Author Interview: Biddu: Author of Made in India

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unnamedI remember listening to ‘Aap Jaisa Koi’ while growing up and ‘Disco Deewane’ and soundtrack of the movie, ‘Star’, was a craze in every house. Then it was college, ‘Made in India’ and its various songs were a part of our everyday life. Do these songs and albums ring a bell? They do. Right! They are all the creative genius of Biddu.

Biddu was born in India, where he started his career playing in a pop band whose influences lay in the classic repertoire of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Following his early success, he decided to hear West and move into the international music arena. He struck gold, signing the unknown Carl Douglas and producing “Kung fu Fighting?” which went on to become a hit all over the world. He also wrote and produced hits for Tina Charles and soul legend Jimmy James.

Around this time, Biddu became involved in Indian music: he composed the cult “Aap Jaise Koi” for the film Qurbani which set a new landmark for sales in India. He followed this up with a pop album, Disco Deewane, with Nazia Hassan, which became the largest selling pop album in Asian history, and was the first Indian album to hit the charts in fourteen countries. In 1995, Biddu wrote and produced the three-million-selling album Made in India with the singer Alisha Chinai. To date, Biddu has sold over thirty-eight million records worldwide.

Thank you, Biddu Sir, for taking time out of your busy schedule and answering the questions.

What made you think of writing a book? Were you inspired by someone to write?

I decided to write a novel initially while sitting on the beach in Spain. I had decided to retire from music as I had been doing it almost since man learned to walk, so a change in direction was needed to spark the fire inside one. Also writing a novel is like writing songs. You need the discipline to get up look at a blank sheet of paper or computer screen and then begin filling it with words and sentences. I think I have that discipline.

Though both the fields are art, how difficult was it to write a book?

Writing a book takes time. For instance the book I’m working on has already taken a year and I’m not finished yet. So book writing is akin to a marathon. While song writing is a sprint.

Have you ever suffered from writer’s block?

I don’t suffer from writers block per se, but often if I’m on vacation , say in Italy or the States, you spend time sightseeing and visiting friends, shopping etc, and working on the book is placed on the back burner. So when you come back home and decided to crack on with the book, the first day or two can be difficult.

What kinds of books do you read? Who is your favourite author and what is your favourite genre? Has any author influenced your writing?

Don’t have a favourite author or been influenced by anyone else. Altho’ I am a huge admirer of Shakespeare.

Which book are you currently reading?

At the moment, I am working on my new novel. Between that, TV watching, dinner parties, yoga etc, whose got time to read.Adobe Photoshop PDF

What is the next project that you are working on? When is the next book scheduled for release?

The book I’m working on is a ‘who dunnit’ set in Spain. It’s a tough one, as I’ve never written in genre before. But, I’m keeping it fast paced, interesting and entertaining.

Any word of wisdom for aspiring authors?

Make sure you have spellcheck.J

Thank you once again for sharing your thoughts with your readers.

Tornado Giveaway 2: Book no 100: AGE OF ANXIETY: GROWING UP IN POST-COLONIAL INDIA by Indraneil Banerjie

Name of the Book: AGE OF
ANXIETY: GROWING UP IN POST-COLONIAL INDIA 

Author: Indraneil Banerjie

Read some reviews:

1. Rubina Ramesh 
2. Renita D’Silva 
3. Geeta 

The Story:

