The-multitudes-of-ripples_coverThe author is a research scientist by training. He is technical consultant who works in an advisory capacity to the pharmaceutical industry. He specializes in intellectual property, technology upgradation and information technology. He is a science writer specializing in theoretical and philosophical foundations of modern scientific thought.

In a conversation with CinnamonTeal, the author spoke about his book and his expectations from those who read it.

CinnamonTeal: What inspired you to write your first book?
Vaachakmitra: I have been an avid reader of English literature. I found out that these writers had developed insights into human nature through their writings. I also found fiction writing as an analytical tool. I write because it gives me an understanding about my own subconscious mind.

CinnamonTeal: After this first-hand experience, would you want to write again?
Vaachakmitra: I have found strange solace in fiction writing. I would definitely continue writing fiction. In fact , I am writing my second novel. I am already writing blogs on my experience in writing my second novel.

CinnamonTeal: Is your book based on a real-life inspiration or is it completely insightful?
Vaachakmitra: I think writing a novel is confluence of reality and imagination. For the first time novelist , the reality consists of his personal life and imagination consists of his interpretation of this reality. Maybe , in my second novel , there will be less of myself and more of mankind.

CinnamonTeal: Did you face any criticism while in the process of writing your book?
Vaachakmitra: I was brought up by my parents who dotted on me. My father was a serious student of avant garde literature. So criticism is something I have never faced. Now my family appreciates my communication skills.

CinnamonTeal: What kind of readers do you wish to aim at? The youth or a much older crowd?
Vaachakmitra: It is difficult to pin point my intended audience. On one hand the period of my novel and the sensibility of the protagonist are that of person who would be in fifties and sixties. On the other hand , Indian ethos are meant for all age groups. Finally , this is a sincere tribute to masters who have shaped my literary sensibility. I think all these three groups would enjoy my novel.

CinnamonTeal: What do you wish the readers to take away from this novel, at least thematically?
Vaachakmitra: Frankly speaking , I am not in favor of inspirational writings. A genuine fiction , like life itself , demands seriousness. If anyone can read through this novel ,I am sure , she/ he would try to introspect her / his life. The readers would find that everyone’s life can be interpreted in more than one way. The core , the philosophical core , of this novel is that all these interpretations of ones life contain , within themselves , a germ of truth. If my novel helps readers to be aware of these multitudes of interpretations of life , I would consider myself as a good writer.

CinnamonTeal: What does the title ‘The Multitudes of Ripples’ signify?
Vaachakmitra: I think my previous answer contains the reason why I called it by such a title. I have been asked by someone why the word multitude appears as plural noun. To some purists common noun can be used in plurality. However , I think that not only grammatically, but even semantically, this plurality is correct. When there is more than one multitude, then they can be called multitudes.

More importantly , I have used plurality here because I am convinced that such a multitude occurs in each one of us. The plural form refers to that , after reading this novel , every reader would become aware of her/his own multitude. Since the reader’s multitude is triggered by a the protagonist ‘s multitude , plurality of multitudes is correct notation.

Finally , I was asked about the use of definite article ‘The’ in the title. I think that definite article refers to the fact that beneath these multitudes of interpretations, there lies a unitary life. There could be many interpretations of life but life is singular. In some sense we, as individuals, are different but life that runs through our consciousness is one. The definite article ‘The’ refers to singularity that unites all of us.

CinnamonTeal: What kind of books do you personally like to read? Did they influence your thought process for this book?
Vaachakmitra: I was a voracious reader in my younger days. About , twenty five years ago , I decided to become a writer. At that point of time , I decided to stop reading fiction because I did not want to imitate my favorite writers. After such a time lag , I think details are forgotten but the sensibility has remained. My favorite writers were many. I can name only a few of them. Camus, Sartre, Maugham, O’Neill, Bellow, White, Achebe etc. When I had to read my own novel while editing , I found echoes of all of them in this novel.

CinnamonTeal: What advice would you give aspiring writers?
Vaachakmitra: All I can say is the novel is lying dormant in your subconscious mind. Just tap your inner self to find that novel. I seriously believe that a fiction writer merely transfers the novel from subconscious mind to the paper.

