Author Interview of Jeena R. Papaadi for Shadows of the Past.

1. Introduce yourself for your readers.

I am a mother and a writer, never quite figured out which comes first. Everything else is secondary.

2. When did you find your calling in writing? Did you always aspire to be a Writer ?

As far as I remember, being a writer wasn’t on my list of goals. I used to scribble in my teenage (poems and stories, without ever considering them as ‘writing’), but took care not to show those ‘creations’ to anyone. A year or so later, I would tear most of them apart because I thought they were silly. I wrote my diary daily for a few years, which also met with the same fate. I came back to writing when I was around thirty; this time I was more serious about it, and ready to call myself a writer.

3. How did you compile such unusual and unique stories ? Experience, imagination or both ?

Thank you. I am sure a bit of everything goes into what we create: who we are, where we come from, what we have been taught, what or who inspires us, what we observe around us and so on.

4. Which according to you is better in terms of writing, short stories, novella or novel ?

That’s a tough question. Each of these involves hard work and dedication. A novel may take years to finish, so it demands more effort and discipline from our side. Sometimes it gets so tiring we just want to stop and toss the whole thing away – and it is difficult to rediscover our original motivation. In that sense, a short story may be ‘easier’, because it can be finished (if we really put our heart to it) in a shorter duration. But short stories also demand hard work and discipline from the author; creating a story from nothing is not ‘easy’. There are short stories that took me years to finish.

5. Do you believe in “Among Us” ? Because I for sure am looking for one “Among us” after reading your story and of course for a “Ghost under the bed”.

I am glad to hear that!

6. Which is your favorite story from the book ?

Another tough question. Every story I write is like my baby – and a mother can’t choose one baby over another, can she??

7. Are you planning or already working on anything new ? Is it going to be a short story or a novel ?

I am working on a novel, my fourth (though only one has been published so far). However, because it is a time-consuming activity, there are days when I am inspired to write a short story. A change from routine keeps me sane.

8. Are you an avid reader yourself? What is your go to genre?

I read around 40-50 books a year. Except for romance and horror, I read anything I can get my hands on, including non-fiction. I have a long to-read list on my Goodreads that keeps growing.

9. Do you have any quirky writing habit ?

I make notes all over the place: sometimes on my phone, sometimes on my laptop, and sometimes on a random piece of paper lying around. A few days later, I go nuts trying to figure out where I had jotted down that “very important plot point”. I might find it eventually but so much time would be wasted over it. These days I try to be more careful, but am not always successful.

10. Any message for your readers ?

If you like my books, do let the world know. There is nothing like word-of-mouth publicity.

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Shadows of the Past by Jeena R. Papaadi.

#bookreview

Book- Shadows of the Past
Author – Jeena R. Papaadi
Pages – 174

A wise person once said, “Coincidences do happen, that’s why they have a name.”

Shadows of the Past by Jenna R. Papaadi is a brilliant collection of short stories.

Unusual, unique, eerie, chilling and amusing.

Each short story has one thing in common, and that’s, it’s gonna leave you bewildered. Too dazed to react.

I enjoyed the uncertainty, the surprise and the shock each story offered. And I had never read anything like those stories.

It’s so hard to pick a favorite because I can still recollect how each story made me feel.

Even though the stories are really short to judge any character, but I have got to say that the characters were ‘whoa-amazing’ !

Each story had a plot that would keep you hooked, wanting more yet satisfied with the ending !

Although I loved most of the stories, there were few, which I wished had less descriptions and contained the obvious mystery, like other stories in the book. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed reading the book.

Rating – 🌟🌟🌟🌟/5

A Hiccup in Love by Nivedita Vedurla.

Book – A Hiccup in Love.

Author – Nivedita Vedurla.

Pages – 211

A Hiccup in Love by Nivedita Vedurla might not be something out of the box or a unique story, but it sure talks about some common yet terrible crisis people go through.
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Marriage, motherhood, starting up a new venture, giving up on career to take care of family, identity crisis, ups and downs of life, infidelity, divorce and what not !
These might not seem huge, written here in my post, but boy, they bring gigantic twists and turns to the person’s life who goes through any of these.
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Our protagonist Eshita had a picture perfect life. Got married to her college lover Arjun, both struggled and succeeded in their new venture of a financial start-up, had a wonderful baby boy Harshit, earned money, got a beautiful house and happy family.
But was everything as great as it looked ?
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It was great when Eshita took charge of her life, went ahead and dared to achieve her dream, take care of her family and still work from her was something I appreciated a lot. The impact of infidelity on your partner is harder than you can ever imagine. It’s even terrible when you’re a family, have a kid together. The betrayal, the emotional trauma, a child’s dilemma watching his parents and his life falling apart, was very well portrayed in the book, I really liked the writing style and narration. The characters were just great. But a lot of scenes felt quite dragged. Even though the message in the book was nice, it was quite predictable and ordinary. It was a one time read for me.

