Reader’s Nook: QA with Michael Noss

Image Source: Flickr

Image Source: Flickr

About Michael: Married, four children, grew up in Idaho, currently a contractor living in Colorado, former officer in USAF, first time author who challenged myself to simply see “can I actually write a full-length novel” as part of the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in 2013; completed a year later as part of NaNoWriMo 2014, published this past April. Originally wasn’t going to bother getting published, just have a copy for myself and my mother (avid reader who inspired a love of reading in me), but wife’s online friends begged for copies of their own so I went through CreateSpace to self-publish. Very limited sales thus far (~55), but very positive feedback from those who have read it.

My novel is a fantasy novel about a human girl who discovers she is descended from dragons. Now her draconic blood will allow her to travel to Draco Keep to help stop a war from breaking out between dragons and the rest of creation. Along the way she has to learn about her dragon heritage, but ultimately it’s her humanity which helps to save the day.

Dragon Born is available on Amazon or at dragon-born.com.

1. Name 5-10 of your most favourite books

Ender’s Game, Armor, Starship Troopers, Magic the Gathering: Arena, Elfstones of Shannara, Time/Test/War of the Twins (trilogy), and of course Dragon Born (my novel) 😉

2. A book that you have re-read the most

Scions of Shannara.

3. Favourite authors and why

Terry Brooks and RA Salvatore. Beyond their characters, their style of writing is less like a college professor giving a one-way lecture, and more of a round-the-campfire storyteller. I modelled my own writing after their styles.

4. Genre you dislike

Mystery — it’s such a copout when the author reveals a crucial detail just pages before the end of the book to conveniently explain something which you, the reader, couldn’t possibly have known all novel long.

5. Character crush

Drizzt Do’Urden and Raistlin Majere (not romantic, just my favorite characters of all time).

6. Character you strongly identify with

Andrew “Ender” Wiggin.

7. One character you want to bring to the real world

Professor Xavier.

8. What is your ideal reading space/environment

Living room, late at night, single light on in house.

9. Must-have books in a collection

Trying to complete my collection of Shannara books by Terry Brooks, since I recently agreed to read his prequel series as well.

10. Earliest memory of books and reading

My grandfather worked for NASA, he once visited with some junior astronomy books when I was very young. He read them with me, all the excitement of wonder in his voice, and I was hooked on both reading and astronomy (got my degree in astrophysics).

11. Weirdest book or reading experience

I forget the title, but as a fan of both Star Trek and X-Men, I once found a novel which had the two worlds join together for an adventure. Let’s just say I think I prefer the two separate.


Found the questions interesting enough? How about you answer them? Feel free to drop me an email for the same at sucheta dot scribbles at gmail dot com.

 

Advertisements

7 Reasons Why ‘Buying Books’ Wins Over ‘Buying Makeup’ For Me

Nope. I am not against those who buy makeup and love it to the core. It is just that they are a different species and I am a different species. And after buying makeup with a friend, for the friend, I have come to a definite conclusion and that is – I rather invest in books than makeup. My reasons would be:

  1. Makeup has a poor shelf life. 3 years max. Books, well no such limit on them!
  2. Spending a grand on a makeup fetches you maybe a handful of products or just one product. Spending a grand on books, can fill up your entire shelf (if you purchase from sales and book fairs).
  3. You need to practice with a steady hand – how to apply makeup. No such skills are required to read a book.
  4. Can you multitask while applying makeup? I bet you can’t. Books allow you to multitask in more ways than one. 😉
  5. Makeup trends change with season and time. Books refuse to do so. That is why we have classics.
  6. You cannot inherit makeup products passed down several generations. With books, it is a possibility.
  7. Precision is a must for makeup. But books let you be an oaf.

These are my excuses of not investing in that perfect Marsala lipstick or the latest eye liner. I would rather have a rare copy of To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, plop on an unshapely bean bag and start reading it nonstop.

Author Interview: Jenny Harper

Jenny CC 3 web cropped

Hello Jenny! It is nice to have you here with us. Now I know you are a retired journalist and a businesswoman. How did writing happen to you?

Hi Sucheta, thank you for hosting me today. Like many authors, I have been writing all my life. My mother must have noticed some kind of gift when I was a child, because she bought me a correspondence course, How To Be A Writer. But my love of creative writing was unexpectedly stifled when I chose to do a degree in English Literature – I could never be a Tolstoy or a George Eliot, so why even try? It took me a very long time to understand that not everyone wants to read such novels, and that I might find a ‘voice’ that today’s readers would enjoy.

You live in Scotland. Could you give us some insights on life in Scotland and the reading habits of the Scottish people?

Scotland is part of the United Kingdom, that also includes England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The population is around 5 million (compared to 60 million in England), and the land mass is almost as big as England, so the country is much less densely populated. There are reasons for this, mainly terrain and climate.

There are two large cities in Scotland, Edinburgh (the capital, where I live) and Glasgow (bigger, lively, but less historic), and six smaller ones. All are rich in history, with some fabulous buildings. The central belt is highly populated, but the rural areas can be quite desolate, especially as you travel further north (away from England!). Here, the sceneryis rugged and life can be difficult. Tourism and fishing are important, especially in the north west, while agriculture is easier in the east and further south. The scenery is amazing, particularly in the west Highlands and the islands (there are almost 800 islands off the coast). The climate is temperate, particularly in the south. In reality, this means that summers are mild (seldom hot) and winters also much milder than, say central Europe or Canada or America, where the land masses are huge – the sea that surrounds us has a mitigating effect. However, the wind can be very strong! In general, it’s a pleasant climate, with fresh and clean air.

I imagine that reading habits must be as varied as anywhere in the world. There is a proud tradition of Scottish writing – one that probably found its earliest popular voice in Sir Walter Scott’s tales of derring do. I’ve visited his house, a fabulous baronial mansion in the Scottish Borders called Abbotsford. It’s impossible not to admire his work ethic, and the amount of historical research he put in to his novels. You couldn’t just Google facts back then! He had to send off for books or borrow them, often from distant friends, then wait for days or months while they made their slow journey to his remote home. Nowadays a genre called Tartan Noir– crime fiction set in Scotland – is extremely popular. Ian Rankin is probably the best-selling novelist in this genre, though there are other notables such as Denise Mina and Val McDermid. Alexander McCall Smith’s gentle novels are hugely popular all over the world too. He has been kind enough to offer me a cover quote for my latest novel, People We Love!

You have written 15 books so far. Which one was your toughest job and which was a breeze? And why?

I started my working life as a non-fiction editor, for William Collins in Glasgow. When I turned freelance, they offered me the chance to research and write a book based on old postcards they had once published. This led to further offers, and before I knew it I had written three books on Scotland and Scottish life. Back then, I used to write longhand while a neighbour typed my work up for me! (I was working at Collins, however, when the very first computer-typeset book was published, amid huge excitement!).

The most challenging book was a history of childbirth called With Child: Birth Through the Ages. I co-wrote it with a friend, Therese Duriez, and we were so naïve we didn’t realize that we’d have to research the whole of the history of medicine before we could even start! Thankfully, it was very well received, and you can still find the odd copy on Amazon.

The easiest was a short children’s novel I wrote one evening, called The Sleeping Train. I found an agent and a publisher at once. Sadly, I didn’t make enough money back then to live on, which is why I began to turn more to journalism and the business world.

You write contemporary women’s fiction. What made you choose for this genre?

When I left business, I decided I wanted another go at writing fiction. It took me some time to ‘discover’ my voice – but I suppose, in reality, I write what I like to read. That is, well-written books (at least, I hope they are!), with vivid characters, strong plots that drive you forward, and compelling issues. Books that reflect the world about us and not some idealized version of it, and that show women as they battle the odds at home, at work and in their relationships.

If given a chance, which fictional world would you love to live in and why?

Difficult question! My favourite author is Dorothy Dunnett, a Scottish writer who, I believe, is the best historical novelist ever. Her books are set in the 15th and 16th centuries and span Scotland, England and much of Europe. Everything is there – politics, intrigue, scandal, life from court to cottage and, of course, romance. I’d love to be a fly on the wall in some of her scenes – but whether I’d want to live there is another matter. Too dangerous, too much disease, and far too smelly!

Could you elaborate about the Heartlands series? What is it all about and why should the readers add it to their shelves?

I decided to set my first novel, Face the Wind and Fly, in a fictional town, so that no-one would be able to say, ‘But that shop isn’t there,’ or tell me you have to turn third left, not fourth … The town is called Hailesbank, and it’s set just east of Edinburgh, but in a geographical context that’s recognizable. When my book finally found a publisher, they thought The Hailesbank Series didn’t sound right and asked me to come up with another. I liked the sound of The Heartlands, and post-rationalised it! Here’s a little of the explanation that appears in each book:

“The small market town of Hailesbank is born of my imagination, as are the surrounding villages of Forgie and Stoneyford and the Council housing estate known as Summerfield, which together form The Heartlands. I have placed the area, in my mind, to the east of Scotland’s capital city, Edinburgh.

“The first mention of The Heartlands was made by AgrippusCentorius in AD77, not long after the Romans began their surge north in the hopes of conquering this savage land. ‘This is a place of great beauty,’ wrote Agrippus, ‘and its wildness has clutched my heart.’ He makes several mentions thereafter of The Heartlands. There are still signs of Roman occupation in Hailesbank, which has great transport links to the south (and England) and the north, especially to Edinburgh, and its proximity to the sea and the (real) coastal town of Musselburgh made it a great place to settle. The Georgians and Victorians began to develop the small village, its clean air and glorious views, rich farming hinterland and great transport proving highly attractive.”

