Know your Author: Suhasini Kirloskar

suhasini kirloskarIn conversation with Suhasini Kirloskar.  She has rolled out world’s first story to unfold entirely on Facebook. Experience it at www.facebook.com/ItsComplicatedOnlineFiction. Feel free to ‘Like’ her page.

ReadMyStori (RMS) caught up with Suhasini to understand her concept behind the story and how she plans to reach out to a wider readership.

RMS: What inspired you to write a book? and why in this format i.e. snippets on Facebook?

Suhasini: I’m fascinated by the emerging trends in media consumption among young audiences. My observations led me to believe that current and future generations are opting less and less for print books for their need for stories or entertainment. In fact, the nature of content on our TV channels has led them to move away from TV as well.

So where are they getting their stories from (as I believe we all love stories)? I came to the conclusion that people are consuming them from posts – on Facebook, WhatsApp and other tech platforms that their friends use. Here they find stories, humour, videos, inspiration and photos.

So I thought that it’s time fiction was also served on such as platform, and Facebook was my choice for a number of reasons. I initially thought about it as an experiment in creative writing plus social media. I decided to write the first story that unfolds entirely as Facebook posts. I searched and searched, but it hasn’t been done before.

The format is unique – it includes text, of course, but also photos, screenshots of WhatsApp messages, and we will soon have a song and a video. This is just the way in which we read posts on social media. I believe this is a new and enriched phase in fiction. 

I now know this has worked well – the readers love it!

RMS: Any social message you are trying to pass on? If not, what is the theme of your Novel / Book? 

Suhasini: The theme is love and relationships in the current social context. I feel that there are many questions that young people are grappling with. The story is a way to share some of these questions, and discuss, while not offering any set answers. Some of the themes in the story are:

  • The dilemma between ‘settling down’ and pursuing ambition.its complicated
  • Inter-religious love
  • Whether marriage is still the goal for young people
  • These are just a few of the things that we come across in ‘It’s Complicated’.

RMS: Are you planning on writing another book? If yes, please share some insights?

Suhasini: Yes, I’m looking for ways to make this an economically self sustaining activity, possibly with some subtle brand placement, for example. If that works out, I am looking to publish another book, and considering co-authoring one with another writer. The theme would have some crime and a lot of humor and adventure. However, it would cost – to organize the photoshoots, models etc. So we have to see how we can do it.

RMS: What is the kind of reader base you are trying to reach? Is there a Foreword which would give potential reader a base to settle with?

Suhasini: For ‘It’s Complicated’, I am targeting the 18-25 age group in India, who read in English. My current reader profile, of almost 8000 readers, matches this age group. Somewhat surprisingly, 55% are men, although I had thought that romance and relationships is of more interest to women.

RMS: Are you planning to use other social medium to approach Readers? e.g. Twitter or Wattpad or similar?

Suhasini: I’m planning to add an Instagram and Twitter channel for ‘It’s Complicated’ but there’s some work to do there. However, the full experience would be on Facebook. Facebook posts offers the flexibility I need, plus the ability to exactly target the audience.

RMS: Thank you Suhasini for your time during our conversation. We wish you the best for your unique effort in rolling out your story. We will be happy to host a compilation of your book on our platform to garner more readers.

Know your Author: Gauri Dange

To begin with Gauri Dange does not require any introduction. She has been a successful Author and published by different Publishers. Readmystori is happy to introduce her latest book “Three-dog Night, a Viva Voce Novel”. This is Gouri Dange’s third novel and fifth book. HarperCollins India released this book in February 2014. A sequel will be out later this year, tentatively titled, Viva Reloaded. Those of you who follow her blogs, one of them being http://thefridaynovel.blogspot.in/, would know about “Every Friday Novel” effort. Three-dog Night and other two books are available on Readmystori app for you to read and share your inputs with her.

Following is a brief on her book: 

As Vibhavari Pradhan turns sixty-one, she decides to speed up the process of ‘going junglee’, as her husband put it. But just as she has begun to back-pedal, de-clutter, disengage, go monochrome and all the other things people her age are supposed to do, life comes romping in again, with all its insistent, multi-coloured demands – from the Mumbai underworld to the hills of Nepal and dales of Scotland!

Viva deftly bats the googlys and doosras that life throws at her, playing her second innings with an inventive grace. Three-Dog Night is imbued with all the drama of a life passionately lived, with nerve and verve.

Few excerpts from her book:

If I remember right, men who fancied seeing a woman in lingerie got her that lingerie – they didn’t point her to the lingerie store, for god’s sake. Really, what a passive stingy stinker this guy sounds like. And here was Moni burbling on like she had just got advance inside information about being bestowed a Padmashri on Republic Day.

****

How had I found myself in this utterly ridiculous spot where you jump off the trapeze and the person who has to reach out to hold you, simply folds his arms and watches? And all this in the senior-citizen’s circus?

My tears evaporated suddenly, like someone had wrenched shut a tap, and I said, ‘Your shrink is a copper-plated bastard if he’s putting these thoughts in your head…’ Don’t ask me the etymology of ‘copper-plated bastard’, but it was one of Ashwin and his batchmates’ favourite gaalis for ruthless-manipulative people.

*****

Little black dots tumbled downwards at the periphery of my vision. Always a sign that the merry-go-round of exasperation, sadness and helplessness was going to start up in my head. A lurching centrifuge of intentions, dreams, plans, schemes, hopes, fears, lies, let downs, betrayals, promises and paperwork.

