Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Stacking the Shelves | March 2015

It's the end of the month, you know what that means! Another Stacking the Shelves!

I've been in a major reading slump this week, however I have gained a few books. I gained four physical books and two ebooks, and I've actually read 4 of them, so my TBR hasn't grown by that much!

1. Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay 

My school was actually giving away free copies of this book for a discussion. So of course I took the book, but unfortunately I wasn't able to attend the discussion. This is actually, probably, the first nonfiction book I read voluntarily and I really really enjoyed it. I love hearing about other people's views and arguing for my own beliefs so it was really an interesting read. 

2. Soaring Through Stars by Rajdeep Paulus 

Unfortunately I don't have a cover to show you guys, but I will be doing a cover reveal later in the month, so stay tuned for that. This is the third book in Paulus's Swimming Through Clouds series and it was also featured in my 2015 Most Anticipated Releases. It was a fantastic opportunity to be able to get to read this book early and help promote it. I definitely recommend Swimming Through Clouds, it was an absolutely fantastic read. I'll link my reviews to the first two books down below

3. Fairest by Marissa Meyer 

If you've seen my Stacking the Shelves post last month, you know that I've been obsessed with this series, so of course I had to get this little novella. (Btw my reviews of the Lunar Chronicles still haven't gone up but I promise they will). My entire reasoning behind this purchase was to get to read the little sneak peek of Winter at the end so I could get some Kaider action...of course my version didn't have that one chapter. 

This book was actually gifted to me by a couple friends (I'm really hoping there was no secret meaning behind it). I've grown kind of an obsession for Mindy Kaling. She's funny, she's quirky and it's honestly so great to read about. Everything about her life is interesting. This book inspired me to watch her show: The Mindy Project, and it's fantastic. I really enjoyed this book. 

5. From the Ashes by Shelby Morrison

This book was sent to be by the author in order to debut for its release on May 3rd! It's a YA fantasy novel, that's about all I know about it, but look at that cover! It's gorgeous! I'm so exciting to read this beautiful book!

6. Everything About You- Moriah McStay

I actually just got this book today from my library to read and review. The premise sounds really interesting, has aspects of parallel universes in it, which I love. I'm really excited to dive into this book as well!

What books have you guys added to your bookshelves this month? Both physical and electronic? Let me know in the comments below! 

Tuesday Talks | Manga/Comic Books

Welcome to yet another post of Tuesday Talks! Tuesday Talks is a Goodreads group started by Janie and Janelle where we discuss book related topics every week. Today's discussion is on manga/comic books.

I will say that I don't really read comic books/manga. So many of my friends have been obsessed with it and have heavily encouraged me to try it, but I don't love it as much as I love the traditional book. That being said, I don't think of it as not reading, but I don't believe it's to the same level as a novel.

A comic book is equivalent to a picture book, I would say. There's nothing wrong with reading it, but I don't think an author can introduce the same depth of theme and problem in these comic books as they can in a novel. I don't read comic books very often, so I could be heavily misunderstood, but from my understanding of comics, the words and picture don't stimulate the brain as much as a book does.

Frequently I'll read a book and just think about it for days, as I did with Hunger Games. I'll think about the themes of debt and rebellion and how that ties in with our society. I just don't think a comic book of the Hunger Games would have the same effect.

What do you guys think? Are comic books considered reading? Let me know in the comments below! 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Free For All Fridays | College Decisions

Ok I know it's Saturday, but I wanted to post this yesterday and I didn't have time to, so it's Free For All Friday on Saturday!

Welcome to another post of Free For All Friday, today we're going to be discussing college decisions. If you're not one of the many seniors going through the arduous process of college application, let me give you the low down. This week is basically the week of death, AKA the week that college decisions come out. Many of them have already been released, however a few major ones are left (All of the Ivy Leagues).

I have applied to a total of seventeen schools. I know that seems like a lot but most of these applications have stemmed from paranoia, paranoia that is completely justified. All my life people have led me to believe that with the right GPA and the right test scores and the right amount of extracurriculars I would get into any college I wanted to, from Harvard to Hopkins. Let me first rid you of this belief: no amount of hard-work and motivation can guarantee you a spot in your dream school.

College admissions is a combination of chance and statistics. As education is increasingly becoming a business, colleges are adjusting their acceptances in order to maximize their profit. For example, one college I applied to (whose name I will not disclose) wait-listed me. This college isn't particularly hard to get into, especially not for someone with my stats (straight A student, good SAT score, yada yada yada). However the number of accepted students that actually end up attending is fairly low, so in order to increase that number they accepted students more likely to attend rather than those actually qualified.

