Short Stories

Deliberate Acts of Random

Deliberate Acts of Random - Jon Nikrich

As I've stated before, I love short story compilations. Ray Bradbury will forever hold a piece of my heart with his selection of tales for The October Country and Long After Midnight. 

Deliberate Acts of Random by Jon Nikrich is a fun, and at times sarcastic, collection of short stories that left a warm smile on my face. I particularly enjoyed the tongue in cheek style of writing that the author has gone with, which very much resonated with my sense of humor. 

Overall the book is very well written and although it's possible to read a couple chapters at a time when you can, I had no trouble reading the entire book in one setting as some of the short stories connect and lend to a smooth transition from one to the next. 

If you're looking for a nice little break from your ordinary reading list, I highly recommend this set of short stories. Nikrich provides a very entertaining break from reality. 

 


Some Bio Information

Jon Nikrich was born in Northern England, but now lives in Calgary, Canada. He has worked as an engineer, a technical writer and a barman. He also accepted threats and insults as an operator on a customer complaint line. He has changed jobs and changed countries, but he has always been a storyteller. He writes mysteries when he feels serious and comedies when he feels silly. Jon is married with one son.


Q&A

1. Tell us a little about what inspired you to write this anthology. 

I was working on a long, complicated novel, the same one I attempt every other year. I developed some health issues that dented my energy levels and I decided to attempt something less ambitious. Instead of writing the novel, I started writing some short stories.

Initially, I didn't intend to publish them. They were for me, they were fun and they were exactly what I needed at the time. What I liked most about the anthology was that it allowed me to attempt genres I hadn't previously tried. It encouraged me to attempt stories and styles that I wouldn't have considered for a novel. Writing this collection was a valuable escape in an otherwise difficult year.

2. How long did it take you to put your work together? 

After I decided to publish the short stories, I raided my stash of old manuscripts, the ones I had written and saved long before my jump into self-publishing. Some of them were two decades old. I selected and rewrote my favorites, and then I added them to the new tales. In all, this took me about twelve months, give or take twenty years.

3. Can you tell us a little bit about your writing process? 

I have a full time job and a very long commute. My best opportunity to read and write is during the hours I spend on trains and buses. Given this opportunity, I read more than fifty books per year.

I also have plenty of time to write. I scribble all my first drafts on paper. When I'm blocked, I immediately switch to a different scene or story. This means that by the time I type, I have entire notebooks of disconnected paragraphs. This makes the writing process easier and editing a complete nightmare. I don't recommend it, but it works for me.

4. What was your least favorite part of the writing process? 

I love storytelling and every aspect of the creation process. I've been writing every chance I can get for 30 years. However, I'm new to self-publishing and I have no enthusiasm for marketing at all. This is probably obvious to anyone who has ever seen my attempts at marketing!

5. How would you describe your writing style? 

My writing style is probably a little quirky. I have my English sarcasm, my introverted self-deprecation and the influence of far too much television. I try to keep this in check when I write mysteries, but I let it go wherever it wants with comedy. I'm aware that my brain works a little differently, but hopefully this translates into entertaining, unpredictable tales.  

6. What is your ultimate writing goal? 

I have modest writing goals. I hope people read my stories and I hope they enjoy them. Anything beyond that is a bonus. I plan to keep writing regardless. Telling stories will always be important to me and I will always be grateful for what it adds to my life.

7. What would you like readers to take away from your work? 

I have tremendous respect for writers who can inspire a reader. This is certainly not that kind of book. If you read it and it makes you smile, that's enough for me.

At the Doors of Strangers

At the Doors of Strangers - Greg Needham

I've always enjoyed books of short stories. It began with my love of Ray Bradbury. Short stories often showcase an author's strengths in that so much time and effort is devoted into just a couple of pages. To me, those short stories can say a lot about an author. 

Greg Needham's book is a great compilation of short stories that jumps around in topic, but flows together nonetheless. It held my attention and was a wonderful distraction from my regular routine. 

