Monday, August 18, 2014

Author Interview: Santosh Kalwar: Quote Me Everyday: Thats My Love Story

SANTOSH KALWAR works as a poet, writer and young researcher. He is author of several books, most notably Quote Me Everyday (Lulu Press Inc., 2010). His poems and articles have appeared or are forthcoming in The Himalayan Times, The Kathmandu Post, My Republica, Munyori Literary Journal, Asphodel Madness, Carcinogenic Poetry, Mahmag, Mad Swirl, unFold, Rusty Truck, New Polish Beat, Chiron Review, Hanging Moss Journal and many others. His debut novel, “That’s My Love Story” is recently published by Mahaveer Publishers, New Delhi.
Your real name and pen name?

Real name: Santosh Kumar Kalwar
Pen name: Santosh Kalwar

Please share some of the best memories of your childhood

Memories, like everything else, are momentary. They don’t last forever. I have some good memories and some really nasty ones. If you would like to know more than you will have to read some of my books. 

About your education

I learn, I earn.  

Did my Bachelor’s of Computer Science and Engineering from Acharya Institute of Technology is affiliated to Visvesvaraya Technological University, Bangalore, India. My final year project work was appreciated both by Teachers and Examiners. I graduated with: First-class with Distinction; i.e. above 70% cumulative score in all eight semesters. 

Before graduating for Master’s in Information Technology in 2008 from Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT), I was hired as trainee researcher at Nokia Oyj, Helsinki. Now as a Young Professional, I hold the position of a Member for various chapters (Bangalore, Nepal, Finland etc.) of the Internet Society(ISOC). After graduation with Master’s, I was hired as an assistant “Researcher” in Professor Jari Porras's lab at Communication Software Laboratory at LUT where I studied Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). Some colleagues say that I am a young inventor as I was granted a patent for working on: “Method and apparatus for viewing documents in a database.”  I’m actively engaged in knowledge transfer to the public, including dozens of columns and articles in newspapers and magazines aimed at the general public. 
And guess what? I’ve written approximately twenty-five scholarly peer-reviewed publications for international journals and conferences in highly competitive venues. I’m also very active in mentoring and volunteering for major academic publishers. While doing all this, I recently defended my doctoral thesis entitled “Conceptualizing and measuring human anxiety on the Internet” from Lappeenranta University of Technology for Doctor of Science in Technology degree.  

The results of his doctoral dissertation were in a local and national news, where the Finnish press wrote about it a lot. Even the world eminent scientist, an international expert in this field, Professor Larry Rosen, says that my thesis is “extremely well executed and very interesting.” So some people even tell that I’m a young researcher and scholar. Besides this identity, others tell that I’m an artist, poet, and novelist.

What languages you can speak and write?

I can speak seven different languages, and I write usually in English. 
. Nepali Native or bilingual proficiency
. English Full professional proficiency
. Hindi Native or bilingual proficiency
. Finnish Elementary proficiency
. Sanskrit Professional working proficiency
. Maithili Professional working proficiency
. Bihari languages Native or bilingual proficiency
What is your biggest source of inspiration in life
I am also inspired by something that Steve Jobs said 
“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” 
I am inspired from harsh strong rejection. I am inspired from failures. I am inspired when you get this type of moments or feelings: “Well, I’ll show them!”  
I am a voracious reader. I read the world. I read everything that I see relevant. My biggest sources of information and inspiration is the Nature itself. I am inspired when people quote my words everyday and when they feel: joy, happy, bored, sadness, guilt, violent, pleasure, erotic, ebullient etc.

What hurts you most in this world

Pain. Sorrow. Sadness. Violence. Crime. Torture. Rape. War. Richness and Poorness. Inequality. Everything that widens the gap between rich and poor. Those who are rich cannot see reasons for poor becoming poorer and those who are poor cannot see reasons for rich getting richer. 

What is the biggest challenge you have faced? How did you overcome it?

