Interview with Author – Mr Saurav Chhawchharia

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So, recently I received the opportunity to converse with Mr Saurav Chhawchharia, author of the best-selling book ‘Once Upon A Time’. The reason why I contacted Saurav was that at just the age of 18 he managed to create this wonderfully complex story and managed to convey it in such a simple way.

#1. Tell me about yourself

I belong to a small town in Rajasthan where nobody even knows what a novel is, for instance, Premchand’s books which were written in Hindi and people don’t even know that it’s called a novel. I didn’t have an audience back then and made use of social media to connect with people. I got some decent education, not the kind you get in Metropolitan cities, but decent enough to teach me a thing or two. Even if you pulled some strings to get ahead, no one would question you. I’ve been a topper all throughout my school life, however, when I approached my school teachers for help, even they didn’t have answers to the questions I asked. I participated in various writing competitions after my Board exams and have mentioned the same in my book, ‘Once Upon A Time’ of how I began writing as a career. These competitions paid a good amount of money in US Dollars and I had a three-month long vacation and hence it was a win-win.

After about three to four months of participating in competitions, I stumbled upon the idea of writing a novel. I wrote a book, which I completed writing in four months and was rejected by about 80 publishers, which I eventually discarded. I wrote another book which again got rejected, time and again I kept writing and all of those books kept getting rejected. I didn’t have the financial support at the time to self – publish my books, ‘Once Upon A Time’ is my third book which talks about my struggle of how I kept failing at writing each time. My book answers the questions of many people out there who aspire to write.

#2. Did you have any other inspirations for this story?

Khaled Hosseini’s book ‘The Kite Runner’ has given me the inspiration to write and he’s so beautifully portrayed each character, he has a special place in my heart. Agatha Christie, on the other hand, is my favourite author.

#3. Do you have a writing schedule?

No, I don’t follow any routine as such. Currently, I’m a CA Article and have to go to work on a daily basis. Earlier when I went for Coaching Classes, I had to maintain a balance between studies and writing and never followed a routine, since I did not want to compromise on either. Moreover, I think a lot about how I’d be able to bring my story forward and until I don’t get a concrete idea of it, I don’t go ahead with writing.

#4. How difficult is it to come up with an original story?

It’s really simple. The idea is to put aside all the books you’ve read and put away your phone and other means of communication, so as to prevent you from getting ideas from various platforms. I’m currently writing a book which would hopefully be published in 2019. It’s a love story of the 1980s and we know that a lot of Indian authors write about the same. To prevent from writing some story that already exists, I used social media to see what stories had been written by other writers to prevent chalking-up the same stories.

#5. What are your hobbies apart from writing?

I enjoy travelling.

#6. What are your favourite books and favourite authors?

Like I had mentioned earlier, my favourite authors are Agatha Christie and Khaled Hosseini. Apart from them, I don’t really read. The maximum that I can read in a year is probably 5 books.

#7. Do you feel that not being an avid reader could actually help with creating more original stories?

I feel that one should read the books of a different genre from what they write, for instance, an author who writes about thrillers should read about different genres like romances, fantasy, science fiction except for thrillers and that would help one with creating an original story.

#8. How did your friends and parents react to you becoming an author?

I have a few good friends who’ve motivated and supported me and I’m grateful for the same. My parents didn’t react much to me becoming an author, but they are fine with it.

#9. Do you have another career in mind or have you decided to stick to writing or do you want to maintain a balance between both?

Although I’m currently a CA Article, I plan on pursuing writing. In fact, I would pursue a career in absolutely anything if I were good at it, for instance, acting and singing.

#10. What is your next book going to be about?

I’m currently engaged in a collaboration with three other authors and all the four of us will be writing one novel. The one about the love story will be published after this collaboration.

#11. Do you want to stick to writing about love stories or would you want to explore other genres?

I will try to explore whatever is unexplored.


I want to thank Saurav for taking time out of his schedule to speak with me. I would like to wish him best of luck in all his future endeavours. 

I would also like to thank Gayatri Jhala of gayatriskincaretips for transcribing this interview for me on such a short notice. 

