours of emotions in it:
A Fistful Of Love
A World Of Almosts
A Silent Madness
An Irreparable Memoir
Losing A Muse
4 AM Conversations With The Ghost Of Old Lovers
A Brief Affair With Time
A Game Of Silence
What The Poets Never Told You
These categories have different set of poems that take away our hearts. The words poured in each poem are so powerful that you can feel the emotions of broken heart, happiness, seasons, lost friend and many more.
Some of the poems are short, while some are long and also have collection of nanotales. The depiction is simple yet lucid. Further, some of the poems are in verse form while some are expressed in rythmical representation. Not only this, you can feel the characters in the poems hovering in your head. I could feel a lost friend.. I even shed fresh tears for the loss of love. The dedications have been beautiful. The author has done full justice to this poetry book by adding sense of horror and eeriness in it.
Grab your copies from : Amazon , PustakMandi

Book Review of Gradients

Gradients by Swatii Chandak is a collection of poems based on various themes and concepts along with pictorial depiction which makes it outstanding. There are various shades of life which can be seen in this book.

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The cover of the book has various textures and in between those colours schemes one can notice some figmented figures. Honestly, it gives us a sense of absurdity. This absurd term reminds us of Samuel Beckett’s play Waiting for Godot.

The title seems to be perfectly chosen for this book only as it delineates correct sense of emotions. It is a one word for all the shades shown in the poems.

These poems delve, intensively, into almost every emotion. Swatii has intricately engaged her poems with women’s perception and meticulously serves some, amongst others, best nuances of ‘Love,’ Intensities of an ‘Identity,’ the obsession towards a ‘Passion,’ a strong ‘Companion’ all ingredients in a single platter.

The collection of poems exhales varied titles for a poetry lover in a manner of feast & its theme unfolds the bonding of breathing with emotions in life. An enigmatic yet energetic theme.

The poems are divided into four parts namely, Breathing, All in Between, Exhalation, Poetic Saga. These parts are further includes different types of poem which perfectly matches the headings. The best part is, the next title of the poem is related to the previous poem. There is inter relation, connectivity and a beautiful ambiance that one can feel while reading these poems. Furthermore, the headings just look as if we are living our life. We breathe, inhale, exhale and then their are some of the situations that happens in our lives. Its just sound blissful. There is a sense of passion, companionship, confession, energetic themes in it.

There is no such rhyme scheme pattern. Some poems are rythmic while some are in verse form and at times I could feel a sense of drama in it. Some of the poems are shortwhile some are long. The other special part that caught my attention is the sketches and pictorial representation which makes the poems magnanimous. The choice of words makes it look so unqiue.The sense of alacrity could be seen. It takes us to a peaceful mode. I am glad that I picked up this book.

Favourite Quote- “The cheat in emotions, Disrupting lives and actions! Passing through trivially, while growing through the fractions”

Grab your copies from – http://www.amazon.in/dp/9384315516/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1483712529&sr=1-1&keywords=gradients+by+swatii+chandak

https://www.pustakmandi.com/Gradients-Swatii-Chandak?search=Swatii%20Chandak

Book Review of Wild Card

Wild Card by Asfiya Rahman is an inspirational story. This book has a new set of emotions and I am sure sports lovers especially Tennis ones would just end up loving this. I Like Tennis so I just couldn’t control myself of reading this book.

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The cover is beautiful and mesmerising. It is green coloured and soothes your mind. It reminds you of greenary and then a tennis racket is there which clears everything.

The title is straight to the point and the whole story revolves around it. It even reminds us of those wild card entries that we see in reality shows and here something like this happens. The title reveals major part of the story but this we realise once we start reading the book.

The plot of the novel is crisp and it surely catches our attention. We are hooked till the end. The story revolves around a tennis player, Karan Mehrotra who leaves his sports career for the sake of his daughter, Roshni. He us madly in love with Riya but will her absence make him come out of the trauma? Or will Roshni’s love bring him back to the love of his life, Tennis? Wild Card is story of a husband, a father who wants to prove himself, who is not fighting for himself but for his daughter.

