Swift Six Author Interview – Prakash Vir Sharma- short fiction #meetanauthor #swiftsix #Hindilanguagebook

Name: Prakash Vir Sharma

What attracts you to the genre in which you write? I have self-published two short stories books by now. The reason behind writing fiction is my passion for social work. The evils I have observed in the society, inspired me to write on those. I conveyed my thoughts through my characters on various social, political and religious issues.

What piece of writing advice do you wish you’d known when you started your writing adventures? Writing has always been my hobby since 1990. Initially, I started writing for newspapers. I have written two novels that time but couldn’t publish due to lack of knowledge and resources. As of now, I have around half a dozen rough drafts which I wanna publish as soon as I can.

If you could have dinner with any famous person or character who would you choose? I would love to have dinner either with Big B “Amitabh Bachchan” or American President Donald Trump because I found their life struggle very much inspiring.

Who has been the greatest influence on your own work? The greatest influences on my work are social issues.

Do you think the e-book revolution will do away with print? I don’t think so because both have their own significance. While carrying ebooks is easier, it’s more comfortable to read a print edition. But, ebooks are selling more and more because of cost factor too.

Which 3 books would you take to a desert island and why? I would love to carry all three books of Rhonda Byrne – “The Secret”, “The Hero” and “The Magic” because I love to read and write something motivational.

Author bio and book synopsis
The author is a management and engineering professional as well as an educationalist by qualification. He is best known for his impartial and analytical opinions on political, social and religious issues. He is also a passionate social thinker. The books “Pratibimb” and “Mahakte Panne” were published by Yuvraj Prakashan which consist of his prominent works.

His first book ” Kathputli”, which was published in March 2017, made news for two months right from social media to print media. ”Kathputli was his first independent venture and was self-published.

Prakash started working for newspapers as a freelancer in early 1990s. Starting from Hindi weekly ”Shrambheri”, he has continued to display his skills in the form of articles, poems and stories in various newspapers and magazines till date.

At present, with 24 years of technical experience in steel industry, he is working at a senior management position in Bhushan Power & Steel LTD in India. Although a native of Moradabad (India), he stays currently in Kolkata.

Synopsis of recent book

“Life In Shackles” is a collection of great social stories based on the plight of women in different situations of life. The book is pure fiction but these situations are real as these are stories of various women at distant places. The author tried to give a clear-cut message to the community as a whole that if this is the scenario, our women deserve to live a happy life beyond these Shackles.

Tell us about your book(s) – title, genre etc (short)

1. Kathputli – A short stories book in Hindi language.
2. Life In Shackles – A short stories book in English language.

Upcoming Titles – Two motivational books are coming in October’17 and May’18 respectively.
1. Mindset  And Passion – The Psychology Of Success (English language)
2. Uth Jaag Musafir Bhor Bhai (Hindi language)

Links
Social media

E-mail: prakash2484@gmail.com

https://www.pvsharmablog.wordpress.com

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B072PCYJL1

https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B072PCYJL1

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show…

https://www.facebook.com/prakaash.sha

https://twitter.com/Prakaashsharma

https://www.pinterest.com/prakash2484/

Reader Interview Number Twenty – Amanda Kent

It’s been over a year since I’ve posted a reader interview so it’s great to be running one again.

*Welcome to Amanda Kent

Where are you from? United Kingdom

Please tell us a little about yourself.
Retired IT Programme/Project Manager. Labour Party activist and ward chair, currently campaigning to remain in the European Union. Member of local Amnesty International group. Fluent in French and German as well as English mother tongue. Married with two sons.

On average how many books do you read in a month? Approx 80–90-120 per year. Of these, I read a small amount of books in French and German each year, maybe 5% and hope to add Italian to this eventually. I don’t read translations of books that I can read in the original French or German.

A quarter to a third of the books I read will be re-reads, mostly genre fiction to unwind. A quarter to a third of the books will be by women. With a conscious effort, I managed to make it half and half last year, but it doesn’t really seem worth a conscious effort, because it was lowering the overall quality. More of the women authors I read seem to be crime or SF/fantasy than serious.

Where is your favourite place to read? Anywhere and everywhere. I almost always carry a book.

*What genres do you prefer and why? Do you have any genres you avoid?
I have no prefered genre though I’m finding that I read more non-fiction as I get older than I used to. As well as novels and non-fiction, I quite often read plays but only a little poetry, usually short poems.

I don’t like horror/ghost stories at all, or misery memoirs. I rarely read chick-lit/romance. I’m not usually much interested in travel books.

Why are books important to you and what does reading bring to your life?
Fiction, notably genre fiction, provides escape and relaxation. Non-fiction provides information and food for thought which may influence moral and political choices, as does quality fiction.