Other colleges don't offer acceptances based on needs (though they might say they are need-blind). Essentially college admissions is a coin toss, if you get lucky that's great, but if you don't that doesn't say anything about you. It doesn't mean you're a bad student or you don't deserve that college. It simply means that the cards were not in your favor, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Anyone who's going through this process: good luck and remember, admissions isn't everything. You can still do everything from a lesser-known school: medical school, graduate school, everything. You can still get to where you want to go, I promise.

Share some stories in the comments below! Have you had any bad experiences with college admissions? I want to hear about them! Let's bond over our experiences. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Words With an Author | Kim Cormack

Today's Words With an Author features Kim Cormack, author of the Children of Ankh series! 

   1. How did you get into writing? When did you first start writing?

   I’ve been writing since I was a teenager. Most of the time it was songs, or poetry and it progressed to children’s books, and then to this series. I started writing the children’s books because of a dream and I changed genres the same way.

   2. Where did you come up with the idea for The Children of Ankh series? Who/ what is your inspiration?

    “Sweet Sleep” was inspired by a nightmare. The nightmare began at the front door that wasn’t closed, swaying in the evening breeze and I woke up after the creepy song.” After that first nightmare the series sort of evolved by itself. I’ve always been fascinated by ancient symbolism. This series is about the journey of life, and what comes after. It’s about standing back up each time you fall. This series had a great deal of violence, but it serves a far greater purpose. It’s about the evolution of a soul.

   3. Are any of your characters based on people you actually know, if so which ones? 

    Some of the relationships in this series mirror ones I’ve had in the past. I’d say there’s a little bit of my essence in some of the main female characters.
   The friendships are quite close to my own, minus the murder and violence, of course. In real life my friends and I only plot our murder sprees over a glass of red wine and in jest. Nobody has ever gone through with it, that I’m aware of… I’ve never been contacted to hide a body.

   4. Have you written anything before The Children of Ankh series?

    I used to write children’s books. That answer will be totally hilarious once you’ve read the series.

   5. If you had to pick only five books from your bookshelf you could keep, what would they be? 

   I’m going to go full geek and full series on my book choices. How can you pick just one from these series?
   The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring… J.R.R Tolkien is amazing.
   The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe By C.S. Lewis
   The full Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.
   Those books would keep me busy for a while.

   6. Who is your favorite character from any book and why?

   I’m off in my own little world with my characters; they’re like real in my heart. I’ve fallen in love with them. For me it’s a toss-up between Kayn and Lexy in the Children of Ankh series.

   7. How long did the writing process take for The Children of Ankh series? From conception of the story to final publication?

   The first book in the series took around three years to complete and find a publisher. “Enlightenment,” is coming out this month. “Enlightenment,” being book two in the series. I have a side series beginning in a few months. It revolves around Lexy’s character. Book three in The Children of Ankh series is scheduled to be released before the end of this year. 

   8. Who are some of your favorite authors?

   J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S Lewis. J.K. Rowling, and Stephen King.

   9. What actors/ actresses could you see playing the characters of your book?

   I think mine would have to be all unknown actors.

   10. How did you come up with the title and cover of The Children of Ankh series? Did they morph as you wrote the book, or were they constant?

   Oh, I have so many things planned for this series. I originally queried six books. Everything has changed now. I have a side series starting, and could probably carry on with the Children of Ankh series for quite a long time.

   11.  Are you planning to write any other books?

    I have a couple of books in the works that aren’t related to this series.  Sometimes, I need a change of scenery in my brain. I’ve got a lot planned for this year, but if I get motivated to finish them, I may find the time to release, “Bring out your Dead.” The other one is called, “The Repopulation Project.”

   12. What would your advice be to someone who's aspiring to be a writer?

   I’d say keep writing, but keep living your life because that’s where your material is going to come from. It’s a long road, but it’s worth it.

   13. Finally, just to wrap things up, what's your favorite color and why?

   Yellow, makes me feel peaceful. It’s always had a calming effect on me. I have no idea why that is...

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Tuesday Talks | Audiobooks

It's Tuesday again; time for another Tuesday Talks! Tuesday Talks is a Goodreads group hosted by Jamie and Janelle where we discuss book-related topics every week. Today's discussion is on audiobooks.

Personally I am a fan of audiobooks. They're really convenient when I'm not in the position to read (if my head hurts, I'm driving, etc.) I think it is definitely considered reading since either way we get a story. It's great for multitasking and a great way for "nonreaders" to get involved in the literary world.

