Book Review of Curtain Call

Curtain Call is an anthology of short stories which is compiled and edited by Rafaa Dalvi and published Half Baked Beans. This book , as the title suggest is far different from our imaginations. The writers have poured their souls in the stories and have come out beautifully.

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The cover of the book is fantastic and the title is antipole to the type of stories which are woven, but in a literal way the writers show their best role in form of stories which might justify the title.

This book can make you smile, laugh, cry, inspire and make you fight with your inner self. The authors have added their soulin it. Some of them came out to be marvalleous and flawless which left me spellbound.

Crimson Affair takes you back to those Akbar Birbal times whose tales were the part of our growth. This story highlights the intellectual and sharp mind of Birbal who unfolds a murder mystery in an artistic way.

His Leela elucidates the saga of a frustrated man who finds a true confidante in a bitch named Leela. The story is written in two narratives and one of it is a monologue.

Office Visit is a horror fiction where a girl is not the one whom she claims to be. The whole story is followed by series of events that includes suspense and mystery.

My Fair Husband is a romcom and a unique story where we find a strong connection between the couple even after the husband dies. The idea of the author is to show death in a lighter way.

Mahua is an erotic tale with suspense and horror as its prime features. It gives us chills through our spines and at the same time makes us laugh.

Reminiscence is an inspiring story that gives you the true meaning of life and lifts your mood up.

The Sitarist of Palem is a horror story that has elements of suspense, mystery and has all the features of a Gothic Fiction.

F.L.A.M.E.S is a teen fiction where we find lovers and has elements of romance and comedy in it. This story highlights the innocence of love with a blend of complexity.

There are 20 stories in total but these are my personal favourites. There are certain typos and I feel these can be easily avoided.

You can grab your copies from these sites :

https://www.pustakmandi.com/curtain-call-various-authors-fiction-anthology?search=Curtain%20Call

http://www.amazon.in/gp/aw/d/9384315370/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1474530062&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SX118_SY170_FMwebp_QL65&keywords=curtain+call

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31551147-curtain-call

 

 

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

Happy 126th birthday to Agatha Christie

Hello lovelies,

Today on the eve of Agatha Christie’s 126th birthday I would like to review her book Murder at the Orient Express which I read recently. Guys, to be honest, I didn’t knew about her until I came across Kavipriya Moorthy’s status about her. She had expressed that Agatha Christie is her favourite and has mentioned about her in her blog. I actually got fascinated by this and I bought her book from amazon prime at a cheaper price. When I started reading her book, I was stunned to read about the sequences, twists and turns and the way she wrote about the things is impeccable. On further research, I realised she written so many novels and most of them are crime thrillers. She has mastered this art of writing and I am keen to read all of her works. She may not be alive today but her works have made her immortal and her character POirot is my all time favourite. Lets get into the details:

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Cover- The cover of the book is fantatsic where it has a white creamish background and a train with stains of red blood on it. This is a perfect background for a crime thriller.

Title- The title gives us the place of the murder i.e. The Orient Express. It is beyonf perfect.

Blurb- Agatha Christie has long been recognized as the master of detective novels. And her novel, ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ is one of her masterpiece. The setting in the snow covered Yugoslavia provides an ideal ambience for this detective novel to unfold. It poses several moral questions related to what is justice and how can morals justify an action. For the addicts of mystery and detective novels, Agatha Christie provides an exercise to your instinct and guessing capacity. The settings of the novel are inspired by Christie’s real life experience of travelling in the Orient Express and it lends authenticity to the novel. The readers can now enliven the whole situation and experience the surroundings that are recreated through words.

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie is a murder mystery that has a Belgian detective Hercule Poirot as the protagonist. It traces the story of the mysterious murder of a fellow companion of Hercule in the compartment of Orient Express on its way to London. It is interesting to find out who is involved behind the murder, what was the motive and if the mystery finally resolves at the end or leaves several questions unanswered. The moral dilemma and internal crisis that Hercule Poirot faces as he is on his duty of solving the murder mystery gives the story a compelling take. As Hercule Poirot is engaged into unravelling the mystery and unbridling the several connections of the passengers with the murder, the sense of anticipation is what keeps the readers hooked until the last page.

Plot- The plot is intriguing and keeps us hooked till the end. This story is about a case where a person name Casetti is murdered and the passengers are the suspect. Hercule Poirot is the protagonist who struggles to solve the case.

Allegory- To some extend I feel it is an allegory. According to M.H. Abrahams, An allegory is a story within a story. Here the murder leads to the old story which remained hidden under the pressure of influential people. It was about a family named Armstrong whose family members disappeared after the death of a child who was earlier kidnapped and later on murdered. This gave way to the revenge motive.

