Saturday 28 February 2015

Review - That Man in The Mirror by Rajeev Ranjan

Name of the Book - That Man in the Mirror

Author - Rajeev Ranjan

Publishers - Lifi Publications

Price - 220 INR

Blurb ­­-

How far one should go to help his sibling…Can we draw a line in blood relationships?

What happens…when we stop counting our blessings and long for fictitious pleasures, when lust takes over gentle senile notions of love and when you lie to yourself and justify it?

Is there any date sheet for emotions?

This novel tries answering these questions through a beautiful story. Besides it also touches the emotions that cross our heart when we embark on the journey of betrayal. It is also an attempt to locate that man in the mirror that we generally choose to ignore.


What I liked -

That Man in the Mirror is about everything it claims to be – Love…Lust…Life! It is real because it talks about human emotions that bring about a feeling of euphoria and then deep uncontrollable pain and regret. The story woven by the author is real and anyone can associate with it.

The female characters in the novel are projected as strong individuals who are entirely different from each other. While reading the novel you cannot help but draw a comparison between each of them and people you know. The protagonist Raghav is a man with dreams who knows what he wants and yet loses his way somewhere in his quest of finding happiness and realizing his dreams. He makes decisions, he doubts himself, he questions his motives and then he regrets his decisions and starts making amends. 

I liked the way the author has mentioned topics like superstitions, quacks, adolescence, pride, lust, love and regret. He has woven each of these feelings neatly into the novel which helps the flow of the story. I especially like one quote -  “Silent people are the most difficult to understand.” I loved the fact that the book ended on a positive note…After all I love happy endings!

Things that could have been better - 

The beginning was good, but then somewhere in the middle the story became very predictable; this changed after a few chapters! In my opinion the author could have added more details about a few characters - his brother and father. There is a brief mention about them, but a little more details about how they felt, what they were going through etc. would have made the book more interesting. A more visually appealing cover would have aroused more interest in the book, but as they say don’t judge a book by its cover; so I would like to end by saying…That Man in the Mirror is an interesting novel which will certainly touch a chord in your heart!

Rating - 3/5

Links -

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Friday 27 February 2015

Interview With Author Varun Prabhu

Ever since I started spending more time on social networking sites I realized that there are many people who thought out of the box and chose to write about interesting things. Varun Prabhu is one such person who I connected with on Facebook! Very like me, author Varun Prabhu is at his creative best when the rest of the world is immersed in dreams. His debut novel “Exodus” will be available in an e-book format on the 7th of March. Here are a few questions I asked him and this is what he has to say…. Happy ReadingJ!

Ø Tell us a little about yourself ….

      I am an ambivert, as in I can be both introvert and extrovert, depending upon the situation. I am also hard-working and detail oriented; always want everything to be perfect. I love research and I do a lot of it for my stories.

Ø What do you think makes a good story?

    Content. I will even ignore the grammar if the book has good content. There must be no loopholes and the story must have been developmentally edited. I will also ignore show versus tell as long as the story immerses me into the book and takes me to the world the author has created.

Ø Why did you choose to write about this particular genre?

    Fantasy, historical fiction, and mythology are some of my favorite genres. The current book, my debut novel, is a part of the Mahabharata series, a retelling of my own interpretation which will immerse the reader into the erstwhile Aryavarta politics and folklore. For my debut novel, I chose to write about this genre as I wanted to share the mythology from my POV and how I can relate to those times. Also, many have said my writing is kinda archaic, something that would suit that era. I choose these genres because I absolutely love writing them. Other genres, well, not so much. They pretty much end up being crap..hehe

Ø How much time did you spend on research?

    I have been a fan of Mahabharata since childhood and have been researching its folklore since ages. Considering I love the era and Krishna is my favorite, you may say that I have spent most of my time researching Indian mythology.  For this series, the research I have done before helped me a lot. Plus, I did a specialized research for 3-4 months and came up with new sub-plots and brought forth minor characters to play a major role in the epic. To come up with such things require extensive amount of time. The forthcoming books in the series will only double the research time because the need is extensive.

Ø How did you come up with the title?

    I had an ending in mind. Since the book ends with a temporary disappearance of Dharma and all the characters following it, it was simple really. Exodus means a mass disappearance of people from a place. Hence the name. 

Ø How long did it take you to complete your debut novel?

    It took me a fortnight to write up the first draft. Since this is a genre I love, I can usually write fast.

Ø Do you experience writer’s block? How do you deal with it?

    Not really. I haven't yet. I am clear upon what I want in my book from the start to the end. I plan extensively. I am a plotter, not a pantser.

Ø What does your family think about your career choice?