CinnamonTeal: How, if at all, does your process differ from the other authors, when writing a novel?
Vaachakmitra: I wish I knew that answer. I am not much into biographies , so I can’t compare my writing process with those of others. However as mentioned in one of my blogs , the novel compels you to give it a birth. Writers are the instruments not owners of the novel. ( unless it concerns the royalty payments!).

CinnamonTeal: Any specific reason for choosing the pen name of ‘Vaachakmitra’?
Vaachakmitra: I have mentioned in one of my blogs why I chose to write under a pen name. As for this particular pen name , I think I want to emphasize that I was a reader first and then a writer. My empathy is with readers hence this name.

CinnamonTeal: In the years to come, will you reveal your true name or would you prefer it being masked from the media’s focus?
Vaachakmitra: I am not sure. I have been a private person all my life. I am comfortable with anonymity that a pen name offers. However , I am not sure what future holds. All I can say is ‘ Que Sera Sera’.

The Multitudes of Ripples, a novel, is a first-person narrative of an entrepreneur who struggles to make sense of his life and demonstrates how optimism incorporates meaningful semantic even in the face of psychopathology. Available on Dogears Etc.. Also available on Infibeam, Amazon.in and Flipkart.

img_20160516_213823Sanjay Kumar Singh went to school at St. Michael’s High School, Patna and Bishop Cottons Boys School, Bangalore. He graduated in Economics (Honours) from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi, and has a Law Degree from Campus Law Centre, Delhi University.  He is now a practicing lawyer and lives with his wife Leena, daughter Vaibhavi, fondly called Tiggle, and their pet Labrador named Phantom, in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India.

In a conversation with the author, we asked him about his book and what inspired him to write it:

CinnamonTeal: Tell us about the title. What made you choose “Fear is a Friend” as the title of the book?

Sanjay Kumar Singh: Fear is an emotion and emotions have the potential to further agitate the subconscious which itself is stupendously powerful. If fear is embraced as a friend and not treated as an embarrassing companion, it can work with the subconscious to create solutions and provide answers even in extreme situations of risk and turmoil, as happens with Ashwin Bhardwaj, the central character of the book.

CinnamonTeal: Share with us your taste for books. How much of your reading influences your writing? And what made you write a thriller? Any favourite authors whose style of writing has influenced you?

Sanjay Kumar Singh: I like books that are intelligently written, strive to deliver some meaning, even if in between the lines, and do not unnecessarily stretch their content. To that extent, what I like reading does stand as a parameter to improve upon in what I write.

I have been reading thrillers from a young age. Of late, particularly, I have been disappointed with the quality of thrillers generally available; for often they consume pages to the point of boredom and often feature far too much brutality. I felt that I could write a thriller without these shortcomings and give it ingredients that would make the book not only far more engaging and entertaining but also leave the reader with positive feelings and images in his mind.

While I do have some favourite authors, I do not think my writing style has been influenced by any of them.

CinnamonTeal: Let us in a bit on your other tastes. Like your taste for poetry that reflects in your writing. What is it about poetry that fascinates you?

Sanjay Kumar Singh: So far as tastes are concerned, at this point in my life, I find that my tastes or attention are largely devoted to the deeper meanings of life and after-life.

Poetry can link with the subconscious in a much more expressive and powerful mode that does incite my interest and my attempt to bring out the same. I have a published book of poems titled “Mascara on Whiskey Nights and Other Poems” and my next work, just completed, is a novel written in poetry and has some contemporary pressing issues as its theme and setting.

9789386301123_fcCinnamonTeal: Explain to us how you went about researching for your book? Share with us any advice you may have.

Sanjay Kumar Singh: I have had, I daresay, a wide reading base, including that related to current affairs and issues which helped me in reducing the research I actually had to carry out for the book.

I would advise one to take time in conceiving the plot of the book. This at times can be quite demanding and even painful, but is well worth the intensity of the effort put in. Then, to express the plot in a manner that is comfortable both to the writing style of the writer as also to the reader. And, of course, I feel that one should avoid incorporating features or aspects in one’s book about which one doesn’t know much.

CinnamonTeal: Will there be a sequel to the book? Will Ashwin Bhardwaj ever quit?

Sanjay Kumar Singh: Yes, there would be a sequel to the book for, yes indeed, Ashwin Bhardwaj does indeed doesn’t look like as if he would quit!

CinnamonTeal: Describe for us your emotions as you began to write your first novel? Was there trepidation? A sense of excitement? A fear of the unknown, perhaps?