Karan Mehrotra is a famous tennis player who is madly in love with his wife Riya and Tennis. Life takes a different turn when Riya dies leaving their newly born baby, Roshni who can’t walk on her own. He is a caring father as well as a husband but this tragedy of his life changes him forever.

Roshni is the sweetest daughter one can ever ask for. The way the author has delineated her character is mind blowing. It is really difficult to comprehend the psychology of a child. SHe loves her father and with the zeal she wants to know more about her dad is impeccable. SHe becomes the pillar of her father’s life.

The style of writing is poignant and lucid. The use of flashbacks and the present makes it amazing. The use of stream of consciousness sometimes leave the reader awestruck. This book is about a beautiful relationship between a father and a daughter. The tennis part is inspirational and this book deserves tobe converted into a movie.

Grab your copies from: http://www.amazon.in/Wild-Card-Asfiya-Rahman/dp/9384315427

https://www.pustakmandi.com/Wild-Card-Asfiya-Rahman

 

 

A Heartwarming Session with Sameer Kumar

Hello lovelies,

It is been a while since I updated any interview. So, here it is.. Today I am interviewing Sameer Kumar, the author of The Origin of Martin Krooger. Lets get connected :

When did writing entered your life?

It entered in class 5 when I wrote a small story and showed it to a friend. She said its very bad.That increased my determination to write something worthwhile.

What all struggles you faced while writing The Origin of Martin Krooger?

I was poor at english so I never had faith on my work. Additionally ,  I have never read a novel so did not know what a novel demands. Study was the first priority at home so got very less time to write. People laughed that I thought of becoming an engineer but became a writer. Apparently , Job matters more than these in the social world.

From where you got the idea of Martin Krooger?

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When I used to study in school ,  pogo channel aired children movies . Also cartoon network aired many movies. We as children were given to watch tv only while we ate. So after the food,  I was left to imagine the later phase of cartoon. Then I thought why not to write one and martin Krooger took birth.

It is not a cake walk to find a publisher? How you landed up with Half Baked Beans?

Honestly , I did not expect any publisher liking my work because of the genre. Its fantasy. There are very fewFantasy publishers in India. I sent my piece to all publishers but with failure. Then through Facebook, I came across Their Ad and the rest is history.

How was your experience with Half Baked Beans? What have you learnt from them?

The world is cruel for first time authors. Hbb made my first step very smooth and gave me chance to learn all that was Needed to get into the market.

Is there any genre which you haven’t tried, but want to? Why you want to try that genre?

This novel is a culmination of romance , thrill,  SciFi and fantasy. I would love to write a detective piece because I feel deeply involved in a good detective story.

How did your audience took your book?

So far I am honoured with the response. I still remember my first reviewer was Sarath Babu. I was so scared that day because it was the first time someone was critically examining my piece. When he gave me a 5 star I was like , did he give a 5 star to me. Literally, I celebrated that day with chicken dun biryani and a coke.

Where do you see yourself in next 5 years?

I won’t lie but surely a bench mark maker. I have tried a western fantasy in india. I know it will rock. If 5 years given to me well I will have a name which debutant authors will look up to.

How far you agree to this that role models are important in life? Do you have any role model?

I agree and disagree.  I have no role model in writing. I have never read any piece. Most of my works are like movies because I have watched many . My role models are my life,  my father,  mother, my love, and M. S. DHONI.

Any special message for the readers?

My message is simple and clear. 90%of people will laugh at you. They have been sent on earth to laugh at others and they are doing their job with utmost respect. You have been sent o earth to live ur dreams. Are you following ur dream with Utmost respect ?

Author’s Bio

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My name is Sameer Kumar. I am manager at Tata Steel from 8 am to 6 pm and then I am an author. I have done Mechanical engineering from Bit Sindri. I did my schooling at The Pentecostal Assembly School. My hobbies are to watch movies,  eat and make new friends. My favorite films are The wolf of wall street and YES man. These movies Have really shaped my life. I love to appreciate live. Its just one but we don’t understand it.My aim to be famous so that when I walk on street people ask me for selfies. Well,  I know that’s premature for a writer But it’s the child inside me that wants this and I want to keep him alive. I love spending time with my family because That’s a God gift.Last but not the least I love living.