My biggest challenge was leaving my nine months pregnant wife behind and travelling back to Nepal from Finland to do my dad’s final death rituals. Can you imagine flying back from Europe to Asia, crying all along, and see your father lying in the deathbed in front of your house, which is also surrounded by hundreds of people and neighbors.  

Just imagine the scene. It was during festival season in Aswin, just before the start of Dussera (Dashain) festival. All those who met in a flight showed some sympathy to my situation. I had to do rituals for three or four weeks, and then I have to come back to see my pregnant wife. One beautiful life lost, and another was getting very ebullient to arrive. 

If you had to live a day of your life as one of the living or dead personality, who would it be and why?

Aren’t we living and dying everyday? Metaphorically, we die during our sleep and we wake up in morning. I don’t want to take over other VIP’s living or antiquated personality. 

It would be amiable to be with my dad (who had the similar mathematical genius capabilities of Albert Einstein), to be with him for a day as he is long went in some far, far, wild, unreachable place. 

What is your favorite genre and why?

Literature & Fiction, Poetry, Computers & Internet


When did you start writing? What is the purpose of your writing?

I started writing when I was a child. I don’t remember the right age. Maybe it was five years old or seven. I don’t know the exact age. Maybe it was long before I came into existence into the ‘pale blue dot’. 

What is the purpose of your writing? What is the purpose of our living? What is the purpose of purpose? Through my write-ups, my purpose is to inspire one person everyday. That is equivalent to three hundred and sixty-five people in a year and then when you calculate that for seventy years it equals approximately in thousands. 

Which of your work has been published so far? Would you like to share a synopsis of your work?

I’ve published several books on poetry, quotes, essay, short-story and a novel. My recent book is entitled, “That’s My Love Story” published by Mahaveer Publishers, New Delhi. 

About the book
That’s My Love Story is a thought-provoking novel about the blurred lines between love and lust, adventure and personal journey. This story is for anyone who needs inspiration and motivation that there is another side to pain. 
After experiencing deep pain and failure in relationships with several women, Prem, the young man has decided to quit life by jumping from a mountain cliff. But, it takes twenty-four hours, on foot, to reach the cliff. Heartbroken and suicidal, he is yet riding high on the adventurous journey. On his way, Prem meets the old man who lives at the top of it. This old man is wise, smart, and intelligent, and very similar to a spiritual guru. Together they both set forth on a journey—a journey of self-discovery, of immense discussion, and …about love. Why has he met the old man? What will happen to the heartbroken young man? Why would he plan to commit suicide by jumping from an inhabited spot? What lessons will Prem learn from his journey? Will he live or die for love? Why is this lover’s journey with an old man important? 

All answers lie in the story.  

Praises for the book
“Interesting this idea of when dreams are shattered, then the mind rules over the soul.”
Paulo Coelho (International Best Selling Author of The Alchemist) 

“I nurture a sincere empathy for you, because being a science student you could venture to ride on a fiction, albeit fiercely based on your personal life. Bravo!”
Gurung, DB (author of Breaking Twilight)

"That’s My Love Story by Santosh Kalwar is a wonderful story full of very good object lessons and very sound advice. I am intrigued by the story and its development. I think that the plot and the characterization is well done. The publisher, Mahaveer, obviously recognized the value of this story. There have recently been many excellent books from writers out of India, which are top notch and show a great depth of feeling and wisdom in their work. I love this story.”
Bil Howard (author of The Wolf of the Highlands), Readers' Favorite


Watch the trailer
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UA71xncsTj8  (old trailer, new updated version coming soon)

Review/purchase links


What four top most things you take care of while writing a book?

The four top most things would be:
  1. I want peace and silent atmosphere. 
  2. I need to be myself first. While writing I am not so much worried about whether my product will be commercially hit or not. 
  3. I will keep the diary and jot down ideas if they come to me.
  4. Go with the flow. Whatever comes into the blank pages it has to go unedited and untouched in my first drafts. 

How much real life goes into a fiction writing?

It depends on the plot and what one wants to write about. I prefer realistic fiction that is based on real life events, object, scenes, and situations. Some bits and pieces do go into a fiction when I am writing but not everything. Reality is not what readers care so much about. If they want to read too much reality, they would choose entirely another genre such as non-fiction. 