Sanjay Kumar Singh: Of course, there were tremors of trepidation and currents of excitement throughout and yes, the feeling that FEAR is indeed a friend!

 

Buy the paperback version on Dogears Etc..
Also available in EPUB, MOBI and PDF formats.

DSC00156Renuka Nayak, was born in Mumbai and spent a good part of her life in Africa and Cambodia. She currently lives in Mangalore. She is a teacher by profession and a mother to two naughty boys who keep her on her toes all day; yet the writer in her makes sure to write a few lines each day. She believes that she was born with a pen in her hand rather than a silver spoon in her mouth.

The author of Expect the Unexpected, when asked about what inspired her to write a book about fear, betrayal and suspense, had the following to say, Books always fascinated me. The stories would take me to a different world. I would relive the characters. One fine day, just like that I sat down with a book and a pen and began to write. That’s when I realized that I enjoyed writing as much I enjoyed reading. I fell in love with the idea of making up my own stories and bringing the characters to life. That’s when I decided to write a book. My dream of writing a book came true when I took a break from work (I am a teacher) as I was expecting my second child. I finally found the time to pen down my stories. That is when ‘Expect the unexpected’ happened. ‘Expect the unexpected’ is a collection of short stories on betrayal, fear and suspense. It would appeal to the senses of one and all. I would like to write more books in future.9789385523495_fc

Expect the Unexpected by Renuka Nayak

Available now on http://www.dogearsetc.com/books/Expect-The-Unexpected/40312

as Paperback and Ebook versions.

book_review_guy_on_the_sidewalk_by_bharath_krishna

  1. This book takes you on a splendid joyride across countries. The protagonist; Jay’s anxieties and apprehensions on coming to a new city in the States has been described with such tender details that you can’t help but live the moment with him. For those who have not visited these places, this book is a good start to experience the west for the first time.
  2. Every aspiring IT professional wanting to make it big abroad must read this book once. Whether it is the ups and down in the corporate world or the little perks of working in a structured, organized enterprise, Jay goes through a roller coaster of emotions and so will you.
  3. An incomplete love story of love found, lost and found again. Jay falls in love for the first time and goes through the clichéd first love experiences much to the annoyance of his friends. This aspect of the book will relate to many heartbroken lovers; who should definitely read this book to find out a unique way in which Jay overcomes himself and moves ahead.
  4. This book above everything else portrays the love every Indian has for his beloved country. You might be cribbing and complaining about the state of affairs and current scenario in India but once away from your motherland, your heart craves to belong to it again. The juxtaposition of the two countries; America and India have been brought out in an amicable manner.
  5. More than anything else this book stands for itself. If you are an ardent reader and are looking for a pleasant read flip through the chapters of this book and you will end up with an enjoyable experience across countries.

Leticia-photoWe asked Leticia Afonso, author of ‘Think From the Heart’, what she felt about ebooks vis-à-vis the printed book, and her thoughts on self-publishing as opposed to the traditional publishing options available to authors. This is what she had to say.

“As technology has advanced, so has the way of reading books. We use computers nearly everywhere now. eBooks are trending these days,​ they are quite popular with the youth. Ebooks give you the flexibility of reading anywhere and at any time you want, they make it unnecessary to carry along a huge load of books. I still prefer printed books. I love the smell of them, I love to turn the pages, I love the little bookmarks, I love to hold the book in my hand and just go on for hours  reading it. Tablets do not work for me when it comes to reading books. Being a software engineer, I sit in front of a computer all day. I wouldn’t like to do that at home as well. I take solace in reading, I wouldn’t want technology to intrude in that space.

“When it comes to publishing, both have its pros and cons. Self-publishing allows you freedom from the dictates of a publisher. You don’t need to rely on somebody else to get your book out there. You don’t have to make several trips to the publisher’s office, or email it repeatedly. You don’t have to wait for months to hear from them. You can mould the publishing process based on your own requirements. You only need to invest in the process, both time and money. On the other hand, conventional publishing seems attractive because the publisher will do everything for you. You needn’t worry much, especially if you manuscript is chosen for publishing. But it’s a long wait before you know for certain that a publisher will pick up your book. Sometimes the wait can kill your dreams. But if you are determined enough, I believe anything is possible.”