The writing is well done, the characters are wonderfully developed in each short story, and I had no trouble reading the entire book in one sitting. 


Some Bio Information

My name is Greg Needham and I’m a life-long learner who’s dabbled in many things but always stuck with words. I’ve wrote and edited published research papers, blogs, and indie video game scripts. But I consider my most important writing accomplishments here: writing in the mud as an infantry Marine; writing inappropriately wordy descriptions under pie-charts; writing philosophical responses to spam email; and creating my own alphabet. I wrote At the Doors of Strangers, which is an often surreal collection of short stories.


Q&A

1. What inspired you to write this book? 

I wrote this book in an act of rebellion. I had just received my Masters of Science and didn’t want to give up my literary background, so I decided the only way I could get this book out of my head would be to travel to eastern Europe and put it together. Many of the stories floated in my head for years and I had to do them justice. Between work and education, I couldn’t seem to infuse my thoughts onto paper with the purity I wished. Traveling to eastern Europe was my “blank spot on the map,” to borrow from Joseph Conrad, and ended up being the necessary catalyst. So I traveled, wrote, and edited until I finished eight months later.

2. Can you tell us a little bit about your writing process?

Generally, I wait until it’s bursting out of me and into my everyday life – where on the outside I’m apparently having a watercooler conversation or filling up my car with gasoline, but really I’m testing the best way to describe the story in my head. Once I keep coming back to an idea or story against my will, I know it’s time. 

3. Describe your favorite short story in this book.

I would have to say the title piece, “At the Doors of Strangers.” I tried really hard to capture the feeling of my hometown in central Michigan, where the people are decent and good but live with the frustration of a stagnant area.

I’d also like to sneak in the story of Buzludzha, which is secretly a non-fiction piece I wrote after visiting the old Soviet monument in Bulgaria. I recommend seeing pictures of one of the strangest places I’ve come across.

4. What does the perfect writing environment look like to you?

For me, it’s a new place. The infusion of differences show me details I wouldn’t have noticed otherwise. So I try to write in new spots, with new people around. Comparing two experiences will highlight the important parts for me. For an example, I don’t think it’s possible to fully understand an American breakfast until I’ve experienced a different one.

5. How would you describe your writing style?

I really wish I could say. Weird, probably. I can’t think of a comparable style, and that both alarms and delights me. It’s very flexible, changing depending on the story.

6. What would you like readers to take away from your book?

I tried very hard to impart bits of myself into the book. So each story generally has something truly personal to me, and I hope readers will recognize those feelings within themselves as well. Failing that, I hope they take away a unique experience they didn’t have before.

7. What’s your ultimate writing goal?

My goal is to consistently describe stories that no one else is telling, but are important all the same

Little Exits

Little Exits - Harry Posner

As the title and cover suggests, this book of short stories focuses on the topic of death and the variety of ways in which people find their lives ending. I was quite intrigued by the concept as I grew up in a religious home and death was often discussed. This book felt more like poetry or a work of art. I wasn't as concerned with the characters in each short story as I was with each individual tone and methods presented. 

The flow is seamless despite the change in perspective, setting, and plot with each new chapter. Trying out so many different styles of writing in one book takes a lot of effort and skill, but Posner pulls it off quite well. 

I recommend taking your time with this book. Don't rush through it as the author offers up so much with each segment. 


Some Bio Information

Harry Posner is a self-published poet and author from Caledon, Ontario, Canada, whose love of writing evolved in a natural progression from short stories to children’s picture books, to poetry, novels, and spoken word performance. He is a member of the spoken word/percussion duo known as The Rubber Brothers, and is a member of the Words Aloud Poetry Collective, as well as the Headwaters Writers Guild, Writers Ink Alton, and an associate member of the League of Canadian Poets. As well as teaching creative writing, Harry is the author of two novels, a book of poetry, and a workbook for developing writers. In January 2015, he launched his newest book, a collection of flash fiction, entitled LITTLE EXITS, available at www.posnerbooks.com, and is about to release an audio poetry CD of his collected spoken word poems.