Though audiobooks have a lot of pros, they also have a lot of cons. One of the biggest ones is my attention span, or lack of. I'm not as much of an auditory learner as I am a visual one and while an audiobook is playing I frequently zone out and start thinking about random things from homework to life and end up missing a chunk of the book, which isn't really effective. Another thing I don't love about audiobooks is how slow the speakers of the book typically read. Audiobooks can take upwards of ten hours to finish but reading the same book would take me much less time. It's just more efficient for me to read a book than to listen to one.

What do you guys think! Do you think audiobooks are considered as "real" reading? Let me know in the comments below! 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Free For All Friday | Writing Classes

Welcome to the first post of Friday Free For All, a weekly discussion where I pick a random topic to discuss on my blog! 

Today's discussion is going to be focused on writing classes. 

I've taken quite a few writing classes and as a result have written many papers, research papers, "feely" papers, prompt papers, etc. But the subjectivity of a writing class really deters me from loving the subject. 

Are papers graded on content? On grammar? On whether the teacher likes you or not? If I get an A, is it because my paper is actually good or it because the teacher just likes me enough to push my grade up to an A. Consequently, if I get a B, was my content bad or did the teacher just not accept and agree with my opinions. 

Honestly, this is one of the reasons I prefer subjects like math and science. There is one answer, and you're either right or wrong. There not that much room for subjectivity.

Last year, I had an English teacher whose grading system was incredibly confusing. Upon returning our papers, she's make comments about how fantastic our writing was and then we would be presented with a B. If my writing was fantastic, why didn't I get an A? Within the paper, there would be no commentary on any objective things I could improve: grammar, sentence structure, content, etc. That leads me to believe she just didn't agree with my topic, which is mildly annoying. 

I love writing, but the fact that someone else should judge my writing and grade it based on their subjectivity is mildly annoying. 

Do you guys experience the same things with your writing teachers, or is it just me? Let me know in the comments below! 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Walking Fish | Kopel & Rachelle Burk

A humorous, exciting tale of an ordinary girl who makes an extraordinary scientific discovery—a blind fish that walks

When seventh-grader Alexis catches an unusual fish that looks like a living fossil, she sets off a frenzied scientific hunt for more of its kind. Alexis and her friend Darshan join the hunt, snorkeling, sounding the depths of Glacial Lake, even observing from a helicopter and exploring a cave. All the while, they fight to keep the selfish Dr. Mertz from claiming the discovery all for himself. When Alexis follows one final hunch, she risks her life and almost loses her friend. Walking Fish is a scientific adventure that provides a perfect combination of literacy and science.

Another first in my experimentations of other genres, and once again I was simultaneously surprised and impressed. I was ready to critique it as a middle-grade, not exactly comprehending what exactly that meant, but I went into it expecting a "middle grade read", something I, understandably, would not enjoy. However, it surpassed my expectations. I enjoyed the characters, the plot, the setting. It was a fantastic mix of creative and realistic. 

The protagonist Alexis has so much determination and perseverance, a quality that is incredibly inspirational to younger children. This is definitely a book I would recommend as a cute, young read either for yourself or a younger sibling/child. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Tuesday Talks | Picking a Book

Welcome back to another blogisode of Tuesday Talks, a Goodreads group started by Janie and Janelle. This week's topic is how we pick the books we read. 

For a long time I tried to objectively pick books based on what I needed to read. Books I needed to review and books I read for fun would pile up and I would frequently alternate them, pushing the deadline books to the top of the list. 

At one point, since it was a trend on BookTube, I even created a TBR jar in which I put the names of all the books I haven't read and vowed to pick a book out of it every month and read it with the goal of reducing the number of TBR books on my shelfs. Unfortunately that idea died as soon as I found that effort was required in keeping my TBR jar up to date. 

All in all, though I try to set up a TBR, although I try to outline the books I want to read, it rarely ends up panning through. Usually something else will catch my eye and interest me and I'll end up picking it up and reading that instead. My books are usually picked off of a whim, usually answered by the question "what do I feel like reading today?" 

How do you guys pick your TBR pile? Or are you spontaneous like me? Let me know in the comments below! 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold | Iain Reading

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is the thrilling first installment in a new series of adventure mystery stories that are one part travel, one part history and five parts adventure. This first book of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series introduces Kitty Hawk, an intrepid teenage pilot with her own De Havilland Beaver seaplane and a nose for mystery and intrigue. A cross between Amelia Earhart, Nancy Drew and Pippi Longstocking, Kitty is a quirky young heroine with boundless curiosity and a knack for getting herself into all kinds of precarious situations.

