Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Nancy Grossman

Hello Readers,
Today I am going to introduce you to yet another brilliant author – Nancy Grossman. Her debut novel – A World Away, which received The Best Books of the Year 2012 award – is bound to take you through a very fascinating teenage ride on an Amish vehicle and will leave you craving for more.

So here I welcome Ms. Grossman. *Round of Applause*

Hi Nancy, tell us something about yourself.
I earned BSW and MSW degrees from the University of Illinois and began my career as a social worker, but discovered that I was not very good at it. So I went back to school to earn an MA in the Teaching of Writing from Columbia College.  I’ve been teaching at DePaul University in Chicago since 1987 and currently hold the position of Associate Director of the University Honors Program.  I love my work advising Honors students, overseeing student-life programming, and managing Honors admissions.   I also teach an Honors Senior Seminar on Community Service Studies and several courses for the English Department, including Writing for Young Adults, Introduction to Creative Writing, and Reading and Writing Young Adult Literature.
I live in a Chicago suburb with my husband, Ken Fishbain, a hospital administrator.  My daughter, Maggie, now a college student, grew up with the manuscript, and I have some early drafts with her notes in the margins. My son, Kevin, now a sports journalist, helped me with a later draft by telling me what really happened at those homecoming parties.

You were a Social Worker earlier, I'm curious to know how writing happened.
I was not happy in Social Work, and sought to find some creative outlets.  On a whim I signed up for a Fiction Writing course at a nearby college and I was hooked.  I went on to complete a combined MA degree in teaching and writing and leave social work for a new career in teaching at DePaul University in Chicago.

Did you write your d├ębut novel about the Amish because you too believe that they’re really interesting and traditional people?
I enjoyed teaching, but didn't have much time for my own writing. And I didn't have any ideas for a subject.  Then, during a vacation with two girlfriends, I visited an Amish community and had dinner with an Amish family.  There I met an Amish teen and was filled with curiosity about her life and speculation about what it would be like for her to see our world.  That's how my novel got started. I had always been interested in the Amish, and how they've managed to maintain their traditions while everything around them changes.  I enjoyed the research I did to learn more about their world and try to make my book as accurate as possible.

What are you working on at present; give us an insight on your upcoming book (s).
I've recently finished a middle grade book about a family that takes in a Syrian war orphan as a foster child. The book is currently in search of a publisher and I walk around all day with crossed fingers!  I have some ideas for a new YA book about a teen who discovers shocking news about the mother who abandoned her ten years earlier.  But that's in early stages.

This might be a little off question, but have you ever visited my country – India? If yes, which place and anything you’d like to tell; If No, any such plans?
No, I've never had the opportunity to travel to India, but my close friend, a travel writer, just returned from your country and regaled me with the pictures and stories.

Where can we find more about you and your lovely work?

To conclude, Please share a message for the readers.
My message for readers’ is to find your own voice, and don't be afraid to reinvent yourself.  Adult life is a winding road, so start walking it!

Thank you once again for sparing your precious time for this interview and enlightening us with your wise words. We wish you tons of good luck and success in all your future endeavors. 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Mukul Deva

Acknowledged by the media and critiques for a clear Nostradamus Approach and by the title 'The God of All Things', this legendary author is noted for his courage, wit and military thrillers on terrorism and action, to list a few.

He is the man who has not just been sitting behind a desk and coughing up literature but the one who was in the thick of the action. Presenting before you Tom Clancy's Indian counterpart, the one and only – Mukul Deva. 

Hello Mukul Sir, So how did it all begin?
Even as a child, I was madly in love with the art of storytelling and it had always been my dream to become one myself. That is why, even though I use books as a medium of expression, at heart, I view myself only as a story teller. This, like most other art forms, requires just two things – a lot of junoon and even more discipline... :)

People believe you possess Nostradamus Touch as you envisioned Bin Laden’s end with Salim Must Die well before the US operation; what’s your take on it?
For every single book I have written, I spend an extraordinary amount of time on research and I am an avid student of history. I guess both these come together with my love for writing about things happening around us and logically end up in some of the things I write about coming true. I see myself as a profiler of the times I live in as it so happens a fairly accurate one.

We call you Salman Khan of Indian Writing, what do you think about the same?
Nostradamus, Literary Storm trooper, The Renaissance Man - all these I am familiar with - But Salman Khan? Seriously... LOL... now I will have to stop wearing shorts and call myself Chulbul Pandey... :) And I would be very curious to know why they call me the Salman Khan of Indian writing.

The Lashkar series is a fine bridge between fact and fiction. I’d specifically want to ask you of one sentence, ‘…. The Indian Army did not leave its dead or wounded behind’ p 251 (Lashkar).
This is a fact. In every operation, we are trained to ensure we do not leave the bodies of our fallen comrades behind. I am not saying it’s never happened ... there are some dire situations where it may be simply impossible, but those are very rare.

