Author Interview: Amit Sharma

author pic one (1).jpgAmit Sharma is the author of fiction novel titled False Ceilings by Lifi Publications. The book launch happened on 12 Jan 2016 in the World Book Fair in Delhi. The novel is a Family Saga spanning 130 years (from 1930 to 2065) and takes us through the lives of six protagonists who are bound by a secret and live in Delhi and Dalhousie.

Amit Sharma has been working in a Software Firm since the last ten years. He lives with his family in NCR. His wife is a teacher and they are blessed with a daughter with an amazing battery life.

Amit is a voracious reader and devours books. His other hobbies include watching world cinema, travelling, digging into various cuisines, cooking, listening to music, painting, blogging (he used to blog earlier at Mashed Musings), making his daughter laugh and helping his wife with her unnecessary and prolonged shopping.

Thank you Amit for taking time out for this interview.

 

From a reader to a writer, how did this transformation happen, please tell us about it?

Well, I am still a reader and always will be. Writing was an addition. I was introduced to blogging by a friend in 2007 and that is how it started. Over the years, I developed the confidence to write as people started appreciating my blog. Then readers started questioning about my imaginary book. I laughed it off initially. I had a story in mind but no confidence. Then finally one day, I decided to give it a try. And that is how False Ceilings was born.

How difficult was it to write a book in which the story is spread over 135 years?Cover

The only thing that I was scared of before I started writing was the amount of research it will entail. I was very sure that I won’t write a single sentence until I was satisfied with my research.

The story begins in 1930, in the pre-independence era and touches many historical events. I amalgamated the story with our history and made a few events as the turning point in the life of the characters. The timespan of 1950s-1970s was something my parents helped me with. I had long discussions with them to get the lifestyle of that era right. The story takes place in Delhi and Dalhousie. I had to display changes both the places went through over the decades. It was a research filled with challenges and surprises. There is so much we don’t know; so much we ought to know.

Have you ever suffered from writer’s block?

Not yet. I almost stopped blogging when I started writing the book mainly because I could not juggle both with my day job. But I haven’t suffered from writer’s block yet. I have multiple story ideas churning in my head right now.

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

I read books that make me stop and think. That is one reason I do not have a favorite author or genre. I don’t think a single writer has influenced me but you do absorb a lot subconsciously. Here is a list of a few of my favorite books –

  • Everything is illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
  • The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  • Roots by Alex Hailey
  • The Brief wondrous life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
  • The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson
  • Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  • Middlesex by Jeffery Eugenides
  • Kafka on the shore by Haruki Murakami
  • Night Train to Lisbon by Pascal Mercier
  • Night Film by Marisha Pessl

 

Which book are you currently reading?

Currently I am reading “The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera”.

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

My next book is almost done. It has gone through a round of Alpha reading. I will be sending it out for Beta Reading in June and then start pitching it.

It’s a very modern story and spans eleven years. It’s about the journey of Sapna, a girl who belongs to a lower middle-class family living in Delhi; how she transforms from a naïve, simple-minded, college-going girl to the most influential, richest and powerful woman in the world. She has a gift that turns her into a Goddess; someone the world fears and prays to. Her power changes the course of the future but is she able to cope up with the sacrifices it demands? Or does the power consume her in the end?

It’s quite different from my first book and I am hoping the readers will enjoy the story as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Any word of wisdom for aspiring authors?

Research, polish and market well. I am learning the ropes too but these three aspects of writing as very important. Don’t rush into writing. Research for your book well, spend time chalking out your characters. Have a complete outline before your start writing. Once you are done with your initial draft, keep polishing it till you are satisfied with it. Give it to your friends who are avid readers and ask for opinions. Keep aside money for marketing. You have no idea how difficult is that going to be.