I should say that the first four books in the series can be read as standalones. The next one (Mistakes We Make, due for publication next year) follows on from the current one, People We Love.

Why should readers add it to their shelves? If you like a great read, with strong storylines, characters you can engage with, set in Scotland, hopefully my books are for you!

As a seasoned writer, what are some tips that you would like to share with budding writers?

Believe in yourself. This is very hard if you are being knocked back by big publishers all the time, but have faith.

Keep writing. The more you write, the better you get.

Listen to criticism. But only from writers or readers whose views you trust. Don’t be seduced by praise from family or friends!

Push yourself. Dig deeper into your characters, cut unnecessary words or scenes ruthlessly, ensure every line pushes your plot forwards – and make sure your work is professionally edited before it goes public.

 


This was all about Jenny. You can take a look at an excerpt from her latest release – People We Love – an entire chapter by clicking on this link.

Book Excerpt: People We Love by Jenny Harper

PWL_FC web

This is an excerpt from Jenny Harper’s latest release – People We Love. If you like it, please feel free to share your feedback here and with Jenny. You can also read her interview here.

Webpage       http://jennyharperauthor.co.uk/

Blog                http://jennyharperauthor.co.uk/

Amazon           Buy the book


Chapter One

Catalogue number 15: Child’s shoe. 16th-century? ‘Concealment shoe’. Found in rafters of agricultural worker’s cottage outside Hailesbank. Donors: Eric and Sheila Flint, Forgie. ‘Concealment shoes’ have been found concealed in wall cavities or among roof rafters of many old houses. They were thought to ward off evil.

When Jamie was alive, AlexaGordon wore hippy dresses in luminous colours and danced barefoot on the lawn at midnight.

When Jamie was alive, they ate drizzle cake and made scones heaped high with cream and jam.

When Jamie was alive, she had a future.

And then it all changed.

I don’t know what you thought you were doing,she saidsilently to her brother for the hundredth time, getting into that car that night. You might have accepted the risk for yourself. But you had no right at all to ruin everyone else’s lives.

She looked down at the bowl in front of her. Breakfast cereal stared back, sodden and limp. She pushed the dish away.

‘You must eat, Alexa dear,’ her mother Martha said, capturing a stray grey lock that was hanging in front of her face and twisting it round her fingers.

‘Don’t fuss, Mum,’ Lexie answered without thinking.

Martha bit her lip and hunched into herself as she pulled her tired-looking peach candlewick dressing gown closer round her thin frame.

Idiot, Lexie chided herself. It’s the anniversary of Jamie’s death. Think before speaking, today of all days.

The problem was that her mother’s tendency to fuss had become an obsession with her wellbeing. It was understandable, but sometimes hard to bear. Lexie looked down at her plate. She had barely touched the cereal.

‘It’s gone soggy,’ she said, trying to be conciliatory. ‘If I make toast, will you have some?’

Concern could run both ways.

She saw Martha’s mouth twitch at the corners. Whatever else she might be, her mother wasn’t stupid.

‘A little,’ Martha touched her hand lightly. ‘If you have time.’

Lexie stood up and cleared her plate from the table. Living at Fernhill again was both strange and stiflingly familiar. She was thirty years old and once believed she could build a career as an artist. Now all she had to remember this by was a tattoo round her thumb and hair the colour of a flamingo’s wings, plus a tendency to see everything in terms of how it might be captured on canvas.

Thanks for nothing, Jamie— 

‘Brown bread okay?’

‘Fine. Thank you.’

She cut two slices and pushed them into the toaster. Outside the tall sash window, the garden was blanketed in an early morning mist. In the far corner, by the pergola, she could just see the blossom on the cherry tree, delicate and wraithlike.

‘I do appreciate this, Alexa. Your being here, I mean.’

A blackbird took off from one of the branches and a small flurry of petals swirled softly towards the grass. Lexie pursed her lips. How could she fail to know this? Martha’s thanks were expressed ten times a day, their utterance a delicate trap. She was all her parents had left and she had to be there for them. This meant, she told herself, that she didnot regret marching into Patrick Mulgrew’s gallery in Edinburgh a year ago and telling him she was withdrawing her exhibition.

Even though it meant the end of their relationship as well.

Her throat swelled with unshed tears and she had to summon all her willpower to push away the hurt she still felt at their separation. Thinking about Patrick wouldn’t do any good. Instead, she retrieved the toast and rearranged her face into her customary jaunty smile before she turned round.

‘I know you do. Come on, Mum. Let’s eat. Then I must get to work. I take it Dad left early?’

She didn’t really need to ask. Where her mother was all dependence, Tom Gordon had turned into The Great Provider – strong, uncompromising and utterly resistant to any kind of conversation about his son.

Martha’s eyes glazed over.

Some family we’ve become, Lexie thought. Surely we weren’t always like this?

‘I’d better go, Mum. Dad’s called a special meeting.’

‘Please be tolerant, darling. I know he’s obsessive about the store, but it’s because he wants to show he loves us.’

‘I am tolerant. Most of the time, anyway.’

She and her father were two of a kind in many ways. They certainly both threw themselves into work as a diversion.

‘Will you be all right? What are you going to do today?’

Martha stood up. Her dressing gown hung off her body in loose, sad folds. Once she’d been a legal secretary – smart, efficient and very organised. Grief was eating her up.

‘I’m going,’ she said, ‘to do some gardening. I think.’

Lexie found the shifts in her mother’s character profoundly unsettling. And now she had to prepare to be unsettled all over again, because her walk to work would take her past Patrick Mulgrew’s house.

Ten minutes later, Lexie stepped through the front door of Fernhill and pulled it closed. It was eight thirty in the morning and she tried to leave the ache of loss behind her in the gloomy spaces that had once been filled with laughter. She tugged her old tweed jacket closer, glad of its warmth. There was no point in being bitter. It was a waste of time to think about the things that might have been.

Despite the obvious truth of this, there was no way of avoiding Patrick’s house. It took seven minutes to cover the distance between Fernhill and The Gables. Seven minutes of separation. For a brief time she and Patrick had both found it amusing that he lived in Hailesbank near her parents while she lived in Edinburgh, near his gallery. They hadn’t been together long enough to change that.

Three minutes. She reached the end of James Street and crossed onto Darnley Place. Patrick’s continued proximity was a fleabite that itched, she reminded herself, nothing more. She didn’t care about him now: she could never have sustained a relationship with Patrick because they were too different. The way she saw it, she put family first and Patrick thought only about profit. Better to find that out sooner rather than at some point in the future, when they might have become knotted together, like roots round a boulder, so that separating would tear at the fabric of life.

Six minutes. Patrick owned a smart art gallery – or, to be more precise two, one in London and one in Edinburgh. People saw him as either discriminating and astute or snobbish and arrogant. Lexie lengthened her stride. She found it impossible to forget Patrick because everything that mattered to her was so tightly entwined with him: ambition, career, and passion. Was that why she’d loved him so much? In the short time they’d been together, he’d taken her heart, her body and her brain – the complete package – and made them all his.

Seven minutes. There it was now, a million pounds’ worth of sandstone and lawn, the epitome of everything the man stood for – style, statement and substance. Crow-stepped gables, baronial turrets and an old Scots pine standing sentinel by the gate.

Lexieglanced down at the tattoo round her thumb. ‘Artbollocks’ it read – an indelible statement of belief about art and honesty.

‘Why disfigure your beautiful hands like that?’ Patrick had once asked, tracing the letters with his long fingers as they’d lain limb to limb, half drugged by ardour.

‘So that I never forget,’ she’d answered fiercely, ‘about pretentiousness.’

He’d lifted her thumb to his lips and kissed each letter, one at a time. Eleven feathery kisses.

‘You’re very different,’ he’d said, ‘but I think I might just be in love with you.’

His car wasn’t there, she noted, which was a relief. They’d learned politeness this last year, but kept their distance. Too many words had been spoken that couldnever be unsaid. Still – he didn’t know it – but  fending off the hurt she felt about their break-up was like rolling back the tide:­ impossible.

By the time she arrived at the Thomson Memorial Park, the mist was beginning to lift and the park was already alive with its quota of elderly dog-walkers and mums with buggies. She glanced right – a habit she had developed – to catch a glimpse of the river as it flowed past the foot of Fisher’s Wynd. She found the water soothing and it worked its magic again this morning because at last she was able to put Patrick firmly out of her mind and focus on Jamie. This was his day, after all, and despite her anger about his death, he’d always be a part of her.

Stay with me, bro.

When she reachedKittle’s Lane she turned right, so that she’d pass Cobbles. If Pavelwas in the shop already, she’d wave to him.

Lexie adored Cobbles. She loved the jumble of antiques Pavel seemed able to conjure up from nowhere. Each object, however humble, had a story to tell. A stone hot water bottle shivered out a tale of freezing nights in icy beds; a moustache cup in fine porcelain whispered of male vanity; a carpet beater, twisted from rattan into a Celtic knot, hinted at the hard labour that housework once was. Most of all, Lexie loved the vintage clothes that peeked tantalisingly from cubbyholes or begged for attention from serried ranks of hangers on rails at the back of the shop. She was addicted to vintage.

Half way down the lane, she spottedPavelSkonieczna sashaying out of the shop. He placed his sandwich board on the pavement and stepped back to admire it, his hands wafting up to his mouth with characteristic grace. Cobbles, read the elegant copperplate script, Antiques and Collectibles. Lexie smiled. Pavel(always dressed in vintage, always colourful) was the perfect advertisement for his own shop. Today he was smart in green tweed – his favourite suit – teamed with a mustard moleskin waistcoat and brown brogues.