Rating – 🌟🌟🌟.5/5

Draupadi – The Tale of an Empress by Saiswaroopa Iyer.

#bookreview

Book – Draupadi – The Tale of an Empress
Author – Saiswaroopa Iyer
Publisher – @rupa_publications
Pages – 285

“Our minds care for our limbs. But our limbs don’t care for the mind. Do they, Rukmini ?”

“Draupadi – The Tale of an Empress” by Saiswaroopa Iyer is the retelling of Mahabharata inspired from various texts and scriptures where the Author puts her best effort to counter the myth that Draupadi was thirsty for vengeance and was the driving factor behind the Great War, the Dharmayudh.

The story begins with the great warrior Abhimanyu’s wife, Uttara explaining or rather recounting the generation long events, to her grandson, the Pandavas’ great-grandson, Janamejaya, that led to the Great War. Further, the story proceeds with the events from generations that ultimately led to the eighteen day long War.

What I liked about this book is the countering of the cliched opinion of Draupadi being the driving force behind the War and pointing out the circumstances and each character’s role in the same. But in this process of rebutting the myth, the Author missed out the details of other major events, which didn’t make this retelling as powerful as it should have been. The absence of a lot of such events diluted the essence that the tale of Mahabharata carries, which ultimately led to the weakening of the charisma that each epic character possesses. Mahabharata is a great tale, retelling it, in itself is a challenge much bigger than it seems. Albeit all the above-mentioned points, I’m glad that the bond between Draupadi and Sri Krishna was beautifully portrayed.

I applaud the Author for retelling this great tale from such a unique point of view and her dedication in rebutting the myth about Draupadi. It was good, but it lacked the essence that it should carry.

Rating – 🌟🌟🌟/5

#mahabharata #draupadi #srikrishna #yudhistira #bhima #arjuna #nakula #shadeva #kunti #panduputra #kurukshetra #dharmayudha #krishna #kauravas #thegreatwar #bhagvadgita #indraprastha #samragini #bharatavarsha #bharata #bookreview #booksofinstagram #bookstagramindia #bookstagramodisha

Diary of a Twenty-Something by Siya.

#bookreview

Book- Diary of a Twenty-Something

Author- Siya

Publisher- Notion Press

Pages-170

Diary of a Twenty-Something by Siya is a collection of teenage musings in the form of poems.

Each of the poems depicts the situation that a teenager goes through. Caught in between childhood and adulthood, discovering new emotions and dark human nature, unable to make your own decisions, having a life where you have no say, going through a phase where most of the time you don’t know what’s happening with you, expectations, stress to prove yourself, depression and what not !

Siya has done a good job at portraying these varied phases and sentiments. While some were quite good, others lacked the intensity. Writing was simple and if worked upon, could improve a lot.

Congratulations to the Author for trying to pen down such complex realities.

Rating – 🌟🌟🌟/5

Author Interview of Dipa Sanatani for The Little Light.

#AuthorTalks

The Little Light by Dipa Sanatani is a must read ! Read her interview where she talks about Astrology and how she thought of making it a fun read.

🔥Author Introduction.

Dipa Sanatani is the Merchant of Stories. She comes from a family of Gujarati merchants and educators with roots in Singapore and the UK. In 2007, she left behind her roots to discover her wings. Since then, she’s lived, studied and worked in Australia, Israel, Japan and China, adding uncharted territories to a long list of previously ventured destinations. With a background in both business and education, Dipa has extensive experience in the public-school system as well as in the private, government and corporate sectors.

🔥Did you always aspire to be a writer?

Oh yes. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t write. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be a writer. I don’t know where this desire comes from. It’s hard to explain.

🔥How did you think of making such a vast and complex subject a fun read? How did you get the idea to make the planets’ characters human-like, funny and easy to understand?

The idea came to me when I was lying in bed alone in my apartment in Japan. I was contemplating the vast nature of the universe when I suddenly thought, “How nice it would be if I could invite the planets over for a discussion on life, love and the larger purpose for our existence.”
I promptly opened up my notebook and drew a sketch of what the mythological Nine Celestial Beings would look like if they were ‘updated’ for the modern era. The idea ruminated in my head for four years before I finally sat down to write the story.
In Vedic Mythology, the Celestial Beings are personified as a family that have a relationship with each other – some complementary, others highly dysfunctional. What I’ve done with The Little Light is reinterpreted and reimagined those myths for the modern era.
I never thought that I would write in the Young Adult genre, but I wound up working in the education sector for over 4 years… Those experiences groomed me to communicate with a younger demographic.
I wrote this book as a teacher. I wanted to write a book that my students would enjoy reading. Learning should be both educational and fun.