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

Social Media links of Amit Sharma for readers to find/follow/like:

websitehttp://amit-sharma.co.in

facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/AmitSharmaAuthor/

twitterhttp://twitter.com/Author_Amit

bloghttp://amit-sharma.co.in/blog

google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+amitsharma79

Email : amit.sharma123@gmail.com

 

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Finding Juliet by Toffee

61e1e-finding2bjuliet-2bcoverI received the book Finding Juliet by Toffee as a review copy from the author courtesy ‘The Readdicts Book Blog”. Thank you Janhvi and Srika.

The blurb:

An incredibly nice guy turns into an irresistible flirt and learns the fine art of seducing women. A hilarious and heart-warming novel with some surprising nuggets of wisdom.

The story:

This is Arjun’s story. Two months ago, he moved from Hyderabad to Bangalore. Other than Anjali, Krish is the only good friend he has in the new city. One day, after noticing that Arjun is upset, Krish takes him to a pub and Arjun tells him his entire love story and the book moves into flashback.

He talks about his childhood in Hyderabad, about Anjali, who has been his friend since the first day at school. He talks about getting into an engineering college, about making friends with Amit and Rohan, about falling for Shraddha, the first girl he loved, about his love for cricket. He then goes on to talk about getting rejected by Neha in college. All through Anjali egged him on, motivated him. He then talks about landing up a job in Hyderabad, and meeting Saakshi, Amit’s friend, who comes to Hyderabad from Vizag with whom he decides to part ways due to their disparities.

Krish gets him a makeover and helps Arjun come out of the depression and find his mate.

How does he do it? Read on to find out.

My take:

What a unique way to launch a book, chapter by chapter.  That too on android. You can read the book on the go. Only chink in the armour being, you need your device to be on line when you are reading the book.

A simple story, elaborately written. The story drags on about Arjun’s various escapades. The language and the plot are simple. Proper editing could have done wonders to the book.

 

 

 

Irresistibly Yours by Jazz Singh

Irresistably Yours-Final (1)

I received Irresistibly Yours by Jazz Singh as a review copy from the author and would like to thank her for the same.

The Blurb (from Goodreads):

Aryan’s engagement to a gorgeous model wasn’t his choice. Neither was falling in love with a random stranger. The only choice he can make is to give up Dia, his chance love story. But he can’t get her out of his head. Or his heart.

And he can’t let his fiancée down or his family.

The story:

Dia, a caterer is on the way back to Delhi after attending her friend’s wedding in Mumbai when she meets Aryan Kapoor, a garment exporter, on the flight. They get talking and he asks her to do the catering for a party in his house. She is attracted to him from the beginning and so is he. She invites him to taste the menu and learns from him that he is hosting the party for his friends to celebrate his engagement. She is upset and knows she should not get involved with him but the attraction is there.

He wants to be faithful to his fiancée, Tina. He knows he should not lead her on but….

She tries to avoid him but still they happen to meet- by accident, by chance.

Will they be successful in avoiding each other?

My take:

A beautiful, beautiful love story written from the perspective of both the lead characters. The language is simple and the story is fast paced. The characters have been developed well and the interpersonal relationships in the story have been beautifully described. Be it the relationship between Dia and her sister, or Dia and her friends. And also the relationship between Aryan and his friends and him and his brother. The emotions have been described in detail. I felt for Dia, I felt for Aryan and I felt for Tina. Tina was portrayed very differently.

Loved the book immensely and recommend it as a must read for everyone.

jangshersingh.com by Vishal Bhatia

Jangshersingh.jpgI received the book, jangshersingh.com by Vishal Bhatia from the author as a review copy and would like to thank the author for the same. When the author asked whether I would like to read the book and review it, I realized that the book is a sports fiction novel and thought why not? This book is the debut work of the author.

The blurb:

Jangsher Singh, a top junior tennis player, meets with the sweetheart of his youth on one foggy afternoon outside his ancestral village in India. When he is caught in the midst of an intimate moment by her “very old-minded” brothers, the situation turns bloody; he will never again be the same. Several years later, a scarred Jangsher emerges in Melbourne at a Grand Slam, a rookie wildcard at the top of his game.