Saurav is available on the all social platforms mentioned below:

Instagram: @iamsauravc

Twitter: @talktosaurav

You can buy Saurav’s book ‘Once Upon A Time’ by clicking here – https://amzn.to/2rXYGCI

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Interview with Author – Mr Devdutt Pattanaik

With a total of 30 books on his portfolio and 600 columns published by major news outlets, Mr Devdutt Pattanaik shows no signs of stopping.

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A former medical professional by trade, Mr Pattanaik considers studying and writing about mythology his true calling. Mr Pattanaik’s known worldwide for writing best sellers such as My Gita, Sita: An Illustrated Retelling of the Ramayana, Jaya: An Illustrated Retelling of the Mahabharata, and 7 Secrets of Shiva to name a few. He’s also written books on Management namely; Leader: Insights from Indian Mythology, The Success Sutra: An Indian Approach to Wealth, and The Talent Sutra: An Indian Approach to Learning to name a few.

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Mr Pattanaik’s also hosted two shows on CNBC-TV18 & CNBC Awaaz called Business Sutra & Shastraarth respectively. He frequently works as a consultant for Star TV and hosts Devlok with Devdutt Pattanaik on Epic Channel.

In this interview, Mr Pattanaik discusses his childhood, his writing process, his recently launched book My Hauman Chalisa, and much more.

1. What was your childhood like, and was there any particular catalyst in those formative years that helped you generate this interest in mythology? 

It was a regular suburban upper middle-class upbringing where the focus was on education and establishing a good career. I had a very regular, stable, unimpressive childhood with two sisters and parents who loved us and each other very much. Today, I realise how privileged I was. We were not particularly religious. And like all children of that time read Amar Chitra Katha and Chandamama comics through which we accessed mythology.

I guess I had a natural inclination for religion, folklore, fantasy and philosophy, and my parents never stopped me from buying books: everything from the Art of Boris Vallejo to the Bhagavatam by Kamala Subramaniam. It’s only after I completed Medicine that my interest in mythology became intense and serious, as an escape from the world of healthcare, which I did not find particularly exciting.

2. Can you describe your writing process? And, how do you overcome writer’s block, if you go through it that is? 

I write every day in the morning till noon. It’s my daily routine. I write whatever comes to mind. A tweet. An article. A chapter of a book.  An idea for a new book. I wish I exercised as regularly as I write. Then you would be healthier. Instead, I have to settle to be a prolific writer. I usually don’t suffer from writer’s block as I write on multiple topics and themes and so just go with whatever excites me at a time. Some days are great. Others terrible.

3. Your latest book My Hanuman Chalisa — wherein, you interpret the verses in contemporary language for the modern readers — released this month,  So, my question is, why Hanuman Chalisa?

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It is about paying attention to a prayer that is common amongst most Hindi speaking Hindus. It is chanted often but do we know what are we chanting? Who wrote these words? And what connection do these verses have to Puranas and eventually the Vedas? It helps us realise how Hindu thought reached the masses since Hinduism does not have a tradition of preachers and missionaries. Wisdom reached through story and song.

4. What according to you is more difficult; writing a mythology for children or writing one for adults? 

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I really do not see the difference. With children, you have to be more clear, more directive, more simple. And so it helps us unravel complex themes. With children, I use many more themes and weave them into a wider, more intense, fabric. I try not to make philosophy binary and simplistic for children as I feel children can handle complexity. For example, Sita makes choices. Not always. And not all choices work out. So what does that mean? Is choosing good or bad? Why do we say a choice is good or bad? Children need to reflect on these ideas so that they become responsible adults. We must not give them ridiculous wishful ideas like good actions result in good reactions.

5. Your current bibliography contains only one fiction novel i.e. The Pregnant King. Any plans for writing more fiction books in the future? 

Yes, hopefully, next year. I have written a short story though which is fiction, ‘Is he Fresh?’ published by Tehelka. Some young people want to make it a short film.

6. You’ve written a total of thirty books on mythology. What character, in your mind, stands out from the rest? 

Ram actually because everyone is so eager to vilify him without actually appreciating the complex structure of the epic. It reveals the vast gap between the Vedic transmitter and the modern receiver.