Do you think you would write these books with the same precision and caliber if you hadn't had an army background (I was asked this question in my paper presentation on your novel)?
I am sure I would have. After all, I have written crime thrillers like AND DEATH CAME CALLING with equal precision and covered both sides of the story - though I am neither cop nor criminal... :) And we cannot forget that Tom Clancy, who is an iconic military thriller writer, was not an army man either.

Absolutely Sir; BTW your books will make incredible movies. Any plans for cinematic adaptations?
I completely agree with you that they would adapt very well to the silver screen. And yes, the movie rights for LASHKAR have already been assigned to a movie producer. There is also a query from a Hollywood studio for WEAPON OF VENGEANCE. So fingers crossed, let’s hope it all goes well and I see my books on the big screen.

Give us a little insight about your upcoming books.
I am currently working on a thriller, the sequel to THE DUST WILL NEVER SETTLE or WEAPON OF VENGEANCE as its called in America. This is called POUND OF FLESH and is the third book of the Ravinder Gill series. It is slated for release in June 2016; probably in the US first and then in the Indian sub-continent.
Thereafter I shall be writing ONE NIGHT STAND, which is the second book of my Deadly Sins series and is a psychological thriller. 

What are your inclinations apart from Writing?
Other than writing, which I do four hours every day, I love reading. In fact I think anyone who aspires to be a writer, must be an avid reader as well. I also love watching movies - in several languages. And I am passionate about swimming and yoga. Then of course I am also actively involved in my company, providing coaching and leadership training in 13 countries as on date. 

Where can we find more about you and your work?

To conclude, Please share a message for the readers. 
Life is a one shot deal with no retakes – so live it. And when things go wrong, which they will. Often. Then remember that - when you were born they gave you a birth certificate, not a warranty card. Shit happens! Deal with it – and keep smiling... :)

Wow, beautiful message indeed. 
Thank you once again for sparing your precious time for this interview and enlightening us with your wise words. We wish you tons of good luck and success in all your future endeavors

P.S.: To be honest, I wish the part of counter-attack in Lashkar wasn’t just a fiction!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Karen Simpson Nikakis

Hey Everyone, How you doing? 
I am so excited to present before you my first-ever interview
You guys must have heard about the amazing fantasy writer, K S Nikakis. This post is dedicated to the lovely woman. 

Karen Simpson Nikakis is an academic at NMIT. A passionate reader and student of fantasy writing, she lives in Melton, Victoria with her husband and two children.  The Kira Chronicles is her first series.

Hi Karen, So how did it all begin?
I discovered Lord of the rings when I was about 19 and have read it more than 30 times since and of course own the extended editions of Jackson's version. The only problem was that it has no romance so for many years I imagined an Eowyn-like character and an Aragorn-like character having adventures together. These finally morphed into Caledon and Kira. I had no idea that Tierken was going to appear until well into book 2. I don't plan my stories and I just see what turns up so Tierken was a big surprise.

When did you first, without hesitation, call yourself a Writer?
I think most people want commercial publication before they call themselves writers. We all really want approval but anyone who writes consistently is a writer. Taking pain by the laying of hands has occurred throughout history.

Give us a little insight about your incredible fantasy trilogy, The Kira Chronicles.
I wanted to write a strong female character, not one who acted like a man. Kira and Palansa's strengths are in their love and nurturing; they fight for those who love. The Kira Chronicles is intended to be a strong anti-war book about how circumstances can lead to bloodshed. The Shargh were robbed of their lands historically, so in a sense, everything that happens has a reason. The Kira Chronicles contain no magic; neither do my other books, but have extraordinary happenings in them.

How do you balance the craft of writing with the business of writing?
I work full time running a Writing and Publishing degree and am very busy but I try to write every night. I have completed a Hunter duology (Heart Hunter and Rain Hunter) and a novella called The Third Moon. I am on book 4 of an Angel Caste series which will be six books: Angel Breath, Angel Blood, Angel Bound, Angel Bright are all in the editing stage.

Wow, that sounds great. So, do you relate with 'Australian Literature'?
I don't really relate to Australian literature because I write fantasy and fantasy is international. A lot of fantasy draws on English and European myths, and increasingly on South East Asian myths.

Are you planning to adapt any of your stories to the screen?
Most writers would love to see their work made into films but less than 1% of books make it to the screen. I think The Kira Chronicles would make lovely films because I think the settings would look great. I am also presently doing some children apps with a small company but these will probably
be under a pen name, most likely Chrys Andreas, because these are my daughter's and son's names.

Do you give away signed copies?
I do give away hard copies (signed) but the book is no longer available in hard copy.

Where can we buy/read your books?
I am intending to launch these as ebooks, late this year or early next. To find them just Google KS Nikakis. The Kira Chronicles is available through Amazon as ebooks.  

Sincere gratitude for sparing your precious time for this interview and enlightening us with your wise words. We wish you tons of good luck and success in all your future endeavors
Thank you, once again!