Prem Rao

Stories from a Story Teller

“Rahul Dravid:Timeless Steel” An Anthology of Articles from ESPN CricInfo

Rahul Dravid is my favourite cricketer and you can imagine the excitement with which I recently read, “Rahul Dravid: Timeless Steel” an anthology of 30 articles about him published by ESPN CricInfo in 2012. What makes it interesting is that pieces have been contributed not only by sports journalists who have followed his cricketing career for long, but also by others including his wife! Read more…

“Mumbai Fables” by Gyan Prakash

It calls for special skills to write a scholarly research-based non-fiction book and make it as interesting as a work of fiction. Gyan Prakash, the Dayton-Stockton Professor of History at Princeton University has done just that in his book, “Mumbai Fables.” I loved reading this book and would recommend it to anyone who is interested in recent Indian history. Befitting the work of a scholar, the book is replete with references and citations to back the story of a city that has often been called, “India’s City of Dreams.” For hundreds of years now the erstwhile Bombay, now called Mumbai, was every man’s dream. Thousands flocked there every day, as indeed they do even today, to seek their fortunes, fueled perhaps by the glamour provided by “Bollywood” or the Hindi film industry.

Read more…

The Shakespeare Selfie & The American Civil War

This tweet I saw recently was truly eye-catching. Shakespeare and a selfie? I was enlightened when I opened the site referred to. The goal in the Shakespeare Selfie Challenge being organised in Canada is to write a soliloquy about a chosen subject in the manner of a character from Shakespeare in 200-400 words. This contest is open to kids in Grades 7-9 and 10-12. This sounds interesting and I would love some day to read the prize-winning effort. Read more…

Writing Non-Fiction

I haven’t had any of my non-fiction published-yet! However, I am as interested in writing non-fiction as I am in writing fiction. In the non-fiction space, I am particularly interested and drawn towards works on military history and psychology, amongst other areas. How do you go about making a non-fiction project , to start with ?  Sharing some tips from those who are expert in their fields: Read more…

“Great Escapes of World War II” by Freya Hardy

Readers would know by now that I am a major World War II buff. As a child I was fascinated by the subject and since then have devoured almost every book I could lay my hands on, even though now those days seem so far away with over 6o years or more since the German surrender. An interesting aspect of these war stories were the attempts to escape from captivity by the Allied prisoners of war (POWs) . Read more…

Ordering My Books: An Update

As you know, most people seem to order stuff online, including books.  A few days ago someone asked me just where my books were available and this led me to check the online portals offering my books.

Here are some of the links , should you wish to order them:-

“Lucky For Some, 13″  from Flipkart, Amazon, Sapna Online, , Book Mandi

“It Can’t Be You” from Flipkart, Amazon Kindle Store,

Happy reading! I would love to hear from you…

“Tiger Hills” by Sarita Mandanna

Delighted to read, “Tiger Hills” by Sarita Mandanna, a book which received highly favourable reviews considering it was a debut novel. Set in Coorg, one of my favourite parts of India, the book is the story of a family of Coorgs ( yes, the people are /were called “Coorgs” and not “Coorgis” as often they wrongly are) spread over three generations. Read more…

Writers Are Prophetic

It is reported that our Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, wanted the theme of the 2015 Republic Day Parade  to be “Nari Shakti”  or “Womens’ Power.” Accordingly we saw in New Delhi yesterday for the first time an unprecedented number of young women from the Defence Services march past in this event.  There were, again for the first time, all-women contingents from the Indian Army, the Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy. These were commanded by Capt. Divya Ajith, Squadron Leader Sneha Shekawat and Lieut. Commander Sandhya Chauhan respectively. Read more…

More Tips For Writers

Sharing some of the interesting blog posts and articles I came across in the last few days. I hope you will find them as useful as I did.

Are you strapped for time? Juggling too many activities which bring down your efficiency as a writer? Hear what Daphne Gray-Grant has to say in, “11 Ways To Be Devilishly More Productive.” I have always felt that editing is a crucial part of our writing work. I prefer to do the editing when I am at my best. I never choose a time when I am hassled or hard pressed for time to edit my writing. Sure, you need focus to write too, but more often than not we don’t get it right the first time and have to edit our writing eventually.

Do you prefer to write in the first-person narrative? Are all new writers enamored of this form of writing? Why do they like this? I too liked this form of writing when I started out as a writer. In this blog post, you will find reasons why a skilled writer should be adept at looking beyond this perspective from the experts at Malone Editorial Services.

As always, I conclude with a quote, this one from P D James: “Write what you need to write, not what is currently popular or what you think will sell.”


Punctuation and More

How important is punctuation these days? We live in times when text messages have virtually corrupted the English language as we once knew it.  People write, “hv” for “have’, “4” instead of “for” and so on. Texting reflects the way we speak rather than the way we write. It pays scarce respect to punctuation making it seem as if  punctuation is a relic of the old days. However, I am sure aspiring writers realize that how you punctuate your writing, reflects your capability as a writer and more importantly, makes it easier for the reader to understand what you are trying to communicate. In this context the Top Ten Tips from The Punctuation Guide is a useful tool for aspiring writers who seek to improve upon their skills.

Read more…

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