After leaving her home in the western Canadian fishing village of Tofino to spend the summer in Alaska studying humpback whales Kitty finds herself caught up in an unforgettable adventure involving stolen gold, devious criminals, ghostly shipwrecks, and bone-chilling curses. Kitty's adventure begins with the lingering mystery of a sunken ship called the Clara Nevada and as the plot continues to unfold this spirited story will have armchair explorers and amateur detectives alike anxiously following every twist and turn as they are swept along through the history of the Klondike Gold Rush to a suspenseful final climatic chase across the rugged terrain of Canada's Yukon, the harsh land made famous in the stories and poems of such writers as Jack London, Robert Service and Pierre Berton. It is a riveting tale that brings to glorious life the landscape and history of Alaska's inside passage and Canada's Yukon, as Kitty is caught up in an epic mystery set against the backdrop of the scenery of the Klondike Gold Rush.

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is a perfect book to fire the imagination of readers of all ages. Filled with fascinating and highly Google-able locations and history this book will inspire anyone to learn and experience more for themselves as Kitty prepares for her next adventure - flying around the world!

I will admit, I am pleasantly surprised by this book. Prior to accepting it for review, I was slightly skeptical. The cover, the protagonist's name, everything about it just screamed "middle-grade" (something I hadn't tried, and, at the moment, didn't want to try), but the words "Yukon Gold" caught my eye and I began reading it. 

Over the summer, my family and I had travelled to Alaska, and I found it incredibly interesting to see the same scenes I've experienced manifested into a book. As Kitty travels throughout Alaska, to cities like Haines, Juneau, and Dyea, I find myself comparing my adventures with hers, reliving my vacation.

The plot itself was also quite interesting, though it could have been better spread out throughout the book. I felt as though the first half was relatively uneventful, while the second half was jam packed with the majority of the plot. The reader isn't even introduced to "the curse" until at least three-fourths of the way into the book. But I absolutely loved the bits and pieces of real history Iain intertwined into his plot, from the ghost town of Dyea to the sinking of the Clara Nevada.

For me, the biggest surprise was Kitty Hawk. The idea of a seventeen-year old named Kitty flying to Alaska by herself seemed somewhat ludicrous to me, but I really enjoyed her as a character. She had very realistic characteristics and a likable personality. While I'm still skeptical of her parents' decision of letting her fly alone, I think Iain did a very good job of making the entire situation seem realistic. 

Overall, I really enjoyed this book, but I would definitely recommend it to a slightly younger audience, though there's nothing preventing anyone from enjoying this adventurous novel.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Girl Online | Zoe Sugg

I had no idea GirlOnline would take off the way it has - I can't believe I now have 5432 followers, thanks so much! - and the thought of opening up to you all about this is terrifying, but here goes...

Penny has a secret.

Under the alias GirlOnline, she blogs about school dramas, boys, her mad, whirlwind family - and the panic attacks she's suffered from lately. When things go from bad to worse, her family whisks her away to New York, where she meets the gorgeous, guitar-strumming Noah. Suddenly Penny is falling in love - and capturing every moment of it on her blog.

But Noah has a secret too. One that threatens to ruin Penny's cover - and her closest friendship - forever.

Before I even begin to discuss the book and how conflicted I am, I want to spend a little time talking about the author and the "scandal" that surrounded this book. Apparently, Zoella, YouTube beauty vlogger, decided to write and publish a book, a YA fiction book at that, and with over a million subscribers, she did just that. Girl Online has had record sales in its first week, comparable to those of Harry Potter, but of course there's a catch. This book was ghostwritten, meaning that while Zoe might have had the idea, there was a person (or a group of people) behind the scenes actually putting the words together. To be quite honest, I didn't know ghost writing was a frequented route for many authors, but it only makes sense when so many celebrities have their own book. I admit, I was hesitant to read her book. The plot seemed uninteresting, and the fact that Zoe didn't write the book herself yet took credit anyways is oddly unnerving. 

I will also admit that after reading this book I am pleasantly surprised. I think this would make a good coming of age book for girls between the ages of 11 and 15, anyone younger may not understand the "coming of age" aspect of this book, and anyone older might see through the plot and characters, finding the glaring gaps between the story and reality.