India has been Independent for just about two decades when a young Bengali boy, Sarat Chandra Chatterjee, takes his place within the portals of an ancient school that continues to glorify its colonial past.
India is changing and the city that was once the proud capital of a vast Colonial empire is in rapid decline but the school holds out, white and resplendent amidst the surrounding gloom and depredation.
Sarat Chandra, cut off from his familiar world, is thrown together with a bunch of boys who hail from diverse backgrounds – Marwaris, Anglo-Indians, Armenians and Muslims. Within the school’s portals he must adapt and conform to its ancient traditions. He finds a new name, makes friends and discovers the first flush of romance but struggles to come to terms with his family’s precarious financial situation, which fuels his inherent anxiety.
Much like Sarat Chandra, the city too is grappling to come of age. Mired in post-Independence politics and economic decline, anxiety and gloom has spread through the populace jostling for space in an increasingly crowded and unrelenting city. The elite have taken over the mansions left behind by the colonialists while the poor throng the pavements and empty spaces.
Will Sarat Chandra find his place in the city or is he forever doomed to be the outsider, the ‘mofussil’ boy with an identity crisis?
This is a story about a generation numbed by the anxiety of the Sixties and the Seventies, about music dying in the bars, entire populations quietly fleeing the city and yesteryear’s generation fortifying themselves within anachronistic colonial institutions to hold out against change.
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About The Author 

 

Indraneil Banerjie
Indranil Banerjie (1960-present) was born in Calcutta, India. The son of a military officer, he grew up in cantonments in different parts of the country and was exposed to the country’s diversity from an early age. He has been writing ever since he graduated from Presidency College, Calcutta, in 1980. He spent more than a decade as a journalist before going on to head a national security focussed think tank, SAPRA India Foundation, for sixteen years till 2011. Currently, he travels, writes and takes photographs and is working on two books. “Age of Anxiety” is his first novel.
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Tornado Giveaway 2: Book no 101: Pulling Home by Mary Campisi

Name of the Book: PULLING HOME

Author: Mary Campisi

Read some reviews:

1. Jennifer Gallagher 
2. Judy Collins 
3. Pam Chaffin 

The Story:

It’s all about that second chance…
Sometimes we’re lucky enough to get that second chance—in life and in love. That Second Chance Series are stories of strong women who battle heartache and loss with courage and determination to find new paths and true love. These books are standalones and are NOT related. Therefore, the characters from one story will not appear in another. What ties them together? A common theme—belief in the beauty of that second chance.
Pulling Home is Book One in That Second Chance Series.
She’ll risk anything to save her child…even the truth
It’s taken nine years and a cross-country move, but Audra Valentine Wheyton has kept her secrets safe. She’s created the perfect life—a husband who loves her, a daughter she adores, and a position as head writer for an award-winning daytime soap. When her husband dies suddenly, Audra returns to her hometown for the funeral and faces a community that has not forgotten her meager beginnings and a man who has never forgiven her for marrying his brother.
Jack Wheyton is a successful pediatric neurosurgeon who is about to become engaged when Audra walks back into his life with her daughter. He forgave his brother long ago for taking something that had been his, something he hadn’t even realized he wanted until it was gone. But forgiving Audra is another story…and forgetting her? Near impossible.
When a shattering illness strikes Audra’s daughter, she turns to Jack to save her child and risks exposing a secret that will change their lives forever.
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About The Author 

 

Mary Campisi 
 
About the author in her own words: I write emotion-packed books about second chances. Whether contemporary romances, women’s fiction, or Regency historicals, my books all center on belief in the beauty of that second chance.I should have known I’d become a writer when at age thirteen I began changing the ending to all the books I read. It took several years and a number of jobs, including registered nurse, receptionist in a swanky hair salon, accounts payable clerk, and practice manager in an OB/GYN office, for me to rediscover writing. Enter a mouse-less computer, a floppy disk, and a dream large enough to fill a zip drive. The rest of the story lives on in every book I write.

When I’m not working on my craft or following the lives of five young adult children, I’m digging in the dirt with my flowers and herbs, making compost (yes, making compost!), cooking, reading, walking my rescue lab mix, Cooper, or, on the perfect day, riding off into the sunset with my very own hero/husband on his Ultra Limited aka Harley.

I’ve published with Kensington, Carina Press, and The Wild Rose Press.