Q&A

1. What inspired you to write this book?

When one is getting on in life, as I am, the question of the end of life starts to loom large. So, this book is my way of approaching the mystery of death via the unfettered imagination.

2. Can you tell us a little bit about your writing process?

I gave myself the challenge of making each story unique unto itself, to adjust style, approach, lingo, or whatever, to suit the originality of the storyline and characters. To make no two stories alike in feel or ‘voice’. Which meant that each day and each story presented a brand new challenge. It was almost as if I had to write a brand new book (a short one!) every day.

3. What is your least favorite part of the writing process? 

Buckling down to the rewrites. Which is why I tend to wait longer to start the first drafts, to let the book or story sit inside of me and to really stew over the ideas and characters before beginning the writing process.

4. How would you describe the perfect writing environment? 

The green world close by, good light in the room, morning, steaming cup of Assam tea on the table.

5. What can readers expect from you in the future? 

Hard to say. I don’t even know what to expect of me in the future. I’ve always let my heart run the show, and it has led me in all kinds of crazy and wonderful directions. I’m very eclectic in my choice of medium, whether it be novels, short stories, or poetry. I’ve just released an audio poetry CD called IN THE EVENT OF TRUE HAPPINESS (available through www.posnerbooks.com), which is a collection of my spoken word poetry. So it’s hard to say where next my heart will lead me.

6. How would you describe your writing style? 

In LITTLE EXITS, it borders on experimental or metafictional, in which the reader is made to kind of hover over the story--in it, but not of it, so to speak. It’s hard to explain. You’ll need to read to book to understand it!

7. What’s your ultimate writing goal? 

My ultimate goal is to create fiction or poetry that touches the soul, stimulates the mind, and otherwise inspires others to pick up the sword of creativity and hack away at the mindlessness of consensus reality

Flight of Destiny

Flight of Destiny - Francis Powell

I was given the opportunity to read four short stories out of Flight of Destiny by Francis Powell. Each unique tale explores a dark recess of the mind where emotions are manipulated and reality isn't quite what it seems. 

I love the dark tone of the short stories and how the underlying theme of each is this sense of shock over what humans would be capable of if there were no reality based limits. While the stories do not tie together, the tone of the work connects them all and makes it easy to flow from one story to the next. 

I enjoyed these tales as they gave me a fantastic break from my daily routine and I enjoyed remembering them and day dreaming about them afterwards. They're a little Ray Bradbury, a little Stephen King, but with Powell's own unique twists. Very interesting read. 


Some Bio Information

What better way to put all my angst into short stories. Born in a commuter belt city called Reading and like many a middle or upper class child of such times I was shunted off to an all-male boarding school aged eight, away from my parents for periods of up to twelve weeks at a time, until I was 17.

While at my first Art college through a friend I met a writer called Rupert Thomson, who was at the time in the process of writing his first book “Dreams of leaving”. He was a bit older than myself, me being fresh out of school, but his personality and wit resonated, despite losing contact with him.  

I had a stint living in Austria,  where I began writing.  It wasn’t until I moved to Paris, that my writing began to truly evolve.  I discovered a  magazine called  Rat Mort (dead rat) I sent off a short story, in the hope it would match the seemingly dark world the magazine seemed to embroiled in. I got no answer. Not put off I sent two more stories. Finally I got an answer. It seemed the magazine editor was a busy man, a man prone to traveling. It seemed my first story really hit the right note with him. His name was Alan Clark.  

I began writing more and more short stories, some published on the internet. A bit later my anthology Flight of Destiny slowly evolved,  published April 2015, by Savant publishing.


