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Friday, January 29, 2016

Author Interview : Jane De Suza, author of ‘SuperZero' (Part 1)

Read up, the first part of the Interview with Jane De Suza (Part 1), the author of 'SuperZero and the Grumpy Ghosts'. In this section, she talks of how the journey began, how she came up with the core idea and developed it, how the characters came about,  and a lot more, Folks...

How did ‘SuperZero’ series begin? Could you describe the journey?

‘SuperZero’ was sold even before it was written. I was introduced to Niyati, the amazing editor from Puffin, who started talking to me about possible books I could write for them, and when I floated this idea, she loved it, and from then it was “easy-peasy choco-cheesy” in the words of SuperZero himself. 

How did you come up with the core idea and develop it? 

I saw the little kids around me run around with their moms’ dupattas as superhero capes, and I wondered what little superheroes would be like.
Would they be little muscled wonders? OR would they be scared of the dark, would they have homework hassles, would they trouble their mothers? So I began to imagine them up and write them up. 

How did the characters, especially SuperZero’s and the rest of the super heroes come about?

SuperZero just popped into my head. A hero, who started out life with no powers. A zero. Then I needed to inhabit the book with his other superhero friends. 

So. there was a snake girl called Anna Conda, and a kid who goes invisible called Blank, and a darling little vampire who is called Vamp Iyer. I needed to keep the characters both relatable to as well as lovable.
The second book has ghosts, but these too are likeable and funny ones, with quirky characters.

What according to you is different about your book?

This is one of the few out and out laugh-a-line books I’m told by the kids who read it. The ‘SuperZero’ series does NOT try to dictate morals or preach.

It is downright funny, and I think that’s why kids like it so much. Humour is so needed (and so little found) in their serious hectic lives today.

You can Read the Review, right here
You can also Buy the Book, right here


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Author Interview : Malay Upadhyay, author of ‘Kalki Evian : The Ring of Khaoriphea' (Part 2)

Read up, the Interview with Malay Upadhyay (Part 2). In this section, he talks of how he relates the book's characters to lives today, the most fulfilling parts in the book, the characters he felt most close to and why there is a surge in books on mythology, nowadays, also his favourite authors, and a lot more, Folks...

When would your next book be out?

I have had three short stories released towards the year end. Each deals with one character from the story and revolves around a different contemporary issue. 

'A Christmas in Barcelona' shows us Jelzan’s perspective before his
Malay Upadhyay
marriage with Fridgeon Friuli; 'Selfie Simulation' (part of Project 9 anthology) looks at Fridgeon’s (whom Qin addresses as Friuli) perspective after her marriage with Jelzan; and 'An Enlightened Fly' finally brings the all-important Fly to the fore.
It is based in the final moments of Book 2 of the Kalki Evian series. 

As for Book 2 itself – a prequel to Book 1, I am putting the finishing touches to it now. So, we may see it sometime next year.

Why do you think there is a sudden surge in stories based on mythology and fantasy, these days?

There may be different schools of thought to this. I could say it is the continuing alignment of Uranus and Neptune that leads to a transitionary focus towards spiritual thought-process, as happens to any prevailing species and is much needed. 

Alternatively, I may say it is just the latest trend to catch on, as happens in cycles anyway. I could also vouch that it is because technology today has empowered us to better express what we could only imagine initially, that fantasy is taking centre stage. 

Yet another argument would be that we are searching solutions due to the state of our society today – when we are all feeling stretched, stressed and drenched in an unmistakable feeling that we as a profligate society have missed a step.

Who are your favourite authors and why?

Richard Bach
JRR Tolkien. He was the first to show me how a world like Middle Earth could be created to such fine detail while retaining contemporary relevance. 

Also, Richard Bach, for having delivered inspiration in such a short story as 'Jonathan Livingston Seagull'.

Who is you inspiration?

Many. That includes a fly. That also includes you, who is reading 

Mo Yan
Which book are you currently reading?

'Pow', by Mo Yan.

What book is coming from your desk, next? When do you see it released?

'The Fly That Followed Me'. It is Book 2 of the Kalki Evian series and a prequel to Book 1. The latter was based in Italy. This one is based in India. 

It recounts the episodes of Kanha Evian in the time that led up to his train accident, prompting the whole saga to unfold. And yes, it brings a major character – the fly – into the fray.

What do you do on a day to day basis, besides writing stories?

I have been working as a Marketer, ever since I returned from Italy. Beginning January, though, I may be spending the whole of next year in Canada – a new chapter.


You can read the First Part of this Interview, right here
You can Read the Review, right here


Monday, January 25, 2016

Book Review : 'Like Smoke' by Paro Anand

It is with great sadness that I must share the fact that I have not read any books by the author, Paro Anand. I have known her for quite a few years, but it is only now, that I have finally read a book on adolescents by her. And it was brilliant.

'Like Smoke' includes 20 different stories of 20 different teenagers. Every story touches upon the emotions that every teenager may have felt during that part of our lives, or maybe even when one is older. They include stories of friendship, love, religion, death and hate. Or just the opposite, sometimes in the same story, over a period of time. 

Stories such as, ‘Those Yellow Flowers of August’, ‘Wild Child’, ‘In the Shadow of Greatness’, ‘See you Shortly’ ‘Jason Jamison and I’, ‘City Boy’, which make you feel happy, sad or even angry, or just peaceful. Or perhaps try ‘Susu’, which would have you laughing loudly.

Each one of these tales will touch you in some way or another. Because their
Paro Anand
subjects are like that. They are not all of one subject, of one period, or even of one emotion. But they all might have been a part of your life, some way or the other. There are parts which one may like, dislike, love or even hate.

All these stories could touch a raw nerve or have you remembering your own story, of just being there. I will not write anymore beyond this, a review of this book is something, which is better left unsaid. Better go, grab a copy of your own. Highly recommended.

You can Buy the Book, right here.