Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Delhi Book fair and the last Tuesday prompt!

And so it goes. (with due reverence to Kurt Vonnegut)
 This is the last Tuesday  of February and it has been a truly GREAT  month. I met so may of you who have been taking part in the 'Tea for two tuesdays', yesterday at Delhi, during the event at World Book fair.
It was fantastic meeting you all!

I am truly blown away and deeply indebted with all the love you have shown me!  Some of you came from places as far as three hours from Delhi and waited so patiently to meet me.

If you wish to read about the book fair and the event in detail, Aabha has written a post about it here.

Here are two picture from the event (thanks to Aabha again) :

Signing books.

Reading out parts of the book. With me is Vintage (an imprint of Random House) Editor Sheeba.



Now like all good things, the 'Tea for two tuesdays' should also come to an end.. and this is the last one in the series. I do feel bad it is coming to an end, but I feel wonderful about the camaraderie that it has created!  After all, that is truly what blogging, writing and books are about, isn't it?
The connect that words create and the fact that our minds can meet before our physical selves have!

Here is the last prompt in the 'Tea for two (and a piece of cake) Tuesdays".

And this time it is just to get to know YOU better. It has nothing to do with Tea for two or a piece of cake!.

Answer the following questions about yourself:

1. If you had Rs.50,000 to just blow up (you have to spend it on YOURSELF. Giving to Charity or buying gifts for others not allowed), what would you spend it on and why?


2. Name three of your closest friends (not family or spouse) and say why you love them.


3. Name three books which have profoundly affected you and which you would recommend to everyone to read.


4. If you know for certain that you can never ever fail, what would you attempt to do?


5. What is THE ONE THING that you want very very badly?

Go on--take part. You have shown me so much love! You know so much about me.

Now I want to know about YOU! :)

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Ps: Get my new book and read reviews about it here. You can interact with me on my FB page too.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

On writing and getting published





. 'The Hindu' carried an interview with me, there were mentions about my third book in 'The Indian Express', New Indian Express as well as India Today. (see slide show) And in the Hindustan Times today, two of my books are in the Top 10, as per the Nielsen scan.


.
These days, there is this flood of mails I get. I do reply to all, even if it takes a lot of my time.(If you have written to me and not got a reply, I have probably overlooked, please resend)

But of late, I seem to be getting a whole load of mails from people who want to be published. They want me to read their work and tell them if I think they are good enough. I have time constraints due to my paid assigments (Writers have bills to pay too, folks!). I am flooded with requests from people who send me stuff they have written and some send me whole manuscripts even. Even though I would love to help, my current commitments leave me with no time to read stuff (let alone edit and assess) which readers send in.

 A whole lot of people also ask how to go about getting published. So I thought I would write a post which addresses all the questions people ask, so that next time I get a mail like this, I can simply point them to this particular post.

Here are the FAQs on getting published

1. How does one get published in India? Do you need an agent?

No, you really do not need an agent in India.
Chikki Sarkar (who was Editor in Chief of Random House India at the time) who is now with Penguin, has answered a whole lot of questions on getting published in this link.
Please read it thoroughly if you are an aspiring author.
Also check out this link:
http://www.indiahowto.com/how-to-publish-book.html

Both the above links would answer almost all questions you have about getting published in India.

2. A publisher has agreed to publish my book, but he wants me to pay X amount. Is this how it works?

No! A traditional publisher will never ask you to pay any amount! If a publisher is asking you to pay, then it is probably 'Vanity publishing'. It's really not worth it, in my opinion.

3. I have been rejected by all the top publishing houses, now I am thinking of publishing my book myself. What do you think about self-publishing?

 Here is a Superb article by Harold Underdown which tells you exactly what I think about self publishing.

4. I want to write a book. Where do I start?

Join a creative writing course.  If you are outside India, just google it and many colleges and universities offer you courses. If you are in India, this link may be useful.