7. In today’s era filled with so many injustices, tragedies, and sorrows, whose ideologies would be better suited to solve these issues, Ram or Krishna? 

Justice is a Greek concept. And they did not believe in equality. Justice was about keeping everyone ‘in their place’ – destroying hubris of man who seeks he can be god. In Greek mythology, some people are special as they are children of gods. Rest are mediocre. Equality as a concept comes from Christianity. We are now conditioned to see the world through the Greco-Christian lens that we assume is rational and real but is actually simply a Western discourse. The world is what it always has been: full of predators and prey, eaters and eaten, rich and poor, kind and cruel people. Our suffering comes from assumed benchmarks and technology that is designed to benefit one tribe at the cost of the other. And so industrialisation benefits the West and destroys the old feudal order, but replaces it with a new class of the economically and politically privileged. Nothing really changes. At least that is the traditional Indian lens. Ram and Krishna are not ‘superheroes’ who are seeking to make the world ‘a better place’. They are finite forms (avatar) of  ‘infinity’ (ananta) showing us how to live in the world, at peace, no matter what the context and challenges.

8. What is the one consistent theme you’ve observed across all these mythologies?

Death and coping with death and so finding meaning is a consistent theme underlying all mythologies. In Greek mythology, meaning comes from achievement. In Abrahamic mythology, meaning comes from submission and alignment. In Indian mythology, from witnessing the world by empathizing with multiple points of view.

9. Can you tell us a bit about your upcoming projects?

I avoid talking about things that I am working on. Needless to say, they will all deal with mythology, and one will be a fiction.

10. For the readers who would like to connect with you on social networks can you tell them where and how to find you?

Go to my website Devdutt.com or find me on Twitter as well as Facebook via my handle ‘@devduttmyth‘.

Interview with Anime Reviewer – Anime Girls NYC

The name Stephanie Clarke may not ring a bell in your head, but ask someone about Anime Girls NYC and they’ll immediately tell you about the popular anime review website. Anime Girls NYC is one of the most popular anime review website about which I came to know through WordPress. And I thought why not ask her if she’s interested in doing a brief interview for my blog.

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After a brief correspondence she agreed and lo and behold! here we are with the interview. After reading the answers to her questions particularly the one dealing with her reviewing process, I found out that she really tries to go in-depth with the review writing notes, taking screenshots etc. which shows her dedication towards her readers to provide them with a comprehensive reviews of the shows.

I’m so excited to present this interview for you guys, I know that you’re all gonna enjoy this one just as much as you enjoyed the previous interviews. Hence, without any further ado here’s my interview with Anime Girls NYC:-

1.) Can you please tell the readers a little bit about yourself?

Well, I’ve been watching anime since I was 10. My first anime was Dragon Ball Z. After watching Goku fight his brother Raditz and then the episode leaving me with a cliff-hanger, I knew this was the show to watch. Ever since then I started watching more Anime from Sailor moon to Pokémon. It wasn’t until I got older that I realized how much of an anime fan I was.

2.) What initiated you into reviewing anime?

I started to review anime by realizing after starting my social medias for Anime Girls NYC and how popular they were, I’ve decided to create a blog where I can go into depth with anime. You are kind of limited on social media. The blog platform gives you enough room to be creative with your stuff. Now I can really talk about the anime I love and hate to watch!

3.) Can you describe your process of reviewing an anime for the readers?

My process of reviewing an anime is while I watch the anime I will have a paper next to me or my phone jotting down notes. (I.e. a plot twist, character development and etc) Also, a 22 minute show for others will turn into an hour show for me because of the many times I have to stop and write down something. Also, all the screen shots I have to take or retake because the scene I wanted to grab didn’t come out right. After I finish all these steps I start taking my notes and my thoughts on them and create a review.

4.) What do you think makes a great anime, plot or characters?

What I think makes a great story is both plot and character. First you need a plot/storyline that the characters can follow. Then you need characters to carry the plot. Without one of the other it wouldn’t be a great anime.  You need the plot to keep your audience interested in what is going to happen with the characters and the whole story itself. Then you need the characters for your audience to fall in love with or to hate.

