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Thursday, December 24, 2015

Author Interview : Rohan Govenkar, author of ‘1,000 Kilograms of Goa' (Part 2)

Read up, the Interview with Rohan Govenkar (Part 2). In this section, he talks of the most fulfilling parts in the book, the characters he felt most close to, his next book, and also his favourite authors, and a lot more, Folks...
What are the most fulfilling parts in your book?

The most fulfilling parts about the book to me, as an author, is that I have managed to tell readers a lot of serious stuff like the little known history, the average Goan’s perspective on Goa’s image and the tourism scenario, the problems they face, in a very casual style that blends smoothly and unsuspectingly. 

If the plot was not interesting, it could have ended up getting readers bored, and those specific parts would have remained unread and unknown to the world.

Which particular character did you feel most close to? Why?

I feel closest to Ashwin, naturally, since my book is written in the first person narrative. And I was compelled to pretend to be Ashwin, get into his mind, step into his shoes, act and react the way he did, just so that the character feels real and connects with the readers in an unpretentious manner. 

Who was it that told you that you could become the author, you are today? 

Rohan  Govenkar
I have always been a writer by heart, but never thought I’d author a book, someday. Then a few years ago, it struck me that I have a lot of good ideas and stories to share with the world and it would be such a waste if they remained bottled up inside of me. 

No other person influenced that decision, and hence it was purely my call. 

When will you next book be out?

I am currently working on my second book. I try to keep at least one hour of the day for my writing, and now with the added confidence that people have reacted well to the first book, a lot of self-doubt has been eliminated; and the second one might not take as many hours as the first one. 

My estimation is that the first draft should be ready by March 2016. Next, it will be followed by a thorough rewriting. After that, the editing will be repeated a couple of times, until I am fully satisfied with my work. 

David Baldacci
Which book are you currently reading? 

I am currently reading David Baldacci’s ‘Total Control’. I am really enjoying his descriptions and characterizations. The uniqueness in his writing and plotting styles really inspires me. 

The next book in queue is ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ by Stieg Larsson.

Who are your favourite authors and why?

My favorite authors are James Hadley Chase, Sidney Sheldon,
Stephen King
Jeffrey Archer, James Patterson and Stephen King. 

They all are great storytellers, and I really love their originality and lucidity. Originality is something which always fascinates me, whether it’s a book or a movie. 

What else do you do on a daily basis? 

The major chunk of my average day is dedicated to the business, I handle. Next in line are family and friends. I don’t get too much of spare time on a daily basis.
I wish there were at least 30 hours in the day so that I could use the extra hours for all those leisure activities and hobbies.

What advice do you have for the writers, who are starting out today?

My advice to writers is – Write. A lot of new writers ask me queries about the publishing world, the editing and the distribution. They should be instead writing, and all those questions will be eventually answered, in a natural way, by the time they have finished the final draft. 

Some things are best learnt by experience, since then the lessons remain in mind firmly. And yes, read a lot too. 

You can Read the Review, right here
You can read the First Part of this Interview, right here
You can also Buy the Book, here

Monday, December 21, 2015

Book Review : 'The Third Day : Dwapara Yuga' by Harshita Vallem

The Third Day – Dwapara Yuga’ by Harshita Vallem starts off with the hows and whats of Lord Brahma’s life, with this book being placed in the Dwapara Yuga. Brahma’s life is equal to 4.32 billion years, with 71 Divya -Yugas, and every Divya -Yuga, divided into four Yugas, Satya, Treta, Dwapara, and Kali. Brahma created eleven Prajapathis and seven Saptarishis, who known as the Manas Putras.

In the first millionth year, of the Dwapara Yuga – the Tala Pata Grandas or the holy scripts were opened and they predicted that many an unpleasant thing would happen. 

And it moves on to King Drona and his kingdom, Kanyakumari. It is under attack by people known as the Dead-Walkers. That is pretty much it. I did not understand this book, nor can I say that I actually enjoyed it. After Parama, who takes over from Drona and leads his people on to victory, it got very confusing for me.