*****

GG breaks the silence only to randomly tell us a horrible story in his chirruping voice: ‘This solid steel ladle? When I was new at my guru’s house…I must have been fourteen…I was serving boiling hot kadhi to my guru and some of his heavy-duty friends, all bosses of different areas, all sitting on the floor in a row and eating. One of his friends went on staring at me. Then when I was leaving the room after serving them, that fellow asked my guru loudly “which whore’s knicker has he been conceived in”. So I hurled the ladle at him. His forehead broke open with the steel and his skin got burnt with the kadhi.’

****

My mind forms the question, but there is no way that it can be asked out loud: had my daughter had a love-child and not told us? Did I have a grandchild that my daughter had simply omitted to tell me about for eight years? The words ricochet around in my head, but refuse to descend to my throat and mouth.

*****

Sharing video links of her book “The Counsel of Strangers”, which incidentally is also available on Readmystori app (available on PlayStore and iTunes App Store).

Know your Author: VadasseryThaiparambil Rakesh, Author of “The Thorough Check”

Readmystori reached out to VadasseryThaiparambil Rakesh (aka V T Rakesh) to gather his thoughts around his published book “The Thorough Check”. His eBook is available on Readmystori app. The Thorough Check, book by VT Rakesh

RMS: What inspired you to write a book?

VTR: I think the last decade was a tumultuous one for the world, rife with 11/9 , 26/11, 2002, and more. Seeing all this a commoner like me would wonder what to do, how to respond? The idea of writing a trilogy on combating the root cause of all this violence, religion based communalism, germinated from this helplessness of a commoner.

RMS: What made you write “The Thorough Check”?

VTR: As explained above, I had decided to fight out against communalism, but not by castigating anyone. Instead of showcasing somebody as a villain, I wanted to explore the genesis of such schism in the name of different Gods. And the attack on Tajmahal Hotel and my favourite city Mumbai, was the last thing the die-hard Indian inside me could digest. “The Thorough Check” is a humble effort to quell the fundamentalism which is fast eclipsing the humanity in our ancient and all-embracing culture.

RMS:  Do you think the social message you are trying to convey will change people’s thought process? If yes, how and why?

VTR: This is only a humble effort, reminiscent of that little squirrel in Ramayana. I have always believed that even the tiniest effort, if done with utmost sincerity, will be acknowledged by God. I am confident of the right-minded people in this country, who will take the message forward.

RMS: Are you planning on writing another book? Could you share some insights?

VTR: My second book of this trilogy, “Deliverance of Sarpameru” is having it’s finishing touches and will be published very soon. It narrates the story of a picturesque land, corrupted by the religions, but rescued by humanity.

RMS: Could you share some text from the upcoming book?

VTR: Sure, will send you in an email.

RMS: Wish you all the success for your books.

Snippet from his upcoming book: “The best whiskey can only be enjoyed neat or at least on the rocks. I had my peg of Glenfiddich neat, my taste buds quenching up each of the droplets, as if dry earth would gobble up the fresh rains after the long summer. In addition, as a feather in the cap, our giant host had arranged for some of the best seafood, as Squid, Lobsters, Tiger prawns, Pomphrets were all being served hot. It was a double whammy for us. We must have spent two hours feasting and wining. Three of us  came onto the deck on the pretext of having a smoke. The boat was idling in the mid-seas. The full moon on the sky threw a satin blanket on the sea. We could see the light tower from Diu far away. We should have been 30 nautical miles away from shore. The majority of the fishing boats were nearer to the shore than us, going by the number of lights that we could count. Our cigarettes were halfway through, and they were burning faster due to the heavy wind. Faster than the cigarettes, our patience was running out. The clock was striking 11.30 p.m. and still there were no signs that we were eagerly looking for. Any more delay would hamper our plans to dodge the coast guard. Before we could further burn down our cigarettes, diagonally opposite to the light tower far into the sea, we spotted the three lights arranged in a V shape approaching us. We waited for the boats to come nearer. As a safe indication, the peripheral boats took a U-turn and sailed back into the sea. In exactly fifteen minutes, the middle boat threw the rope onto our deck.”

“We took a sojourn on a huge boulder, which was protruding into the sea. A tiring day in the office and a long walk, she seemed to be sleepy. Or did she always have those sleepy eyes? I had never noticed her so closely; or rather, I never got the chance before. The waves were persistently lashing against the obstinate rock, thinking one day it will overcome that obstacle. The splatters of the waves were shining under the moonlight as if they were made of silver. The last batch of seagulls passed over us, moving away quickly lest they disturb our privacy. Her lips were appearing larger and larger to me. She was pretentiously looking at the distant light possibly from a ship, as if unaware of what was going on inside my mind. Suddenly, a spray of water loomed onto our faces and in a reflex action, she leaned onto me, holding my hands. The softness of her hand or the seductive fragrance of her perfume, or was it the romantic aura of the night, I don’t know. Next thing, I knew was the passionate kiss on her lips. When sense prevailed in me to check what was her reaction, she was all over encompassing my body, like a creeper to a trunk. The virulent sea seemed to be all-silent for a while, in comparison to our loud heartbeats. We paused for a fraction of a second, and then violently continued the kiss, this time, I lifting her up in my arms. Her body appeared to be extremely lightweight, hopefully because of the sudden masculinity surging through me. She was in no mood to get out of my embrace even after our primitive lip lock ended. It was as if she got hold of something she was yearning for many years. We conveniently slipped into the big gap between the boulders, and the moon acted as a perfect gentleman, shying away behind the clouds.”