She speeded up. ‘Pavel! Hi!’

Shoulders straightened and tweed turned. ‘Lexie. Darling. You’re early today.’

Lexie grimaced. ‘I know. Dad’s called a staff meeting before we open.’

Pavel shook his head. ‘You shouldn’t be working in that place. It’s not right for you.’

Spot on, Pavel. Like trying to shove a jelly through a sieve and expecting it to come out whole on the other side.

‘I know. But what can I do?’

‘Stand up for yourself. You always used to. They use you.’

‘It’s not that simple.’

She let her parents use her, because she had to. It was the only way she could think of to make things better. It was her way of helping herself as well.

‘You’re a good daughter.’

Lexie hesitated. Pavel confided recently that his partner Guy had died some years ago and he’d moved to Hailesbank to escape the sad memories. His only family now was a snake of a sister who had disowned him and, because he never talked about it, Lexie guessed how much it hurt him.

Pavel spared her the embarrassment of having to think about what to say.

‘Is it about that marketing plan?’

‘I expect so.’

She’d spent the last month working with Neil Taylor, the assistant manager at her father’s furniture store, on a plan designed to drag the old family business protesting and spluttering into the twenty-first century. Or rather, Neil had been working on it, in his careful, business-like way, and she had been attempting tomodernise the store by selecting more stylish stock and updating the layout. At least, that’s how she sawher role.Her father was proving resistant to change.

‘I’m a bit nervous, Pavel, to tell you the truth.’

‘Do you think he’ll veto it?’

Lexie shrugged and pulled her jacket across her chest. The sun might be dappling the river already, but it hadn’t dropped in on Kittle’s Lane yet.

‘You know Dad.’

Compassion glowed in Pavel’s eyes and Lexie looked away. Sympathy was always the hardest part of friendship to accept.

‘I must dash,’ she said. ‘Sorry.’

‘Good luck, darling.’

‘Thanks!’

The store where Lexie was heading was at the east end of the high street. It was part of a run of shops built in the mid-nineteenth century when Hailesbankhad been at its most prosperous. Her great-grandfather had taken up the first lease, and the sign he’d proudly commissioned to run above the entire shopfrontwas still there.

Gordon’s Furniture Emporium (Est. 1892)

The elaborate letters were painted in pure gold leaf on a forest green background and the whole sign was covered in protective glass so that, a century and a half later, it still announced its presence with undimmed glory.

‘The trouble is,’ Neil had observed when they’d studied the frontage as part of their research, ‘that sign is probably the last smart thing left in the whole place.’

He’d put his finger on the problem. Was there really any need to look further to discover why Gordon’s was struggling for survival?

Lexie pushed open the heavy oak door and marched in. A man was standing by the overstuffed chesterfield, the tartan one she particularly disliked. He was around six feet tall and strongly built, with wide shoulders and narrow hips, and he was casually dressed in a rugby shirt and jeans. One of the new guys from the removal firm, probably. She hadn’t seen him before.

Or had she? Although he was facing away from her, towards the back of the store, there was something disturbingly familiar about the figure.

‘Can I help you?’ she said, the nagging in the recesses of her brain making her voice sharper than usual. ‘We’re not actually open yet.’

He whipped round.

‘Christ! Where’d you materialise from? I didn’t hear you come in.’

Lexiewasn’t breathing. Why wasn’t she breathing? It should be simple, shouldn’t it? She did it all the time. She’d done it all her life, for heaven’s sake.

‘Cameron?’

The man stepped forward.

‘You haven’t changed a bit. Not even the hair, I ssee.’

Six years was a long time, yet it disappeared in an instant. Lexie’s lungs inflated with sweet oxygen before a sense of devastation caught the back of her knees. She was drowning in desire again, just as she always used to be. Shocked by her reaction, she forced herself to look amused – one humiliation by Cameron Forrester was enough for a lifetime.

‘Well, well, the wanderer returns. Have your folks killed the fatted calf?’

‘Nah. Mum won’t buy meat at the supermarket and the butcher’s closed since I was last here. She made apple crumble for me. I’ve missed crumble.’

His grin was just as Alexa remembered it: irrepressible. The smile faded as he scanned her face. He’d changed. Once, he would just have flashed a wink and cracked a joke; now there was something more observant – or was it more calculating? – in the way he was studying her.

‘Crumble, huh?’

The words emerged as a croak and she cleared her throat.

Cameron Forrester had been a member of the Hailesbank Hawks until injury had put him out of rugby for good. He still bore the scars: a broken nose that gave his face a lived-in look, and a scar under his chin from where a studded boot sliced it open in a hard-fought league game. ‘Badges of honour’, he used to say, when Lexie teased him about the nose or ran her fingers along the white seam of the scar.

‘You’re looking terrific.’

He took another step closer. Instinct made her edge away. How was it possible that he looked so like the Cameron she’d fallen in love with all those years ago?

‘Am I?’

Her reserve seemed to fluster him.

‘I’ve been away,’ he said needlessly. ‘Running activities for children on a cruise ship. Children! Me! Can you imagine?’

‘Not really, no.’

Questions scratched at her mind like horsehair. Does he know about Jamie? Does he know I’m back living in Hailesbank? Is that why he’s come?

‘So how are you, Lexie?’

He edged towards her for the third time. She clutched at a high-backed recliner, upholstered in gunmetal and steel blue chenille. The cloth felt coarse and unfriendly under her fingers, but this time she managed to stand her ground.

‘Why did you leave, Cameron?’

Why didn’t you write?

‘I heard about Jamie,’ he said. ‘I’m so sorry.’

‘Thank you.’

The stock response slipped out before she could stop it. It was what she always said whenever anyone offered condolences. Damn him! Using Jamie as a personal shield was unforgivable.

‘What a bloody waste,’ he blurted out.

People didn’t usually say things like that. They tiptoed round the subject, they never trampled right through the heart of it.

‘Oops,’ he said, seeing her expression, ‘Sorry. Me and my mouth. But honestly, it’s true, isn’t it? Jamie had so much going for him.’

‘Can we leave this?’

‘Shit. I’m not good at—’

Lexieswung away. She spotted a sagging cushion on a nearby sofa and grabbed it, bashing the middle to plump it up. What are you good at, Cameron? Apart from breaking hearts.

‘Did you want something? I’ve got work to do.’

‘Just to say hi. And see if you’d meet me for a drink after you’re finished here.’

Meetyou?’

‘Well,’ he muttered, dropping his head in a semblance of repentance so that all she could see was a mass of thick, sandy hair. She didn’t need to stroke it to remember how it felt.

‘I owe you an explanation.’

‘I really don’t want to hear it.’

Liar! She really didwant to hear it, but six years of hurt got in the way of admitting this.

‘No. Fair enough.’

The grin was back, but wry – another new trait. Cameron had never been one for navel-gazing. He was a physical contact man. A cheerful, generous, blunder-in-feet-first-but-in-a-well-meaning-kind-of-way man. The absolute antithesis, now that she thought about it, of Patrick Mulgrew.

‘Take your point.’

He ran his hand through his thatch so that it stood momentarily on end before tumbling, in the old way, down across his eyes again. When he turned to go, she was conscious of disappointment. At the door the grin reappeared, spiced this time with mischief.

‘It’s okay, I can see you need time to get used to me being back. It doesn’t have to be today, we can meet up tomorrow. I’ll call you.’

Infuriated by his presumption, her spirit returned and she hurled the cushion at him.

‘Don’t bother! I won’t change my—’

But it fell, softly, a yard short and the heavy oak door swung on empty air.

Six years of silence and now he was back. Where did this leave her, for heaven’s sake?

Reader’s Nook: QA with Anjana from The Greedy Reader

Image Source: Pixabay

Image Source: Pixabay

About Anjana: I’m a Libran and I live and love life to the fullest. I’ve got 2 kids, who in equal parts inspire and exasperate me. Blogging has opened a whole new world for me and I’m loving it. I also blog at The Greedy Reader about one of my passions, books !”
Anjana also blogs on The Glass Bangle. And I happen to love her take on life and other things on her blog 🙂 Do check it out!

  1. Name 5-10 of your most favourite books
  • Power of One – Bryce Courtenay
  • To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee
  • Jane Eyre – Jane Austen
  • Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand – Helen Simonson
  • Exodus – Leon Uris
  • Sister of my Heart – ChitraBanerjee Divakaruni
  • My Sister’s Keeper – Jodi Picoult
  • Far Pavilions – M M Kaye
  • NeermathalamPoothaKalam (Malayalam) – Kamala Das
  • Sheer Mischief – Jill Mansell
  1. A book that you have re-read the most

Jane Eyre. I never grow tired of reading about Jane Eyre. Such a plucky heroine and the best thing Ilike about her is her strong belief in herself. Of course the gorgeous brooding Mr.Rochester adds to the allure J

3.Favourite authors and why

Kamala Das – For creating magic with her words. For constructing beautiful word pictures and taking the reader right into them.

Harper Lee – For creating amazing characters like Atticus Finch and Scout. For giving me idols, fictional admittedly, but who I can look up to.

Jill Mansell – For having the most spunky and interesting heroines I’ve ever read about. For creating  truly delightful worlds peopled by endearing characters. How I wish I could live at least for a short time in one of her novels J

  1. Genre you dislike

Paranormal, Science Fiction

  1. Character crush

Ari Ben Canan from Exodus written by Leon Uris. He’s a Jewish freedom fighter who’s strong, principled and kind.

