5 Fears of a Self-Publishing Virgin

These are both exciting and scary times for those within the publishing industry. By all accounts, writers have it made. As I pointed out in one of my earlier posts, it does seem like it’s a good time to be a writer. Not only with blogs and social media giving you instant gratification in terms […]

The Puzzle of the Indian Bestseller

Have you recently walked into any bookstore in India and found yourself gobsmacked by the sheer number of ‘bestsellers’ on the racks? The next time you find yourself in the ‘Indian Fiction’ section of your local book shop, conduct this little experiment. Pull out books at random and keep a score of bestsellers versus non-bestsellers. […]

4 Science Fiction books I wish I had written

Have you ever liked a book so much that on finishing it, the first thing you do is turn back to Page One so that you could devour it all over again? I sure have. More than admiration, when I read these books I burned with envy. Envy for the author’s power to blow away […]

If you could write just one book, what would it be about?

Come, let’s dream a little. We all – especially those of us who are active bloggers – have a book inside us. We harbour dreams of one day finishing it, of perhaps even publishing it. Some of us are working on it, most of us are just thinking about it. But very few of us […]

5 men who wrote under female pseudonyms

I documented my pseudonym-related dilemma a few days ago. Since then, I’ve been using my free time (and some writing time, shamefully enough) to go hunting for cool pseudonyms on the internet. I found the regular suspects, of course: the Bronte sisters writing under the name ‘Bell’, Mary Ann Evans as George Eliot, Stephen King […]

5 confessions of a (successful) freelance writer

Live the dream. Follow your passion. Do what you love and you will never work a day in your life. We’ve seen these sentences before. On Facebook walls and internet blogs in recent years, the ‘follow your passion’ mantra has become overbearingly present wherever you look. People ‘stuck’ in a job are forever made to […]

5 pieces of wisdom from Ray Bradbury on writing and life

I’ve read many books on writing by great authors, and have benefited from many of them. But none have inspired me more than the books of Ray Bradbury. Today I am listing out five pieces of advice that I’ve gleaned out of his writings and incorporated into my own life – both professional and personal. […]

Would you write under a pseudonym?

A few weeks ago, I was sitting across the table from my editor at HarperCollins India. After the usual pleasantries were dispensed with, she got down to business. Among other things, she said that I have to get a pseudonym. That puzzled me. I’d always thought that pseudonyms were taken on by authors who are […]

The ‘who cares’ voice

There’s a little voice in my head that keeps going ‘WHO CARES?’ once every second sentence. I put it in capitals because it doesn’t whisper it. It pulls its hair out and yells it good and proper. It does so every time I indulge in what I call ‘vanity-scribblings’: writing a blog, filling out an […]

Week 6: The Writing Begins

From Week 6 through to Week 16, the brief is simple. Write, write, write. From now on you should set yourself a daily word target (I suggest at least 750 words). Like the daily time allocation this also doesn’t ‘add up’, so if you do 1500 words one day, you don’t get a free pass […]