Q&A

1. Can you tell us a bit about your writing process?

Ideas come into my head. I try to figure an outline for the story. I think of an opening line…For example this is the opening sentence of “Seed” a story about a woman desperate for a baby…

Captain Spender's wife was ovulating, and her husband was, as always, off somewhere on another "top secret military mission," to which, as ever, she was neither privy to his location or the mission's significance.

I try to imagine the main characters, what they look like, their social back ground, their personalities, how they speak. I think about settings.  I really live with my stories in my head and I am constantly trying to move them forward and develop them. The endings of my short stories are vital and I try to create an unexpected dramatic twist at the end of the story.  Each sentence is vital and I try to pack as much punch into each sentence. I try to use as much rich vocabulary as possible. I often look at a thesaurus, so I can find the perfect word to use. After I have completed the story, I often go back to it, re-read it and think of ways of improving it. 

2. Where do you get your inspiration for your work?

It can come from anywhere and at any time. It could be overhearing a conversation on the Metro…It could be watching a documentary on TV. It could be a small newspaper article. I love reading news articles about unusual people or strange events. Ideas suddenly pop into my head…I scribble them down on scraps of paper or my little black book. Sometimes it could be a character name…for example I came up with the name “Little Mite” and thought, what kind of character would be called this. So I came up with the idea of a younger sister, the younger sister bitch from Hell, who ruins her older sister’s ideal wedding opportunity, with an ill-judged prank. There is “Bugeyes” the name being an intricate part of the story, about somebody born with over-sized eyes…being the subject of ridicule and being rejected by his family, right from birth. 

3. Do you have a favorite author?

I love the work of Rupert Thomson, who wrote “Dreams of leaving” as well as other books. I met him when I was a new student at Art College and he and his writing has made a long lasting impression on me.

4. What’s your favorite line you’ve ever written?

"Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man," (it comes from my story “Opium” it is said by a gangster called Gecko to a preacher, called Preacher Moon)

5. How would you describe your writing style?

My work is very visual…lots of detail…and descriptions… It is dark fiction, but it also has strong elements of satire. I would say my work is British in character…mocking the establishment…

6. What’s your least favorite part of the writing process? 

There is nothing I particularly dislike. 

7. What’s your ultimate writing goal?

To write a book, that really lives on, long after I die…

The Forbidden One

The Forbidden One - Zaarra Khader

A sorrowful collection of stories about love, loss, and perhaps missed opportunities. I loved the tone of all the pieces and felt horribly for many of the characters. The flow of each story is well done and they all fit nicely together, even though each chapter is its own unique story. 

The tone is quite captivating throughout the entire work. It's almost mournful, despite several of the stories having happy moments. At the same time, there's hope throughout the work, as if encouraging us to continue to follow our dreams and passions down those forbidden roads. 

I definitely recommend this book if you're looking for something a little out of the ordinary. You could it all at once or read a chapter here and there. Either way you'll be given a fresh perspective on subjects that so many of us take for granted. 


Bio Information

A Media Maven, a creative thinker, independent-minded non-conformist woman who has always believed in walking my own path even if it is forbidden and now finally an Author! I am extremely humbled that my first book- The Forbidden One - got the award for the best short stories collection at the Lit – O – fest Mumbai 2015 and has received an overwhelming response by the short stories readers, the press and the book critics. Their support encouraged me to bring forth more stories of grey… and rarely a bit of white too! My first novel – It Waz Consensual happens to be a sizzling story of love, passion, heartbreaks and triumphs of a woman who with all her consent surrendered to love!  

Here’s a bit of a flashback – my life so far ….I got enticed in the profession of expressions at an early age even though I studied to be an engineer. From hosting radio shows, producing TV shows and conceptualizing events and engagement platforms – I have been in the business of entertainment, communication and sponsorship for more than a decade now. Having challenged almost everything that was preached to me, I discovered an urge to reach out to the world and cage their imagination with a few characters and tales which seem familiar yet are unknown. The beauty of being a writer is that it helps you create; it helps you give birth to a life or a character without getting pregnant, even though the pain of labour remains the same! Having said that I think I love to conceive 24 * 7!