Even as I type this, I'm still conflicted about how I feel. Whilst I read it, emotions of giddiness and adorableness bubbled up inside me, due to the romance BUT the sharp deviations from reality really brought the book down for me. Do I recommend it? I have no idea. It's definitely not a bad read, but the lack of realism may be a turn off for some people.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Tuesday Talks | Free Books for Review

Good evening everyone and welcome back to another blogisode of Tuesday Talks, a Goodreads group started by Janie and Janelle. This week's topic is whether authors should provide a free copy of the book they want reviewed.

I think that, without a doubt, authors should provide a free copy of a book with a request for a review. An author should be open to sharing their work in order to spread it, that's how most books tend to get an audience anyways.

However I do think that if an author provided the first book of a series for review, they are not obligated to provide the rest of the series. Of course, it is ideal and preferable for the reviewer if they do, however they are by no means obligated.

I completely understand if an author is unable to give a free copy of his/her book, but I also think they will get less traffic. As a reviewer, I'm more inclined to read and review books that are given to me, specifically paperback/hardcover copies of books, but of course that is expensive and not reasonable for me to expect.

What do you guys think? Do you think authors are required to provide free copies of books to review? Let me know in the comments below! 

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Five Point Someone | Chetan Bhagat

Five Point Someone is a story about three friends in IIT who are unable to cope. 

The book starts with a disclaimer, “This is not a book to teach you how to get into IIT or even how to live in college. In fact, it describes how screwed up things can get if you don’t think straight.” 
Three hostelmates – Alok, Hari and Ryan get off to a bad start in IIT – they screw up the first class quiz. And while they try to make amends, things only get worse. It takes them a while to realize: If you try and screw with the IIT system, it comes back to double screw you. 

Before they know it, they are at the lowest echelons of IIT society. They have a five-point-something GPA out of ten, ranking near the end of their class. This GPA is a tattoo that will remain with them, and come in the way of anything else that matters – their friendship, their future, their love life. While the world expects IITians to conquer the world, these guys are struggling to survive. 

Will they make it? Do under performers have a right to live? Can they show that they are not just a five-point-somebody but a five-point-someone?

If you're Indian, odds are you've seen the ever famous movie 3 Idiots starring Aamir Khan, and even if you're not Indian it's still possible that you've seen it. This book was the inspiration for that movie. Generally I believe that the book is ALWAYS better than the movie, but in this case, having read Chetan Bhagat's book Half-Girlfriend, I wasn't expecting much from this book, and this book just barely made my expectations. 

While this was immensely better than Half-Girlfriend, it was by no means an extraordinary read. Personally I enjoyed the movie more, which if you haven't seen I highly recommend, even if you don't speak Hindi (that's what subtitles are for). In this book, the plot, the characters and the romance were fairly bland, but I loved how the problems of the Indian education system were showcased, both in the book and the movie.

The one thing that really bothered me about this book was the romance. Hari would constantly disregard Neha, the protagonist's love interest, as "all girls". Whenever Neha was do something even mildly confusing, Hari would say/think something like "Why do girls do this?" and he simply kept grouping Neha with every other girl, which I just found really annoying. 

Overall, this was a pretty mediocre book. I didn't feel myself falling in love with any of the characters, nor did I especially love the plot or the setting, but I didn't hate it like I did in Half-Girlfriend. Though I don't necessarily recommend this book to everyone, I do highly recommend the movie, which does a fantastic job of integrating serious issues and humor. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Words With an Author | Laxmi Hariharan

Today I've had the opportunity to interview Laxmi Hariharan, author of The Many Lives of Ruby Iyer!

1. How did you get into writing? When did you first start writing?

I’ve been writing since I was five. So I always knew this was natural for me, to write a book. Interestingly it was always writing a book – not make a movie or become a photographer, though I am heavily influenced by the moving image. So I tend to write in a very cinematic fashion.

2. Where did you come up with the ideas for your books? Who/ what is your inspiration?

With my first book The Destiny of Shaitan… it was born because I was living on my own in Hong Kong – a very futuristic, confused city that set the tone. Living in an unknown city forces you out to make friends and seek out people you wouldn’t have normally. And Hong Kong was very much the place where many misfits, who didn’t belong anywhere else in the world, landed up. A series of strange such encountered inspired the characters in the novel. With, The Many Lives of Ruby Iyer… Ruby emerged full blown on the scene. She was someone born of the rage and helplessness I felt about being a girl growing up in Bombay. About having to rebel against society almost every day to assert my individuality. And not least of all that dreaded commute to work by local train, where I had to fight through the crowds, and definitely be felt up by almost every other man crossing my path. I was helpless, Rub is not.