Front Cover_9789385523212CinnamonTeal caught up with Bharath Krishna, author of “Guy on The Sidewalk’.’, to discuss the motivation behind his book, his choice of characters, and his plans for the future.

CinnamonTeal (CT): Why did you choose this title for your book?
Bharath Krishna (BK): ‘Guy on the Sidewalk’ is the story of a young man who is constantly pulled back by some unknown force from doing what he really wants to do in life. Finally, he breaks out of both, his real and imaginary constraints, and chooses to listen to his heart. This, in turn. impact both his professional and personal choices. ‘Sidewalk’ is a metaphor I use to mean something that’s not main street or real world, from which this guy tends to keeps a safe distance without facing head on, until he does one day.

CT: What makes ‘Guy on the Sidewalk’ stand out in the crowd?

(BK): The novel deals with the intricate and conflicting human emotions that are woven within an engaging story. The main theme is told in a very subtle manner, with wit and sarcasm peppered throughout. In all, there is something in the novel for everyone to relate to.

CT: Why spend time in your life writing a book like this?

(BK): Even before I became a novelist I wrote on and off in blogs, social media and sometimes just for myself. Looking back I could see that unknowingly I wrote only when there was some social or political phenomenon that prompted me to write. The same is the case with my debut novel too. This is a story I felt should be told to the Indian youth. From the perspective of a young man I tried to incorporate contemporary elements – like the life of NRIs, return to India, the changing pattern of relationships, and one’s responsibility towards parents and the country.

CT: Is there any truth into the characters of your book? Are there any real life inspirations?

(BK): A writer cannot completely ignore his impressions. To some extent I might have been inspired by the people I had seen or heard about or read in the media but I tried my best not to create characters in the novel that corresponded with real people. I have intentionally taken the time period I stayed in the US as the time period of the story so that I could relate the external environment better.

CT: What do you think makes a good story?

(BK): I have a simple definition for a good story – the one that strikes a chord with the audience. I guess that’s true for any piece of creative work.

CT: Do you have any particular favorite character in the book?

(BK): Besides the main character, Jay, I would say, Jhansi.

CT: Where were you when the idea for this book came to you?

(BK): I was in the US, and I was planning to come back to India for good.

CT: What do your plans for future projects include?

(BK): Writing for sure is going to be part of my life in the future. In fact I am already working on my second novel. I also have a couple of ideas, thought at a very nascent stage. As I said before I would prefer to write on themes the readers could relate to the world around them.

onAiQn1XWe spoke to Leticia Afonso, author of “Think from the Heart”, to understand more about her and what prompted her to write this book.

CinnamonTeal Publishing (CT): What makes your ‘Think from the Heart’ stands out in the crowd?

Leticia Afonso (LA): Well, ‘Think from the Heart’ is not a novel that you have to finish as soon as possible. It is not a rule book that will tell you what to do step-by-step.
It is something that will refresh your mind. Something that will make you happy. And how better to start your day, if not with a good thought. For good things to happen to us, we have to surround ourselves with positive thought. If we think of good, good is bound to happen to us. And if we think of bad, ‘Think from the Heart’ will let you live your lives better. It will help you understand life.

CT: How did the concept of your book come about?

LA: I used to write these inspiring messages on my company’s blog. All my colleagues really liked them. During one of the tea breaks, I had my colleague Divya Mittal come up to me and say “Hey, why don’t you write a book? It will be a great one, if only you could put a few thoughts together.” And that’s when it all began. An idea was born, and I just worked on it further. And here we are today. I have a published book. It all began all over tea.

CT: How does your book relate to your spiritual practice or other life path?

LA: The thoughts in “Think from the Heart” are the same that I personally follow. I do believe I can achieve anything that I want to, provided I put my mind to it.
Happiness doesn’t come from money or the things that we own, rather from the people in our lives.
I, and I alone, am responsible for my life’s path, and that only I can set it right, if I am willing to at any point of time. It is no good blaming others. I tell everyone to live their dreams, put their talents to good use. I am living my life. I do not want to have any regrets later. I am giving my dreams a chance, I just wish everyone did the same.

CT: What were your goals and intentions in this book, and to what extent do you feel you have achieved them?