His tournament record will determine the fate of two bumbling pseudo-geeks from Sydney—Yug and his tobacco-chewing cousin, Aman—who can’t seem to catch a break. The car they borrowed for their weekend getaway, an Audi R8 called Flame, has fallen into the hands of a brutish thief, and now they must do whatever they can to get it back.

Come Monday morning, will Yug be able to return Flame to its owner in Sydney? Will Jangsher be able to withstand the fierce gamesmanship of Hierro, the greatest southpaw ever to have played tennis? Might Aman be able to establish an official website for the Indian rookie in time to save himself from financial ruin?

Can Jangsher be victorious against Hierro? Will he end up facing the great and widely beloved Temujic—what chance might he possibly have of keeping up with the reigning champion? It will take guts of steel. No quarter shall be asked, and none given.

The story:

Jangsher Singh has a date with his girlfriend Reet at the well that guards the Brassica fields 2 kilometres past Kartar’s. Their rendezvous is disturbed by her brothers who beat Jangsher and leave him to die taking their sister along with them. The story then moves to several years later, to a tennis court where Jangsher is playing a tennis match in Melbourne, Australia as an unranked Asia Pacific wildcard at the Australian Open. He has a girlfriend Sally and is there with his mother and grandfather.

On a weekend, Yug and his cousin, Aman Oberoi, an IT person, drive from Sydney to Melbourne, in a borrowed Audi R8 to watch Grand Slam. On the way, they run out of fuel, they meet with an accident, get blackmailed by the accident victim and have to give him the car. To get the car back, they have to give him money and that too by Monday.

What do they do? How will Jangsher be involved inthis?

Read on to find out.

My take:

The title of the book is unique and so is the cover. The writing is simple and the story maintains a decent pace mostly. The language at certain places could have been simpler, eg Brassica fields, it took me a few minutes to realize that he was talking about the fields of mustard that Punjab is covered with.

In the book, two stories move in parallel. One, revolving around the game of lawn tennis, and the other, around how two boys try to get their car back. They meet at a common point. The author introduces too many characters at the beginning making it difficult to keep track of all of them but as the story moved on, things started falling into place. Supportive characters are plenty, but most of them come and go. He has used nicknames for Jang’s opponents.

Some parts in the story were funny and at some places I felt, this could have been made smaller. Editing is one thing that needs to be looked into. The author has vividly described certain scenes, some were not required. It was more like watching a movie. Second half is interesting and the ending was a surprise.

One thing that I want to know is if Jangsher can drive a Hummer, why does he not know what an ipod is?

A promising debut, tennis lovers would definitely love the book.

 

 

Tunnel of Varnavat: Mahabharata Reimagined by Gautam Chikermane

tunnel-of-varnavat.jpgI received the book Tunnel of Varnavat: Mahabharata Reimagined by Gautam Chikermane as a review copy from Rupa Publications and I would like to thank Rizwan Khan for the same. The story, as the name suggests, a part of Mahabharata reimagined. Personally for me, reading a new angle of mythology takes a lot of effort, not physically but mentally, because I have to first unlearn what I had read or heard in my childhood and then refocus. But that aside, I enjoyed the book.

The blurb:

Badri, chief miner of the Kuru empire and a soldier with a dark past, has given up the glamorous life of a Kshatriya and lives like an ordinary citizen, hiding in the intricate mesh of tunnels he has created for the protection of the royals. But when Prince Duryodhan hatches yet another conspiracy to kill the Pandavs, this time by burning them in Purochan’s house of lak at Varanavat, it is only Badri who can save them. On this mission, he has to deal with treacherous cannibals, rebel leader Janaki and mercenary Durjan. He also needs to rekindle love with soldier-soulmate Urvashi and fight his biggest enemy Vishnu. At the same time he must conquer the demons within. Will he succeed in saving the Pandavs—and himself?

