Prem Rao

Stories from a Story Teller

“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, AbeBooks.com , Book Mandi

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

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…

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,000 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 3 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

“Unravelling Anjali” by Nim Gholkar

During the short vacation I enjoyed recently, I completed reading Nim Gholkar’s debut novel, “Unravelling Anjali.” The byline of this book, published by Become Shakespeare in December 2014, is the “Diary of an Immigrant Bride” which is an accurate description of the book. Read more…

Of Childhood and Enid Blyton

Many of my social and cultural background in India started reading English books as kids thanks to Enid Blyton. I still have vivid memories of the characters in the Noddy series:  apart from Noddy himself, Mr. Plod the Policeman, Big Ears and Tessie Bear though I must read about them over 50 years ago. More recently  I enjoyed reading them out to my grandson! Read more…

To Be A Better Writer

Who doesn’t want to be a better writer? However great you think you are, there’s always scope to improve your writing further. I would like to share a few interesting blog posts full of sensible advice to writers and would be writers:- Read “The One Book That Shines” which details the 5 Characteristics Of A Great Book.  The first fact mentioned puts things in perspective. Most literary agents receive 2000 or more submissions every year and only 1 % of the agent’s “slush pile” is rewarded with an offer of representation.  Also that publishing is a business like any other where the owner of the publishing firm wishes to see fair return on his investment. Keep these two points in mind whenever you sit down to write. You cannot afford to forget them.

Read more…

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