Prem Rao

Stories from a Story Teller

100 Word Story

Janet Reid needs no introduction to writers and would be writers, does she?  She’s a literary agent with FinePrint Literary Management and her blog must be one of the most widely read of them all.  I happened to see a contest that’s playing out there a short while ago. The task is to tell a story in 100 words or less, using five words selected by her.

The five words are: ” oil”, “boom”, “mother”, “ice” and “shower.”

This was my first shot at an exercise of this kind. I decided to give it a go.

As required, we pasted our “stories” as comments under the  blog post in question. You can see my effort along with those by many others.

It doesn’t matter whether you win something or not, it’s an interesting experience and I look forward to taking part in more such contests if I come across them.

As a writer, it underscores to me the maxim that, ‘Every Word Counts.”

Try it for yourself. It is fun, isn’t it?

Opening Sentences in Fiction

In this blog, I try to share  posts and articles I found interesting. They relate to the writing process, the lives of writers and the business of books. They say that the opening sentence is one of the most important parts of a book. Legend has it that famous authors have spent months sharpening that one sentence to perfection. The Guardian has this wonderful collection titled, ” The 10 best first lines in fiction.” You might or might not agree that these are the 10 best, but they do make  good reading. Mark the variety of these opening lines which underlies the point that there is no one way to score an ace. Read more…

#Writing: A Hashtag to Follow on Twitter

Most authors are on Twitter these days. You have to be, to tell the world about your writing and learn from others how they improve their writing skills. I follow the hashtag #writing very closely. I must confess that I have gained a lot from simply reading the links provided after the tweets with this hashtag. I have also developed my social network in the process. More than anything else, I love the learning bit as we come across interesting information and perspectives linked to this hashtag. Read more…

On Literary Magazines

A confession: I haven’t really paid much attention to literary magazines. Till now. To be honest, I never even knew so many of them existed, jostling for attention in a crowded market place. It was this article by Joe Bunting in The Write Practice that captured my interest. In an interview, Linda Swanson-Davis, co-founder of Glimmer Train speaks of “How To Get Published In Literary Magazines.”  Read more…

Military Characters I Have Admired From Fiction

I gave a talk recently on “The Joys of Writing.” In this I dwelt on the immense pleasure, which is hard to describe, that an author gets when he creates a character in a work of fiction. There are so many memorable characters from the pages of fiction: Sherlock Holmes from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Tom Sawyer from Mark Twain,  Jeeves and Bertie Wooster ( and indeed a host of others) from P G Wodehouse, Rhett Butler from Margaret Mitchell and closer to our times, James Bond from Ian Fleming spring to mind. Read more…

Ordering My Books

It’s been a while since I took stock of the convenient ways in which readers can order my published books. After all, they were written and published at different points in time, and by different publishers, and in different formats.

  • “It Can’t Be You” was my debut novel, published in December 2010. You can order this from Amazon’s Kindle Store.
  • ” He Sees Everything & Other Short Stories”, published in 2011,  can be downloaded from Smashwords.
  • “Lucky For Some, 13″ published in December 2012 can be had from Amazon.com if you are residing out of India.  In India, you could order it from HomeShop 18 or Flipkart or Amazon.in
  • ” Let The Dead Stay Dead” published in 2013, can be downloaded from Wattpad. 

Do let me know what you thought of my books after you have read them.  Your feedback and reviews would be much appreciated.

“Return To India” A Memoir by Shoba Narayan

I have always loved reading memoirs and was delighted to come across, ” Return to India” by Shoba Narayan. Here she writes of the angst caused in most Indian-Americans caught in a within the mind crossfire between the country where they were born and bred as children and their adopted country which has given them more than abundant monetary and other worldly conveniences they would not have got in the Old Country.

Shoba was highly focused on her goal as a teenager growing up in Madras ( as Chennai was called in those days) and her goal was to go to the United States away from the protective, cloying environment provided by family and friends. She imagined being free of all constraints and living a life of her own where she could start afresh and do whatever she pleased in a land of endless opportunity. Read more…

The Captainship: First Gen Entrepreneurs

Anya Gupta, author and alumnus of MIT Sloan, has edited this book, appropriately titled, “The Captainship: First Gen Entrepreneurs” published by Bloomsbury.  The title is inspired by the famous line from “Invictus” the poem by William Ernest Henley which goes, ” I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul.” The structure of this book is unique in that nine first generation entrepreneurs speak in the first person narrative to tell their own stories. They speak of their childhood experiences which  helped fashion their thinking, the lessons they learnt from family and others, and how they invariably had to overcome adversity to achieve the goal they set for themselves.

Read more…

“Dead Like You” by Peter James

Finished with all 643 pages of “Dead Like You” by the British crime fiction writer, Peter James. This is the first book I read by this author, who has written a series of books featuring Detective Superintendent Roy Grace. I was intrigued by the book’s title as I like titles to be short and crisp. To start with, some names of the characters in a book appeal to some readers while some don’t.  I for one didn’t much like the name “Grace” as I associate it with the lady’s first name though I do know that the Father of Cricket, Dr W G himself, had graced the name “Grace.” Read more…

“Lucknow Boy” by Vinod Mehta

I have seen Vinod Mehta often on television programs where he holds forth on a variety of issues. I have known him to be a strong supporter of the Congress Party and a self- proclaimed “pseudo-secularist.” It was with considerable interest therefore that I read his memoirs titled, “Lucknow Boy” published by Penguin India. The book gets its name from the fact that Mehta grew up in Lucknow and stayed in touch with the city of his childhood and youth. Read more…

Post Navigation

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,802 other followers