    Like all others, I face my share of judgment. I am a professional writer and editor. I don't earn much compared to the engineers and doctors and MBAs...I think my parents wanted me to become one of those. But I am happy where I am, because I am doing what I love. Despite all this, my family has supported my decisions even though they can be a bit cranky sometimes. I don't blame them. They have a right to be worried.

Ø Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

    I used to post a lot on websites and the readers have both good and bad things to say about my writing. The good thing is that they love how I write and interpret things. Reminds them of classics, they say. Some have even gone on and compared me to J R.R Tolkien by saying that my writing makes them reminisce the style the great author used. I take it as a compliment but I'm definitely not taking it to my head.

Ø Who is your favorite author?

    J.R.R Tolkien of course! If I had not read his Lord of the Rings, I would probably not have read many books. Or even write one. He is my main inspiration.

Ø What do you do when you are not writing?

    Reading, watching TV Shows (I am like an avid fan)

Ø You favorite song/singer…

    I don't really listen to much music, but then I like Ramin Djawadi and Enya.

Ø Your favorite quote…

“It's the job that's never started as takes longest to finish.” - J.R.R Tolkien - Lord of the Rings

Ø What advice would you like to give aspiring authors?

    Write. Just Write. Don't worry about the grammar. Don't worry about Structure. That's for later drafts. For first drafts, just get your ideas to paper. Also research well, and even if you are a pantser, have some kind of an ending in mind. And if you find yourselves in a block, I suggest leave writing for a while, go enjoy and then come back :)

Link to his FaceBook Page –

Twitter @VPAllasander

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Sunday 22 February 2015

Interview with Sonika Niti author of "Khwahisheen"

Life has a strange way of connecting you with people. I got the opportunity to speak to Ms. Sonika Niti, the author of Khwahisheen a few days ago. I put across a few questions that readers might want to know about her. The answers were crisp and said a lot about this simple lady who notices little things in life and captures them in her poems. I wish her all the best with her first book and look forward to reading more of her poems in the future!

How long have you been writing poems?

Well I think I loved writing since I was a child in school, though I became serious about it only in the last four years.

What inspires you to write?

The main source of inspiration for me is life itself, the twists and turns in life deeply inspire me and hence I write about them.

I love the title – What made you choose it?

Well I'm glad you liked the name. Most of my Verses revolve around a wish and of the hope it takes to fulfill it and hence I couldn't think of a more suitable name.

Tell us a little more about your book…

The book is divided into two parts - poems and Shayari. All of them are written in simple Hindi and Urdu and are the result of my thoughts and feelings.

Who is your favorite poet?

I deeply adore Shri Harivansh Rai Bachchan and Gulzar. Their work continue to inspire me.

How would you describe yourself?

I am an amateur poet who still has a long way to go, but I believe that a poem should be the result of a person's own thoughts and feelings.

Are you working on any other project? If yes, please tell us a little about it.

Yes, I am working on another project but I would like to keep it a surprise for now.

How was your experience with the publishers?

My publishers were very cooperative and creative and I enjoyed working with them.

What advice would you like to give budding poets?

My advice would be to write what you feel and be true to yourself.

What are your future plans?

My plan is to dig deeper into Hindi literature and discover more about

Published by Author’s Ink Publications, the book which is in Hindi will be available soon. Author's Ink India

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Monday 2 February 2015

"First Job and Ten Mistakes" by Uttam Kumar

Name of the Book - First Job and Ten Mistakes

Author - Uttam Kumar

Publisher - Become Shakespeare

Price - Rs. 95

Genre - Self-Help

Mr. Uttam Kumar and I got in touch through Twitter. He often retweeted and favorited my tweets and encouraged me as a writer. Little did I know that he himself was one! I came to know about his book at the beginning of this year and that is when I volunteered to review his book for him.  

About the Book

Made up of 43 pages, "First Job and Ten Mistakes" is a self-help book that talks about the common mistakes that people make in their first job. In this book Mr. Kumar has spoken about SpEaR Theory, Equity market, Credit cards, Loans, Career Planning and Goal Setting in such simple language that a layman will be able to understand as well as apply the knowledge gained with ease. To make things clearer he has even used real-life examples, which makes the reader realize that these problems are real and can be tackled with proper financial planning! In his book, Mr. Kumar has also provided pages on which the reader can set his/her  own Short Term and Long term Career and Financial goals. This is great as he/she will be able to write down his/her goals while reading the book and refer to them later to see if they have been met!

Personally, I feel that this book is a must for everyone who has just got their first job and wants to plan for the future. Since Mr. Kumar has helped many people tackle this issue he is well-versed with the problems that young people face!

With financial freedom comes great responsibility and it is important that a person understands all this before he/she falls into the vicious cycle of loans which never ends!

Links -
Twitter - @AuthorKumar

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