Set in the mystical world of the Mahabharata, Tunnel of Varanavat explores the physical and spiritual transformation of a reluctant warrior.

My take:

Every time a book is written about an unsung hero from an epic, it grabs my attention.  We have all read that the Kauravas gifted the Pandavas a Lakshagriha or Purochan’s Palace made of Lac (laquer), a highly combustible substance and set the palace on fire, but the Pandavas escaped through a tunnel under the palace. Now who helped them, never came to my mind. Why? Because, we were taught that, God always takes care of the righteous people.

The book has been written in first person from the point of view of the main chatacter, Badri. The author has described Badri’s feelings and his past in detail. The story has been written in a way that I could actually picturise many scenes. It was like a movie playing, many a times.

The language is simple and the pace is well maintained, though there were a few places where I felt that the pace had slackened a bit, but the story covered up for it.

Overall, a very well written book

Recommended for lovers of mythology.

Spotlight: Hell To Pay by Pamela Fagan Hutchins

 

Hell To Pay
by 

Pamela Fagan Hutchins

 

Blurb 


USA Best Book Award-Winning Series, Cross Genre Fiction.
Third book in the Emily series, a spin-off from Katie & Annalise.

Big-haired paralegal and former rodeo queen Emily thinks she’s got her life back on track. Her adoption of Betsy seems like a done deal, her parents have reunited, and she’s engaged to her sexy boss Jack. Then client Phil Escalante’s childhood buddy Dennis drops dead, face first into a penis cake at the adult novelty store Phil owns with his fiancée Nadine, one of Emily’s best friends. The cops charge Phil with murder right on the heels of his acquittal in a trail for burglarizing the Mighty is His Word church offices. Emily’s nemesis ADA Melinda Stafford claims her witness overheard Phil fighting with Dennis over a woman, right about the time Phil falls into a diabetic coma, leaving Nadine shaken and terrified. Meanwhile Betsy’s ultra-religious foster parents apply to adopt her and Jack starts acting weird and evasive. Emily feels like a calf out of a chute, pulled between the ropes of the header and the heeler, as she fights to help Phil and Nadine without losing Betsy and Jack.

She says her first book came out in 2012 and that her latest, Hell to Pay, is the seventh book in the series. The books all have ties to Texas, with “an interrelated cast of kick-ass female protagonists.” She says the novel’s heroine (“a former rodeo queen turned paralegal”) returns to her home town in west Texas and discovers an extremist cult has set up shop and is terrorizing the local townsfolk.

 

Read a Teaser 
Chapter One Excerpt
 
Disco lights whirled around me, or was it the room? My inner party animal had atrophied, not that I’d ever been a real heavyweight. If it wasn’t for the fantastic people-watching—and the fact that this was the celebration party for the burglary acquittal of our firm’s client Phil Escalante the day before, and his engagement to Nadine, one of my best friends in Amarillo—I’ve bagged this shindig. Instead, there I was with tendrils of fake smoke floating past my face, ten
 
feet from a DJ dressed in a black latex fetish costume and spiked dog collar and A tall woman maybe ten years older than me appeared out of the low lights and sidled up to me, engulfing me in the odor of cigarettes. Her vanilla hair sported a generous dollop of dark chocolate roots, which was pretty funny to me since she had a body shaped like a cone. A waffle cone. A waffle cone with sparkly sprinkles from the spinning ball overhead. Behind her trailed a paunchy man of roughly her height. His eyes had locked on me in a way that made my skin crawl with leeches that weren’t there.
 
Rick James’s “Super Freak” ended. The silence in the cavernous L-shaped room was immediate and complete, but short-lived. A clamor of voices from the one-hundred- or-so guests resumed, their voices echoing off the bare walls and “Hey, Foxy Loxy,” the man mouthed at me. Or did he? Surely not. It was hard to tell with the lights playing tricks on my eyes.
 