Do you have a favourite book or author? Why do you think you like this book/author so much?
No, I would spend hours trying to work out even a top 100.

What medium do you prefer – e-books, audiobooks or paper books? Would you care to expand on this?
I prefer physical books, paperback or hardback. If I re-read a paperback too often, I may need a hardback replacement because it fell apart. This happened to my childhood paperback of Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings – and the hardbacks of it which my sons have shared are now showing a pale skin pink under the leather of the binding.

Good covers, presentation, illustration do contribute to the pleasure of reading. I don’t like e-books, possibly because I was in IT: screen-reading is work not pleasure to me. I never really got into audiobooks – unless you’re travelling a lot by car or have a visual handicap, they just take too long compared with reading. Also most audiobooks are abridged and I want to read the real thing. That may, of course, change if I go blind in old age.

How do you usually find the books you read? For example: recommendations from friends, promotion on social networks, your local library, following authors you already know?
I read things I’ve earmarked from the Guardian’s Saturday Review of Books, friends recommendations and further works from authors I already know.

I buy books firsthand from Waterstones, Foyles, Daunts, second hand through Amazon marketplace(not from Amazon direct if I can possibly avoid it) or charity shops and I borrow books from friends and from the library, especially books where I have any doubts if I’m going to like them. Occasionally if I love a library book, I may later buy it to re-read.

When choosing a book what makes you stop and give it a second look? What makes you turn away?
Mostly I read books I’ve already identifed I want to read so what attracts my eye is a known author or title, very occasionally an intriguing cover and blurb.

Do you read reviews by others and if so do they influence your choice?
I rarely read on-line reviews but read some newspaper/magazine ones.

Do you “judge a book by its cover?”
Occasionally a cover will put me off reading a book, which sometimes I may return to a later edition of, but not very often and very occasionally a cover & blurb will attract me to a book I might have overlooked, but it’s definitely secondary .

What do you think is the most important aspect of a book for you? Plot, world-building, strong characters etc.? What turns you off?
Plot and the construction of the story is important in fiction/drama, except in poetry where form to a large extent takes over from plot. I hated Stephen Donaldson’s Lord Foul’s Bane because after a really interesting opening idea it went into chapter after chapter of he met some strange beings, did some unconnected stuff (repeat, repeat, repeat, stop) with no linking or development of character or apparent point to the tale. Fernando Pessoa’s Book of Disquiet I couldn’t read because of the absence of plot; there were beautiful passages but the lack of overall shape made it well nigh impossible to remember what you’d read 10 pages ago – it can only really be done as a kind of poetry and that’s hard.

Plausible characters and events are critical in fiction whether in a totally imaginary or a realistic tale. Style/narrative approach matter, at their best they reinforce the story e.g. Primo Levi: the Periodic Table or Jeannette Winterson: Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit; at their worst they give a gimmicky feel to the book.

The way some authors write can put me off, if their style is very ‘look how clever I am’ for example or outright pretentious – I’m not a big fan of Salman Rushdie or John Fowles because of this. Stylistic tics and bad proofreading can be an irritant – for example it is sadly obvious that Bloomsbury gave up proofreading JK Rowling after book 3 and the quality is affected even if the overall narrative is still strong.

In non-fiction, I like information to either to be a story eg biographies or to present a coherent argument on an issue or issues.
My favourite books tend to be ones that give you some food for thought on issues of ethics, politics or approach to live.

Does the behaviour of an author affect your choice to read one of their books?
Potentially yes. If the author is obnoxious in real life, it’s likely to come through in the books. And there are so many other books… If I hate the first book I read by an author, it takes a personal recommendation to get me to try another. I have an accumulated ‘To read list’ of about 500 titles so why waste energy on things I probably won’t enjoy!

It’s only rarely that I give up part way through a book, though, and that’s partly because I read quite fast. However, some books I couldn’t finish are supposed to be very good e.g. Don Quixote but I was so bored by the end of part 1 I just couldn’t manage any more.

What are your views on authors commenting on reviews on sites such as Goodreads?
I wish they would keep away and I absolutely hate it in when they promote their books, it almost guarantees that I won’t read them: if their books were any good they wouldn’t be doing it. I don’t buy from door-to-door salesmen for the same reason.

If you had to pick three favourite books to take to a desert island what would they be?
I doubt if I could really, but for example Mrs Gaskell: North and South; Victor Hugo: les Miserables and Erich Maria Remarque: A Time to Live and a Time to Die (sometimes mistranslated as a Time to Love because of the film).

Or on a different day, Hermanne Hesse: the Glass-Bead Game, Antonio Tabucchi: Pereira Maintains and Tolstoy’s War and Peace.

