Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Interview: Olivier Lafont

BLOG TOUR INTERVIEW


Simran: Firstly, congratulations on the grand success of your book ‘’Sweet Revenge’’. Tell us a little about yourself.
Olivier Lafont: Thank you! As for me, I’m a French author and actor. I consider myself a storyteller first and foremost, and acting and writing as different facets of that. I’ve loved stories from as far back as I can remember, reading and watching them, writing them. That’s been the most constant impulse of my life. I talk about my life and passion in terms of constancy because I’ve lived in several different countries, and experienced different cultures up close. So I write from an inherently multicultural experience, and it’s been quite interesting forming my own identity and individual culture and translating that into my stories.


Simran: We know that you are one awesome writer. Tell us about your book Sweet Revenge, what it means to you, and how did you conceive the idea ? How long did it take to write this book?
Olivier Lafont: Thanks again! ‘Sweet Revenge’ is a contemporary romance novel, a classic story of lovers torn apart and brought back together by destiny years later. I actually wrote the book as a bit of a lark, for my wife. So it has that ‘sentimental’ value, as something I did for her. It was a really interesting experience as well, writing with that form and structure. I always like having some romance in the books I write, but having the entire book focused on romance was an interesting experiment. Making the hero French was clearly inspired by my own origin, and the American aspects were inspired by my American influences. All told the book must have taken about a month to write.

Simran: What was your learning from writing your book?
Olivier Lafont: That romance is quite fun to write!

Simran: When do you write the most? Is there a favorite place at your home or office where you write the most? Any props that you feel lucky to keep with you when writing?
Olivier Lafont: When I’m in a writing phase I try to be consistent with my writing sessions. I usually write in the day. I have created a completely comfortable environment in my house, one where everything I need is immediately at hand so that there are minimum distractions. I don’t believe in lucky charms, but I like having my wife in the room somewhere, so maybe she is my lucky charm.

Simran: We would be happy to know about any future projects that you are currently working on?”
Olivier Lafont: I’m giving some thought to a sequel for ‘Warrior’. I also have a new Young Adult novel for which I’m looking for the right publisher.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Before it's too late!


 Break the bond that holds you back
Write your story afresh on a slate
Of the dreams you have seen
Before it's too late!

Fly high as if it's now or never
Just for this one moment
Believe you can conquer it all
Rescue life from a repent
Before it's too late!

Say it all that you have kept in heart
Coveted, as your biggest secret
Pain flows out when shared
Don't let sorrows become a threat
Before it's too late!

Written for A Week for Writing for a Picture Prompt

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Chocolate love!

Photo credits: Author of  My Friendship
There are certain temptations 
that you seek in every time and everywhere
enough to get you along the track
no matter how bad you wrote in exams
no matter how low you felt after a rejection
no matter how pissed off you are after a day's work
As soon as that craving is fulfilled 
That moment becomes a paradise
when the chocolate caramel 
melts helplessly in my mouth
the sheer pleasure comes out as
Yum! Ummm! Yum

Written for Daily Prompts for the topic, Pour Some Sugar on Me

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Friday Fiction



55- fiction refers to fictional writings bounded to a maximum of 55 words.
The theme for 55-Fiction Friday is Rain. Participate here 

Saturday, December 05, 2015

And... I'm back!

As promised here I am after a long vacation, away from my dearest space; my blog. Are you curious what's that kept me so busy? So, read further. This year has been terribly busy from academic perspective. Soon after board exams I applied and appeared for entrance exams, long wait for the results and then brain-storming for making a decision. I couldn't concentrate on anything and so I started my goodreads challenge. One book a day, and which I religiously followed for almost 15 days. I discovered my love for reading, photography, arts and crafts. I am happy that I utilized my time in some constructive work rather than getting lost in boredom. Then came my results. Some negative and some positive. ''Clearing BHU entrance isn't easy. You are very lucky to get admission in a first attempt''. I was surprised equally as I hadn't prepared anything extra. Then things changed dramatically. So rapid that I myself was confused. Everything was done. The admission was taken and the fee was paid but there was no more hostel rooms left. I was told to look for a  PG which my parents totally denied as they found, it wasn't safe for me to stay and more likely I myself didn't like that atmosphere. Then, with lost hope I applied for a Hero Group University( BML Munjal University) for a management course. Management? Hahah I hadn't ever thought of it either. And that's how fate plays the game at the most unexpected hour. I got selected. It came as a surprise to me. Being a science student, BBA was something out of league for me. But, that's what was meant fortunately or unfortunately I do not know.
BML Munjal University