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Tornado giveaway 2: Book No 102: Crossed and Knotted

Name of the Book: CROSSED & KNOTTED

Author: Readomania

Read some reviews:

1. Rubina Ramesh 
2. Inderpreet Kaur Uppal
3. Devika Fernando 

The Story:

Crossed & Knotted is India’s first Composite Novel, a book written by fourteen authors in close collaboration with each other. The chapters, each a story in itself, are knotted with one another through characters, events, settings and emotions. The result is a read that criss-crosses through a multitude of emotions bringing out deep rooted human desires. They narrate tales of love and betrayal, suspense and mystery, courage and dilemma, along with hope and resilience. Read it for a taste so tantalizing, that your mind will surely be craving for more!
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About The Author 

 

Readomania 
 
India has traditionally been the land of storytellers and a lot of us have an inherent skill of creating good plots, good stories and good narrations. With a little encouragement and support, many more authors will be widely read and attain a place in the sun.This is the essence of Readomania—an initiative that nurtures emerging stars of the literary world. It would not be an exaggeration to say that Readomania is the talent hunt in fiction. It goes a step beyond by not just identifying the talent but also nurturing it and showcasing it to the world. In the process, we have created a powerhouse of content online.

Readomania is a publishing platform, with online and offline presence, for good writing; a place to share stories and poems; a place to explore your creative talent. The web platform is a unique place for people who love reading and writing. As authors, one can register, or login through social media sites and upload their work, which then gets reviewed. The review process includes copy and developmental editing, improving the plot, narration or word choices. If authors are promising but need aids in language enhancement or storytelling capabilities, we work with them to improve their work. This hand-holding and personalised attention is what makes us unique. We stand out in the crowd because we will walk the talk to make an author’s work readable. Finally the work is published on the site. Once published, people can read it for free, share it on social media, email it, rate it, vote for it and even leave their feedback.

This helps the author get critical feedback to improve their writing as well as encouragement to write more. We publish the best of the authors in our anthologies, projects and finally graduate them to the status of solo authors.

The site also has a lot in store for the reader. Since the content is edited and curated, readers get quality reads on a platter. The variety on Readomania is impressively vast; we have romance, emotions, thrills, travel, humour and drama. You will find stories that touch your heart, stories that inspire you, stories that make you laugh and stories that make you cry.

Accessing Readomania makes for a perfect break of fifteen minutes from your daily grind. Read a story and unwind. Take a break, read something nice, write something beautiful.

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Blog Tour: Trouble Has A New Name by Adite Banerjie

Trouble Has A New Name 
by Adite Banerjie
 
The Blurb
    “Will you pretend to be my fiancé for the next few days?” 


Recently-single model Rayna Dutt does not feel like flying to her friend’s big fat Indian wedding. But she does – and when a mix up with room allocations forces her to share a luxury villa on Emerald Isle with the gorgeous owner of the hotel – Neel Arora – and best man at the wedding, things begin to look up.


Until Rayna’s ex turns up with a new girl on his arm! 


Hitting the panic button, Rayna searches for a solution. Surely Neel wouldn’t mind being her fake fiancé…? In an instant the attraction they share is fever pitch, but when scandal comes calling, Rayna soon finds herself in more trouble than she can handle!

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Meet the Author
The Author’s Thoughts
Adite Banerjie has been writing professionally ever since she graduated from college. After an exciting and fulfilling career as a business journalist, she turned to freelance writing, crunched numbers and wrote reports about consumer behavior and social development issues. Somewhere along the way she got on to the screenwriting bandwagon and wrote scripts for documentaries and spec screenplays for feature films. She was hired by a filmmaker to write a feature script based on a true story. When she penned her first romantic short story she won the 2012 Harlequin Passions Aspiring Authors Contest. Two of her books, The Indian Tycoon’s Marriage Deal and Trouble Has a New Name have been published by Harlequin India. And she is currently under contract to write two more for the same publisher. She lives in Greater Noida, on the outskirts of New Delhi, India, with her writer husband. She loves to connect with readers and writers.
 