Is high level of imagination important to have for an Author?

As Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” If we proceed what he said then yes. But, I think with imagination; creativity, and intuition are equally important as well. 

Your dream destination on Earth?

“Home is where your heart is.” To cut long story short, anywhere on Earth are good for me as long as I can feed those who are attached with me. Anywhere outside Earth is also very good for me. I don’t have any particular choice, do I? 

Your origin of birth and other countries you have visited/stayed. What best things you liked in these countries around the globe?

Origin of birth: Chitwan District, Nepal
I have visited places e.g., Paris, Germany, Portugal, Finland, Florida, India, Malaysia etc. I do like places where there is peace and no war. But, nowadays when you just read morning news, you see that nowhere on Earth there is peace. People are fighting to become momentary master and gain one land or the another.

Your favorite time of the day?
Morning

Your zodiac/ sunsign?
Leo

Your favorite color and why?
Blue.

What is the last book you finished reading? What is the current book you are reading?

Recently, I finished reading a short story by Albert Camus, “The Adulterous Women.” My current list includes: “Untangling the Web” by Aleks Krotoski and “Adultery” by Paulo Coelho. 

What comes to your mind when you think of India?

Great multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, and diverse nation. But, poor social structure and power divisions. I have studied in South-India in Bangalore, and I have lived there for five years so you may ascertain that I have fine memories and had wonderful experiences. I still have many friends out there who I communicate with sometimes.

Some quickies: Sun or Moon, Laughter or Smile, Morning or Evening, Coffee or Tea, Mountain or Sea, Long Drive or Short Drive, Silence or Conversation, Water or Fire, Air or Earth, Mars or Jupiter, Tulip or Rose, Red or Blue, Left or Right, Glance or Stare

Sun
Both
Evening
Coffee but also sometimes Tea
Both
Long Drive
Silence
I like to play with both.
Air and Earth
Mars
Rose
Blue
Right
Stare

What three words come to your mind for each –Technology, Life, God, Humanity, Terrorism, Racism, Childhood Abuse, Love, Parenting, Old age

Technology: a tool, behind science and humanity
Life: precious, struggle, what you make of it
God: difficult to answer, cannot say, yes or no
Humanity: greater than anything else
Terrorism: lack of money, not tolerable, should be stopped
Racism: infertile disease, measles, narrow mindlessness
Childhood Abuse: crime, unacceptable, psychological issue
Love: painful, maybe better than life, or science
Parenting: lovely experience, sometimes easy, or difficult
Old age: hard, to resist, no one listens

State your signature line/ tagline/ best quote

If you babble enneagram, I am a five. If you boast myers-briggs, I am an introvert-intuition-thinking-perceiving.

Twitter handle: @SantoshKalwar

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Book Review: Rise Of The Sun Prince: Shubha Vilas: An Excellent Epic Saga Redefined


Touching an Epic Masterpiece that has already established its deep roots in every heart and mind for years, is really a hilarious job. On top of it when you touch it, you add more significance to it, more value to it and make it more meaningful for the current generations. Shubha Vilas has done a wonderful job in taking an uphill task of rewriting the great Indian Epic Masterpiece Ramayana and the first book Ramayana: The Game of Life: Rise Of The Sun Prince Book 1 is out for the modern readers to read Ramayana in a context where they don't lose the originality of the story but in addition keep knowing the in depth meaning of each and every action & activity that happened in Ramayana.

The saga of Ramayana, as we all know was written by Valmiki in verses and the mammoth masterpiece contains over 24,000 verses, 640 chapters across 6 books. The current volume - Rise of the Sun Prince takes it readers through the birth (and pre-birth) era of Rama to the marriage of Lord Rama with Sita. As we all know that Ramayana is a beautifully written saga of Prince Rama, son of Dashratha, the king of Ayodhaya. The book tells the purpose of Ramayana in a very simplified manner. Saint Valmiki was looking for a great hero, greatest of all, to write about him and present it to world to follow. When Valmiki asked Narada about who is the best hero among all, Valmiki further elaborated his question on the description of who a hero is - the one who is full of qualities, bearing the best behavior, bravest and daring, truthful and so on. Narada took some time to let it be known to Rishi Valmiki that it is none other than Lord Rama who can be put forth as an example to the world to follow as an ideal.