Having written some impressive jingles for the advertising world, I followed it all with my lyrical venture on contemporary Sufism and a few online projects on music and storytelling for Indian digital media companies. At the bottom of my heart, I am in bliss when I am weaving tales that are about characters who display exemplary resilience in their highly individualistic pursuits and strike an emotional chord with my audiences – be it through my books, my debut film or even the advertising campaigns that I design.

It Waz Consensual is a woman’s journey of finding love, after having showered it all on the man she loves is when she discovers her love for self and life. It’s the story of sexciting romance between two individuals whose need to be in a relationship was completely different from each other’s. An enticing story of companionship that gets shadowed by the hunger for love, sex and ‘satta’ - it has everything that was consensual yet doesn’t turn out to be anything close to what the leading lady in the novel had consented for.


Q&A

1. What inspired you to write this book?

The whole idea of writing an anthology of short stories was to bring to light their emotional journeys of the characters in the book as they walk the Forbidden path. I thought that a few tales need to reach out to the world even if they are forbidden because end of the day, haven’t we all done something forbidden in life…

2. What’s your favorite short story included in The Forbidden One?

The time when I was researching on the Cloud burst in Rishikesh and misery of the survivors in the relief camp was something that left me disheartened, it was painful to accept that the nature’s wrath could unveil the unholy side of human existence. I feel the same when I see the people in our country ruining equations and lives because of the religious divide, religion – apparently  a way of life that gets you closer to god and his divine presence is what makes humans behave in inhumane ways! Since I feel for the social injustice and divides in our country so strongly, ‘Om Namah Shivaye’ and ‘ Rida’s Love Story’ are two stories that have a special place in my heart.

3. Was there a deciding point in your life that made you want to be an author?

To be honest, I never thought I could write so much! It is when a dear friend of mine read a few articles written by me that he insisted that I should take up writing seriously because he thought the way the characters of my stories emote makes them feel like real characters with real stories. Had it not been his motivation and persistence, I wouldn’t have walked pursued writing with as much passion as I do now.

4. Who is your favorite author?

Ayn Rand - My love for her work is unexplainable. Anthem is one of the most interesting and provocative novels of the 20th century. 

5. Can you tell us a little bit about your writing process?

Writing is the only thing I thought I would do without any process. It’s something I love doing, so I do it when I like and wherever I like. The recluse in me likes the randomness of penning down the tales that I feel for. Having said that my cup of coffee and the sound of the sea play a pivotal role in boosting my neurons with creativity!

6. How would you describe your writing style?

Emotive…Free of rules (The grammatical one’s are definitely followed!)

7. What’s your ultimate writing goal?

To write an epic, something that is remembered even when I am no more. 

Baptisms & Dogs: Stories

Baptisms & Dogs: Stories - B.L. Tucker 

I grew up reading short stories. And I'm not talking about Dr. Seuss and other children's books. I started reading Ray Bradbury at a fairly young age, and was delighted by the concept of the short story. 

One might think that they're *easier* to write than a full length novel, but I would argue that it takes a special skill set to create an entire book of short stories that flow together and don't leave the readers feeling disjointed or confused. 

B.L. Tucker accomplishes that quite well in his book Baptism & Dogs: Stories. While I have to admit that I did not fully understand what was happening in a few of the stories, that didn't make them any less enjoyable. I am grateful to books that force me to think a little bit. 

The writing is well put together and each story gets to the meat of the issue quickly, leaving out the fluff and filler that many books include. I did read most of it in one sitting, but I liked not feeling that I had to. 

Overall the conversational tone of this work is wonderful and well put together. I recommend this collection if you're looking for something a little different than your normal everyday read. 