I was happy to start a new life where everyone and everything will be new. The first glimpse of my college and I was like WOW!! Totally speechless. Our seniors were ready to do a warm welcome. The best part was, our university had planned a week orientation program which consisted of guest lectures, interaction with faculty, ambassador's night, music concerts, leadership talk and talent hunt for freshers. A full week was given to us to explore every corner, make new friends and adjust ourselves to the routine. Then, first day of class and I must say, there is no day till date I felt bunking classes. We have interactive sessions. Thanks to our professors for being friendly and welcoming as ever to our ideas positively.
Sufi Gospel Project, the famous Sitar player Pt. Prateek Choudhari, Master chef contest ( my team came second)
The campus life is so happening that I can go on writing about it (may be in future posts). Time flies here like anything. In between this new venture, new course, assignment, presentations, quizzes and semester I missed out this place. It was quite challenging for me on an emotional note for leaving home and staying far away from family for the first time. I didn't want to fill this place with negative thoughts so stayed quite for time being.

''Time is a great teacher''. It taught me to live on my own, to be more responsible, to adjust, to mold myself according to situation. From now onward, I will be regular because you live where your heart is :) 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Cover Reveal: Encounters- Someone's Always Waiting by Sumana Khan



Encounters by Sumana Khan 





Blurb 

Someone Is Always Waiting 

EXCERPT FROM THE NOVELETTE “THE STORYTELLER” IN ENCOUNTERS COLLECTION

I stare at the cement bench covered in pigeon shit and spot the dim outline of the granite slab embedded in the backrest. Years ago, when the bench was new, the granite slab was a shiny black mirror inscribed with the words ‘Dedicated to the courageous people of Thirukadal’. Four cyclones and many pigeons later, the words have disappeared. The place is so choked with weeds that the bench appears to rest on the thorny plants. Behind me, beyond a muddy track, the Bay of Bengal hisses and sighs in a treacherous language.

I look up at the sky, as if to decode the time. My watch says it is half past seven in the morning, but the sky, clotted with grey clouds, remains secretive. It could be evening as far as the heavens are concerned. A depressing form of rain is assured; the kind that only occurs in this eastern coast of South India—skies that sob continuously for forty-eight hours, increasing humidity, mosquitoes and the stench of choked drains, damp walls and wet clothes. I wonder if the sky had been just as morose on the morning of 26 December, 2004.

I tie a handkerchief around my face, covering my nose and mouth, and hack away at the weeds. Swarms of mosquitoes and flies rise in a static buzz and hover over my head like a satanic dark halo. It takes me an hour to clear a small area around the bench. The sky starts its weeping just as I scrub the bench with a coconut husk and Vim detergent powder.    
After half an hour, the granite slab gleams into existence once again. I’ve got my memorial ritual paraphernalia in a Food World plastic bag. I bring out a strand of jasmine that I loop around the granite slab, its fragrance weak in the rain. I crouch under my umbrella that won’t open fully and light a couple of incense sticks. I’ve forgotten to bring the incense holder, so I stick the smouldering incense into a banana that was to be my breakfast. I place it on the bench in front of the granite slab and hold the umbrella over it. I close my eyes in an attempt to pray. All I can think of is the angry allergic rash that’s spreading on my legs and hands thanks to the weeds and that the incense smells like a cheap aftershave.

I give up and sit on the bench, still holding the umbrella over the incense. The rain stings my skin like the rash. The hard, wet seat numbs my thighs instantly and a dull arthritic pain blooms in my knees and lower back. I squirm, shifting my weight from one butt cheek to the other. I wait, just as I’ve waited in vain for the last seven years, for the storyteller to show up. The incense is all ash now. I may as well eat the banana and tell you the story of how I met this mysterious man.    

About The Author 


Sumana Khan was born and raised in Bangalore and currently lives in the UK. She is a blogger and a student. Her debut novel was The Revenge of Kaivalya. 