Rishi Bhardwaj knew that if the saga of Rama is to be told to the world, it can be written in the best way by none other than Valmiki. It was important to make Valmiki realize about his potential to write such a huge saga masterpiece in such a manner that at no point of time it loses its beauty and connect. So through an incident with a hunter, Valmiki got to know about his potential of presenting the things in verses style. And thus Valmiki was convinced about writing Ramayana. Once Ramayana was finished by Valmiki, he had to find out the best of the narrators to spread the word around.

Sita, along with Lov and Kush was living with Valmiki during that period and it took no time for Valmiki to identify Lov and Kush as the best narrators to travel all across and sing the verses of Ramayana to general public so as to know about the brave deeds and extreme character of Rama. The epic was sung in such a beautiful manner that the words of the praises of Lov and Kush reached the kingdom of Ayodhya. Lord Rama invited Lov and Kush to visit the kingdom and sing Ramayana among all present there. Both sides were not aware about their relationship though Rama knew that the epic hero being sung is none other than him but he never let others realize.

Shubha Vilas has done a wonderful job in presenting Ramayana: The Game of Life: Rise Of The Sun Prince Book 1 in such an interesting manner that the reader not only stays engaged to the story but get an altogether different insightful meaning of the story, book, characters and the purpose behind it.

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Author Interview: Juliet M Sampson: Behind the Mask: Bon Voyage


Juliet Sampson has always had a love of stories from a very young age. Story time at the library, live theatre and her parents reading to her are all fond memories from her childhood.

Now at the age of 33, she lives in Melbourne near the bay where she is surrounded by family and friends. Juliet’s other passions are travelling, dancing and doing voluntary work for charity. Please visit www.julietmsampson.com for more information about her.

Welcome Juliet!

About your education.

At school, in my spare time, I would write short stories and poems and in my final year, I enjoyed working on the school magazine committee.

At university I undertook a double degree in Bachelor of Primary Teaching and Bachelor of Arts (Psychology). These degrees allowed me to pursue many of my passions such as children’s literature, dance and psychology.

What career did you plan during your education days?

Having developed a love for literature, I embraced a career in education. This allowed me to share my love of reading, writing and storytelling with the next generation.

Teaching children about letters and sounds in the early years was an area I thoroughly enjoyed but this was not enough. I wanted my words and voice to reach a larger audience. I dreamed of making a difference in many more peoples’ lives and connecting with others all around the world. So by becoming an author and writing books, I was able to do this.

Which of your work has been published so far?

My genre is contemporary realism. In 2008, I decided to reduce my teaching hours and commit to writing my first young adult novel, Behind the Mask, which was published in 2011 by Brolga Publishing. 

In 2013, my second young adult novel, Bon Voyage! was published. On my writing journey, I have been fortunate to undertake Bryce Courtenay’s and Fiona McIntosh’s Master Classes. This has further inspired me to follow my dreams and keep writing.


What are your forthcoming writings?

Currently I am in the process of editing my third young adult novel with themes of mystery, adventure, dance and romance.
I am also happy to be taking part in a project/book that involves giving a little inspiration and hope to others facing challenges.

As well as this, I am working on a picture book.

What is your biggest source of inspiration in your life?

Inspiration comes from everywhere.
I am inspired by nature such as the caterpillar transforming into a butterfly or a seed growing into a beautiful sunflower.
Volunteers who help others through raising money for worthwhile causes such as protecting children from violence, also inspire me. To me, these people are the real role models in today’s society.
My parents, family and friends also inspire me. These are the people who support and encourage me to follow my dreams.