Theme- The whole story revolves around murder and the way the leads are used to crack the case. Further, the theme of revenge is seen when Poirot realises that some of the passengers are from Armstrong Family. These things give way to the further progression of the story.

Characterisation- The author has done full justice to the characters. There are multiple characters and all are given their share of space. I would like to throw light on Poirot’s character. He is the protagonist of the story and an imaginary character. He has a sharp mind and the way he read between the lines is marvelous. Further, he is a keen observer.Nothing is hidden from his eyes. His investigation adds soul to the novel.

Style- The author has beautifully written this book using fantastic sentences. There are some sentences which are simple, compound and complex. The descriptions are crisp and gives us a clear image of the scenes. Once can see them in real if thought about. Furthermore, the use of french and Italian words gave flavout to the book but at times the readers fail to understand these words and might go in the drawback. The book is divided into three sections and the way case is solved in parts is remarkable.

Availability- http://www.amazon.in/Agatha-Christie-Murder-Orient-Express/dp/000728263X

About the Author

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Agatha Christie was one of the most well-known novelist, playwright and short story writers of all time. She is thought to have revolutionized the mystery genre. Her forte had been the genre of crime fiction, detective, murder mystery and thriller. Still, she had penned 6 romantic novels as well under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott. Her carefully crafted plots and the twist and turn in the plot keep the reader engaged from first page till the last. She is often referred to as Queen of Crime. The Last séance, The Witness for prosecution, Murder for Christmas and Then There Were None are some of her best novel . She is has been called the highest selling author of all time. She was awarded the title of Dame in 1971 for her significant contribution in the field of literature.

Book Review of Vizag Blue

Vizag Blue- A Graphic Novella by Anil CS Rao is a unique book with picaresque representation. This book is far different from other books and has a beautiful images in it. Lets read between the lines:

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Cover- The cover of the book is simple and could have been better.But that is the choice of the author. He wanted to make it look simple maybe.

Title- The title is different and somewhere or the other it is related to the story of the novella.

Blurb- Prem drove Kalpana back to the beach house…… The next morning… She was awoken by the bright Sun…without her clothes…. Kalpana… Thank God we found you! Anil and I were searching all night for you… We were about to notify the local authorities shortly…. What happened??? And where are your clothes??? Kalpana maintained her silence… She honestly did not have any answer’s to nurse Usha’s questions in any case….

PLot- The plot is different and readers are excited to know more about it. This is a story of a depressed girl who has stopped speaking and her name is Kalpana. She seems lost in her own life. When she comes across the nursse who takes her to a new place where she hallucinates about a guy or rather that is real which is a mystery.

Characterisation- There are not many characters in the book. Kalpana is the protagonist who is a depressed soul and has stopped speaking. She hallucinates about things and it affects the readers psychologically and till the end it remains a mystery. The nurse seems to be really supporting and she does everything to make Kalpana come out of her grief. She even takes her to the beach and their the girl’s behaviour begins to change.

Style- The language is simple and lucid. Characterisation and narration could have been better. The concept is different though as it highlights a story in form of pictures. We can’t call it a novella. It is right to call it a long story. The book sounds unedited and it requires a lot of hard work.

Availability- http://www.amazon.in/Vizag-Blue-Graphic-Anil-Rao/dp/8182532132?ie=UTF8&qid=&ref_=tmm_pap_swatch_0&sr=

ABout the Author

Anil CS Rao is an artist-writer based in Eluru in Andhra Pradesh India. His artwork has been exhibited in America, Europe and in India. This is the the first in a series of graphic novels set in India. He has also published fiction, poetry and travelogue.

P.S. Also read my other review : https://captivatingmode.wordpress.com/2016/09/13/book-review-of-bharathi-and-her-theory-for-everything/

 

Guest Post by Usha Narayanan

Hello fellow Readers,

Today I would like to invite a well known personality who has recently launched her novel The Secret of God’s Son. With the novel reveal you might have guessed who she is! Yes, She is our dear Usha Narayanan. Over to you maam 🙂

Guest Topic: Which is the most comfortable genre for you to write and why?

