Monday, May 26, 2008

Sobhaa De: Antithesis of a Real Writer

I remember I was amused when Sobha De added an extra 'a' to her first name some time ago, following advice from her astrologer. After all, she was a much-publicized writer of our times with suposedly modern sensibilities!

The extra 'a' seems to have worked fine for her. Every year she is climbing higher up on the totem pole of authorship. She has recently launched her glamorous book called Superstar India amid great fanfare. Given her connection and luck brought in by the extra 'a', she is going to have rave reviews for this book. It may end up being a bestesller even. All is possible in the current environment.

But I'm not going to either buy or read the book. If I can read into the hype or buzz that floats around it, the book must be all fluff and crap a la "India Shining" campaign of the erstwhile Bharatiya Janata Party Government.

Friday, May 23, 2008

A Plug For Myself

It has been a fortnight that Smashwords Inc has published my debut novel
SHADOWLAND. It took me two years to write the novel. I shopped it for about seven years, but did not get any publisher.

There were however some accolades from top literary agents who read through my novel. Paul Cirone, an American agent, rejected me with these words: I think you are a solid writer, smart and polished, and it's hard for me to say why it's not right for me. Yet another agent, a British one, David Godwin said of my MS: "Much of the writing is wonderful." Alban Miles, an editor of Random House, commented: "It's a strong story based on a believable character. I did enjoy reading it."

There was an American agent(I don't want to name) who in fact loved my MS, and asked me not to send it to any more agent. After two months, he sent me a rejection letter stating that he had his editor friend to read through it, and the editor opined that it was too bold for a first-time author. That day I knew the fate of my MS, and stopped, from then on, pitching any more query letter to any agent or publisher.

The MS sat in the nook of my laptop for another year. Then I stumbled upon a wonderful fellow called Mark Coker.

Thanks to Smashwords Inc - a visionary startup of Mark's - my novel now gets a home, electronic though. It is also selling. The only thing I want to say about it is that much of real life finds its way into my book. And I never dictate my characters. They all move, act and talk as freely as they should, and as a writer, I just narrate their activities honestly.

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