Some Bio Information

Writing started as a result of reading. He blames it all on BookIt. It started in elementary school and proceeded to follow him into adulthood. If you recall the program, they had this amazing opportunity to offer a free personal pan pizza from Pizza Hut each week, just by adding more books to your "read" list. He read and read and read all for that elusive...pepperoni pizza. His mom loved that he read so much, but she also grew tired of taking him to Pizza Hut. To this day, he can't visit "the hut" without thinking about books! As a result of all that reading (and pizza), came the desire to put words onto the page. 

Brian has been fortunate enough to be published in "The Story Shack" (Fall 2014) along with other fine print (and online) journals from 2010-present. In June 2014, he had his first collection of short stories published, titled: "Baptisms & Dogs: Stories," and it's currently available in print (and Kindle form) on Amazon. It was a 2012 Finalist for the Linda Bruckheimer Series in Kentucky Literature competition.

Follow Brian on Twitter: @TheBrianTucker 
Like his page on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/BLTuckerbook 
Check out his blog at: www.BrianLTucker.com   


 Q&A

1.    Tell us a little bit about the process of writing this book. 

This collection, Baptisms & Dogs: Stories, is the formation of MFA program requirements (Write! Write! Write!) and the desire to write about a fictional region that embraces the “down and out” personalities rather than simply tossing them aside.

2.    Who is your favorite author? 

Charles Portis is way up on my list. So is Larry Brown and Harriette Simpson Arnow. She’s actually from my hometown of Monticello, KY. (I want to write something about ½ as special as The Dollmaker was for the literary canon.) 

3.    Where do you draw your inspiration? 

Place obviously has a lot to do with it. I tell people I have the strongest sense of place imaginable, because I grew up in southeastern Kentucky. The people are real. Their honesty and commitment is real. I couldn’t be luckier, when it comes to having great inspiration. Storytelling makes the region even better, if that’s possible. Everyone I know tells a pretty good story at home!

4.    What is your favorite story in this collection? 

Humor is something I want to develop in my writing. This collection boasts some of that, and I’m sure it was over-the-top in places. I love being able to write about humorous moments in a person’s day-to-day environment. Maybe it’s the copier not working. Maybe the pizza delivery person walks fifteen times around the building before asking for help. There is humor in the everydayness of life. For these reasons, I enjoyed writing about the “slice of life” moments that characters’ exemplified. If I had to pick a favorite, it would probably be The Coke Man’s Trip. It’s humorous in a very dark, rushed moment, and somehow, even that moment allows a laugh to reach the surface. 

5.    What made you want to become an author? 

In some ways, I don’t feel I had a choice. I love reading stories. As a result, I think about my own. They just kind of rattle around. But, I only put some on paper, when I’m forced to. The MFA program I mentioned earlier (Bluegrass Writers Studio) helped me with that a lot. Consistently, I’d be sitting in a hotel room for work, and my online course would meet at night, and I’d chime in online, and I was required to have NEW work to present each week. Without that pressure, I might not have written these regionally-based tales. (And once again, I write because Harriette Simpson Arnow wrote The Dollmaker.)

6.    What is your least favorite part of the writing process?

For me, it’s the isolation. Writing is uncomfortable for me. There’s a keyboard, and I wrestle with it. I’d rather be talking to someone. Yes. I’m the awkward, extroverted writer. Rare and painstakingly annoying at writing conferences. ISOLATION is not my friend.

7. What’s your ultimate writing goal? 

My novel is the ultimate goal this year: 2015. I’m on the 5th revision of a Young Adult—Middle Adult action/adventure tale. It’s my first novel. It needs editing still, and I’m nervous, because it doesn’t quite fit into a neatly-labeled genre. (This story is religious fiction with a male teen protagonist.) Once this one finds a home, my ultimate writing goal will inevitably change. I’d love to write a memoir. [Call it literary restlessness, but I promise I’m not out to intentionally write in every genre.] Going back to that strong sense of place, I really would like to tell a much more intimate story about self, place, and purpose. We shall see…

The Guest

The Guest - Suneetha Balakrishnan

It's difficult to read a book from a different perspective than you're used to. 