  1. Character you strongly identify with

There’s no particular character as such , but I strongly identify with certain aspects of  different characters. I love

  • the independent spirit of Elizabeth Bennet (Pride and Prejudice)
  • the quiet strength of Jane Eyre (Jane Eyre)
  • the zest for life of Zoya(The Zoya Factor)
  • the absolute belief that Scout has in her father, the way she sees him as a bastion of all that is good and moral (To Kill A Mockingbird)
  • The ability of Jennifer Parker to bounce right back with renewed vigour from the countless adversities that life hands to her. (Rage of Angels)

7.One character you want to bring to the real world

Atticus Finch. It would be great if he could be my neighbor, since I can have long conversations with him over ice-cold glasses of lemonade.

  1. What is your ideal reading space/environment?

Anywhere I’m undisturbed. Reading is a passion and so I just need a book and uninterrupted time J

  1. Must-have books in a collection

Power Of One – Bryce Courtenay

To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee

Wheel of Time series – Robert Jordan

Calvin and Hobbes series

Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

The entire P G Wodehouse collection

10.Earliest memory of books and reading

Poring over books in the Trivandrum Public Library when I was 7 or 8. Waiting eagerly for the story telling aunty to start her stories.

  1. Weirdest book or reading experience

The brother of a best-selling author, who himself had written a book, had come to my town for a book reading. He spoke quite eloquently about himself and I had very high expectations from the book. It was a shock to my system when I actually read the book. It was such a let down!


How about taking part in this series? Contact me and I will reach out to you with the questions 🙂

We Are Readers

Image Source: Flickr

Image Source: Flickr

We are readers…

There are chances you will spot us. In a park, on a bench.

At the cafeteria, probably by a window.  In the tube/sub or at a quaint little street.

On rooftops in the setting sun. On rooftops in the rising sun.

In transit from one continent to another – airport lounges and mid air.

At bookstores, catching a whiff. Fillings carts with books and filling lungs with the smell of books.

In libraries, amidst our kith and kin – having lived similar lives, embarked on similar journeys through stories.

We also hide books within books to let not the world know we are ‘UP TO SOMETHING‘.

Strain eyes to read under sheets with a torch. Take our books everywhere. Even the loo.

Raise your hand, if you are a reader too!

Reader’s Nook: QA with McCallum J. Morgan

Image Source: Flickr

Image Source: Flickr

BIO: McCallum J. Morgan is a twenty year-old author from Bonners Ferry, Idaho. A Hole in the Ice is his debut novel, which he worked on for five years. He enjoys writing, reading, painting, sketching, sewing, watching old horror movies, and playing the occasional game of volleyball. And tea. Don’t forget the tea. Find out more at mccallumjmorgan.weebly.com
1. Name 5-10 of your most favourite books
Starclimber by Kenneth Oppel, The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper, Dracula by Bram Stoker, Predator’s Gold by Phillip Reeve, The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket.
2. A book that you have re-read the most
The Series of Unfortunate Events.
3.Favourite authors and why
Lemony Snicket—his wicked humor. Phillip Reeve—his world building and characterizations. Kenneth Oppel—his gripping writing.
4. Genre you dislike
Romance.
5. Character crush
Hmm…The White Witch from the Chronicles of Narnia.
6. Character you strongly identify with
Frankenstein’s monster 😀
7.One character you want to bring to the real world
NOT Frankenstein’s monster.
8. What is your ideal reading space/environment
I think a window seat with a little bit of sun (not too much or the pages get blinding) and roses outside would be ideal.
9. Must-have books in a collection
Dracula, Frankenstein, Faust (by Von Goethe), A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux, Metropolis by Thea Von Harbou.
10.Earliest memory of books and reading
Mom reading me the Hobbit.
11. Weirdest book or reading experience
The Hanging Woods by Scott Loring Sanders. Just unexpected and unpleasant.

These were some interesting answers! What about you? If you are interested in taking part in this series, I am just a ping away! 🙂

Reader’s Nook: QA with Chhimi

Image Source: Pixabay

Image Source: Pixabay

Author Bio: Half Tibetan, half English, Chhimi Tenduf-La has lived in Sri Lanka, on and off, for thirty years. Educated at Eton and Durham, he runs an international school in Colombo, teaches economics and provides university counselling. His first book, The Amazing Racist, was published in January 2015 and Panther was released in July of the same year.

What I have to say about Chhimi: He is a down-to-earth persona and is extremely polite. I have interacted with him many times virtually and it is always a delight to know more about him and his work. Also, I have just read one of his books and he writes well. I will soon read and review his next work – Panther.

Here are the questions answered by Chhimi. 🙂

  1. Name 5-10 of your most favourite books

Fight Club, Catch 22, Chinaman, The Sense of an Ending, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, Of Mice and Men.

  1. A book that you have re-read the most

Chinaman by Shehan Karunatilika because I loved it and also for my own education writing about Sri Lanka.

3.Favourite authors and why

I find it hard to name my favourite authors, but I do like South Asian writers just because I live here now and it is what I am familiar with. Also I love any author who praises my books.

  1. Genre you dislike

Fantasy, but that is a bit unfair as I have not read any. I just can’t get into anything with dragons.

  1. Character crush

That’s a brilliant question but it’s very hard to answer. In real life I like good girls, but maybe in fiction I’m drawn more to bad girls, like the women I write about. So maybe Amy in Gone Girl.

  1. Character you strongly identify with

Yossarian in Catch 22. Just the way he looks at things with humour.

7.One character you want to bring to the real world

Allan Karlsson in the 100 Year Old Man who Climbed out a Window and Disappeared. This is a man who tells stories about sitting the North Korean Supreme Leader on his lap.

  1. What is your ideal reading space/environment

On a sunbed by a pool, under an umbrella. With a two year old daughter, I no longer get the chance to do this. Now my reading space is with her on my shoulders.

  1. Must-have books in a collection

If not for my kindle, I would have no books in my collection. I give all the books I like to someone else to read. If I don’t like a book, I give it on to someone I don’t like (just joking). If I ever want to read the book again, I am more likely to do so if I don’t have it in my collection than if I do, for some reason.
10.Earliest memory of books and reading

I remember those books for kids where you had to choose your own ending. I loved them and I guess that is why I like whodunits now because I have to think about what I think will happen next.

  1. Weirdest book or reading experience

There are a number of books I have started that are a bit weird and I try to work out whether the author is a genius or just pretentious. It is normally the latter.  Chuck Palahniuk’s books are pretty odd. I loved that about Fight Club but some of his others are a little too weird for me even though I still really like them.


Want to feature in Reader’s Nook? Drop me a message here or on my mail ID and I will promptly get in touch with you 🙂

 

11 Reasons Why I Haven’t Read The Game Of Thrones Books Yet!

Image Source: Flickr

Image Source: Flickr

Game Of Thrones.

I have been following the series since the past 1.5 years and I am crazy about it.

I must confess that the last time any series had so much of an impact on me was 15 years ago – and it was the Harry Potter series. But I had read the books first and then saw the movies during my Harry Potter stage. This time, it is completely different. I have NOT read the books of ASOIAF or A Song Of Ice And Fire series.

I know, I know. I can see some raised eyebrows there. I do have my reasons though.

  1. I can visualize everything just the way the HBO series has made me visualisze. Lack of imagination makes every line a tad bit lengthy.
  2. The pace. The pace. The series shows time passing in a whiff. But the books…not so much. This forms the base of my next point.
  3. GRRM writes slow. I respect him and I understand it is not easy. However, it doesn’t help my cause. I can’t wait that long. When I start a series, I want to wrap it up soonish. This is not going to happen with ASIOAF.
  4. If I purchase the books – physical books, I need to have the whole set. Buying five books in some edition and then the other two in “I Don’t Know What Happened To Good Cover Designers” is not something I am keen on.
  5. The books and the series have major differences. I don’t want to cringe and get shocks every other day!
  6. Every time I open the book, some or the other work comes up. I mean it. It is jinxed – the book. I have borrowed the first one from a friend.
  7. If I do start reading the book, I bet I will not stop. It happened with Harry Potter. I stayed up all night with a torch and a blanket and completed 3 books in a row for 3 days straight. Eating was out of question as well. But that was student life. Now I have to juggle so many things such as a full-time job and this blog. I rarely have spare time.
  8. I constantly keep comparing GOT to other fantasy series. I have called Ned Stark Boromir for a long long time. Walder Frey will always be Mr. Filch.
  9. I know it in my bones that I will like a character immensely only to find that he/she is dead in the HBO series. (Alive and kicking in the books though)
  10. Because of this guy – http://patricksponaugle.com/. He writes some freaking awesome GOT posts and I need no books for it. He is going to write posts on – Defense of Olly. AM EXCITED!
  11. I am not affected by Spoilers so I have read a lot about the series and have at least some kind of knowledge.

Is there a famous book you have not read but want to read it desperately?

Reader’s Nook: QA with Kim

Image Source: Flickr

Image Source: Flickr

Bio: Kim blogs at – The Booklover. She is a business educator by day and book blogger during off time. She is a graduate of East Tennessee State University (BBA), Kennesaw State University (MBA), and The University of West Georgia (M.Ed. and Ed.S.).