Do you think bricks and mortar bookshops are in decline?
They have been but seem to have stabilised at a lower level and physical books are not in decline, at least here in Britain.

 

Reader/Reviewer Interview Number Twenty – Joselyn Moreno

*Welcome to Joselyn Moreno.

Where are you from? Panamá

Please tell us a little about yourself.
I’m just an average girl who loves to read and craves lots of books. I’m bilingual and I like blogs a lot too. I’m 30 years old, and have been reading since I could, a trait from my mom since she is a elementary teacher.

On average how many books do you read in a month?
Usually depends on the length of the books if they’re short I can read 3 to 5 of them if they’re more full-length maybe 2 a month.

Where is your favorite place to read?
Anywhere I can find to read, being my bed, my car, the mall.

*What genres do you prefer and why? Do you have any genres you avoid?
My favorites would be romance because which girl doesn’t sigh with a good one, terror/horror love to scare myself ajajaaj, dystopia since it seems so real but at the same time sci fi and interesting.

Why are books important to you, and what does reading bring to your life?
Because they can lift my spirits whenever I need, for me they’re like my drug and well they bring a lot of good things to my life, like friends and lots of reads.

Do you have a favorite book or author? Why do you think you like this book/author so much?
Jovee winters, I love her sexy retells of classic children tales.

What medium do you prefer – e-books, audiobooks or paper books? Would you care to expand on this?
Ebooks mostly, audiobooks are good too so I can go in the traffic hearing something cool, paperback are nice only when you have space at your home for them.

How do you usually find the books you read? For example: recommendations from friends, promotion on social networks, your local library, following authors you already know?
Following authors more than anything and with my blog I receive a lot of request to read.

When choosing a book what makes you stop and give it a second look? What makes you turn away?
For me the covers and the blurbs are it, that can convince me to give a book a try. For me to turn away a book it mean the blurb didn’t catch my attention or it was too heavy for my liking.

*Do you read reviews by others and if so do they influence your choice?
Yes sometimes I do, and not really but they could always make a book seem more interesting.

Do you “judge a book by its cover?”
Jaja well sometimes, I do love cute covers it’s a great catch to my eyes, however I do try to buy them for their story.

What do you think is the most important aspect of a book for you? Plot, world-building, strong characters etc.? What turns you off?
Plot and characters for me is what makes a book good or bad.
Too much roundabout can make me turn off since I get bored.

Does the behaviour of an author affect your choice to read one of their books?
Only if they do something bad to me personally if not well people are people and we can’t control them, but it doesn’t mean the books are bad.

What are your views on authors commenting on reviews on sites such as Goodreads?
I think it’s awesome, they get to know their fans and interact with them, that is always a good thing.

If you had to pick three favourite books to take to a desert island what would they be?
Fields of Elysium, The Veil: Awakening, Red and her Wolf

Do you think bricks and mortar bookshops are in decline?
Yes and no, Yes because they’re so few you can get to really like bookshops, and no because lots of business sells books so they are like miniature bookshops inside stores, I’m hopeful they never disappear.

If you are a reviewer why do you review?
Because I like to help people discover new books and authors to know people out there likes their books.

What factors are important in a review?
That the plot is good more than anything in my case.

What are your views on paid for reviews?
It will depend if you’re paying for a good review then it’s bad it should be honest, if you’re paying for the time someone took for reading your book it maybe be more like a donation to that person to keep reading and doing what they love.

Are you influenced by other reviews when choosing a book? What other factors influence your choice?
Not really, I do see what other people think and it’s a matter of points of view.
What influences my choice in a book will be the cover design if it is appealing to me and if the story is enticing.

When reviewing what are the important criteria? Editing? Plot? Which factors do you overlook? (if any)
My criteria, plot and character making, I do overlook editing sometimes since we are humans and can make mistakes.

What are your opinions on authors commenting on a review – negative and positive?
Positive because that shows they care and are willing to learn from those reviews and grow as authors.

Do you feel it is appropriate to discuss author behaviour in a review, is this a factor which influences your choice?
NO its not, a review should solemnly be what you think about a book, no hard feelings in it.
If you need to say something about behavior you can always talk with the author directly.

A lot of readers comment about a book with all 4 or 5 star reviews and nothing below as being suspicious? What do you think about this?
That they really liked these books, it’s not unheard of, I guess.

Do you give negative reviews?
I do try not to be negative about my reviews but if I don’t like a book I try to be professional and polite about it and I never blame a book for not liking it, it’s just not my taste that’s all.

Do you mainly stick to your preferred genres, or would you consider reviewing outside your comfort zone?
I usually stick with my genres but from time to time I like to try and explore a different thing, it can surprise me.