5. I really appreciate your writing. Can you offer me tips on how to write better? Can you be my mentor?

For me to offer you tips on how to better your writing, I will have to study your writing in detail. For me to be your mentor, would take a whole lot of time from my daily schedule. My current commitments simply do not leave me with any time for critiquing or mentoring. I suggest you join a writers group like Caferati who have a facebook group too.

 6. I have a flair for writing and I enjoy it. What do I do next?

If you are in college, start taking part in every creative writing opportunity that comes your way. You can contribute to your college or school magazine.
If you are working, look at  your company newsletters if they have one.
Offer to write for local newspapers and magazines. (Study first what kind of articles they publish and see if your writing fits in their style.)
If you write as a hobby and want a wider audience for your work or want to see your work published consider taking part in short story competitions like this one.

7. I have been 'inspired' by ___________ and have written a similar book. What do you feel?

I truly believe that writing has to be original. You have to find your voice, your style.I am somehow against a 'copy' or a 'similar style'. Be original! Be brave! Be proud of who YOU are!


Here is a superb video which captures some hard hitting truths in a humorous way on writing a novel.







So, here you have it. I have given you all the information and all the details. Good luck with your writing! ____________________________________________________________________________________ Ps: You can interact with me on my FB page too.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Pune launch and Tuesday prompt.

Was in Pune for a launch on 18th feb at Crossword. Senapati Bapat Marg. It went off really well. For some lovely pictures from the launch go here.

I am truly overwhelmed by the warm reception I got in Pune, especially from many of the readers of this blog.



 A big thank you to all who attended.




One of my closest friends, Mayank Mittal drove all the way from Mumbai to attend this launch. It was a complete surprise to me! I never expected him there and I was so darn delighted!  (and he had to close his eyes for that one snap :) and I am glowing like a 1000 watt bulb, I know :) )

Of course Satish was there too (he clicked the above snap)--he was SO proud of me  and I do feel very grateful for the presence of genuine well-wishers that my life seems to be filled with. Many people who turned up for the launch told Satish that they are big fans of his writing and that he should consider writing  a book as well.

The Media was there too, clicking away pictures after pictures. Nitin Lawate clicked some amazing pictures of me and he was very kind to share them with me. He is a superb photographer and you can check out his portfolio  by clicking HERE.


I specifically liked this picture that Nitin clicked of me during the audience interaction(without my knowledge of course, it was completely candid)






The next event is at Delhi, on 26th, 2PM at Pragati Maidan during the World Book Fair. You are welcome to attend! :)


And oh--I nearly forgot, on Saturday, I was interviewed live on radio (Chennai FM--Chennai's only English music station) and it was a great conversation. Will post audio clip soon.


And now for the much awaited Tuesday prompt. (Again, I am travelling and will not be able to leave individual comments this time too but I do read every single link that is submitted)

 Write three sentences about yourself,  first sentence starting with T., second with  E and third with A
(as it spells TEA). If you want to write more, write four more sentences but they have to start with C, A, K and E respectively. (CAKE)

Interesting? :) Dive in and take part!
And don't forget to leave me a comment after submitting your link.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A perfect Valentines day!




The book launch went off wonderfully, last evening. There was conversation, cupcakes, tea and a lot of fun. It was indeed a special Valentines day.

 A big thank you to all of you who made the effort to attend it. I was really delighted to see you.

This is what Pawan Raju, one of the readers who attended the launch said "It was definitely different kind of book launch :) :) :) :) perfect valentine's day evening :) Kudos! I  enjoyed every minute of it"

 Milan Vohra was in conversation with me and I have included a small part of the conversation where she asks me about sex scenes in the book. :) This is an out and out adults book. It is unlike my previous two books.

 For a LOT more pictures, which say it all go here.

 My next launch is in Pune on 18th (Saturday), 6.30 PM at Crossword, (ICC Trade Tower) Senapati Bapat Marg. 