I did not really agonize over a choice of genre and blithely wrote whatever took my fancy. First came a thriller (‘The Madras Mangler’), next a romcom (‘Love, Lies and Layoffs’) and two mythological tales (‘Pradyumna: Son of Krishna’ and my latest, ‘The Secret of God’s Son’). In my view, the essentials of a good book, whatever the genre may be, are always the same: an engrossing plot, vivid characters and a climax that boldly affirms the victory of good over evil. Each genre of course has its own grammar and I had to master its nuances and write accordingly. A thriller is like a giant jigsaw puzzle and becomes a huge intellectual exercise. A romcom traverses the inner landscape and focuses on the rainbow hues of love. And a myth encompasses not just the three realms of the universe, but also the physical, emotional and spiritual dimensions.

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My favourite genre, not because it is easy to write, but because it is so highly challenging and rewarding, is mythology. First, the stories and the characters are magical and have endured for centuries. The possibilities to expand on them or give them new forms are endless. Second, myths are often set in distant worlds, but they are still real, relatable and exhilarating. The gods and even the demons exhibit human appetites and instincts such as greed, fear, anger and lust. Third, these tales satisfy our thirst for happy endings in an unhappy world, where villains are brought down with a satisfying flourish. Fourth, they help us reach a better understanding of abstruse concepts such as life and death, heaven and hell, suffering and bliss. They also enlighten us on secular and cultural concepts such as sovereignty, rights, responsibilities and the role of women in society.

Above all, I love myths because they celebrate the triumph of the human spirit and inspire us to evolve beyond the personal to the universal and perhaps the divine.

Thank you, Surbhi, for giving me this opportunity to feature on your blog and to interact with readers. I welcome questions and feedback from every one of you.

Book Review of No Safe Zone

No Safe Zone by Adite Banerjie is a romantic thriller. It is an amazing roller coaster ride of action, love, betrayal and human trafficking. Every page has some new twists and turns which arises lot of curiosities in our minds. Lets get into the details:

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Cover- The cover of the book is totally ‘Filmy’ and enthralling. There is a road where we notice and a couple is riding it. This actually makes us excited to open the pages of the book.

Title- The title is unique and intriguing and will add so many questions in your mind which helps in reading faster.

Blurb- Qiara Rana will do anything to save her mentor and their non-government organization from ruin. Even if it means visiting the city she had vowed never to return to. But within a few hours of landing in New Delhi, she is being chased by a gunman and is a potential suspect in the murder of a high-profile businessman.

The only person she can turn to for help is Kabir Shorey, the man who stood her up ten years ago. Past and present collide in a deadly plot of crime and greed that moves from the cosmopolitan streets of Delhi to the bazaars and villages of Rajasthan.

Plot- The plot of the novel is neatly woven. It is devoid of any loose ends. This is a story of two individuals Qiara Rana and Kabir Shorey whose destinies get reconnected during a case.  There are many sub plots which later on merge with the main plot. The mystery of a girl’s disappearance and leads to reach her further gets mixed. To add more, the background and life of Kabir Shorey is revealed in the end which clearly unfolds all the mysteries in the end.

Themes- This book is full of themes. The main theme is of Human Trafficking where certain kids start disappearing from their trip and are trafficked to some other places. The characters tries to uncover this theme. The next theme is of love. Qiara and Kabir are madly in love and their love has to undergo certain tests during the course of the story. Earlier they submitted themselves to destiny but when destiny or rather say the author planned to make them close, many nasty truths are uncovered. We also find traces of friendship, parenthood, dark pasts which helps in the progression of the plot.

Characterisation- The author has artistically portrayed her characters. The protagonist Qiara Rana is young and beautiful. She is enthusiastic about her venture. She seems attached to people but has a dark past. She is in a love denial mode when she comes across Kabir Shorey. On the other hand, Kabir is adventurous, handsome, pragmatic and loves his job. He also has a dark past and when he comes across Qiara, he is unable to control his emotions in front of her. It becomes realy tough to see his beloved as a suspect for the case.

Besides, there were many other characters and for this novel, I would add, the multiple characters didn’t affect the plot construction infact it helped in making it more beautiful.

Style- The novel is written in a third person narrative with vivid impersonal descriptions on the top. The language is simple, lucid and has brevity in it. The sentences have a range of simple, complex and compund. Some lines are so beautiful and this whole feels like flowing river or rather say amazing flow of poetry. Some sentences are lyrical. While certain remarks add humour to it. Not only this, there were many twists and turns which makes the story totally unpredictable.The best part of the book is that I couldn’t find any error in it.

Availability- http://www.amazon.in/gp/product/9351777758/ref=x_gr_w_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_bb_in-21&linkCode=as2&camp=3626&creative=24790

http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?isbn=9351777758&clickid=RGxQAx3VjyYo3NMzXiUFNUhCUkk1ENWunUyy0w0&cm_mmc=aff-_-ir-_-64613-_-77416&ref=imprad64613&afn_sr=impact

About the Author

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Adite Banerjie discovered the wonderful world of books at an early age which sparked her interest in writing. After a fulfilling and exciting career as a business journalist she turned her attention to fiction.