 3. Are any of your characters based on people you actually know, if so which ones?

No character is based on a single person I have met. But yes like many authors I suffer from over attentive disorder. I pick up details in my environment subconsciously. So gestures, styles of dressings, eccentric mannerisms, interesting life-stories… I borrow from it all. Many of my characters are an amalgamation of the interesting dimensions I come across in other people. Sometimes it's something some says, a random remark can spark off a new trait in a character.

4. If you had to pick only five books from your bookshelf you could keep, what would they be?

I am going to pick four:
The Ground Beneath Her Feet: Salman Rushdie. Lyrical, poetic, beautiful and complicated. This book is like an ideal woman. Mysterious yet seductive.
Fire & Ice: The Game of Thrones series. I simply admire GRR Martin’s audacity in the world he created and how he can simply kill of his characters once they have served their purpose… or do any of these characters even have a purpose. Does one have to have a purpose in fiction or in real life for that matter?
Angelfall by Susan Ee: You are probably surprised by this. But I pick this as a reminder that for an author you never know which storyline or character is going to catch the reader’s fancy. That there is a thin knife edge between obscurity and being discovered. I see this as a symbol of hope for myself. To keep me going in the dark mornings when I force myself to go out into the world to play a part that is more and more alien to me (i.e. my day job) but which I need to inhabit in order to keep my writing going.
An Equal Music by Vikram Seth: Poetic, lyrical, simple yet complex. A canvas of explosive energy simmering under the surface just waiting to be unleashed. It captures London beautifully

5. Who is your favorite character from any book and why?

Would I be too egoistical if I picked Ruby Iyer? She is a real person for me. I am fascinated by the confusion inside her. That she feels everything so intensely. That she often does the stuff she really doesn’t want to do, all the time knowing she shouldn’t do it… But she does it anyway. At other times she manages to follow her instincts, and pays the price for it too.

6. How long did the writing process take for each of your books?

My first novel took my nine years, my second nine months, and since on an average I complete a book a year. I don’t necessarily publish all of them.  I realize I prefer to write quickly, while the energy is still new and flowing. With Ruby Iyer, it’s a compulsion. I wrote the prequel novella, The Ruby Iyer Diaries as well as The Many Lives of Ruby Iyer in nine months. Right now I am writing the Second Life of Ruby Iyer, the sequel as well as Vikram’s story as a novella. Vikram is another character who fascinates me. An Oxford educated cop who gave it all up to join the police force. How intriguing.

7. Who are some of your favorite authors?

Salman Rushdie and GRR Martin

8. What actors/ actresses could you see playing the characters of your book?

This is a tough one. For Ruby Iyer it has to be a complete unknown. Someone who is fresh, fragile yet tough. Akshara Haasan has always been a potential consideration for me for Ruby. She seems to have that Fuck You attitude that is so important for Ruby. For Vikram Roy … I haven’t found the actor yet. I need an Indian actor, who is young on the outside but an old soul inside. Who is well built without being macho. Who is brooding yet vulnerable? No haven’t found him yet.

9. How did you come up with the title and cover of each of your books? Did they morph as you wrote the book, or were they constant?

The best titles are the ones which manifest organically. With Ruby that’s the way it has been… As I write at some point the themes and strands I am weaving with become clear. And the title is something which gives you an instant feel for the emotion of the book. With the cover for the Many Lives of Ruby Iyer… I kept looking till I found this picture that my friend Pooja Vir had shot of her younger sister, with the Bombay skyline in the backdrop. So it was so authentic… shot in an iconic area of Bombay which was very important. And capturing that flush of adolescence, when you want to say Fuck You to the world, for really all you can think is about yourself and your inner turmoil. As soon as I saw the picture I knew I wanted it for the cover for Ruby.

10. Are you planning to write any other books?

Right now it’s the Second Life of Ruby Iyer and Vikram’s novella.

11. What would your advice be to someone who's aspiring to be a writer?

I think you just have to keep doing it. Wake up in the morning and write. At the end of the day ask yourself how much you have written. At the end of the week, the month, the year… ask yourself did you persevere? There’s no short cut. You just have to continuously do it… stick to your red thread… if indeed writing is the red thread to your life.

12. Finally, just to wrap things up, what's your favorite color and why?

 Purple – It’s regal, intense, deep, and mysterious yet has the power to draw you in. It has many shades to it depending on which angle you look at it from.