Do you deal with reviewing Indie books differently to how you review a mainstream book? NO I review them the same way, they’re books and shouldn’t be treated differently just like people.

Have you ever been a victim of an ‘author behaving badly’? How did you deal with it?
Just one time and I think it was kind of my fault too, but I think that she was too harsh and judgmental the way she looks at things, well I did apologize to her and all but after that I didn’t want to read her anymore.

Author Interview 106 Segilola Salami – Children’s Author/Fairy Tales

 

I don’t often promote books for kids at the library, but this author’s work intrigued me. The books are bilingual – English and Yoruba, that’s a West African Language spoken by nearly 65 million people.  Anyway if you’d like to learn a little more here is some information about the language and people.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoruba_language

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoruba_people

Over to you Segilola…

Welcome to Segilola Salami

Where are you from and where do you live now? I’m a Londoner living in London

Please tell us a little about your writing – for example genre, title, etc.

I write bilingual children’s books. My titles so far are:

  • Yetunde: The Life and Times of a Yoruba Girl in London
  • Learn to Count in Yoruba and English
  • Yetunde: An Ode to My Mother

Where do you find inspiration? My daughter

Research can be important in world-building, how much do you need to do for your books? Do you enjoy this aspect of creating a novel and what are your favourite resources? I tend to have an idea of the folktales I want to include in my book, so I do a bit of online and offline research, speaking to friends to see what versions they remember. This way I try to get the version I tell as close to accurate as I can. I also add my own twists to it. I do enjoy this because it allows me to relive my childhood.

Is there a message conveyed within your writing?  Do you feel this is important in a book? I think with my stories, there are some moral guides. This is important, as I hope it teaches children that every action we take has a reaction

In what formats are your books available? (E-books, print, large print audio) Are you intending to expand these and if not, what is the reason? All my books are available as ebooks. Only Yetunde: An Ode to My Mother is available as a paperbook. I definitely would consider expanding the formats the books are available in in the future

Do you self-edit? If so why is that the case? Do you believe a book suffers without being professionally edited? I do both. When I write my first draft, I take a good few days away from it. I give the manuscript to beta readers to provide feedback. When I go back to the draft manuscript, I sometimes find that with the way I wrote a paragraph, my intentions were not clearly put across, so I have to re-write it. I also apply any appropriate feedback I get from my beta readers. Then I pass the manuscript to the professional editor. When I get the manuscript back, I re-read the editors versions. I find that because I translate some Yoruba words, if the editor changes some key words, the meaning would be lost. So it is important that I then re-edit the editors version.

Do you think indie/self-published authors are viewed differently to traditionally published authors? Why do you think this might be? As a reader, I don’t think so.

Do you read work by self-published authors? Yes I do

What are your opinions about authors commenting on reviews? How important are reviews? As a reader, I never bothered reading reviews. The only time I give a review is when Amazon sends me an email asking for a review. As a reader reviews are not that important to me (as I may not have the same views as the previous reviewer) for works of fiction. I like to judge for myself. If I find a book is badly written, I won’t give the author a second go. If I enjoyed the first book, I would seek out other books by the same author. For non-fiction, I definitely check out reviews to see what people think of the content.

As an author, reviews are super important to help me improve and be better at my writing and that’s why I have a network of beta readers and other authors who I call on to get their feedback. In marketing my books, I have been told that it is important to have reviews as there are some people who only check out books that have reviews.

I think authors should not comment on any published reviews s/he gets. If the author knows the person, then they can talk about the review privately.

When buying a book do you read the reviews? Only for non-fiction

Book links, website/blog and author links:

Yetunde: An Ode to My Mother

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/603700

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1R7OVF3

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1S7GM66

Book page: http://www.segilolasalami.co.uk/yetunde-an-ode-to-my-mother/

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/yetunde-an-ode-to-my-mother

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/en/book/yetunde-an-ode-to-my-mother/id1072179529?mt=11

GRs https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28388212-yetunde

 

Yetunde: The Life and Times of a Yoruba Girl in London

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1S0AkQ6

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1KJuXDk

Book trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCMv4wU5sHI

 

Author website: http://www.segilolasalami.co.uk/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Yetunde3DAnimation/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/iyayetunde1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/segilolasalami

YouTube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7OL37UtAJ-ULNnDGB0SiTg/videos

Google + https://plus.google.com/u/0/+IyaYetunde

Subscribe to Podcast http://www.segilolasalami.co.uk/subscribe-to-podcast/

iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/the-segilola-salami-show/id1091366789?mt=2&ls=1

Stitcher: http://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=85447&refid=stpr