Her latest book is a romantic-thriller, No Safe Zone, published by Harper Collins India. She has penned two books for Mills & Boon (The Indian Tycoon’s Marriage Deal and Trouble Has a New Name) and written several screenplays.

When she is not grappling with her current work-in-progress, she enjoys spending time with her husband, spoiling their Irish Setter silly and watching back-to-back movies.

She loves to connect with her readers. You can find her on Facebook (https://facebook.com/AditeBanerjieWriter) and Twitter (http://twitter.com/adite)

 

 

Book Review of The Colour of Love

The Colour of Love by Jagdish Joghee is the tale of two communities which involves religion, love, politics and friendship.The book takes you to a journey where life is bitter as well as sweet. Lets analyse it:

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Cover- The cover of the book is simple where we notice two people standing holding their hands. The colour scheme is bit different.

Title- The title is apt as the story revolves around it and it definitely not digress from its mode.

Blurb- Sarfaraz is brought up with a good value system by his devoted parents. With time, curiosity and adolescent growth pangs take him through many experiences. His first brush with girls starts with a friend, and slowly meanders into casual flirtatious affairs with girls at college. All through it, he realises that none of them have his undying, true love. A time comes when he realises who he truly loves, and in the midst of it all, he handles brutal enmity and takes on vile characters that misbehave with his friends. Sarfaraz grows up in Coimbatore where a series of bomb blasts occur. His identity is called in question, as his status as a Muslim makes people see him as an enemy. He loses something precious in the blasts and leaves to Sharjah, only for life to find him and surprise him.

Plot- The plot is gripping and binds the readers till the end. This is a life story of Sarfaraz and his struggles in a new city. The sub plot includes the community issues and dirty politics.

Theme- It is difficult to decide what is the main theme as all seems important. So, I start accordingly.

Theme of Religion- We find religious differences between Muslims and Hindus. If one side we find violence, the other side shows love, care and harmony. Sometimes, it becomes bit controversial but yet settled.

Theme of Friendship- As we know, friends are lifeline so here we notice Sarfaraz and his friendship with various people, some were fenuinely true while some betrayed him and acted mean.

Theme of LOve- We notice Sarfaraz indulging in various love affairs but still his heart search for someone and when he finds it in Meghna, its magical. The readers expect a beautiful love story but the author’s twists and turns in the story makes it look enthralling.

Characterisation- The author has beautifully crafted his characters be it the protagonist, Sarfaraz or the antagonist, Sidharth or the heroine, Meghna.  All three of them are complex characters and its difficult to guess whats going on in their minds. They are related to each other. If one is affected, the others are automatically affected. The trio share a relationship of friendship and animosity.

Style- The author has used a simple style of writing which makes the work understandable. The events, the fun element along with the flashback technique followed by third person narrative is beyond appreciation.The realisation of love takes place in the end chapters whereas the other concept of memory loss acts like an icing on the cake.

Availability- http://www.amazon.in/Colour-Love-Trumpets-bugles-there/dp/1945400781

https://www.amazon.com/Colour-Love-Trumpets-bugles-there/dp/1945400781/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1473082930&sr=8-3

About the Author

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Born and brought up in the beautiful hill town of Coonoor in Nilgiris, Jagdish Joghee has always been attracted to the hills and the forests. Growing up in the midst of serenity, Jagdish had enough inspiration to write short poems during his school days. He now lives in the city of Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu where he works for a leading global information technology services company. Jagdish has worked in some of the top IT companies in India, which required him to travel to some of the major cities in the country and overseas too. His passion for writing started early during his school days. Being a closet writer, Jagdish’s writing was initially confined to journals and scrapbooks. He could not pursue his dream of becoming a journalist when he started working in the IT enabled services industry. Jagdish is an active blogger and writes on issues that have a social impact, apart from reviewing Indian movies. This book marks his foray into fiction. He considers himself more of a story teller than a writer. Jagdish wants to write novels that will keep readers engaged with a good mix of romance, revenge, laughter and thrill. He is also keen to explore the realm of fantasy.

 

Spotlight of Vikram Rana Investigates

 

 
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.
 
You can stalk her @
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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.
 
You can stalk her @
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Also Read my review of her book : https://captivatingmode.wordpress.com/2016/08/22/book-review-of-vikram-rana-investigates/