5.) Can you tell us some of your favourite anime and manga?

My favourite anime is Death Note. The psychological approach to this anime was amazing. The god like mind of Light Yagami to the God like mind of L. I loved the cat and dog chase.

My favourite Manga is Deadman Wonderland. I love the character development in this manga. The psychological approach to this manga is so good.

6.) What are your views on anime being adapted into live-action films? As an anime fan do you think they’re necessary?

If you have read my blog you may see I slip in a few slick comments about live action adaptions. Personally, I always feel like they fail. They always receive bad reviews. They never grasp the concept of what the anime and manga brings. The action is catered to keeping the audience engaged instead of sticking to the actual storyline. I do not think they are necessary.

7.) Apart from watching anime what other activities are you interested in?

Besides watching anime, I am a very active person. I go out with my friends a lot, bowling, partying, karaoke. I also like to cosplay at events. I travel places because of my job and for personal reasons. This list can be very long. Haha!

8.) What genre of anime do you usually prefer watching? And what genre would you like to explore next?

The genre of anime I prefer watching is Psychological, horror and action. Those are my favourites. The next genre which I recently just started to explore more is sports. I never wanted to watch sports anime but after watching Haikyu I was hooked.

9.) Any particular anime you’re excited for this year?

The anime I am excited for this year and am currently watching is 91 days. I like the 1920’s and the prohibition time in America. I like revenge stories. This has all of it in it. So, pretty excited for more episodes.

10.) For the readers who would like to connect with you on Social Networks can you tell them where and how to find you?

To reach me on social media:

Facebook PageAnime Girls NYC

InstagramAnime_Girls_NYC

Twitter: @animegirlsnyc

Websitewww.animegirlsnyc.com

 

In conclusion, I would like to thank Ms. Clarke for taking the time out of her busy schedule to do this interview for my blog, I really really appreciate it. A big thank you to all the people who are constantly supporting this blog everyday, and I hope to keep you all entertained with this type of content. So, once again guys please do check out Ms. Clarke’s website and do support her, like her Facebook Page, and also follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

If you want to follow me on any of the above social networks you can check out my “About” page to find the links. Thank you so much guys for reading this article and I hope you all have a nice day!

 

 

Interview with Author – Mr. Aidan J. Reid

Hello! Ladies and gentlemen, today I’m bringing you an interview with author of books such as Pathfinders, Sigil and Spectrum, Mr. Aidan Reid. Mr. Reid was very kind to give me an opportunity to interview him and I thank him for taking time out of his busy schedule to do this interview with me.

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Thus, without any further ado here is my interview with the wonderful Mr. Aidan Reid.

1.) Can you please tell the readers a little bit about yourself?

I’m a self-published thriller author and freelance blogger who decided to quit the corporate rat-race in 2014. I have released two novels and a short story and have featured in a number of local and national newspapers back in my home country of Northern Ireland.

2.) What initiated you into writing?

I had a story to tell. I’ve been writing in some capacity for as long as I can remember. As a child, I wrote short stories for my class mates. When I entered adulthood, University studies and then an unfulfilling career took hold and my passion was soon buried underneath a need to make money and tick all the boxes which other people define as ‘success’. Between jobs, writing knocked on the door again. I was twenty-three, and had just discovered a book about Lucid Dreaming. It seeded the idea for a novel, which became Pathfinders and took almost a decade to write.

3.) When not writing, what do you like to do in your free time?

Read widely. I agree with Stephen King when he said the best way to become a better author is to, read a lot and write a lot. I also enjoy watching documentaries about anything and everything. I enjoy working out – lifting weights. This year I’m obsessed with making juices after watching the documentary ‘Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead’. I’m quite healthy and fit but I strive to always improve.

4.) Other than the genres you’ve already explored in your books, what other genres would you like to experiment with in the future?

I’ve considered the idea of using an alias to write a young-adult, romance or erotica. There are so many readers out there for those titles and I would like to test myself and get outside my comfort zone. I’m not a lover of those genres but feel that I could do a better job than some of what I’ve read.

5.) From where do you draw inspiration for the characters in your books?

