What Makes Me Write?

I used Grammarly to grammar check this post, because 763,909 people from all over the world like their Facebook Page , and hey, all of them must have found some value in it, just as I did!

What makes me write? What makes me write every day? These are the reasons why I started writing as a second career after 35 years as a business executive, the last 10 of them being an independent consultant and executive coach. Continue reading “What Makes Me Write?”

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A selection of articles on Writing

I earnestly believe that a writer gets better as he reads. It’s so important to read a lot and gain different perspectives on the huge amount of knowledge available on writing. I would like to share with you a couple of articles I read last week that I found of interest. Continue reading “A selection of articles on Writing”

“It Can’t Be You” from Amazon India on your Kindle

My debut novel, “It Can’t Be You” was first published in December 2010. Many have taken to reading books on Kindle these days in India. I am glad to tell you that “It Can’t Be You” is now available from Amazon India as an ebook for your Kindle at just Rs. 157/-

Continue reading ““It Can’t Be You” from Amazon India on your Kindle”

Sleeper Cells & Terror Plots

In the writing of my second thriller, “Lucky for Some, 13” I have made use of “sleeper cells” which are activated by terrorists, which is a common enough gambit across the world.  During war-time, it is not uncommon for countries to activate largely dormant sleeper cells in their enemy countries and get them to do what they expect of them. The German Abwehr, for example, had several sleeper cells active in both Britain and the United States during the Second World War. Continue reading “Sleeper Cells & Terror Plots”

Writers and Advances

So, what’s the deal about being a writer? How does one get to be a  writer in the first place? Let me try to give a quick summary of what can be a long-drawn and torturous process.

Firstly, you write a book. Yes, a complete one, duly edited, proof read and the rest of it. You then try to sell the book to a publisher. At times, and this make happen only after you are an established writer more often than not, you could be represented by a literary agent who sells your work. On publication, you get paid royalty based on the contract you sign with your publisher.

On occasion, and here’s where the glamorous image of being a writer comes in, you could sign a multi-book deal. The publisher signs you up to deliver a couple of books, without seeing what is in them. This is based on your track record and largely on what the world thinks of you, as evidenced by your book’s sales figures.

If you are good, you could be paid  an advance too. Renowned writers have been paid huge advances and a few such cases inspire every writer to believe that someday, somewhere, someone might sign them up on very lucrative terms.

But the world of publishing is becoming increasingly competitive, and I am not even talking about the self-publishing world. This too churns out a huge number of books into an already crowded market place.

As the traditional publishers seek to improve their profitability, they tend to consolidate through mergers and acquisitions at times. They seek various means to improve their business results. One move can be in the matter of advances. Here’s news that the famous writer Vikram Seth has been asked to pay back an advance. It’s only for $ 1.7 million !!!

“Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inspiration for Writers.”

As a writer there are times when you feel down, when you think you have run out of ideas and when you think things have become really tough since no one seems to be interested in your writing.  At times like this, what you could do with is some encouragement, some words of wisdom ( even if seemingly simple) , and the assurance that this is not happening only to you but to countless others in the world. It might change your perspective too when you realize that there are many facing far tougher situations than you are, or ever will. Continue reading ““Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inspiration for Writers.””

“Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inspiration for Writers”

Has something come up when you least expected it and done you a lot of good? This happened to me recently.

I got an opportunity to review, “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inspiration for Writers”: Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Amy Newmark & Susan M. Heim;  Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing, 2013;  405 pp; $ 14.95. Continue reading ““Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inspiration for Writers””

What Is NaNoWriMo All About?

Recently I was speaking to a group of readers when someone expressed interest in NaNoWriMo, which I have always maintained has been a huge inspiration for my writing. NaNoWriMo is an acronym for the National Novel Writing Month.

Taking part in NaNoWriMo is an exhilarating experience. I did it for the first time in 2009 and from this effort emerged my debut novel, “It Can’t Be You” a psychological thriller. This was in 2010. Since then I completed NaNoWriMo in 201o, 2011 and more recently in 2012.

“Lucky For Some, 13” was my second thriller, which was based on my “NaNo novel” as we call it from NaNoWriMo of 2010. This was published in December 2012.

I came across this presentation titled “WAC and NaNo: Lessons in Letters and Symbiosis” from students of Kaplan University. It has a wealth of detail about NaNoWriMo and I found it most interesting.

Here are some awesome figures:

  • In the first year, 1999, there were all of 21 participants with 6 being  declared winners
  • In 2006, there were 101,510 participants with 15,333 being declared winners
  • In 2009, when I first took part, there were 167, 150 participants with 32, 178 being declared winners
  • In 2011, there were 256,618 participants with 36, 843 being declared winners.

Of course, I must add that it felt great to read my name in the list of “Published Authors.”:)