P.S – Review of The Origin of Martin Krooger- https://captivatingmode.wordpress.com/2017/02/08/book-review-of-the-origin-of-martin-krooger/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review of The Soul Charmer

The Soul Charmer by Richa Saxena is a collection of poems that keeps you glued till the end. The book is in ebook format. The book is easy to read as an average reader can finish it in 40 minutes while a person like me finished it in 15 mins. The book surely reminds you of many poets and you can’t stop admiring the poet.

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The cover of the book is dark and the silent girl tells us many unheard stories. It serves the purpose fully, the way she wants us to know.

The title is marvalous as The Soul Charmer seems as if something wants to soothe our soul. The book surely soothe us and we are transported in the world of a trance.

Remember the first time you uttered those three important words expressing your love or the first time when you said ‘goodbye’ to your loved one. The first time, you got a jolt in your heart or the first time you held a life in your arms.

Richa Saxena has tried to put forth a compilation of thirty-five surreal poems that would recreate that magic and unleash your deepest thoughts.

Seasons must have passed by, but that feeling still remains in the heart.

Her poems would revive those very thoughts, the ones said and the ones that remained unsaid .

The poems are divided into segments which only a deep reader can understand. Some poems are related to father-daughter relationship,some are sensual, some are on nature. Hence, through these sections I am reminded of the Nature lover, Wordsworth, I am reminded of Sylvia Plath’s Daddy and John Donne’s sensual poems like Flea, The Sunne Rising ; also some of the poetic technicalities of Robert Browning.

Dramatic Monologue

There are some of the emotional poems that reminds me of Robert Browning’s dramatic monologue. It is a device in which the poet talks to himself. Poems like The Painful memories, Beyond those lofty walls, The Silent Tormentor

The characters in the poems are nature, father,mother,lover and the poet herself. She is seen as a daughter, lover, nature admirer in these poems.

The style of writing is simple, clear and lucid. The poems are 35 in number.There are questions, irregular verses,sensory devices. The use of figurative language is apt. Rhyme patterns are unnoticeable yet the essence of the poem remains till the end.

My favourite poems : Seasons of love; The Spellof your Love; Soulmates; The first touch;Daddy’s little princess; Shall this love last?

Favourite stanza :

As I leaf over,

The chapters of my life,

In a backward fashion,

I smile now,

Grab your copies from: https://www.amazon.in/Soul-Charmer-Richa-Saxena-ebook/dp/B01N7KWL16?ie=UTF8&camp=3626&creative=24790&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=x_gr_w_bb&tag=x_gr_w_bb_in-21

 

 

 

Pre release Review of The Alphabet Killer

The Alphabet Killer by Prachi Sharma is a psychological crime thriller. This book can be classified under some more genres like feminist piece of writing, social novel, crime thriller, detective novel.The book is a page turner and it binds you till the end. One can fall in the love with the way the author has played with the minds of the readers.

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The cover is simple and I feel the author focussed more in telling the story but the people who judge the cover might not love it. Still, I wanted to read the book and I didn’t judge the cover at all.

The Alphabet Killer is the title which surely grabs our attention. A feeling of curiosity arises in our minds as we  want to know whether its some serial killer series or something else.

The city of Mumbai goes past, cold, impersonal, self-absorbed. A killer waits in the shadows, anticipating his prey. Mia Santos is a successful author, feminist and Chief Editor of the Mumbai chapter an international feminist magazine. Someone is raping and killing the women she works with, one by one, and carving out the initials A.B onto their foreheads. The media gives him the moniker ‘The Alphabet Killer’ Mia’s getting taunted and tormented by someone who claims to be the killer. She’s the only one who knows what the initials mean, and the killer’s end game. The same is suspected by CID Inspector Damien De Silva, who’s investigating the killings. Even as he tries to work with Mia, he starts getting attached to her. What is that horrible past which Mia’s worked so hard to bury? Why is the killer so adamant to unravel this past? Will Mia reciprocate Damien’s feelings? Will they be able to work together and find the killer before he executes his horrifying climax?