Author website: http://www.sumanakhan.com

Join the Giveaway  +Goodreads 





Goodreads Book Giveaway


Encounters - Someone's Always Waiting by Sumana Khan


Giveaway ends December 11, 2015.
at Goodreads.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Author Interview with Madhu Vajpayee, Author of Seeking Redemption




Book Blurb:

Story of a girl Meera, who is unwittingly drawn into a conflict from where she finds it difficult to emerge unscathed. It's her journey from being a simple, medical graduate belonging to a middle class family to the uncharted territories of corruption and caste based politics. Her path is crossed by the two men, both compelling yet completely contrasting characters, who are forever going to change her life. If it is Aman who can challenge her ideals and defy her resolves, and makes her the person she finally becomes, it is Abhay's sublime love which enables her to go through the vicissitudes of life. It's also the story of her loss as well as triumph against her own demons to find her true self.

Buy a Copy from Amazon

About the Author:


Dr.Madhu Vajpayee- the writer was born somewhere in those hospital corridors where she has spent the last two decades of her life. Witnessing life at such close quarters pushed her to capture its enigma in her words and slowly it became her passion. After writing several scientific papers and chapters in books, this book is her first step in literary world.  

Having done her graduation, MBBS from King Georges Medical University (KGMU), Lucknow she went ahead to pursue her post-graduation, MD from AIIMS, New Delhi. She was a consultant at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi having been associated with management of patients living with HIV/AIDS. She is now settled in Melbourne, Australia with her family, where she is devoting most of her time to writing, the passion that she couldn’t pursue earlier because of the demands of medical profession and commitment it requires.
When not creating stories, Madhu enjoys reading and travelling.

Reviews for the Book:

It was a perfect book and can motivate one. ~ Nidhi Author on Goodreads

Wonder full book.Clearly highlights the current problems faced in India as a result of reservation! ~ Nikhil Dave on Goodreads

It is one of the amazing fiction I have read in the near past. Highly recommended. Cocktail of Corruption, politics and love. ~ Akshay_Tripathi on Amazon

What Madhu does well with this story is to highlight many factors that need change. She brings out facets like reservation. She talks about the more rigid mindset of an Indian family ~ Vinay Leo @ Booworm's Musings

Contact the Author:

Check out the Tour Stops:

  1. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
As long as I remember. Although I was not able to write in a formal way, I always wanted to write.
  1. How long does it take you to write a book?
Almost a year, including the first draft then process of reading, re-reading, editing and re-editing!!
  1. What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I don’t have any particular schedule, I try to write whenever I can. It’s funny, sometimes I just cannot write when I have plans for it. Other times, I can write even when I am in midst of something. It all depends on my thought process and creative burst.
  1. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I read a lot and when I find something heartwarming …some dialogue, sentence or scene, I somehow try to invoke exactly similar kind of feeling in my writing.
  1. How do books get published?
Very complicated question indeed. It seems to be a very complex process. You have no idea what can click to publisher. You just have to believe in yourself and pursue your writing as passion and forget everything. The alternative route of self-publishing demands lot of conviction on your part.
  1. Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
It depends. Sometimes from what I hear about the lives of people. At other times what I read in newspapers, social media or by watching movies. But whatever it is, a small part of me is quintessentially present in what all I write in a way that how I perceive things.
  1. When did you write your first book and how old were you?
Although I wrote my first book of 50 pages when I was perhaps around 17 or 18 year old…but I never had the courage to tell my parents and formalize my writing into something worthwhile.


  1. What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I am a doctor by profession. I also enjoy reading and travelling.


  1. What does your family think of your writing?
Fortunately, they are very supportive about it. They like my passion and encourage me with full enthusiasm. But sometimes, my son do get irritated by my obsession!!!
  1. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
When you create something, it’s like having your own baby. I was surprised to find the same kind of feeling for my books. I not only love them but also so protective about the story and characters!!
  1. How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
Not many….just two. I can’t really comment on this. I love the one I am writing at that particular time only to be replaced by my love for other.