Firstly, one cannot put ***** and expect people to understand that, it would be another section, in the chapter. So, I could see the confusion reigning. It got worse with the ***** symbol.

Secondly, I have never heard of the origin of centaurs. Only heard of them in stories of fantasy, but definitely never, in mythology. And the names were kind of weird too. Not heard of Elkser and no one known as HE. Also, there seems to be an introduction of a new character, every now and then, a little too much and too soon in this book.

In fact, I was almost glad that she gave us a recap towards the end. Otherwise, I do not think, I would have understood anything. All I can say is, if anyone has the patience to write a book on mythology, one should manage to place the points, properly and correctly. Whether, we think that they are true or not would also depend on the way, in which the author has written them.

I may not be an expert on mythology, but I think I can at least see a good book and a not so good one. So, it is with much regret, that I hope that this author’s sequel, manages to get things right, next time around.

You can Buy the Book, right here

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Author Interview : Rohan Govenkar, author of ‘1,000 Kilograms of Goa' (Part 1)

Rohan Govenkar
Read up, the first part of the Interview with Rohan Govenkar, the author of '1,000 Kilograms of Goa'.

In this one, he tells us how the book first happened, how Ashwin, the lead character came about, how he came about with the central idea of the book, before developing it and what the challenging parts of the book were. 

There is much more to come in the second part of this Interview, Folks…

How did ‘1,000 Kilograms of Goa’ happen? Could you describe the journey?

I cannot recollect one, single journey that led to the happening of the book. Different ideas coupled up, from various points in life, and they finally emerged together to give rise to the idea of writing ‘1,000 Kilograms of Goa’. 

It took me two passionate years to get this task completed, and another year to hunt for a publisher.

How did you bring about each of the characters? How much of it was true and how much was fictionalised?

I have used certain habits and qualities of people around me to give birth to a few characters. Different characteristics and reaction styles of certain friends and acquaintances have been merged together to create those fictional people.
But no single character resembles in entirety, any person I know in real life.

Goa is a relevant part of your story. How did the life and the experiences play an important part in your novel?

I have known Goa, its culture and people too well, since I, myself am a part of it since birth.

So much of the Goan essence; its folklore, the habits, the lifestyle, and the speech is entwined in the plot that I can be certain, that it would have been very difficult for another writer from a different place to include it all with ease.

What kind of research did you put in it?

The research I have done is tremendous, in proportion to what I chose to include in my plot. Even though there are crucial parts, which involve the history of Goa, it’s still 1% of the relevant matter, I extracted from reading several books cover to cover.

I visited Divar Island four times and conversed with a lot of knowledgeable folks in and around the village. From what I learnt, the treasure of Divar could still be lying under the ground, below a landlord’s house. I spent some weekends in Morjim to understand the lifestyle of Russian people.

I even visited an offshore casino once, and the bouncers had to literally ask me to leave because they thought I was a nosy journalist trying to chat up their staff to make a story out it.

What according to you is different about your book?

Books about reunions are very common. But this one, is not a simple reunion spent having fun and reminiscing the college days. This one is a crackdown of Goa’s largest kept historical secret.

Even people who otherwise hate history have found themselves interested, because the characters involved are not professional treasure-hunters with sophisticated equipment and detectors, but normal young people, you meet in your daily life.

This book will make people realize how opportunities can cause regular people, with normal lives and jobs, to change their lives into an adventurous roller-coaster ride.

How would you relate the lives of characters to the lives today? Any similarities? What was the most challenging part about writing ‘1,000 Kilograms of Goa’?

The characters in this book are as natural as they can be. There’s nothing extraordinary about them, except for the part that they have found a map to an ancient treasure.  

While penning the book, I had to figure out how an average person, in his life’s monotony, would react if he/she were to get hold of a treasure map and embark on an adventurous journey to track such a massive fortune.

Keeping the characters real and the story believable was an important part; very challenging too, especially in such an unconventional setting. 

You can Read the Review, right here
You can also Buy the Book, here