Some quickies:

Sun or Moon,
Sun

Laughter or Smiles,
Smiles

Morning or Evening,
Evening

Coffee or Tea,
Coffee

Mountain or Sea,
Sea

Long Drive or Short Drive,
Long Drive

Silence or Conversation,
Conversation

Water or Fire,
Water

Air or Earth,
Earth

Mars or Jupiter,
Jupiter

Tulip or Rose,
Rose

Red or Blue,
Blue

Left or Right,
Right

Glance or Stare
Glance


State your signature line
Let you light shine from the inside out.

Best quote
No act of kindness however small is ever wasted. (Aesop)

Twitter handle:

Facebook page:

Goodreads author page:

Amazon links:

Bon Voyage!

Behind the Mask



Author Interview: Nitish Krishna: The Mystery Of Bila Land: Quest For The Lost Land

Top post on IndiBlogger.in, the community of Indian Bloggers

Nitish is a Business and Market Intelligence professional currently working with an MNC. He has an MBA degree from Ohio University with a total experience of 8 years in strategic and business research. His passions include collecting old comics, writing stories, reading and travelling. The Mystery of Bila Land is his first book. The story is inspired from a dream he had at the age of twelve.

Nitish is currently working on his second book, Quest for the lost land, which will complete the fascinating journey of Vibhas.

To know more about Nitish, please visit -www.nitishkrishnathewriter.com
Nitish can be contacted at nitishthestoryteller@gmail.com
Video Link for the Book trailer - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XoNp-Wd0CI

Welcome Nitin!

·         Your real name and pen name?
I am Nitish Krishna

·         Please share some of the best memories of your childhood

It’s very difficult for me to list out one best memory because almost everything I did till the age of 10 remains among the best of memories. To point out a few - staying in the defense quarters, making friends from different cultures and parts of country, cycling to school, playing with friends, vacation in Calcutta.

·         About your education

I studied in Kendriya Vidyalaya, Bangalore for the first twelve years and went on to pursue Engineering from MS Ramaiah Institute of Tech, Bangalore. Then, I chose to pursue MBA in Marketing from Ohio University.

·         What career did you plan during your education days

I wanted to be an Astronomer when I was in school. Then I was put into the rat race of engineering, MBA, Corporate jobs etc. Never had the time to think or plan, was a confused soul all through my education days J

·         What languages you can speak and write?

I speak and write English and Hindi. I also speak (only) Kannada and Tulu.

·         What is your biggest source of inspiration in life

A few books – The Monk who sold his Ferrari by Robin Sharma, Many Lives Many Masters by Dr. Brian Weiss, Bhagwad Gita.

A few Movies – Pursuit of Happyness, Swades, Lakshya.

Life stories of great leaders, sportsmen, celebrities who made it big by dedication and hard work (Lots of them, cannot name one or two)

·         What hurts you most in this world

Terrorism, Religion and Caste differences

·         If you had to live a day of your life as one of the living or dead personality, who would it be and why?

I would want to go back as a King of one of the powerful kingdoms during Satyuga, Tretayuga or Dwapayuga, about six thousand years back and see how people lived in those times.

·         What is your favorite genre and why?

Thriller fiction and Self help. Thriller keeps me gripped and interested in reading, Self-help books from a few authors are really a good source to leading a great life

·         When did you start writing? What is the purpose of your writing?

I started writing in 2009. I was always interested in storytelling and had ideas to share. Even while watching movies, I concentrate more on the screenplay and the way the story has been told from a director’s and writer’s point of view. It was a challenge for someone like me to get it right. The main purpose of my writing was to get over “fear”. Yes, you read it right “fear”. Writing was something I thought was not my cup of tea and needed great skills. I wanted to anyhow get that feeling off me and conquer it. It gave me immense pleasure when I wrote and personal happiness within that just made me a different person altogether in the last five years.

·         Which of your work has been published so far? Would you like to share a synopsis of your work?