The woman spoke past me. “You and your wife got any plans later?” Her bellow seemed to fill the room to its farthest corners, even with all the other voices. I winced and shrank under the eyes that shifted our way.
 
Not Jack, though. The horse rancher cum criminal attorney was nothing if not unflappable. His topaz eyes twinkled. “Emily’s not my wife.” 
 
The man surged toward Jack. “You’re not together?”
 
“I’m his fiancée,” I said through my recently tightened braces and painfully rubber-banded teeth, leaving out “and he’s my boss.” I waved my big, fat teardrop-shaped diamond at him to accentuate my point, then I pinched Jack’s arm where my hand was looped through its crook. I’d capitulated to the mouth gear when my childhood orthodontist saw the gap between my front teeth and insistedneeded Invisalign then, filled my mouth with metal instead. Payback for never wearing my retainer, I guess.
 
The man and woman looked at each other and nodded. She asked, “Care to join us? We’ve got a room at a no-tell hotel nearby.”
 
Jack’s whole body shook and I didn’t dare look at him. I was a sucker for his laugh. In fact, I was a sucker for everything about him, from his lived-in boots to his permanent tan to his Apache cheekbones. Before either of us could think of an appropriate response, Phil interrupted.
 
“Millie, Pete, leave my poor friends alone.” He clapped a hand on my shoulder and gently pushed me aside to clap his other onto Jack’s. “They’re not swingers. And this isn’t a swingers social. I’m out of the business.”
 
The space between Millie’s eyebrows narrowed and puckered as drops of
 
light rained down on her face. “It’s a free country, ain’t it?”

Grab your Copy @
ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Pamela Fagan Hutchins writes overly long emails, best-selling, award-winning mysteries (WINNER USA Best Book Award, Fiction: Cross Genre, Finalist) and hilarious nonfiction. The Houston Press named her as one of Houston’s Top 10 Authors (2014).She is a recovering attorney and investigator who resides deep in the heart of Nowheresville, Texas and in the frozen north of Wyoming. Pamela has a passion for great writing and smart authorpreneurship as well as long hikes with her hunky husband and pack of rescue dogs, traveling in the Bookmobile, and her Keurig. Visit her at http://pamelafaganhutchins.com or drop her a note pamela at pamelahutchins dot com. 

And if you would like her to visit your book club, women’s group, writer’s group, or library, all you have to do is ask.

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Spotlight: VOYAGERS INTO THE UNKNOWN by Ruchira Khanna

 

VOYAGERS INTO THE UNKNOWN 

BY 

RUCHIRA KHANNA

 

Blurb 
In the historic Indian town of Agra, you can find a very unusual tour company, which is owned by a charming young man named Raj. Although Raj’s official job is to show off the historical landmarks of Agra, including the legendary Taj-Mahal, his true mission is to heal the souls of his broken “birds,” as he affectionately refers to his tour participants. His business operates purely upon word-of-mouth referrals, ensuring that all of his tour members arrive in Agra with their hearts in their hands, ready for the spiritual growth and cleansing that Raj is known to provide. Healing the hearts of the spiritually damaged can be a difficult job, and in this particular tale, Raj finds himself faced with his most challenging tour group yet. First, there is Ira, a stunningly gorgeous but fragile young woman on the brink of suicide. Next, we meet Darci and Lennard, a couple on the verge of divorce. Then there is Carl, an irritable, antisocial workaholic who has burned all of his bridges. Lastly, we meet Asha, an elderly widow who still yearns for the company and comfort of her late husband. When disaster strikes the tour group, everything is thrown into jeopardy, including lives, relationships, and Raj’s very reputation as a tour guide. Raj must find a way to lift the spirits of these five special travelers, even in the face of death and despair. Venture into the unknown and discover how Raj Touristry heals the brokenhearted, one soul at a time.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

 

A Reiki Master where she passes out information about channeling universal energy and conducts sessions. The author of “Choices”, “The Adventures of Alex and Angelo” but just another soul trying to make a difference in this lifetime.
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