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A dream in my hands
An eager step towards a
Beautiful journey

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

My dearest,
On a lonely, sunny afternoon
A few murmurs, a blurred vision
Floated in my mind
You stirred
A figment of imagination,
An ephemeral dream, I presumed
You smiled, a promising smile that stuck
Refusing to go away
You made me restless
But brought solace too
Giving me a new horizon
You, my little precious book, encouraged 
With a million quirky thoughts
Embracing me and promising, yet again
A new, beautiful journey




Imaginary Garden invites us to write a poem, dedicated to our dearest book. As a first time author, of course, my dearest book is my own book, We Will Meet Again. It was a great learning experience and the connection I developed with my book and characters while writing is exceptionally special!

I loved this idea! Do you like this idea? Then write a poem for your dearest book, and share. :)


Sharing With Haiku My Heart


   





'The strangest flowers,' my brother said, 'have come out of ordinary grass.'

Even though I am not fond of historical fiction (or maybe I haven't tried reading them seriously), I enjoyed reading Empire by Devi Yesodharan (Juggernaut Books). And, it's a big thing as a reader - enjoying the genre you don't read much.

I love books that have women as central protagonists, and Empire, set in the times of Chola dynasty, has Aremis, a strong and only woman warrior, who not only beat all the boys in a tournament but also qualifies to be the throne guard of the Chola King.

'It's not enough to be better than everyone else. I have to be better than their fantasies.' Aremis thinks.

Greek by origin, Aremis or Yavani, still a foreigner among Cholas, has no family and she is not supposed to fall in love. Not allowed to look attractive. 

Empire also tells the story Anantha (Also called as Avvai), the commander of the Chola armies, who develops a special connection with Aremis, which eventually damages the trust she has built in the eyes of the King. Especially when an important battle is waiting ahead!

How her life changes after becoming the throne guard? Why her special connection with Anantha damages the credibility of Aremis? An asset to the kingdom, would she be allowed to fight the battle? Will the Cholas win the battle? You need to read the book to find these (and many more) answers.

Written in first person from two Points of View, this book is intriguing, imaginative, and seems very well-researched. The language is neat and well-suited to this genre. It reflects the culture of the Cholas and spirit of the fighters. 

Characters do (or the author make them do) justice to their roles. The author has expressed the longing and loneliness of Aremis really well. 'There are a few memories so vivid it's like looking at them through a window.'

The fights of Aremis, as a quick-witted, dark warrior with dagger and bow, seem impressive. 

Just one thing - I think, for this story, it would have been better (more vivid - expression/appearance-wise) if it was written in third person PoV.

Overall, this book was a wonderful reading experience, and it has inspired me to read more historical fiction, especially with strong female central characters. If you like reading historical fiction, you must pick this book. Even if you are new to this genre (like me), you should read this well-written book.


I received an (Advance) Review Copy from the publisher for an honest review.


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I love everything that deals with writing and books. Writing tips, writing journey (struggles), book reviews, book recommendations, and 'author's interviews' -  if I find any such posts, I'm off to read that!

Today, I am in conversation with Kanchana Banerjee, author of A Forgotten Affair (Harper Collins). Kanchana Banerjee is an experienced freelance writer (that reflects in her writing), and switched to creative writing with her debut novel, A forgotten Affair.




She believes, 'There's always a time and place for everything.'

She is one of the most disciplined and dedicated writers I have met (online, actually). So, let's talk!

Welcome to my blog. Tell your readers something about you and about your writing journey.

I always knew writing is what I would do. Nothing else was ever an option. So I worked with few newspapers before becoming a  freelance features writer. Then veered into corporate writing. I also knew that someday I would write a book. Everything else I did along the way was in preparation of that. Now I’m home, in the world of fiction.

You had been a freelance writer for 20 years. What prompted you to write fiction? And, how challenging/different you think creative writing is?

As I said above, it was a natural progression of things. I wrote features for a very long time. Topics I like to write on are – relationships, people profiles, life in general, changing landscape in society & etc. so it’s hardly surprising that I write relationship stories.

You have won the contract of A Forgotten Affair by pitching your synopsis in just 3 minutes. Sounds pretty impressive. Can you please share some pitching tips for aspiring writers?

Allow yourself to be nervous. It’s ok to be. Build on that nervous edge to do your best. Tell yourself again and again that you’ll not let go of the moment. Own the moment. Let your passion speak. Prepare well but don’t read from a script. If it’s doesn’t swing your way, don’t curse yourself. you win some, you lose some. You live to win another day.

Tell me something about A Forgotten Affair – where did you get the inspiration from?



I write on relationships so I observe people around me. I have seen some of my friends and some elderly aunts in the family in emotionally abusive relationships. It has disturbed for a very long time. The fact that women themselves don’t realize and accept that they are being minimized; it just horrifies and angers me.

As a writer, what you think ruins a story?

Over telling or over justification. Don’t tell all about the characters. Reveal bit by bit about them. Keep the reader surprised and anxious to read on and know. Don’t justify a vile character. Allow them to be bad just for the sake of being bad. And don’t let the characters be inconsistent.

Is there any particular genre you find difficult to write? If yes, which one?

I don’t think I would be able to write an erotica. It requires a certain sensibility which I don’t have. 

Would you like to share something about your future projects?

I have finished Novel 2. Novel 3 & 4 are fully etched out in separate folders in my lap top. They all deal with relationships, are reflection of the contemporary times we live in but also very different from each other. I am very superstitious about my writing and believe that if I talk about a work in progress that will never see the light of day. So my lips are sealed.

You are a very disciplined/dedicated writer. Tell us something about your writing process.

The idea of the plot and the protagonist comes to me together. I then allow it stay in my thoughts. I keep thinking, jotting down points and allow the idea to grow. Then I start writing a detailed character sketch of the protagonist and the other primary characters. This allows me to get into the skin of the characters, their life and the story I will tell through them. Then I do chapter outline of first 10 chapters, after which I begin writing. But I have seen that somewhere around 15,000 words, the story decides to take over and tells me, “To hell with the chapter outlines, follow me.” I always heed. The story tells and I follow. I’m very weird in one thing; I need to know the end of the story. So after writing few chapters, I know how I want the end to be. So I write it down. so far I haven’t changed the end. So I know the beginning and the end; then all that’s left is to reach the destination.

Writing and getting published is difficult. What is more difficult  –
Finding ideas
Finishing the first draft
Editing
Marketing?

Writing, ideating is tough but it’s the most enjoyable part of the journey. It’s a happy tough. Editing is heart breaking. I’ve had to chop and delete portions that I loved writing only to realize later that they weren’t doing anything to the story, hence had to go. Marketing is the necessary evil in the whole book journey. For me it is the toughest because marketing doesn’t come naturally to me.

Is there any book that you found overrated/underrated? Have you ever read a book that compelled you to think – I wish I had written this! Which book is that (if yes)?

Yes, I have found a few books over-rated but I don’t want to mention them. books that I wish I’d written – there are many. I wish I’d written Kane & Abel, Palace of Illusions, To kill a mockingbird, Thorn birds, Kite runner…to name a few.

You were very clear about your career since you were a teenager. How did you manage to stay so focused?Please share some insights.

It’s just the way I am. I know what I want and I know what I don’t want. Some people get clarity out confusion and I know what I want. So that’s that.

Any words of inspiration for aspiring writers?

Don’t be in a hurry to get published. Read a lot. Write a lot. Think about what you are writing. Don’t be in a race to write more. write better. That’s what I follow.

Thank you so much for your time. It was a pleasure to have you on my blog!





        
      


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