  1. Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?
Definitely, reading is the first. It opens up a new world. Besides learning how to write, it inspires and challenges us to excel. Secondly, observation. I observe a lot. How people interact, express or show their emotions help you to create the dialogues, emotions and feelings in your writing.
  1. Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
I have just published so still waiting for the feedback from my readers. I hope they will have something nice to say.
  1. Do you like to create books for adults?
Ideas have no limits. Who knows, one day!
  1. What do you think makes a good story?
For me, a good story is one where you don’t lose interest in it while still reading.
  1. As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
A medical doctor
  1. What Would you like my readers to know?
Believe in yourself. Never quit!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Moments of Togetherness

In this hi-tech generation almost all of us have a smartphone. We carry it throughout the day to check messages, latest updates and even during spare hours in a day which we get to relax for some time. While journeying in metro, partying with friends, dinning with family, during class lectures, evening walk and even while driving on road; our eyes remain glued to the phone screen as if it is going to give solution to all problems. It's an addiction eating up our real world little by little. To be precise, our virtual world is superseding our real world. Even the warmth of love, gratitude and relations have become digital; easy to manipulate (status). No commitment. There are days when we feel a void inside; wanting someone to just sit and listen what we have to say, to exchange a few kind words and get inspired by someone's life experience. It becomes hard to start up a conversation with a person sitting next to you with all his attention either in mobile screen or an ear- plugged to music. This is an act of ignorance, unintentionally though. We have made a private world of our own and that's the major reason for weakening of relations, friendship and understanding. 


It's high time to reconcile the gap between us and our real world where there are people waiting for us to have our attention… to love, share and care. Nature follows the notion of giving and receiving. So, why not associate our happiness of togetherness with the nature.

 Last month when dad asked my elder brother to buy grocery from a nearby shop, he refused to go just because he wanted to spend some more time chatting with his friends over his phone. Realizing his constant change in behavior and cut-off from his responsibilities, dad and I came up with a plan. We decided that every day for one hour we will close all the lights in our home except in our drawing room. No use of electric appliances other than the fan and an LED tube light in the room. Initially, it was very discomforting to stop all work sharp at 9:00 pm till 10:00 pm and sit in a room for random discussion. Many a times, my brother and I lost our patience sitting without gadgets in hand. It was surprising to notice after a week, that one hour became our most favorite part of the day in which mom and dad shared about their past experiences, their childhood, college days and professional life. I was amazed at the fact how less we knew about our own parents. After a month, my brother asked dad that why we have to switch off every electric appliance for an hour during our conversation. To which dad replied, ‘’each day for one hour we not only do family get-together and discussion without disturbance but also we save up energy. Think, all this while when you don't use your laptop, printer, mobile phones, television; you contribute a support to the global mission of saving energy. Let nature too smile with us’’. And we both hugged him tightly.



This post has been exclusively written for Kissan India .

Monday, October 19, 2015

My Friendship and five years!

*Cake-candles-song-claps-wishes*
Happy Birthday to you ''My Friendship''...my blog... my second home... my savior... my little world. So much of ''My'' but not more than ''Yours''. I feed this space with my thoughts but it grows only when its readers read and give feedback. This journey started back in 2010 when I was in eighth standard and now I am doing my BBA in international finance and accounts. It's hard to believe how years rolled by and today it's the fifth anniversary of ''My Friendship''. This is happiness; a pure bliss!

I clearly remember the first day of blogging. It was a struggle between what to write and how to write and whether should I write or simply delete it the next moment. Fortunately, I chose to write; thanks to my stars. By the time I discovered, there was completely a different world dwelling... ''the world of words'' where even the pain seemed beautiful. It became a medium for me to express. We can not just go and say everything and every thought that comes to mind. There are things meant not to be reacted and expressed at the very moment. We keep it in heart knowing well it needs to be considered and heard without judgement. And this is how My Friendship became my best friend. I wrote every beautiful, strange, dark and sweet feeling that came across... in the form of poetry. I learnt to balance my emotions, thought process, empathy and analyzing between wrong and right. 

 It's been quite a long time since I blogged. Last month was challenging for me on an emotional note. It's the first time I am staying away from home. However, day by day I am getting over it. I have my mid semester around the corner and my thick books on management, economics, logic and mathematics are waiting for me. But I promise, I won't leave this place deserted with old posts and would do a come back soon. 