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Milan by Simi K Rao

26212981I received Milan by Simi K Rao as a review copy from BookR3wi3ws and would like to thank Debdatta for the same. I associate her books to beautiful Indian tales. Milan is a hindi word which means meeting, it also means a wedding. This is one book that revolves around everything associated with weddings, this wedding being an arranged one of Ahaan and Mili.

The blurb:

When a daughter turns marriageable age, what should a responsible father do?

Easy—wed her to the most suitable boy who comes knocking on the door. Jai Bharadwaj, Mili’s father and owner of The Serenity Tea Estate in the idyllic Nilgiris would’ve probably liked to do the same, but being who he was, he had to ask her first. What would she say?

The story:

Mili Bharadwaj, 24, is the younger daughter of Jai Bharadwaj, the owner of a tea plantation in Coonoor in the Nilgiri hills. She has just completed her education and has come home from Chennai to spend some time with her parents before furthering her career in music. Her parents want to find her a nice match for their daughter and also want to have a lavish wedding for her.

One day, her parents tell her that their old family friends want her to marry their son, Ahaan. Ahaan was her senior in school and is somebody Mili used to make fun of when they were in school. Now he is an officer in the Indian Foreign Service.

She does not want to get married but wants to become a famous sitar player, and then she meets Ahaan, and agrees to marry him. and the wooing and the ceremonies begin.

My take:

The plot is nice and simple and the flow is smooth. The characters have been developed well and the transformation of their relationship from one of hatred to one of love has been beautifully described. The cover has been designed beautifully. The setting has been described beautifully as also the scenic beauty. The Indian wedding customs have been depicted in detail with explanations for various Indian terms and rituals at the end of the book. An easy breezy read, I loved the book.

Milan Banner

Tornado Giveaway 2: Book no 98: Or forever hold your peace by Donna Abraham

Name of the Book: OR FOREVER HOLD YOUR PEACE
Author: Donna Abraham

Read some reviews:

1. Lata Sony 
2. Tessie Elsa Crouzat 
3. Lakshmi Trivedy 

The Story:

SMRC/27/5’4” girl, MBA/B.Tech, Project Manager, software, seeking suitable boy.
‘Sundays began with mass at 7 in the morning. Mass would get over by 8 am and Dad would spend the next hour and a half reading the newspaper, which included circling suitable advertisements in the Catholic Section of the matrimonials. Once it was 11 am, he would start dialing the numbers of those he had deemed suitable.’
Weddings can be tricky business. They can be fun, emotional, exciting, frustrating, nerve-racking, downright stressful and very unpredictable…a bit like life itself. As a young, independent, well-qualified woman based in Delhi sets off on her own journey towards a happily-ever-after, she discovers that a lot can happen between finding Mr Right and saying ‘I do’.
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About The Author 

 

Donna Abraham 

Donna Abraham is a mother of two lovely girls and has been writing educational content for nearly 15 years now. She has written on subjects ranging from IT to Finance and Soft Skills.
After returning to work from her first Maternity Leave, while she waited for a project to be allocated, Donna wrote her first novella Or Forever Hold Your Peace. She also has a short story published in Chicken Soup for the Soul Indian College Students. She is currently working on her second book, while penning several short stories on life as she sees it.
Her stories revolve around the little aspects of life that impact people greatly. Her stories are her way of talking to people and reflect various aspects of everyday living. Hope you find a bit of you in them.
Stalk her @
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Tornado Giveaway 2: Book no 97: Life and promises by Pulkit Gupta

Name of the Book: LIFE AND PROMISES
Author: Pulkit Gupta

Read a review:

Shreya

The Story:

Rachit, a young, ambitious boy, hailing from a small town of Western UP, has big dreams. Destiny takes a turn when he attempts to commit suicide and lands up in a hospital bed. There, he bumps into Khushi, a chubby girl with a carefree attitude. She insists Rachit to uncover the pages of his life and tell her what compelled him to take such a drastic step. Rachit starts to narrate his story, seeing no other option. He tells her that he dreamt to be an IITian and even achieved it. Things went well for some days, till that fateful day when Rachit was diagnosed with severe health issues…




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About The Author 

 

Pulkit Gupta 
 

CA, CS student by profession and a writer by passion, Pulkit is someone who believes in living life to fullest. Born in Sonepat, and brought up in Bijnor (Western U.P.), writing came naturally to him due to his genes and current location. He belongs to the land of Bijnor, which gave our country “Dushyant Kumar”, one of the foremost Hindustani Poet during the 20th Century. He did his schooling from St. Mary’s Convent School, Bijnor and graduation from MJPRU, Bareilly. Apart from studies, he also represented his school in various plays and won a State-Level English debate competition in both team as well as in Individual category. He is a CA Final and CS Professional Student and also studying Law from MJPRU, Bareilly.He started writing with a diary and some random poems, but CA gave a professional look to his writing skills. He got associated with Caclubindia in 2008 – India’s no. 1 Interactive Platform for Finance Professionals with over 11 Lac Members. He soon got popular among its members due to his unique genre, where he used to link current life situations with CA life, which proved to be inspiring for students as well as professionals. He was voted “Favourite of the Club” in 2011, and was amongst the youngest professional to be included in the list of experts. Till now he has written over 50 articles and enjoys a fan following of 1 Lac +. Besides this, he has also contributed to other online platforms and maintains a Blog.

Apart from reading and writing, the author loves listening to Hindi music, watch all kind of Hindi movies and follows Cricket and Tennis very closely.

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Tornado Giveaway 2: Book no 99: Meghna by Sundari Venkatraman


Name of the Book: MEGHNA
Author: Sundari Venkatraman

Read some reviews:

1. Rubina Ramesh
2. Inderpreet Kaur Uppal 
3. Meghan Duce 

The Story:

The young and dashing Rahul Sinha lives in England with his parents, Shyam and Rajni. He is an only son of the rich banker. Rahul is totally attached to his father but does not care for his mother. Read the book to find out why….
Rahul is exulted with his efforts at work paying off and plans a holiday with his best friend Sanjay Srivastav who lives in Mumbai with his wife Reema, kids Sanya and Rehaan and most importantly, his sister, Meghna. Rahul recalls meeting Meghna just before they parted six years ago.
Meghna works for a website and also teaches modern dance as she loves it. She’s thrown for a toss when Rahul comes visiting. She had thought he had forgotten them.
But how could Rahul do that? Sanjay’s his best friend and Rahul had always treated their home as his own. Sanjay’s mother had been more of a mother to Rahul than his own. Rahul had stayed away after moving to England or so Meghna believes.
Thus begins the story between Rahul and Meghna, the teasing, the flirting, the anger, the tears… …will they find love?
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About The Author 

 

Sundari Venkatraman 
 
Even as a kid, Sundari absolutely loved the ‘lived happily ever after’ syndrome as she grew up reading all the fairy tales she could lay her hands on, Phantom comics, Mandrake comics and the like. It was always about good triumphing over evil and a happy end.Soon, into her teens, Sundari switched her attention from fairy tales to Mills & Boon. While she loved reading both of these, she kept visualising what would have happened if there were similar situations happening in India; to a local hero and heroine. Her imagination took flight and she always lived in a rosy cocoon of romance over the years.

Then came the writing – a true bolt out of the blue! She could never string two sentences together. While her spoken English had always been excellent – thanks to her Grandpa – she couldn’t write to save her life.

All this changed suddenly one fine day in the year 2000. She had just quit her job as a school admin and didn’t know what to do with her life. She was saturated with simply reading books. That’s when she returned home one evening after her walk, took some sheets of paper and began writing. It was like watching a movie that was running in her head – all those years of visualising Indian heroes and heroines needed an outlet and had to be put into words. That’s how her first novel, The Malhotra Bride, took shape. While she felt discouraged when publishing didn’t happen, it was her husband who kept encouraging her not to give up.