🔥Why do you think a lot of people don’t believe in Astrology?

Ahh… to be honest, I was a cynic for a long time myself. Growing up, I had a hard time with the way that astrologers would make these ‘predictions’ about the future. It negated all sense of free will and I didn’t find their advice helpful.
But then as I got older and studied more on the topic, it started to make more sense to me. The stars are a map – and they guide us. They have lots of wisdom to offer. We just have to listen… and then be prepared to take responsibility for our own decisions.

🔥There’s this question that I always wanted to ask. The daily horoscope that comes in newspapers, is it always accurate ?

Nah… the stuff in the newspapers. That’s just entertainment.

🔥And how is such a generalized horoscope curated?

I have no idea… I read it as a tidbit of fun. But I can’t say I take it seriously myself.

🔥Having a horoscope made, predicting the future, do you think it makes a person’s life easy or rather constricts it?

I think a lot of it depends on the knowledge and skill of the astrologer. These days, our generation is lucky. We can pluck our birth data into a software and poof – we can have our birth chart at our fingertips. The older generations had no choice but to call an astrologer in to do those calculations.
There are many different schools of thought and calculation systems – Vedic, Western, Chinese, Mayan… so on and so forth. And even within Vedic astrology, there are a few different ways to calculate the birth chart.
That whole explanation to say… the interpretations of the birth chart can vary greatly depending on which system the astrologer follows… and their personal expertise.

🔥Why do you think people are so afraid of having ‘Rahu/Ketu/Shani dasha’?

In The Little Light, I’ve explored the concept that Rahu, Ketu and Saturn are karma planets. They force the soul to face their karma. Rahu pushes the soul to fulfill its current life destiny. Ketu asks the soul to release its past life karma. And Saturn… well, it pretty much orders us to deal with the hard truths and realities of life.
I believe these transits are not to be feared as they will ultimately lead to a higher understanding of our own human experience.

🔥To what extent is Astronomy related to Astrology? Is it pure science?

Astrology is a precursor to astronomy. I believe that the calculations of the natal chart are scientific, but the interpretations however… now that’s an art.

🔥Are you planning to write more books related to Astrology or will you switch to some other genre ?

Ahh… my interest in astrology stems from my interest in mythology. So, you can be rest assured that my future books will feature mythological characters from all over the world.

🔥Which book would you recommend to a person who wants to learn about Astrology?

For a beginner, I’d recommend The Essentials of Vedic Astrology by Komilla Sutton. It’s easy to understand and provides a very grounded view of astrology.

🔥Any message for your readers?

The Little Light is the first book in The Guardians of the Lore series. I’m currently working on the sequel. If you’d like to know what happens to The Little Light once it’s born on planet earth… stay tuned.

The Little Light by Dipa Sanatani.

Book- The Little Light: A Story of Reincarnation and the Crazy Cosmic Family (The Guardians of the Lore Book 1)

Author – Dipa Sanatani

Pages – 174

Amusing. Enthralling. Enlightening. Brilliant.

“In the Universe,” Dag says, “every crossroads is predetermined. The choice is not. I know the tale that will come to pass with each choice, but I do not know which choice will be made.”

Dipa Sanatani’s “The Little Light” is one of a kind, it’s a masterpiece. Never has Astrology been such an easy, logical and beguiling subject for me to read. Time and again I have tried to read and understand the cosmic family that rules different aspects of my life , zodiac signs, horoscope, and in general Astrology, but have always failed, miserably, in doing so, because I found it complex.
True talent is when the expert simplifies his/her field of study in such a way that a layman feels at ease learning the subject. And Dipa Sanatani is truly talented.

I love the book because it gives logical yet light and human-like representation of the cosmic world, planets and stars and their effect on each person’s life. Each and every line in the book is so worth reading. The idea that even though our life is already planned out, is predestined; the roads that’ll lead us to our fate is still in our hands, was very comforting and uplifting. Reading about our lives being inevitably planned even before our existence in the material world, yet getting positive vibes from realising it, needs some serious plotting and writing skills on the Author’s part. After reading about how each and every characteristic I possess is governed by a superior power, how my strengths and weaknesses were already installed like some softwares in me, I didn’t feel constricted even for a moment, because at the same time, I knew, no matter what my fate is, I still have the choice to choose the path that leads up to it. And it’s pretty satisfying and empowering I tell you, to have it all planned yet have the option to lead yourself as you please towards that goal.

Trust me, you should read this book.

Rating – 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟/5