Everyday life. Movies I’ve seen. Books I’ve read. Elements of my own personality. I try and mesh personalities and create some ambiguity in the characters I create making them 3-D, someone that people can relate too – flaws and all.

6.) What do you think is more important, plot or character?

Plot. You need to be able to tell a good story. A bad plot can’t be saved with well written characters. A book should transport you to another place – a form of escapism. If the plot doesn’t hook, the characters will only be window dressing.

7.) Who are your favorite writers and what are your favorite books?

Richard Matheson. I loved ‘I am legend’ and ‘What dreams may come’. I also enjoyed some of Paulo Coelho’s earlier stuff, particularly ‘The Alchemist’. My favorite three novels of all time are ‘Lord of the Rings’, ‘War and Peace’ and ‘Don Quixote’.

8.) Without giving away too much, can you please tell us a little bit about your future projects?

I will be releasing my third book, ‘Raising Lazarus’ at the end of this year. The first draft is finished and I will be hiring an editor and illustrator to work with me on that in a couple of months time. Between now and then, I will release a science fiction short story called ‘Crystal Clear’ – It’s almost finished and will be released in September. I’ll also ramp up my blogging. I’ve been quite slack on that front lately, and will continue to build my audience.

9.) For the readers who would like to connect with you on Social Networks, can you tell them where and how to find you?

Facebook – www.facebook.com/aidanjreidauthor

Twitter – @aidanjreid

Website – www.aidanjreid.com

 

In conclusion, I would once again like to thank Mr. Reid for giving me this opportunity to interview him and I wish him good luck from me and my readers in his future endeavors. And to everyone who has read this interview, make sure you check out Mr. Reid’s beautifully written books.

Thank you for reading, and have a nice day!

 

 

Interview with Author/YouTuber Mr.Travis McBee

Hello! Ladies and Gentlemen of the internet, I’m here with an interview, but this time it’s not a book reviewer. Instead, today we’re joined by Mr. Travis McBee who is the author of wonderful books such as Bridgeworld, Encounter at Atlantis, Triton: Rise of Empire and his latest novel The Dreamer.

Mr. McBee along-with being a published author is also a YouTuber. He makes videos on writing tips for people interested in writing books and also does sketches and vlogs on his YouTube channel. In today’s interview he talks about what initiated him into writing, his favorite books and authors, his future projects, what he likes to do in his free time and much much more.

So, without any further ado here’s my interview with Author/YouTuber Mr.Travis McBee

I would like to thank Mr.McBee for taking time out of his busy schedule to do this video. If you guys want to connect with him on Social Media you can check the links down below.

Link to his website:- http://www.TravisMcBee.com

Link to his Amazon page:http://www.amazon.com/author/travismcbee

Link to his Twitter account:- http://www.twitter.com/travis_mcbee

Link to his Facebook page:- http://www.facebook.com/authortravismcbee

Link to his Goodreads page:- http://www.goodreads.com/TravisMcBee

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interview with Mr.Clifford Lee Sargent from “Better Than Food-Book Reviews”

Hello! Ladies and Gentlemen my name is Aaroh Palkar and today I’m here with some really amazing content for you guys to enjoy. So, a little back story, I was trying to find a book review on Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian and I came across this review done by this gentleman called Mr.Clifford Lee Sargent on his channel called “Better Than Food-Book Reviews” on YouTube.

The book review was fantastic and hence I started to binge other book review videos made by him. His choice of books, content, presentation, etc.is so good and unique that I thought about contacting him to do a little interview for my blog. And I emailed him, we had a brief correspondence and he agreed!

Hence, people of the internet I give you my interview with Mr.Clifford Lee Sargent from “Better than Food-Book Reviews” in which he tells us everything ranging from his childhood, to his race with his teacher to finish Stephen King’s “IT”, his favorite writers and the books which impacted him.

In conclusion, I would like to thank Mr.Sargent for taking out the time from his busy schedule for doing this interview and also to the readers/viewers for watching this video.

PS:- I was going to write a transcript for everyone’s reading purposes but Mr.Sargent has answered the questions so amazingly well that I think watching the video gives a more better experience rather than just reading the transcript.