The plot construction is the strongest section I came across and it kept me glued till the end. The author has concocted her story around Mia Santos, who happens to be a renowned author, feminist and Chief Editor of an International Feminist Magazine. Life takes a turn when her collegues are murdered. There comes CID Inspector Damien De Silva who investigates the case. This is a story of past which was buried but came into being through mysterious murders. Along with this we get to see a love hate relationship between Mia and Damien De Silva.

The characters are simply amazing. Mia and Damien are my all time favourites. Mia is beautiful and a hard core feminist who knows how to handle the things even in worst scenarios. She doesn’t lose her patience easily and is a stable person. But the situations that happen infront of her can make anyone unstable and heart broken.

Damien De Silva is a true officer who could go to any extend to solve the case. He is handsome, intelligent, witty and smart at the same time. He feels attracted towards Mia and tries hard to control his attraction towards her but fails to do so.

The writing style is the second best element in the book. The author uses present as well as flashbacks in the end book. The book is written from Mia and Damien’s point of view. The narrative style is exceptional while the descriptions and criminological terms used adds flavour to it. We also come across philosophical elements and stream of consciousness techniques. One can instantly fall in the love with story. So, I would suggest the thriller lovers to grab this book if you want more of drama, suspense and mystery.

Pre order your copies from : http://www.amazon.in/Alphabet-Killer-Prachi-Sharma/dp/9384315532

 

 

Book Review of The Fence

The Fence is the collection of short stories by different writers. These stories were written in a workshop which was organised by Half Baked Beans. Half Baked Beans only sent me the copy in exchange of an honest review. Lets get into the details:

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Cover- The cover of the book is simple yet amazing which includes a dark background followed by some people walking together.

Title- The title is unique and its an anthology so we have different themes related to it.

The stories:

Illustrado’s Eulogy-  The story  moves in a flow and the way the author has expressed the segments is impeccable. The characters were complimenting each other. The story has epistolary traits.

The Other Woman- This story highlights the illicit relationships and the guilt that overpowers it. It justifies that saying,” If you throw thorns for someone else, you will also feel the pain” (This one is my saying..lol)

The Smartphone- This story was unique and had a new perpective to life. The events of the story moved me and at some point I felt what the mother did was right. She went through a tabula rasa state where she couldn’t digest that his own son could call her a slut. The total drama package with an unexpected reaction. I would say, the materialistic thing ruined the unconditional love.

Resignation to Heaven- The title is unique and the story focus on the topic of Euthanasia. This topic is of soul discussion these days. The hypnotising sessions in the story highlights the stream of consciousness technique. This story is well thought and beautifully written.

LOve is Everything- The story revolves around the vicious circle of life where a rude girl falls for a kind hearted guy. The story is cute and quite predictable.

Runaway- The story that touched my heart and sounded realistic.Ouch! I could feel the story. The way the author expressed the psychology of a guy who realised that he ended up kissing the girl lying next to be. The state of shock could be felt but thats what actually happens to men. Either they face or they run. Just a perfect delineation of a sitaution related story.

Cashmere, I need Cashmere- A fantastic story after Runaway that grabbed my attention. A perfectly mentioned incidents with high voltage of emotions and the way. The characters, daughters,old man and his wife sounded realistic and I could relate the story to the most loved drama, King Lear by William Shakespeare.

What she wanted- The best story so far and the way the author kept the pace is remarkable. The suspense element was beyond perfection. The character of the protagonist, Sujata is beautifully delineated.

Style- The stories were written in a simple, lucid and condensed form. The expressions, lines were simply amazing. There were some errors in the book which can be corrected easily. The typsetting and the quality of pages needed attention. Further, I couldn’t relate myself to the title ‘The Fence’, maybe it was a random title.

Availability- http://www.amazon.in/Fence-Various-Authors/dp/9384315389/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1474704499&sr=1-1&keywords=Fence