1. Name 5-10 of your most favourite books
2. A book that you have re-read the most
3.Favourite authors and why
4. Genre you dislike
5. Character crush
6. Character you strongly identify with
7.One character you want to bring to the real world
8. What is your ideal reading space/environment
9. Must-have books in a collection
10.Earliest memory of books and reading
11. Weirdest book or reading experience

1. Favorite books: The Orphanmaster’s Son by Adam Johnson, Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell, The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber, The City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett, Five Star Billionaire by Tash Aw, Night Film by Marissa Pessl,  and Burial Rites by Hannah Kent.
2.  I don’t really re-read books because there are too many books to read in this lifetime, so there isn’t really time to go back and re-read one.  If I were going to choose one to re-read right now, it would probably be A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle.
3.  I like Umberto Eco because his subject matter is so interesting.  David Mitchell is a standout, although I don’t necessarily agree with his messaging.  Authors I plan to read again soon are Donna Tartt, Adam Johnson, and John Burdette.
4.  I dislike romance as a genre.  It is so predictable and I don’t even like romance in the story except on the rare occasion. For example, the romance really ruined A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness for me.
5.  My character crush is so predictable – Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights.
6.  I strongly identify with Hermione Granger of the Harry Potter series.
7.  Father Peter in The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber
8.  My ideal reading environment would be outside in a beautiful garden with NO mosquitos!  They eat me up.
9.  I don’t have any of them, but would love to have the entire set of Penguin Hardcover Classics with cover by Coralie Bickford-Smith.  Those are beautiful books.  I will take donations if anybody is willing!
10.  My mother was a librarian, so my earliest memories are of going to the library with her.  I loved the library in my hometown.  It was in a log cabin built in 1792, but has since moved to a larger more modern facility.
11.  The weirdest book I’ve read is The Celestine Prophecy.  It really is a waste of time.

Love books and reading? Be a participant in Reader’s Nook. I will be happy to feature you! 🙂

Reader’s Nook: QA with Susan Tarr

Image Source: Flickr

Image Source: Flickr

About Susan: Susan is a very lively person, whom I came across through Goodreads. She currently resides in New Zealand and I envy her for being a part of the place where Lord of The Rings was shot 🙂 Without shameless gushing about fandoms, let me quickly give you a link of her website – http://susan-tarr-author.webnode.com/. Go through her answers for Reader’s Nook.


1. Name 5-10 of your most favourite books
~~ God Knows by Joseph Heller
~~ Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres
~~ An Angel at my Table by Janet Frame (honoured New Zealand author on mental health)
~~ Spring Sonata by Bernice Rubens
~~ Geek Love
~~ Of Mice and Men & Pearl by John Steinbeck
~~ The Grass is Singing by Doris Lessing
~~ And of course, anything by Marian Keyes and Jodi Picoult

2. A book that you have re-read the most

~~ I save all my favourite books, and read them all again.

3.Favourite authors and why

~~ John Steinbeck – His writing is both gentle and impacting.

~~ Louis de Bernieres

~~ Doris Lessing

4. Genre you dislike

~~ Erotica or cult

5. Character crush

~~ I don’t have a particular character crush, but there are a couple of people I wouldn’t mind crushing. The people who borrow my books and never return them. (I know, I should write a list!)

6. Character you strongly identify with

~~ In my books, Miranda and Bethany. They are part me and part my daughter.

7.One character you want to bring to the real world

~~ Both of my favourites are already in the real world. Miranda and Bethany from MIRANDA BAY & When the ROLLER COASTER Stops.

8. What is your ideal reading space/environment

~~ On my bed, nestled in pillows, coffee and nibbles, and my ereader.

9. Must-have books in a collection

~~ Mine!
PHENOMENA the Lost and Forgotten Children (Historic Fiction Mental Health)
MIRANDA BAY (Gorgeous young thing attempting to build up a tourism resort in New Zealand – she hasn’t a clue! Humorous drama)
JACK just an ordinary dog in the dog house (Jack, the dog, decides to write a diary about what really goes on in a boarding kennels. Humorous dog story)
When the ROLLER COASTER Stops (Another gorgeous young thing. Medical drama. Humorous. Inspirational)

All of my books are listed here: http://enovelauthorsatwork.com/susan-tarr/

10.Earliest memory of books and reading

~~ Famous Five and Secret Seven and of course Noddy and Big Ears. These were pretty much our required reading.

11. Weirdest book or reading experience

~~ Geek Love. I admired this old book, when I wasn’t in shock!, and I loaned it to someone – who now deserves to be crushed as above. Lol.


Love the series and want to be a part of it? Get in touch with me and I will have you featured! 🙂

Reader’s Nook: QA with Akansha Varma

Image Source: Pixabay

Image Source: Pixabay

Bio: I’m a seventeen year old Indian, extremely shy, introvert and hate social gatherings, unless initiated by me. I am interested in English literature and I want to become either: 1) a journalist 2) an author 3) an architect. I want to live in New York and travel the world and after retirement, I want to live in the English country side.  I love laying down, and am very, very, very, very lazy. My favorite movies are Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge and Kal Ho Na Ho. And I’m a romantic at heart. I like One Tree Hill too. I am yet to skydive, deep sea dive, bungee jump and climb the Everest. There’s a lot to be done. And so little time.
You can learn more about me and read my stuff at https://akankshavarma.wordpress.com/. Have fun, and enjoy.
1. Name 5-10 of your most favourite books
The Book Thief, Harry Potter series, Those Pricey Thakur Girls, Hunger Games trilogy, Marley And Me, Perks Of Being A Wallflower and A Thousand Splendid Suns are my top ones.
2. A book that you have re-read the most.
Harry Potter or Those Pricey Thakur Girls.
3.Favourite authors and why
JK Rowling because she is godess. Ruskin Bond because his characters are lively, relatable and capture the essence of what he wants to convey. Agatha Christie because she creates suspense.
4. Genre you dislike
Not really dislike but unfathomable because I don’t relate with it: Science fiction.
5. Character crush
Dylan Shekhawat from Those Pricey Thakur Girls, Fred Weasley, Gale Hawthorne and Noah Calhoun. Also Laurie from Jo’s Boys.
6. Character you strongly identify with
Jo from Little Women.
7.One character you want to bring to the real world
Um, that’s a tough one. Severus Snape, Rudy Steiner, Liesel Meminger, Dylan Shekhawat, Katniss Everdeen, Four and Hermione Granger.
8. What is your ideal reading space/environment
Mostly, I read while travelling to my school. Otherwise, it is my bed, with a warm quilt, 2-3 pillows, air conditioned room without interruption.
9. Must-have books in a collection
The Book Thief. I would have said Harry Potter but I know a few people who don’t find it endearing. They say it’s beyond their imagination. The Book Thief on the other hand, will change your perspective entirely.
10.Earliest memory of books and reading
It’s not a memory rather it is about how I started reading in the first place. I was in class 4 when I had gone to a stationery shop to buy something for a project. There, my eyes on the red Famous Five and I found it interesting. I begged my father to buy me the book. My mother resented though since she thought that as I don’t read books, it’ll be pretty useless. My father consented though, and he brought that for me. After that, there was no stopping me.
11. Weirdest book or reading experience
I would describe my weirdest reading experience to be half Fifty Shades Of Grey that I read. I could read only half of it was because I didn’t have the heart to read the entire book, let alone the trilogy. I can assure you however, my grossing-out level is so low, I regularly threw up inside my mouth. It was disgusting. And the weird thing was I coudn’t stay away from it either. I just reread the part I already had read for some time, and then gave up entirely.

How about you share your book/reading experiences in this space? Let me know if you are up for it.

Lessons Learnt: The Book Thief

I stumbled upon The Book Thief while combing through new arrivals at the library of a school, where I worked as an educator. Unfortunately though, I did not have the time to pursue the book and had to return it without reading a page. It was the first edition of the book and it was in 2009. After many years and many jobs later, when I turned a writer – of a different sort of course, I chanced upon The Book Thief again and decided to give all my extra time and undivided attention to the book. Having a deep set curiosity about the Holocaust and Holocaust literature in particular, I kept on reading the pages till one fine day, there were no more pages left for me to explore. I have been meaning to write a review ever since that day but I think with so many reviews of the wonderful book, I will crumble and not do justice! Instead, I thought of this post series where I will write about the lessons learnt from the brilliant work by Marcus Zusak. Let it begin 🙂


Image Source: Flickr

Image Source: Flickr

  • You will find the most unusual narrator for your books. Death is the narrator for The Book Thief. And he does a wonderful job of it. No, not death. Marcus Zusak!
  • You will never feel like wasting food at the table. Never. Or at least think of the situations in a WWII era with limited rations.
  • You will find a Rudy Steiner and a Liesel Meminger in your friends. Maybe a Max as well.
  • Reading will look more appealing to you and so will be writing.
  • Maybe, you will know how to prioritize things in your life. You will understand why “the most important things in life aren’t things” in the true sense.
  • You will be thankful for having so many privileges. You really will.
  • You will get a new perspective about Death.
  • You will have a bunch of quotes to guide you in your life.
  • Saukerl and Saumensch. You will learn how to swear in German. Like a PRO!

Read the book guys and girls. It is lengthy but it is speedy. It is a tearjerker….saying for those of you who need tissues with some books. But it also has its share of laughter and bittersweet joys!

Author Interview: Susan Tarr

Author Pic Susan Tarr

Hello Susan. Thank you for appearing for the interview. Could you tell us something about yourself and how did writing happen to you?

~~ I lived in Kenya for 10 years, and wrote many letters home to family in New Zealand. Mum was convinced I was living in an uncivilized environment. Yes, I was, if that’s what you would call a hotel room overlooking the East African beaches. From there we moved into a house that was furnished with Jomo Kenyatta’s furniture, were married and started our little family. So not as uncivilized as Mum might have been imagining. But my letters were very descriptive to put her mind at ease.