LA: My goal is to spread happiness around, to inspire people to live better lives, and to let them know that they are not alone. Most of us go through the same feelings and emotions at some point of time in life. It is okay to feel so sometimes. The purpose behind the book is to convey the message that these improving our lives is in our hands itself. Even if ‘Think from the Heart’ inspires a single person, I would consider my objective is fulfilled.

I get calls and messages everyday from various sources, saying that they love my writing. It truly refreshes them. Each day, when they feel low and they read a thought, it brightens up their day. They are filled with new delight and happiness. And they urge me to keep writing more. What more would I want.front_Think from heart

CT: What was the hardest part of writing this book?

LA: I never came across any stumbling block, in my journey of this book. Once I had started with it, it all went smoothly well. To begin writing was the crucial part. As my training is in IT, I am expected to write code, to solve any software-related query that people pose to me. So going into writing was heading in a complete different direction. It wasn’t well accepted initially. I faced some issues there, but things went on fine. My colleagues believed in me. They constantly prodded me, saying that I could write a book and that indeed I should write one. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have started writing.

CT: Can you share some stories about the people you met while researching this book?

LA: This book is about the experiences I had, things that I observed, emotions, feelings that I have been through, Things that I have seen.

My mama passed away 2 and half years back. I loved her a lot; she knew that although I had never told her as much. That’s something that will always be in my heart. That’s why I say: tell your loved ones you love them, while you still can.

In my office, I see so many people good at other things. We have some excellent bakers, singers, dancers, artists, cooks, writers, yet all of them are stuck in the IT industry, all are sadly engineers by profession, and think that it is the only thing that they can do. They don’t realise their potential, or the heights they can achieve if only they are willing to. From this my thought comes: I see so much talent around, it should be put to good use.

I never wanted to study science, I wanted to study arts, perhaps literature or psychology. And we have this perception in Goa, that if a child scores good marks in the X standard, they should opt for further studies in Science. But then I met my best friend there, in the 11th standard Science class. If I had actually sat at home and cried because I wasn’t allowed to study Arts, I would have missed meeting such a wonderful person. She was the first person I could share my poems with, until then I had kept them to self. The poems had made us friends, the only thing that was common between us. And it’s been 8 years since that friendship began. In the same way, if I hadn’t joined my company, I wouldn’t have met my colleagues, especially Divya Mittal, who encouraged me to write a book. It was a suggestion that came from her. And I wouldn’t have been at this point in my life.
From here I say: whatever happens, happens for our own good.

In the short term we can’t see it, but in a long run it does work in our favour. And see, I’m back to my love of writing, which I had left behind 8 years back. This also tells me that no matter how old you are, no matter where you are in your life, it’s never late to start.

I meet a lot of people who have lots of plans and ideas. Lots of things they want to do, but never gather enough courage to plow further. They later regret not working on their ideas. You should have no regrets later. If you want to do something, do it. Once time flies by, it never comes back.

CT: What do your plans for future projects include?

LA: I want to write poem, inspiring poetry that convey the same thoughts as those in ‘Think from the Heart’. I am currently working on it.

Poetry was my first love after all, since childhood. I still remember, at the beginning of the new academic year when new textbooks would come home, the first thing I would do is go through all the poems in the book. Poetry gave me my best friend, So my next book is going to be one with inspiring poetry.

Leticia Afonso, the author of “Think from the Heart” explains how she came to be where she is in life today.

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“All that I am today, I owe it to mama big time. Single-handedly she raised the three of us. She never deprived us of anything. It was as if our wish was her command. She would make ends meet somehow. No matter what she had to go through, she never showed  any sign of distress. She would start her day with a smile and would brighten up the entire room with her laughter. She always thought us to face our fears; worrying is no solution to any problem, she would say. She had to be both parents to us. She was strict when required, yet was the most loving person I have ever known. Though she is not amidst us today, I am sure that she is watching over me from heaven above. She has been my greatest strength in this journey of life. No matter what problem I faced, I could always turn to her. I had to only speak of my difficulties and they would be solved the moment I spoke of them. No matter how tired she was, she always gave a listening ear. All that I am today is because of mama. I don’t think I would have learned so much about life, if it wasn’t for her. She always said, ‘Education is very important. Learn as much as you can. It will never be a waste, It will always come in handy.’ And today I am a Software Engineer. Mama being a teacher of English, instilled in me my love for literature. I loved the way she gave her speeches, they were like music to my ears.”