In the meanwhile, she landed a job as Copy Editor with Mumbai Mirror. After working there for two years, she moved to the Network 18 Group and worked with two of their websites over the next six years, as Content Editor.

Despite her work schedule, she continued to write novels and then short stories and had them published in her blogs. She also blogs voraciously, writing on many different topics – travel, book reviews, film reviews, restaurant reviews, spirituality, alternative health and more.

Her first eBook Double Jeopardy – a romance novella – was published by Indireads and has been very well received by readers of romance.

In 2014, Sundari self-published The Malhotra Bride (2nd Edition); Meghna; The Runaway Bridegroom; Flaming Sun Collection 1: Happily Ever Afters From India (Box Set) and Matches Made In Heaven (a collection of romantic short stories).

2015 brought yet another opportunity. Readomania came forward to traditionally publish this book – The Madras Affair – a mature romance set in Madras.

Stalk her @
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Now for the Rafflecopter: Gather as many points as you want to. The more points you get, the more you have a chance to win it all. Show your love for books.. Tweet, Like and Spread the Word… Thank you for being a Reader… You keep the Authors motivated… This is our way of saying a Thank you 🙂 

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Tornado Giveaway 2: HerResurrection by Soumyadeep Koley

Name of the Book: HER RESURRECTION: A SURVIVOR’S JOURNEY
Author: Soumyadeep Koley

Read some reviews:

1. Priyanka Batra Harjai 
2. Mani Khanna 
3. Meghant Parmar 

The Story:

What is it like to be an unwanted girl-child in India? What is it like to be sexually harassed at a tender age of five? After being tricked and forced into prostitution, can such a woman fight back to emancipate herself from the unyielding shackles of that life, and intermingle with the ‘society?’ Or would she get lost in the sands of time like the ephemeral existence of a sand dune beset by a sandstorm?
So begins Maya’s story in the picturesque countryside of Maharashtra, where she grows up amidst cruelty and domestic violence, being an unwanted girl-child. Yet, like a lonesome beacon beset by sinister wilderness, she pursues her dreams of reaching the stars with her tiny wings. One night, a twist of fate triggers a series of incidents, when she loses everything she had—even her virginity.
Severely traumatized after her father’s death, her mother’s imprisonment, and her own gang-rape, Maya finds herself all alone in the streets of Mumbai, with wolves lurking around for raw flesh. She’s weary, but not wary. She has no sense of the fate that awaits her. What follows, would change her life forever, as also yours, as her heart wrenching, yet inspiring story echoes through time.
Inspired by true stories of survivors and real life events, ‘Her Resurrection’ bravely paints an appalling picture of the society. Heartbreaking, hopeful and immensely healing at the same time, this emotional rollercoaster through dreams, tragedy and triumph is a moving tribute to womankind. Are you ready to embark on a transformational journey with Maya?
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About The Author 

 

Soumyadeep Koley 
 
Soumyadeep Koley is a writer, poet, women’s rights activist and freelance photographer. As he hails from the family of an internationally acclaimed researcher and scientist, his extensive travels to different corners of India and the world have revealed the appalling status of women in this subcontinent, beseeching the dire need for a change. After graduating with Honours degree in Chemistry from Scottish Church College, Kolkata, he joined the global fight against violence on women. He has worked with Jason Jayology Jeremias, the Founder and Artistic Director of Price of Silence, New York, which employs performing arts to bring the global struggle for women’s rights to life. Soumyadeep has three years of experience in psychological counselling of domestic violence and rape survivors from India and abroad, through unique mystical and metaphysical techniques. He is currently pursuing his Master’s Degree in Psychology.
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Go to Book No. 97 
 
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