That being said, I think it's important that we all do so. It creates an understanding and empathy that would otherwise be difficult to naturally develop. 

Suneetha gives three new perspectives from a situation that is very different from any experience I've ever had. There's a wife and her mother-in-law who have formed a complete family unit despite the husband/son's lack of participation. 

By looking out through each set of eyes at various points throughout the book, we're given the ability to see each unique perspective, and how easy it is to form judgments when there's a lack of communication. 

I really enjoyed the progression of the story. I had no idea where the plot was leading me, but I knew that I was missing an important piece of information. With each chapter, I felt as though a little bit more was revealed, but it wasn't until the grand finale that the author really brought the entire piece together. 

Despite the husband's inaction throughout the book, it was heartwarming to see his wife and mother respond with nothing but love for him at the end of the piece. This is what being a family truly means. 


Some Bio Information

Suneetha Balakrishnan is an independent journalist, writer, and bi-lingual translator. She lives and works from her home in Trivandrum, India.


Q&A

1. What inspired you to become a writer?

I started reading quite young and was bi-lingual too, there is still nothing else that matters to me as much as words and the stories built with them. I guess one reads, reads and reads and then somewhere along the road decides one cannot but write. This happened with me too. 

2.  Which character do you most identify with? 

Characters? I WOULD like to be Elizabeth Bennet, Scarlett O'Hara and Sathyabati ( Main protagonist of Prothomprothishruti by Indian writer Asha Poorna Devi) as also Phantom, Spiderman and Sri Krishna. But I have always been Alice perpetually in Wonderland. :)

3. Describe the perfect writing environment. 

I write best on the desktop monitor, with the TV blaring in the next room, someone speaking on the phone outside the window, a deadline looming and my cribbing away at all this. But it has to happen in my home, me wearing an old housecoat, at my writing corner which is always untidy & full of clutter, and with a bowl full of snacks at an arm's reach. That's writing heaven. 

4. Who inspires you? 

Fast writers, prolific writers and writers who give us interesting plot lines are my inspiration. Names I would mention are Enid Blyton, Elinor M Brent-Dyer, Nevil Shute, A.J. Cronin, Agatha Christie, Daphne du Maurier, Jane Austen, Colleen McCullough, Hemingway... well, there are many many more writers who write diverse genres...I grew up reading all of them and they continue to inspire me.

5. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? (or have you already been there?)

Yes, there is a place which I long to go to and have not located yet. Since childhood, I have this recurring dream of an island in the middle of the sea, a sea where the shores are calm and there are waves in the middle, and its a brilliant blue...I am sure I am going to dream of this place again tonight. Otherwise places don't matter much to me, only people do.

6. Can you tell me a little bit about your writing process? 

I don't start writing easily, but once its on, I like to just forget everything and write on without a care. I have tried hard to be disciplined, and achieved it almost in my work-writing. My writing-writing is still a process which initiates itself without my consent. 

7. What are your future writing dreams/goals? 

The Guest is my Amazon debut. My next novel Jaldimatrimony.com is up for pre-order on Amazon and releasing March 31, 2015. It is a satiric romp through the 'methods of matrimony' of a society that promises to leap into modernity, yet restrains itself within the chains of conservatism. A third novella Gandhi Colony, a social story placed in small-town India is being readied. A few other stories are plotted and ready to be fleshed out. I hope to put them all out soon, and only as ebooks. These are in the upmarket genre.

Other than this, I write literary fiction and short stories usually, which have won a few awards here and there. I am looking to compile these into a print anthology with a traditional publisher. 

I am also a journalist and bi-lingual translator and have published 5 books in translation in 2 languages, including the Malayalam translation of Jhumpa Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies. This year I am on a reading spree and posting a blog 'Reading Across India' introducing Indian Literature in various languages to the world reader. I hope to read one book from every Indian language this year.