If not writing, what is the second best thing you would have taken up with equal passion?

~~ Art and piano. Loved them both equally but traded them for my writing once I got hold of a word processor.

What influences you to take up the pen and write? Are your novels inspired by real life? If yes, then how?

~~ Very much inspired by real life characters and situations. My daughter is my main character. She leads such a varied and funny life. Always up to something. But then she is a large part of my life too, and together we make for some realistic characters.

You have written a number of books. It is understandable that each book is an author’s baby but then, you must have at least one favourite! Which one is it and why is it your favourite?

~~ “PHENOMENA the Lost and Forgotten Children” was my baby. It took me 25 years to research New Zealand historic mental health. Most of my family worked in mental health at some point. The main character, Malcolm, was a visitor to our home when I was a child. It seemed natural and logical to write his story.

But now I find I have shifted my favour to “When the ROLLER COASTER Stops” That’s now my favourite book.

Contemporaries whose work you admire? Anyone with whom you would like to trade places?

~~ Not really. I am happy with my place in the world.

How much time do you devote to research? Are there any tips you want to offer aspiring writers on researching methods?

~~ I immerse myself in my characters for several years. And also the subject behind that particular book. Read, read, read. I write notes all over the show, then type them into a word doc with the title followed by ENDS. My job/passion is then to fill in the space between the two. Oddly enough, the title is often the first thing that comes to me.

What are your top pet peeves as a writer?

~~ Just not enough hours or energy in a day.

What is the best compliment that you ever got from a fan/reader?

~~ That my writing of PHENOMENA is familiar to Steinbeck. I list John Steinbeck as one of my favourite authors. Perhaps some of him has rubbed off onto me. One could always hope…

Your working space looks like…?

~~ A tiny plastic collapsible table with 2 inches to spare around my PC. And a stack of Post-it notes.

Last one, please share an excerpt from any of your books.

~~ Malcolm from PHENOMENA the Lost and Forgotten Children

‘He waited to feel the need to talk. He felt nothing. There was little he could remember and nothing to encourage him to take an interest in his life. If he used to be different, like they said – and sometimes he knew they were right – they must have taken his thoughts captive and left him with only fringes and tatters, not enough to live with. He wondered where they stored his stolen thoughts. Maybe they stored them in the morgue with the little high-up window. Hah! As if memories would try to escape.’


It was lovely interacting with Susan for the interview. Do get in touch with her if you have any queries 🙂

Want to get featured on my blog and promote yourself/your work? Just give me a ping 🙂

 

Author Interview: Chhimi Tenduf-La

CHHIMI scor

Tell us something about yourself and your writing journey so far.

Writing for me is just a hobby. I’d love it to be more but I have a few things to learn first, a few hard yards to cover. I work at a school, which is an incredibly rewarding thing to do because I’m working with ambitious young people with great futures ahead of them. As far as my writing goes, I started properly when I stopped teaching economics as it freed up more time. I wrote a couple of novels that I trashed and then started Panther and the Amazing Racist within months of each other. I sent them off to super agent, Kanishka Gupta, who found offers for them both from a number of leading publishers.

I have not read Panther. But the response is just overwhelming. What was the inspiration behind Panther and how different is it from The Amazing Racist?

Because I work at a school I feel like I have a good grasp of what goes on in the minds of young people. So I wanted to write a high school story, with funny elements, love, betrayal, gangs, jocks and geeks. That’s how it started off, and my first draft was called The Papadam King. Then I added in the war thread, because the psychology of recovering from being a child soldier fascinated me. The two threads combined, I think, created a layered story that has much more complexity than The Amazing Racist. It is a more challenging read, but also a more rewarding one, I think.

A genre that you would like to try in the future and a genre that is just not your cup of tea?

 I love thrillers and whodunits. In fact my first attempts at writing were in this genre but I felt I was not coming up with tight enough plots and also that I was denying myself the chance to work to my strength, which I think is humour. Having said that, Panther does have some crime based twists in the story which I hope work.

I have never been a fan of fantasy as a reader, but in some ways I think I would like to write it as there is great freedom when things are made up from scratch. South Asia is crying out for an Indian Harry Potter!

You are based in Sri Lanka, you have British roots and you have also lived in India. What would you say your major cultural takeaways? 

I think it is the greatest education. Being brought up knowing how to treat people from other countries with respect, without being too stiff, is a great gift. It also greatly helps my writing as I am able to seem original, when I am, in fact, stealing things from various different countries and cultures. I am half English, half Tibetan, my wife is Australian Sri Lankan and my daughter is all of these things. I think that is such a blessing for her.

What according to your personal experiences is the best thing about being a writer and the worst?

 I love editing; the chance to go over your work to try to make it better. You don’t always get that chance in life. It is also very exciting to get published and also to receive such glowing feedback. The reviews, thus far, for Panther have been out of this world and people have even discussed making it into a movie. The downside is that having your work judged in public can be quite scary. For example, as a teacher, I never read reviews of my classes in the newspapers, thankfully. Also, having to sell myself does not sit too easy for me, but it is part of the job. I cringe when I think of how much I am promoting myself, but what to do?

23658337

Let’s talk about book covers. To be honest, I judged your first book from its cover. It was simply brilliant. I also like the cover of your next release. Is there any anecdote behind the cover design? Please share.

 Hachette came up with a cover I liked, but that they felt was too literary for the book I had written. I suggested the empty wheelchair and the ashtray to hint at the story, but not to give it away. The background, I found out so much later, was painted by an 8 year old, which is astonishing. The colours make the book stand out in bookshops.

For Panther, HarperCollins wanted something which represented the story, and also showed some warmth – Prabu, the main character, exudes warmth.

Recently, Twitter gave us a trend #TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter. What is your take on the same? What should one not say to a writer? 

‘Can I be honest?’ If someone says that you know you’re in trouble.

‘At least you had fun writing it.’

I think the problem is everyone thinks they can write a book and always think they can write better than the author they are reading. Until you try it, you don’t know how complex it is to string together a story which is interesting and believable.

What is your daily schedule like and how do you manage to write and release two different novels and that too from two different publishers in such a short period of time?

When I am writing, which I am not at the moment, I try to write about 2000 words a day, which I find quite easy. I read back what I have written at night and see if it is good enough to keep. I edit first thing the next day and then start writing again. It is never a great challenge for me because I enjoy it and time flies when I am doing it. I wrote these two books at the same time. I would go back and forth between them – i.e. I finished a first draft of Panther, then started the Amazing Racist, then came back to edit the first one and so on. That made it more enjoyable and kept me fresher. I sold both books at the same time, so it is not like I wrote one and then quickly wrote the other.

Chhimi Panther Galle

Who are your favourite contemporary writers?

I find this the most difficult question to answer as so many of my favourite books are written by authors whose other books I don’t like as much. An easier way to phrase this for me would be, who are the authors whose next books I am most excited about. I would say Gillian Flynn, Mohsin Hamid, and ShehanKarunatilaka.

What is the best compliment that you got till date from a fan or a reader?

 I think it would be a bit far-fetched to say I have fans, but one reader blasted me (in a friendly way) for making her think about Panther all the time. She said she was so affected by the story that she kept wondering what happened to the characters – as if they were real people she cared about deeply. That to me was a massive compliment.

Did you have any weird experience on your blog tours? 

 At one book festival, a group of school boys came running up to me for my autograph. I was flattered until they asked who I was. When I told them, they looked disappointed and snuck away.

What would be your advice for aspiring writers?

If you’re serious about it, to never give up because you just get better and better the more you read and write. Having said that, you have to be realistic about what people want to read. There has to be an audience for what you write. Listen to advice, read some books about writing, don’t be scared of chucking what you have written away. More than anything, you need to love writing or I just don’t see how it is sustainable.

Please share an excerpt from your latest release – Panther.

PANTHER full cover

Mr Carter glided over the sandy outfield, more like beach than lawn. His hair, the colour of a Buddhist monk’s robes, pasted down with sweat. ‘What’s eating you, little man?’ He strode past Prabu. Extended his hand out to Coach Silva. ‘I wonder if you remember me.’

Coach Silva squeezed out of his chair. Grabbed Mr Carter’s hand in both of his. ‘Yes. Yes. Mr Carter, the Brit.’

‘Australian, mate.’

‘Ah.’ Coach Silva adopted an accent more Chinese than Australian. ‘Put another Sheila on the barbie.’

‘Shrimp,’ Mr Carter said. ‘Never mind. Look, we have to make a change to the playing eleven.’

‘Too late, boss.’ Coach Silva caught the breath he appeared to have lost when lifting his jumbo ass off the chair. ‘Team sheet in the hands of the umpire already.’

‘Look, simply no option.’ Mr Carter shook his head, sprinkling sweat on Prabu. ‘The team changes. This champ’s a new player sent to us by the defence ministry. Freed from an IDP camp yesterday.Signed up by our school this morning.’

Coach Silva’s nose pinched towards Prabu. ‘This Tamil boy?’

‘Hang on there, chief.’ Mr Carter raised his palm. ‘Have some respect. He’s a flag bearer for internally displaced people being integrated back into society. Principal Uncle signed up for this.’

‘Team sheet’s in, tactics down,’ Coach Silva said. ‘Not a bugger’s going to tell me to change the team.’

‘BBC’s on its way to film him for the news, shown around Asia. Around the world. The boy plays. Simple as.’

Placing the back of his hand against his forehead, Coach Silva rolled his neck. ‘Once you give the team sheet to the umpire, that’s it. They’re not allowed to return it.’