. I will be in conversation with Sonja Chandrachud. 

 Join me if you are in Pune!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Tea for two (and a piece of cake) Tuesday No.4


So, my BIG day is tomorrow--the day when my baby goes out into the big bad world. Treat my baby kindly will you? :) If you still do not know what I am talking about--go here. 

I am excited and I will not have time to post the prompt of 'Tea for two and a piece of cake' tomorrow. So here goes:


 Can a relationship be like a tea-stain? Why or why not?

 Lovely thinking prompt right? :) (Thank me!) :) 

I am totally swamped with the book launch and will not be able to leave comments on your individual posts but I do read them ALL. Each and everyone. And I love how there is so much camaraderie now amongst the participants! 

 And by the way,I have another launch in Pune on 18th,6.30 PM at Crossword, ICC trade Towers, Senapati bapat Marg. If you are in Pune, come!:)

 Now, put on your thinking caps and dive into this prompt.

  and hey--wish me luck for tomorrow. I need it! ________________________________________________________________________________ ps: Interact with me on FB. I always reply back :)


Saturday, February 11, 2012

All in two days work

So I got back from Kolkata, the city of joy, the land of art and music lovers and mostly the land of people who know how to live in the moment and take no stress. Each city in India, truly has a character of its own. I have traveled (and also lived in) to many cities of India, and Kolkata is truly something else. I ate at a roadside stall near Dhakuria Railway station where a sumptuous break-fast of four piping hot pooris served with generous amount of Aloo sabji and some kind of  really delicious Dal cost me just rupees ten! Then of course the chai for rupees three.

I gorged on Mishti doi and Roshagullas  and a lot of other Bong dishes. The hospitality of my hosts was unmatched. But at the back of mind, like it is these days most of the time, was the amount of work that remained to be done regarding the launch of 'Tea for two and a piece of cake'.

And no piece of cake it was! :)

But one of my strengths is determination. And determined I was to finish signing the hundreds and hundreds of pre-ordered copies of my third book. (If you order from here, they will be author signed copies).

There were forty cartons of books waiting for me! yes--FORTY! :)

 My mother is visiting me these days, and Satish, my children and my mom got busy opening the cartons and arranging the books for me to sign. I stayed up till 1.00 AM that very night that I arrived from Kolkata.


 Yeah--the black coffee kept me going and that is indeed a very tired smile. I finshed half of them and went to bed.(with aching fingers and indentation marks on them)

The next day, I was back to tackle the rest of the cartons. And by evening I was done. Oh what a high it  was! Sweet pain :)





This time it was a smile of supreme satisfaction. And all those crates behind me contain hundreds and hundreds of author signed copies. To know about book signings by authors go here.

Of course I will be signing more books at the launch too, which is on Feb 14th, 6.30 PM at Landmark, Forum Mall Bangalore. I will be in conversation with Milan Vohra.

Of course I am looking forward to it immensely. If you are in Bangalore, you are most welcome to come and be a part of it all. There is a nice little surprise planned.

There are events planned in Pune (18th), Delhi (26th) and Chennai  too. Will give you all details closer to date--you can follow my FB page too.

And tonight, I go to bed  a very happy woman :)
Good night!
_______________________________________________________________________________

ps: Grab my three books HERE. And the fifth one in this link isn't mine! I don't know who it is! The fourth one has two stories by me.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Tea for two (and a piece of cake) Tuesdays --3

Hope you all have had a good week since the last Tuesday. I had one of my 'Oh-my-God-I can't-Believe-it' moment on Saturday, when my advance author copies of my book reached me.

I sat in silence for some time and stared at the book. Then I promptly burst into tears as I missed my dad so intensely. He would have been so proud to see this day. I do believe with all my heart that it is he, who left me a gift of writing.
I write to get over my grief of losing him and my writing touches so many hearts.
What better gift could he have left me?