The Mystery of Bila Land, my first book is published and available across all the major online stores. The Mystery of Bila Land is a fast paced journey of a man, Vibhas, who meets his destiny in the land of Bilas somewhere in the midst of the mighty Himalayan belts. Following is a blurb
“A warrior meditating at the foot of snow-capped mountains, surrounded by vibrant flowers with a flowing water stream nearby.
 A warrior meditating inside a dark cave with water flowing over his head through a large hole on the roof.
 A warrior fighting a battle, with chaos all around.”
What do these dreams signify for Vibhas? Why are these visuals hounding him for the past fifteen years? Who is this warrior? What is his dream trying to make him realize?

The key to these questions is found in the midst of a trek to the mighty Himalayas, when Vibhas splits up from his trekking group and enters the gorgeous land of the Bilas, a local tribe belonging to a forest in the Himalayan mountains.
The shocking truth about his dreams is revealed in the Bila Land, which hosts all the places that he has been seeing in his dreams for the past fifteen years.
However, there is more than just the answers to his dreams to be found here. As truth after truth gets unveiled, Vibhas realizes that what Bila Land has to offer him is an experience that no human kind has had in a thousand years or more.

·         What are your forthcoming writings?

I am working on my second book, “The Quest for the lost land”. Even this is a story of Vibhas, the protagonist of “The Mystery of Bila Land”.

·         What are your future plans?

Just keep writing and move closer towards happiness.

·         What four top most things you take care of while writing a book?

First - The story, whatever be it, I would never comprise with my story anytime during writing. If I am stuck, I take a break and get back rather than just filling up something for the sake of it. Second – It should be simple and easy to understand. I would like my story to be widely understood across age groups. Third - the flow of the events should be proper. Fourth – re read-re write, re read-re write and re read-re write until I get to the best possible result.

·         How much real life goes into a fiction writing?

A lot. I guess every story is inspired from some real incident or the other.

·         Is high level of imagination important to have for an Author?

Every job, every business, every sport need somewhat high level of imagination for someone to be successful. For an author, yes, it is very important to be on the highest levels of imagination as many stories may appear to have the similar gist, but the kind of backdrop that an author adds is important for every single story to stand out.

·         Your dream destination on Earth?

Kailash Mansarovar

·         Your origin of birth and other countries you have visited/ stayed. What best things you liked in these countries around the globe?

I was born in Mangalore. I have travelled to Sri Lanka. I liked the friendly culture and the people of the Island

·         Your favorite time of the day?

Early mornings

·         Your zodiac/ sunsign?

Taurus

·         Your favorite color and why?

Blue. It attracts me.

·         What is the last book you finished reading? What is the current book you are reading?

“The Leader Who Had No Title” by Robin Sharma. I need to start reading the latest book by Ashwin Sanghi called “Private India”

·         Your favorite book and why?

I have a list. “The Monk Who Sold his Ferrari”, “The God of Small Things”, “Sea of Poppies”,”Chankya’s Chant”, “Jaya, An illustrated retelling of the Mahabharata”

·         Your favorite movie and why?

Hollywood - Pursuit of Happyness, Forest Gump, Cast Away, Raiders of Lost Ark, Saving Private Ryan
Bollywood - Swades, Lakshya, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, Golmal (Old, 1970s), Chupke Chupke (Old), Choti Si Baat

·         Your favorite food?

I have Varieties of favourites - Hyderabadi Biryani, Tandoori Chicken, Punjabi Cuisine, Andhra Cuisine, Sea food cuisine from Mangalore and Goa.

·         Some quickies:

Sun or Moon - Moon
Laughter or Smile – Laughter
Morning or Evening – Evening
Coffee or Tea – Tea
Mountain or Sea – Mountain
Long Drive or Short Drive – Long Drive
Silence or Conversation – Silence
Water or Fire – Water
Air or Earth – Earth
Mars or Jupiter – Jupiter
Tulip or Rose – Tulip
Red or Blue – Blue
Left or Right – Right
Glance or Stare – Glance

·         State your signature line/ tagline/ best quote

“Go ahead and chase your dreams”!

·         Links
Twitter - @nitishkrishna
Youtube Video Trailer of the book - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XoNp-Wd0CI