‘I’ve been in this country long enough to know that money talks many languages.’ Mr Carter took out a thousand-rupee note. ‘One of them is Sinhalese.’

‘Normal times, I can make an umpire dance for a thousand. Not this one. Bugger’s so honest, even turned down a bribe from the Minister of Bribery.’

‘Ah Jeez.’ Mr Carter took his phone out. ‘Hell can we do then?’

‘Give him two thousand.’


It is always a delight to talk to Chhimi. I thank him for taking time out from his schedule. I am currently reading Panther and will share the review as soon as I am done 🙂

Get featured as an author on my blog by leaving me a message. I will be happy to host you 🙂

Guestpost: Happiness is part of the Self by Erika

Prologue: First of all I want to pass on a big, big hug to Sucheta for inviting me not only for an interview on her blog but also for this guest post. It came to me out of the blue and I feel honored I was considered. Feel strongly hugged again, Sucheta!

My book I’m Free – Awareness of Who You Are by Discovering Who You Are Not!Is a guide from fear, self-doubt, and misunderstandings accumulated over a life time to awareness, clarity, and a conscious reconnecting with the powerful and creative spirit we are. When we feel this connection, we have access to unlimited possibilities in order to live the life we always dreamed of. Happiness  – real solid happiness– results from it. I thought this might be an interesting topic for this guest post. I hope you enjoy it.


Image Source: Wikimedia

Image Source: Wikimedia

Everybody wants to be happy. But still so many people believe that happiness is something they get from outside. But that’s not true.

True happiness is an aspect of our Self. We don’t need to hope for it, beg for it, or even fight for it. Don’t fight for anything. Fighting for something says that you believe in a lack. You believe that you lost something or something was taken from you. Fighting for happiness would mean that happiness is something you have to get, something you could lose, or something you are gifted with. Fighting for happiness is a conviction that you need to get it from outside.

But this whole fight is a big misunderstanding. You are created from the image of God which means you are love with everything you are. You are light and bliss into the deepest core of your being. Happiness is an inseparable part of this love. So how could you ever need to fight for happiness when it has always been part of yourself?

Let the outside world be outside and make yourself aware of who you are. You will find happiness and any empowering feeling always (and only) within you. Yes, we can be inspired by the outside world to rediscover happiness. But even then it leads us inside again where this flame has always been burning. Everything you were looking and fighting for so desperately lies within you waiting patiently for the moment to be called from its sleep. It has been never gone but only unseen because of a misunderstanding due to the belief into an illusion.

Whenever you think you had to fight for love, peace, happiness than just because you started to believe more in what you see outside of you instead of what you are always connected with, always have, and never can lose. Of course there can be events in our lives which can make us sad. But sadness is not the same like unhappiness. I was very sad when my father died, I was sad when my pets died. I was sad when I had to let go of dreams. But what kept my feet on the ground was the carpet of happiness I have been walking on. This happiness as a basic condition. It is the reason for my power and strength during sad times. Happiness is an aspect of love. Love is God and you are an aspect of God. Carrying his spark within you. Happiness is always with you.

Whatever good you have is all from God.

Whatever evil, all is from yourself.

– The Koran

In Love and Light!


I thank Erika for this lovely post. You can go through her own blog by clicking here.

 

Author Interview: Erika

Interview Sucheta

Hello Erika, thankyou for appearing on my blog. Please tell us something about yourself and your background as an author.

Hi Sucheta, first of all my heartfelt thank you for offering me this interview. It was an unexpected surprise and I appreciate it a lot. You want to know something about me? Actually there is not a lot to tell. I am a bored housewife started writing in order to bring some meaning into her life…hahaha… just kidding! I am a mother of three wonderful kids (13, 16, 20). I worked as chief-secretary until my first child was born and then part time. Meanwhile I am running a Practice for Aromatherapy and Self-Development. I am certified in Aromatherapy, Emmett-Technique, Matrix-Transformation, Tarot Card-Reading, Spiritual Healing, and the 2nd grad of Reiki. I was born in Austria (Vienna) but I am living in the Principality of Liechtenstein for 36 years.

I am a trained professional singer. Besides concerts, weddings, and church events I participated in 2 contests and won both. Meanwhile I am producing my own songs which you can listen to on my blog –https://erikakind.wordpress.com/songs/my-own-productions/.

How did I come to writing? My best friend often told me to write a book. I was laughing and said: “Yes, sure, chocolate has no calories and Erika is going to write a book.” Who would ever want to read what I, the unimportant and uninformed Erika, says. I was too scared to ever say something about what I feel or think. People might laugh about me, question me, and criticize me. But when I had my breakthrough experience I realized that this all was a big lieI told myself all lifelong. I am free at every moment. Free, to be who I am and to go for who I am. That was the moment I thought about writing about this huge insight.

Every writer has some inspiration. Who or what is your inspiration?

That answer is easy: Life! From the age of 9 on I started to develop fears and self-doubts due to humiliation, being bullied, being expected to develop into someone I was not. I was given the feeling that I am only worthwhile when I achieve something. And of course that something was defined by others. My fears grew and never being enough made my self-doubts growing as well. I tried to be a person the meets the expectations of others in order to receive respect, acceptance, and love. But of course that never works. Therefore I forgot more and more who I really was. But the voice within me was never silenced completely and the flame of my being never went out. I started to discover myself again. I went through the jungle of misunderstandings and distortion until I saw that first glimpse of my own light again. That was the moment when things started falling into place, when people, signposts, books appeared and made me see clearer and clearer. I changed my way of thinking and my life changed. And one day – standing at a beach in Southern California – it hit me like thunder: “No one can ever harm me, no one is able to know what’s best for me, and no one can make me think or feel anything I don’t want. It were never the others – it was always me.I don’t need to fear anything or anyone. I am me – the only me in this universe – and that makes me special.” That was the moment when I decided to write I’m Free – Awareness Of Who You Are by Discovering Who You Are Not!”.But the German edition. That was in 2009 – 30 years later.

How difficult/easy was it for you to get published?

 The German version was my second book after a little poem book. I did not want to spend money again and tried to find a publisher which wants my book for what it is. I asked a publisher of spiritual books in my country and they wanted excerpts. My heart was beating so heavily that I was sure they heard it over the phone. After I sent the excerpts I was waiting for about 5 months. When I came back from my summer vacation and opened my inbox I found a very excited acceptance. I was dancing and screaming for 10 minutes. The English edition of I’m Freewas published by Balboa Press (a division of Hay House). Therefore I had to spend money. But due to the distance and me wanting to reach out as far as possible it was worth it. I experienced a great and most professional support. The social media campaign led me to my blog which opened another new universe for me I had never expected in its unfolding

You are based in Germany? Which are some of your favourite books written in German/ based in Germany?

Just in order to clarify a misunderstanding. I am neither based in Germany nor am I German. I am Austrian and I live in the Principality of Liechtenstein which is a small country between Austria and Switzerland. As in those two countries also over here we speak German.

20150422_171517

My favorite book of a German Author is The Power of Now– by Eckhart Tolle. It was one of the life changing books next to The Secret, The Law of Attraction and most of all Wayne Dyer’s Your Sacred Self (next to many others of his books). They were life changing because I started to understand on one hand. But most of all because I developed the courage to apply what I understood into my life which only made it change.

How do you select the names for your characters? How close are they to real life?

Since my book is not fiction all characters are real. I take examples most of all from my own life but also what I experienced through my clients, friends, and any other encounters. I’m Free is a book drawn from life itself.

If there is one genre of writing that you would like to stick to for the rest of your life, which one would it be and why?

The one I started with and which I also plan or not leaving: Self-development / Spirituality

What is the craziest incidence that you have had while writing your books?

That is a wonderful question. When I started writing on a chapter I basically knew what to write about. I had my experiences and insights. But while I was writing on that chapter things happened in my life which made that chapter come alive. I went through situations or witnessed others which were exactly what I was writing about. Therefore I was writing live from life. And this happened with each and every chapter every time I worked through it. That was amazing – not always comfortable… haha – but it helped making the book most authentic.

What are your pet peeves as a writer?

When I am in the flow of writing and someone drops in asking me something…. Yes, that definitely is a huge pet peeve.

If given a chance to choose a pen name, what would you call yourself?

Honestly, I would never ever write under a pen name. The books I write are making me myself an open book. Authenticity is most important. I have no fear anymore to show who I am. And I want to do it in order to inspire others to let go of their fears and accepting and loving themselves the way they are, no matter what the rest of the world thinks about it.

Btw. Kind is my real sure name. When I married I had never thought how much of a blessing that name once might become. At that time I was far away from any thinking of writing books and even publishing one in English. I’ve come a long way.

On a side note: In German the word “Kind” means “child”.

A typical day in your life would be?

 I am a mother of three big kids and therefore have a lot of time back to myself. The morning starts like everywhere with preparing breakfast. When everybody is gone I am doing the household, working on my blog, having clients in my practice, getting family stuff organized, working in my garden, and working on my songs… I am never bored. My youngest son still comes home for lunch so there is a break between. In the evening I am doing my daily workout unless I am giving a meditation or having a late client. After dinner and getting some things done I basically go back to my blog sphere again where I remain mostly the rest of the evening since then there is the most “traffic”… haha.

Any tips from your experiences that you would want to share with our readers?

Feel your heart. Listen to its voice and don’t be scared what it might tell you. It never hurts you, it never lies at you, it never tricks you, and it never ever harms you. The voice of you heart is the voice of your truth – of YOUR truth. It is your life and your path. You are the only you in this world. Everybody has a unique history, unique experiences, certain skills, things they like and don’t like, certain dreams and goals. This all defines the way they look at the world, at life, and at themselves. This all makes this individual. Therefore no one is ever able to know what is best for you. The only person who knows what is best for you is you yourself – even when you are in doubts. Because it is your personal way out of those doubts.

Whatever decision you make don’t do it because others told you. Do it because it feels right. Sometimes it can even feel right to take the difficult way. Walk your way, walk it with your chin up high and have faith that whatever path you choose will lead you to a better place. The road can be bumpy but it may be necessary in order to get the necessary balance. It is your life, your dreams and whatever you do or don’t do, in the end the consequences are yours to deal with. Live your dream in order to never look back and regret that you didn’t. You don’t need to know the path to your goals, you just need to make the first step in their direction. Make a step today and see what follows…


It was a real delight interviewing Erika. She is the most amazing person and anyway, aren’t all the people related to books and reading, amazing? 🙂

Get featured as an Author on my blog. Contact me to know more.

Reader’s Nook: QA with Michelle

Image Source: Flickr

Image Source: Flickr

Bio: Michelle is a soon-to-be journalism student, aspiring writer and bookworm. She is very curious and righteous and wants to make a difference in the world, through journalism and writing, as the latter is her passion. It’s her dream to one day find her own books in the bookstore, and that these books can be for her readers what Harry Potter is for her.
 
She blogs at http://thewritinghufflepuff.wordpress.com mainly about books and writing, but now and then there are posts about her personal life and her other passions, like all things Japan, Disney, certain tv shows, games, food, music… But in the end it all comes back to reading and writing books.

1. Name 5-10 of your most favourite books

Bless you for allowing me to name more than one haha. I mean Harry Potter will always be my ultimate favourite, but I have so many more: Percy Jackson, Heroes of Olympus, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Throne of Glass, The Lunar Chronicles, The Shadowhunter Chronicles (major cheating here as this consists multiple series but ssh), The Picture of Dorian Gray, Alice in Wonderland and Fangirl. I cheated a lot since most of these are series, but oh well! I already left out a few that I didn’t want to leave out haha. 

2. A book that you have re-read the most
 
Harry Potter. I’m not sure, but I think that out of the entire series I’ve reread Philosopher’s Stone the most.
 
3.Favourite authors and why
 
I’m going with my two favourite authors: J.K. Rowling for making my childhood so much more magical and being a great inspiration, both writing and person-wise. Rick Riordan for his brilliant way of interweaving myths into our modern world and his great sense of humor (which is a lot like mine). Of course I have many more, but I don’t want to bore you all haha. 

4. Genre you dislike
 
I think erotica. I’ve never read it, but for my Dutch class I had to read quite a bit of literature that had very graphic scenes in it and that wasn’t even considered erotica. If I didn’t like reading those scenes, then I highly doubt I’ll enjoy erotica!

5. Character crush
 
Haha *enrolls huge list*. I don’t think it’s possible to have only one character crush (if you do I admire you). I’m going to go with Étienne St. Clair from Anna and the French Kiss as I’ve recently reread it and once I again I found myself screaming ‘WHERE IS MY ST. CLAIR’. Mind you I don’t yell this out loud. What would the neighbours think!

6. Character you strongly identify with
 
Hermione Granger and Cath from Fangirl. Hermione is not just a bookworm, she’s also very serious about her studies which I can relate to. People bully her because of this, but she overcame this and became a wonderful inspiration for little me who was also bullied for the same reason. Cath is also a bookworm, but she’s also a fangirl and a writer. She also deals with anxiety and doesn’t do well in social situations (reading Fangirl was like reading about my life, minus college, minus a twin, minus being famous in a fandom/on fanfiction.net and sadly minus Levi). 

7.One character you want to bring to the real world
 
ONE? JUST ONE?! I was going to go with Hermione, but then I realised that Cath and I could be writer buddies: beta-ing each other, writing stories together, talking about our stories etc. And as much as I love Hermione, it’d be nice to have a real-life writer friend!

8. What is your ideal reading space/environment
 
My bed and with not too much noise. I don’t need complete quiet, but I don’t need a concert near me either!

9. Must-have books in a collection
 
In general? Or for me? I have to admit that whenever I see pictures of peoples shelves I immediately start looking for Harry Potter haha, so I guess Harry is a must for me. But of course I won’t hate you if you don’t have Harry on your shelves! 

10.Earliest memory of books and reading
 
I sort of remember my grandmother and mother reading to me, but it’s a very vague memory so I can’t say that much about it.

11. Weirdest book or reading experience
 
Weirdest book… Hmm, I’m sure I’ve read weird books but right now none come to mind! A weird reading experience… Last year when I read The Picture of Dorian Gray I read that Dorian (I think? I’m not sure which character it was, but I think it was him) was planting puppies instead of poppies (which makes a lot more sense of course). I don’t know if that counts as a weird reading experience, but that’s what I thought of! 

This was from Michelle and she got 100 points for Hufflepuff 😀 Want to be a part of this series? Feel free to comment and let me know 🙂

My Childhood Was Shaped By Enid Blyton

NOTE: I know you all must be confused as to why I am posting old posts now? Well, these are posts from my erstwhile blog (sounds so royal) and I have had people read them last year. But to my new readers, these are fresh posts and I don’t want them to miss out on any book related posts 🙂 So I will be re-posting random blogs, which some of you might have already read.

Image Source: Wikipedia

Image Source: Wikipedia

The day I started blogging on WordPress, I have been meaning to write about Enid Blyton. The famous English children’s author was introduced to be by a dear friend. She gifted me a book of stories and then the Enchanted Wood – the first book in the Faraway Tree series. Two books were not enough to satiate the budding reader in me. I yearned for more and more. I borrowed them from friends, libraries, bought them and did whatever it took to absorb the finesse with which she used to write the books.

My British vocabulary developed rapidly and I was always confused as to why people around me did not speak in the same English as to what I read in the books! Why Dinner was not Supper  and how come little kids were packed Tea for picnic!! Also, why Cross was a word used instead of Angry? Why why why? It was quite a hilarious affair, now that I look back at it 😀

I loved to read her St.Clare’s and Malory Tower series. Based on boarding schools, these books made me value my friends, school and teachers even more. I laughed with the books and I was immensely inspired to work hard like the girls did, to come up with good grades year after year. I also loved her Five Find Outers series more than the cliched Famous Five or Secret Seven!

Image Source: Flickr

Image Source: Flickr

Even now, when I visit bookstores, I discreetly comb through the kids section to check out some of her work and give a quite hi5 to the child in me 😀 It is really soothing to touch the spines of books in person although the new editions make me cringe!

I am really sorry for the children who miss out on her epic collection and stay afar from the joy of reading one of the purest forms of children’s literature. I am sure that there are parents, uncles and aunts and even teachers, who keep the tradition alive by introducing her work to kids. But on a large scale, many of them have no clue as to who she was.

To me, she will always be one of my first English teachers – albeit, virtually 🙂

Here is a guest post by Adi talking about her love for the author and her books.

Reader’s Nook: QA with Muskan

heart-792080_640

About Muskan: I’m a 16 year old bibliophile. A big-O FOODIE. I started reading a couple of years ago when one of my friends forced me into reading the hunger games. Haven’t stopped reading ever since. I started my blog a couple of months ago. I mostly write poems. I write about anything and everything that fascinates me.

My note: I have only bumped into Muskan recently and she is a charming young girl. Let me tell you, Muskan means Smile and she does have a lovely one! 🙂 Here are her answers:


1. Name 5-10 of your most favourite books

Slammed, maybe someday, confess and ugly love, all by Colleen Hoover. The hunger games bu Suzanne Collins. The mortal instruments series by Cassandra Clare. The lux series by Jennifer L Armentrout. the throne of glass series by Sarah J. Mass. Last but definitely not the least :Beautiful disaster by Jamie McGuire.

2. A book that you have re-read the most

I’m not sure but I’m guessing it’s a tie between Beautiful disaster and Slammed.

3. Favourite authors and why

Colleen Hoover
Cassandra Clare
Jennifer L Armentrout
Sarah J Mass
Because they all write magic*.*
Once I start reading one of their books I can’t put it down!

4. Genre you dislike

Paranormal. I just don’t buy it.

5. Character crush

Will Cooper from slammed. Miles from ugly love. Jace from the mortal instruments. Dorian from throne of glass. And last but surely not the least: Daemon Black from the lux series.

6. Character you strongly identify with

Katy from the lux series. The main reason is that she too is a book blogger! And we both share our undying love for books<3 and she’s strong and independent. Stands up for herself.

7. One character you want to bring to the real world

Will Cooper from Slammed!
A hot guy who writes poetry? What’s not to love?

8. What is your ideal reading space/environment

I’m the kind of person who can read anywhere. Literally. But my ideal place is my comfy bed.

9. Must-have books in a collection

Each and every Colleen Hoover
The mortal instruments by Cassandra Clare
We were liars by E. Lockhart *.*
The throne of glass series by Sarah J. Mass
Beautiful disaster by Jamie McGuire

10.Earliest memory of books and reading

As I mentioned before, I discovered my love for reading when u read the hunger games. But it’s not like I didn’t used to read at all. The first novel I remember reading is revolution 2020 by Chetan Bhagat

11. Weirdest book or reading experience

I haven’t had any weird experiences, yet.
But by seeing the amount of books I read I’m likely to have one in the near future xD


Want to take part in this series? It’s simple. Just let me know you are interested and we’ll go about it 🙂