I am leaving for Kolkata  early tomorrow   morning (a family wedding) and I have to wake up at five (groan groan) to catch a flight. Hence, I am putting up this prompt tonight, as I know that ones who look forward to taking part will be eagerly waiting. (and the ones who do not take part--do join in! what are you waiting for?! It's not as frightening or time consuming as you think. And you never know what you may discover. )

In case you do not know what 'Tea for Two (and a piece of cake) Tuesdays' are, please check out this post.



The prompt for today is a quote  by Bernard-Paul Heroux.

There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much diminished by a nice cup of tea.  ~Bernard-Paul Heroux

Go make yourself a nice cup of tea and mull about it. You can write as little as you want or as much as you want. Use the prompt as an inspiration.Say what you like about it or dislike.


You can write a poem or a journal entry or a short story or just your thoughts--Just anything that sets you off, when you read the above prompt. There are no formats at all about what you can write.


You can post your links here.Do not link the whole blog..Link only the specific post which uses the prompt.





Will try and catch up with your posts when I come back but it may be difficult this time (as the launch date of my book is very close). I did have a great time reading last Tuesday's entries. Happy 'tea for two (and a piece of cake)' Tuesday!

_______________________________________________________________________

ps:  Please RSVP: ssrivastava@randomhouse.co.in,  9971445305  if you are coming for my book launch on 14th Feb 2012. There is a nice little surprise  planned.

Interact with me on FB page. I do mostly reply :)

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Do something different this Valentines day. You're invited!

Do something different this Valentines day. Come to a fun book launch with (or without) your valentine!

click to enlarge




Where: Landmark, Forum Mall, Bangalore
When: 14th Feb 2012, 6:30 PM
What: A different kind of book launch!

Please RSVP: ssrivastava@randomhouse.co.in,  9971445305


And in case you want to know what the book is all about, here is a book trailer (length- 1 min 30 sec) __________________________________________________________________________

 If you like my writing, you might enjoy my books :) Grab them here. or if you are am Amazon Fan, you can grab them here
 And you can interact with me on my FB page. I almost always reply :)

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

If it still hurts...



Last night I came across this visual and it immediately struck a chord. I posted it on my FB page as well as on my Pinterest board and I realised it resonated in many hearts. 

Why do we hurt for something that can never be? 
Why can't we let go?

It should be easy, right? That person is no longer in your life--so shut them out and move on.
But it never is. 

Memories of happy times come back to dance on the edges of reason to mock and jeer you. 

And it hurts.
Like hell.
Like jagged edges of a broken glass.
Like pin pricks of a million needles. 

You long for their voice, you want to be with them, you yearn for the old warmth and easy laughter. You yearn for the time when you used to talk to each other and instantly the world would be a better place. 

But it is long gone  now, and the relationship lives only in your memories.

You never think something that gave you such joy can cause you this much pain. Yet it does. But you learn to cope. You smile bravely and pretend it does not matter anymore.  But deep down you remember it all. You might have pushed it into a box and shut it tight, deliberately distracting yourself with other things so you do not have to think about it. But the box does open, many a time so unexpectedly with such little keys--like a song on the radio which held a special memory, or may be someone saying something which used to be the special phrase you used when it was just the two of you. 

It never leaves really, does it? How can you erase something that has already been? 

That is precisely why the above lines make so much sense. "If it still hurts, you still care."

I guess some things will always be. Maybe shut in a box, maybe pushed into the attic. But existing nevertheless. 

To deny would be lying to yourself just as mourning for something that cannot be and wallowing it it would be shutting the doors to many more happy memories waiting to happen. 

Life is full of surprises. And time is ticking.
So go out there, give your best smile, Grab it, LIVE it, revel in it. 

You may be amazed at what it gives back. _________________________________________________________________________________ 
 If you like my writing, you might enjoy my books :) Grab them here. or if you are am Amazon Fan, you can grab them here
 And you can interact with me on my FB page. I almost always reply :)