In terms of writing, this year has been unexpectedly lucky for me. My creations are now part of twelve poetry and story anthologies and several online magazines. I had never thought I would come this far. Blogging has blessed me with some life-long friends. I owe gratitude to each of my reader who helped me grow as a writer and as a person. I hope to receive the same love and support for the years to come. 

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Cover Reveal: A DOG EAT DOG-FOOD WORLD by SURESH CHANDRASEKARAN


Cover Reveal:

NEW RELEASE:  A DOG EAT DOGFOOD WORLD 
BY  
SURESH CHANDRASEKARAN

Blurb 
A hilarious pseudo-history of marketing management, which explicitly denies resemblance to any actual history, and which will be horrified if some semblance be found. The story of a man who discovered that the path of life is strewn with treadmills and, if you get on one by mistake, you could keep running all your life to stay in the same place. The story of how a businessman may just be minding his…err…business and the ‘Invisible Hand’ can cause unexpected consequences to arise out of his innocent actions. There is no point blaming the tale for being exaggerated because that is precisely what it seeks to be – an ‘exaggeration ad absurdum’ of some facets of the world. Anything you learn from the book – be it the basics of marketing management or a satirical view of Society – you do at your own risk.
The tale only dogs the doings of:
Spike Fortune who only sought to feed dogs and, later, sought more dogs to feed.
Jerry Fortune who, being fortune less, gets dragged helter-skelter behind his uncle Spike in the latter’s careening pursuit of commercial success and gets sandwiched between Spike and..
Tyke who was Spike’s resident genius on enticing dogs with their wares. He also has to help Spike in his rivalry with..
Tom Rich, who is unwillingly dragged into upstaging Spike and tries to do it by teasing the palates of cats, helped by the bumbling efforts of..
Jasper Rich who would rather be partying than chasing cats with cat-foods.
Pre-order Now @Amazon.com

Meet The Characters

Spike Fortune, who, being unable to justify his existence by making money, is obsessed with justifying his existence by spending all his inherited wealth. Lead into the paths of commerce, he discovers that, while it may seem attractive to set out to lose money, the natural consequence of having people consider him a loser was indigestible. Having set out to feed dogs, Spike becomes obsessed with feeding more dogs and, later, having more dogs to feed.

Jerry Fortune, who discovers that there are perils to having your livelihood depend on a benevolent uncle. Tied to his uncle’s coat-tails by a need for sustenance, he is dragged helter-skelter behind Spike in the latter’s careening progress in pursuit of commercial success. Having first been a mere interpreter between his uncle, Spike, and the resident marketing guru, Tyke, he later finds that being in the middle can get very uncomfortable, indeed.

Tom Rich, who had never realized that the easy contempt he had for his schoolboy acquaintance could prove so dangerous. Spike’s meteoric rise in the world of Commerce puts him in a position of either having to prove himself better or have all that contempt come back with usurious interest. He drags his nephew, Jasper, along in pursuit of teasing the palates of cats.

AND MORE....

All that Spike and Tom had wanted was to be a winner in their respective businesses and, more importantly, in their own private game of one-upmanship. They had no idea that their humble quest would redraw the contours of Society and set in place principles that both businessmen and Society would live by.

Meet the Author

Fiction has been an addiction but the need to make a living took Suresh through Chemical Engineering and a PGDM at IIM-Bangalore and, from thence, to a long 16 year stint in the area of finance with specific expertise in fertilizer subsidies and a further two years as consulting expert in the same area. That, in his words, about sums up the boring part of his life, except for the people he was privileged to meet.

Otherwise, he can be described as a mess of contradictions – a bookworm but avid trekker; alone but never lonely; enjoys solitude but loves company; lazy but a perfectionist, the litany is endless. Trekking, which side-tracked him from the writing for which he quit his job, is a major passion and he does, at least, one trek in the Himalayas every year in addition to numerous local treks.

He reignited his passion for writing with a fairly popular blog www.jambudweepam.blogspot.in. The blog has been rated among the Top 5 humour blogs in India, twice in succession - in 2014 and 2015 - by BlogAdda, and has also been listed third among the Top Humour Blogs by Baggout.

He also has a short story published in a collection “Uff Ye Emotions” and has edited and written a novelette in an ebook anthology “Sirens spell danger”

Book Launch by: