Friday, October 31, 2014

Nancy Cole Silverman, Author

 


Last Sunday I had the opportunity to talk with Author Nancy Cole Silverman about her new book release Shadow of Doubt: A Carol Child’s Mystery Book 1, an intriguing mystery about the perils of a local radio news reporter. Thank you, Nancy, for being so kind and sharing your literary genius, advice, and more!
Nancy sent me a pre-release copy of Shadow of Doubt and I was unable to put it down! Shadow of Doubt is a mystery about a talk radio station news reporter investigating a murder of a top Hollywood agent. The more Carol Childs uncovers of the story the more conflicted she finds herself. Could her best friend, the agent’s niece, and Carol’s source for so much insider industry news, be guilty of murder, or multiple murders?  It’s a suspenseful read, a thriller with lots of twists and turns. I felt connected to Nancy’s characters, embracing every suspenseful moment. Shadow of Doubt is recommended reading! 
Welcome Nancy!
Gina: Nancy! Hi! How are you?
Nancy: Gina! It’s 3 o’clock! Hi! How are you? I’m on a deadline, so I’ll take a break right now! Let’s do this; I am on a deadline for a draft of Book 2 that is due to my editor by the end of the week.
Gina: Oh! I understand! Tell me about your history in radio…
Nancy: Okay. I was in radio for about 20 – 25 years, I started back in college. Professionally, in Los Angeles, 20 years; before that I graduated at Arizona State and I was one of the first women on the air on the radio as well as on television. Back then they didn’t have very many female voices. Female voices were considered too light for hard news. But, anyway, I spent 20 years here in LA. I worked basically on the AM radio side, with news, talk radio, sports radio, that kind of thing.
Gina: Tell me about your new book. Are your characters based upon your own life experience?
Nancy: My new book is a sequel to When in Doubt, Don’t. It is called Shadow of Doubt and will be released December 2, 2014. My characters are all fictitious. They are probably copulations of people I have known over my history, particularly those who worked at the radio station. I think it’s always kind of fun to take people you know and mix them up with fantasy. You have to make them more than real to make somebody fall in love with them on the page. They are fantastical fantasies. The situations are... if you read the news there are actually similar things. Like I said, I used to work in a newsroom, so times I would run into some interesting stories, but always thought it would be more interesting if this, this, and this happened. I remember I had an editor once that said, ‘Don’t you dare say that Nancy, somebody will believe it…blah, blah, blah.’ So, I was really given into fantasy and fiction very early. Sticking between the lines was something I preferred not to do, but I made a career of it. Later, when I retired, I took a look at some of those stories and thought it would be kind of interesting to write. As far as premise, like TV shows; Law and Order, no, they’re not ripped from the headlines, but they are inspired by them.
Gina: Who is your favorite character in Shadow of Doubt?
Nancy: Well, obviously, I relate to Carol because Carol is my alter-ego. She is a little ballsier than I would be, well, a lot ballsier than I would be. That was kind of the position I had, so I relate to her best, but, I understand how she, being a single mom, trying so hard to balance a career and still be a good mom. She has two children. One is in college. The older one you don’t hear from yet, you’ll hear more from her in the next book. Her next door neighbor who she is taken in by. She wants to be a good friend of hers. She kind of taken in by her. Carol’s not really sure if she’s being played (spoiler alert). She has a young whipper-snapper of a boss who thinks he would rather not hire her. He would rather have somebody younger who he could mold, not somebody older who’s his mother’s age.  
Gina: Intriguing. What’s the name of the sequel?
Nancy: Beyond a Doubt.
Gina: When will it be released?
Nancy: My publisher wants it out July 2015.
Gina: Let’s talk about your writing style. How do you maintain brainstorming, thoughts and ideas?
Nancy: Oh, something catches you as a writer. You may be doing something and you’ll think… you may be going to the store, a couple passes you, and there is something about them that triggers a story. Watching TV, or fixing dinner; usually it’s something mindless that tickles your fancy. Maybe I’ll come home and write a scene and play with it for a while. If the scene goes anywhere then I might think about where it will end. Then I might get a beginning, middle, and an end. Then I have to decide if it’s going to be a short story or a book. Generally, if it’s going to be a book, there’s going to be a lot of support material. Little tangents that happen to support the theme and you kind of build it off of that. I build from scenes, sometimes move them around and add things.
Gina: Who is your editor?
Nancy: I have an editor assigned by my publisher at Henry Publishing. I have been working with Erin, an editor assigned by my publisher. I read it, and I have a couple of readers who I work with, a friend who has been a longtime fan and friend of mine. She will read my first draft and what she likes and doesn’t like. But, I generally try to wrap it up as I go. You get a pretty good feeling of who these people are, and hopefully I have made you like them.
Gina: What are you currently reading?
Nancy: I read all the time. My favorite mystery writer is Michael Connelly, Grisham; the classic mystery writers. I just read Sandra Brown. I like Dean Koonst. I like Stephen King. For my own writing, I tend to veer from the traditional mystery just a little into suspense and disbelief, maybe dabble into the unknown without being science fiction at all. I ran into that when I was working at the radio station. People who were legitimate. That was there job. They were a physic. It doesn’t matter if you believed what they did, they went out and they had their career doing just that, giving their opinion about the world to whoever would pay them. They were people who dabbled into the healing arts as well. Carol, the main character in Shadow of Doubt, is suspicious of the physic in my book, she knew it might be magic or whatever, but it could happen.
Gina: Do you have advice for novice writers?
Nancy: Write. Just write! It sounds trite, but there are no shortcuts. I caught myself once saying that I wanted to be a writer and I wanted to get an agent. I knew I wanted to do it. The stuff I had was a lot of unfinished things. I thought, you know, until I have something, I can’t complain, I have to do it. I have to sit down and do it. I have to treat it like a job. If you were hired by somebody you would either be working X hours and you need to do that. When I teach writing classes I tell students not to second guess their talent. Just know that you have it. It’s like the violinist that doesn’t practice. You got to go out and practice. The more you practice the better you get. Some people are going to be NBA stars, that’s not very many. Just do it. There’s no doubting that you feel that you want to do it and if you feel that then you probably have the skill, but you must work it. Writers that get good just keep working. You don’t get good at anything without practice.
Gina: Did you meet interesting people when working at the radio station?
Nancy: Not really. In radio, people pass through your station. In life, after 20 years, people come and people go, particularly at news. It’s not like you are talking to stars, like an entertainment report, which would be fun, but most people are in the news for that fifteen minutes of fame, sometimes its fifteen minutes of very painful fame. It’s a little different than if you are talking about Entertainment Tonight or the red carpet or something. I don’t have anything to do with that end of the business, so I don’t have that under my belt. I can remember, unfortunately, a young kid came to the newsroom one day and he had just lost his entire family on the freeway. Things like that. He was fifteen years old. He came on the air to describe the accident. It was horrendous. We were all so moved in the newsroom, we took a donation. He went on with his life, but that’s the way the newsroom is. That’s one of the underlying currents in my book, just about the time when you get onto a hot news story the next thing comes along and there’s not the news power to keep the manpower on it.
Gina: When is your next book signing?
Nancy: My book launches on December 2, I am hoping to do a signing at the Barnes & Noble at Studio City. You can preorder the book on Amazon. I will post the information on my website, so stay tuned.

Connect with Nancy…
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nancy-Cole-Silverman/314202208737024

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Whisper


Whisper
 
Help me to not think of you every moment,
to feel your shadow during the day
and hear you wake me in the night
and whisper in my ear
 
Life is gentle; peaceful and serene,
the pond is blue from the seasonless sky,
and meadows sing in swaying tunes,
they whisper in my ear
 
When out in the woods, walking the trail
like wisps of dew, you walk alongside,
and smile at me, the earth resounds,
it whispers in my ear
 
I am far from the ground, floating above
in an angelic stance, looking down
and see you there, wishing I were, too,
to whisper in your ear
 
 
 
(copyright)ginamc 10/14
 
 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Stephen G. Yanoff, Author


From Texas, USA, welcome author Stephen G. Yanoff! Announcing Yanoff’s new book release The Second Mourning: The Untold Story of America’s Most Bizarre Political Murder, a non-fiction account of the terrifying and violent murder of USA President James A. Garfield.
The Second Mourning is a fascinating book, delving into political mayhem and prolific mysteries. I enjoyed Yanoff’s book and recommend The Second Mourning to those looking for a good read. The facts and events draw the reader into this non-fiction historical thriller.
The author of several intriguing books, Yanoff is also a prize-winning playwright. His books grace bookshelves around the globe. Listen to Yanoff on Wednesday, November 12, 2014, from 4-5 PM USA Pacific Time, where he will be featured via talk-live radio broadcast, courtesy of Voice America, on Star Style, a global radio program connecting with millions of listeners in 219 countries! Yanoff will be discussing The Second Mourning, as well as providing insight to the publishing industry.
Welcome Stephen!
What books have you written?
I’ve written four mystery novels which are based upon my career as an insurance investigator/underwriter.  Each book deals with an actual high risk insurance claim.  The books are:  The Graceland Gang, The Pirate Path, Devil’s Cove, and Ransom on the Rhone. 
What intrigued you about the death of President James A. Garfield?
The actual true details of his death were fascinating, but never fully explained to the public.  Had Garfield not been assassinated, he would have probably become one of the best Presidents in U.S. history.
You imply that The Second Mourning is probably the most important book you have ever written. Why?
I think it's very important to finally share Garfield's incredible life story, and to tell the untold story of his death.  His life and career deserve to be studied in greater detail, and preserved for future generations.  In many ways, he was one of the most remarkable men of his century.
Extensive research and bibliography, 731 end notes, etc. The details are all there. Did you have difficulty with obtaining any of your information? How long did it take to compile?
Early on, I decided to use "first-hand accounts" of the period, so I actually spent five years purchasing the books that were published during Garfield's term and shortly after his death.  These books provided an invaluable source of information, and they turned out to be a pretty darn good investment, too!  Compiling all of the endnotes (731) took approximately three years, but it was worth the effort.  New details and new claims must be supported by reliable sources.
There were several intriguing incidents in The Second Mourning. What factual incident stood out to you?
There were several:  The fact that the assassin (Charles Guiteau) was never asked to surrender his weapon at the depot.  The fact that Guiteau survived the great Chicago fire and one of the worst maritime disasters of the century, and the fact that he survived not one, but two assassination attempts on his own life.  I was also intrigued that Garfield had a strong premonition of his own death, and predicted the very time that he would die.  The face to face meeting between Garfield and Guiteau (in the White House) was also rather amazing.
According to The New York Times, on July 3, 1881 President Garfield had a premonition about his death. However, the morning of July 2, 1881 Garfield was shot. Did Garfield tell of his premonition while on his deathbed?
Yes, from time to time (during his lengthy demise) he would tell visitors about his premonition, which he had had since youth.  He even predicted some of the gory details that would accompany his passing.  
Charles J. Guiteau, Garfield’s assassin, was clearly an incredibly desolate man. What astounded you the most about his character?
The saddest part about Guiteau was that he was clearly insane from birth.  His mother, several aunts, and several uncles all died in insane asylums.  He also had a father who was physically and verbally abusive to him, and was thought to be crazy, too.  He literally failed at everything throughout life and was scorned and ridiculed from the day he was born to the day he was hung.
A great book! Now, let’s talk about your writing habits. Where do you like to write?
I write wherever I happen to be at the moment.  I am able to "block out" any and all distractions and focus on a thought, a sentence, or a paragraph.  Mostly though, I write in my comfortable study at home.
How do you maintain thoughts, ideas, and extensive reference material?
If I have a thought or bit of dialogue I want to use, I immediately jot it down on a pad.  My mystery novels require a lot of research, so it helps to use a dedicated notebook for each story.  I usually fill at least two notebooks during my writing of a new book.  Thankfully, there are no endnotes required for fiction writing!
Who is your favorite author?
My favorite author has always been, and always will be, Mark Twain.  The man was a pure genius, and was blessed with an extraordinary amount of wisdom and talent.  I also adore his sense of humor.  In my opinion, his autobiography is one of the classic books of American literature.
What are you currently reading?
I am currently reading all (or most) of the books by two remarkable women named Louise Penny and Jo Bannister.  They both write smart, believable mystery novels, and they both have a huge following.  The best way to learn to write is to read, and these ladies know how to write a good book!
What are you currently writing?
I am in the middle of my 5th mystery novel, A Run for the Money.  I have also begun outlining another non-fiction book, this one revealing the incredible true story of the Reno Brothers Gang from Indiana.  (The book is titled, Hell-Bent in Heaven.)
As a playwright, what plays have you written?
When I served as playwright-in-residence at the University of Texas, I wrote 4 full-length comedies and several one-act plays.  One of my full-length plays (A Hell of a Time) was selected as the opening play of the Houston Civic Center.  I had a few one-act plays published, but gradually became more interested in writing books.
Where is your next book signing/event?
The next event for me will be the Texas Book Festival, which takes place in Austin, and is expected to attract 40,000 visitors.  The festival is the 4th largest book event in the nation, and this year I will be featured in two categories:  "Mystery" and "History."  
Do you have advice for beginning writers?
The best advice that I can give, is the advice that I received from a famous mystery author who is no longer with us.  If you want to learn how to write, start reading, keep reading, and don't stop reading!
List 10 things that your fans may not know about you…
My fans may or may not know that I was a born in Nashville, Tennessee.  That I was a collegiate wrestling champion.  That I worked as a stand-up comic and performed at The Improv and Catch a Rising Star.  That I was on the college sky diving team.  That I owned a marine archaeology firm.  (Treasure Island Group).  That I have 40 years of scuba diving experience.  That I had the privilege of exploring sunken cities in Greece and Turkey.  That I have a bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree from Texas A&M University.  That I taught public speaking at St. Edward's University for 7 years.  And finally, that my personal motto is:  "You are never too old to be what you might have been!"
Connect with Stephen…

Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Long Blue Line


Journal Entry 104

April 11, 2008

The Long Blue Line

By Kentucky’s most infamous author, No Sweat

As the American Anthem blared over the speakers and as I placed my hand over my heart, just beyond the reach of my six empty cups of Budweiser and my bitten cheeseburger with a piece of lettuce hanging out of it in all directions, beyond the large plate glass windows in front of me and out over and across the neatly arranged race track, the digital show of the American flag played magnificently on the screen that normally displayed Keeneland's hallowed Tote Board; A nefarious billboard having destroyed many wayward dreams of glory.
 
Finally, the honored and worn-out song ended and I along with so many other forgotten faces, drunks of the dawn, got to ease back down and be content that the near sacred ordeal was thank-god at end. Somehow, I was relatively certain that Francis Scott Key had not envisioned his inspired poem being spread among so much scattered horse manure; HONKY TONK WOMEN would have played so much better.
 
But, alas, I was alone, as any decent writer eternally remains, drunk and of one mind, to win the first race and play on the track's money for the rest of the day; To be that rare and envied individual: "THE GUEST OF KEENELAND ON THEIR DIME," however charitable and profitless the verdant institution mightily proclaimed.
 
In earlier harmony with the pre-dawn Kentucky state bird cardinals that were madly chirping out in the darkness and awakening myself and my family of oddly roosting buzzards so strange behind my home I had found myself gone, lost in the cannabis dawn, headed north on I-75 beyond all cares, barreling Trojan ferocious, occasionally seeing a glimpse of an actual highway; Ahab-steady-as-she-goes and whatever else it required to somehow amass myself at the horserace track where I had spent so many tainted formative years and where real men dwell and where the poor forgotten working commoners that drudge through another desultory counted eight hours, vanquished spirits physically absent, are left back lowly in the mire of their mundane and dreaded jobs.
 
Only, it had been raining. Nothing like a hard morning rain with those 18 wheelers challenging your every hint of a move on I-75; each medicated trucker headed to Dayton, Ohio loaded with god-only-knows and every mile a race for another dollar, and you in your old sports car a mighty two inches off the ground trying to adjust the volume and make sure the smoke doesn't accumulate and that your sunglasses are on just so and that you have two pens, one for backup…
 
Ah, but the gods were with me, why, I wasn't sure; perhaps they were enjoying observing the self-ruination a simple Kentucky mortal. But then, I was beyond such rank thoughts and once I again I had the divine pleasure to witness myself entering through the pearly gates of Bluegrass's Valhalla, finding my secret parking spot cloaked among so many trees. There, yes, I departed from my green chariot in somewhat perfect Estill county symmetry on this good Friday before The 2008 Bluegrass Stakes, to whence all equiness must be judged.
 
Soon I was out of my chariot, smoke entranced that it was, and trotting steadfastly in the rain towards the inner chambers of the clubhouse. Surely no mortal would be seen. Just the perfect darkness before day. A time to have breakfast with the jockeys and maybe learn something not on some poor program or form, that valuable bit of information, a wink or a nod from one of those small creatures, that gesture of long shot-sure-thing. Who knew beyond the gods which horse was sick?
 
But HARK! What was before me?  What madness? Yeah, oh verily yeah! 
TWERE A QUEER LONG LINE OF BLUE!
 
And though my eyes were red, there was no denying this line, this line of blue. My God, where had this line of blue derived?  How could they already be here?  Thousands upon thousands!  A line-up dwarfing any Cecil B. De Mill cast. Oh how terribly wrong I had been about being alone. Oh, so verily mistaken. The cardinals had nothing on these pre-dawn creatures; this Long serpent line of blue.
 
I had passed them carefully as I continued my walk. A double blue line they were, as fine as Napoleon's troops headed into Russia, beginning in the parking lot and going all throughout the interior of Keeneland and passing by all para mutuel windows and rounding corners and each person mustered in it proudly holding their two blue bottles of Maker's Mark, ready to be used as weapons if need called; all of them giving me a glance as I graced sunglassesd by equally observing them as they observed back. Such a sight to see, those blue bottles with blue wax and nearly every person standing strong with anticipation. Oh but certain, dressed in blue. Enough blue to fill the ocean, enough blue to make a sky, enough blue to break your heart, blue upon blue, the line pressed on, heads aimed in one direction, a silent blue siren held them; Onward blue onward!
 
Minute upon minute I glided by the line with nothing availing me, thankful for being sick this Friday and unable to come in to lowly work.  It would be a few hours later when my call would be made:

     "I'M SICK AND CAN'T COME INTO TODAY."

     "What's wrong with you?"

     "I ache all over."

     "Oh, that's right, You lifted a pencil, yesterday. It must have been a terrible strain on you."

     "Yes, it was a big pencil."
 
Oh, but what a long blue line, a wagon train of blue people holding their blue bottles, each person a Conestoga wagon of blue, as though the confederates were invading and everything blue was in retreat.  
 
Finally, I came to that familiar glass door that I needed to enter; the same glass door where the blue hordes were funneling; a man stood guarding the door on the inside, keeping it locked. I stood there beside my new-found blue stranger looking at this Keeneland man pecking on the door.  "Sir, I just want a table. I'm not with these people."
 
The man was dumbfounded. In his mis-directions and confusion, as he surely had no instructions for something like me, he allowed me entrance. Thanking him, I took but a few more steps to find my white painted rod iron table and chair where-whence I immediately began to place pen in hand and write the beginnings of my new novel, PIGEON.  But disturbingly, I knew that something was awry and that something mysterious was close to me. I could feel a certain sprinkle of blue in the air; A cold smell of blue ice and a warm blue smell of summer beguilingly mixed in. Then, looking up, some twelve feet away, I looked directly at him as he was strangely looking at me; HE was the rags-to-riches reason the blue masses had lined up, the blue reason of all the maddening blue, yes, The Ward Bond of The Long Blue Line, The Legend his mighty Blue Zeus self, Joe B. Hall. 

Amen.. 
GOD BLESS KENTUCKY BASKETBALL.

Every eager man, woman and child was there wide-eyed to have Joe B. Hall sign their coveted whiskey bottle.

People fell out of rank on a constant basis coming up to me asking to borrow my poor pen as they had to fill out some official form that officified that their bottle had genuinely been signed by the Blue Zeus himself. And each time I explained, "A writer never loans his pen. Without it he is defenseless. Beyond his memory it’s all his got."

Each bottle metamorphosing from fifty dollars to over two hundred dollars at the stroke of Joe B's commanding signature. No mortal allowed more than two bottles. Each bottle carrying a serial number. The lower the number the more valuable the bottle. Everything in perfect logic.

I started to put up a sign on my table that I would sign the bottles for $1.00 each. And that they would own the signature of a future famous author. But I held still. There were two small boys being pulled on a blue wagon, both weary and crying on the passage. But no cry could deter this movement. It was Kentucky blue, bleeding blue, blue and blue yet. Let no man or child mistake that. Onward the blue line pushed. Each person reaching Joe B. and stopping to talk to THE LEGEND as he chuckled as though he were Santa in blue, telling tales of all blue manner over a loudspeaker that filled our room, barely understandable, but it didn't matter, it was Blue Zeus!

Little Mexicans, God only knows from which villages, ran all about like so many mice in a barn. Each with some cleaning weapon; them dressed in the Keeneland beige outfits denoting their lowly rank with those sorrowful green Keeneland hats and their little green lapel Keeneland insignia. Workers. No REAL green cards, likely. But then that was the way it was supposed to be; Kentucky proud relished hierarchy. Each Mexican sweeping and mopping and cleaning, putting in new trash can liners, wiping the plate glass, two of them singing making me wonder if they hadn't broke into my car. Such a delightful configuration of mankind in harmony; everything just it should Kentucky be.

Then the overhead TV screens all came on. On one, Martha Lane Collins, more square shouldered than Dick Tracy, began lauding Joe B. Hall. "ZEUS thwarted POSEIDON!" she clamored, relentlessly going on and on.

On another screen, Goose Givens, retold some begotten story between Joe B. and Bobby Knight.  He spoke of it as one might speak of the Holy Grail. "Long into the night we battled...."  or something like that. 

The LONG BLUE LINE held reverent throughout. Some all but weeping. One tall sophisticated looking lady, probably in her early 70's, hair tied back in a bun, long blue velvet coat with a blue fur collar, accidentally dropping her blue leather pocketbook twice the size of a checkerboard, bottles hitting inside, extra bottles she had snuck by the Maker's Mark guards. Ahhh Kentucky! 

Little did they know that the large bottle of orange juice I was drinking was three fourths vodka. I wished it was four fifths. The ordeal was maddening. In a state last in everything we had horses and basketball. I was soon to see jockeys dribbling basketballs as they raced their horses through the Kentucky Derby, I supposed. A lady stepped up to my table and started to give me a metal badge.  "Are you a Maker's Mark  Ambassador?" she mistakenly inquired.

"No ma'am.  But I am an Earl."


Note from Gina…
Recently I had the good fortune to connect with ‘No Sweat’ – an author from Kentucky, USA. The story as to why he is called ‘No Sweat’ will be revealed in his upcoming interview, to be posted here sometime in November; an interview you won’t want to miss! No Sweat (aka Earl) has shared one of his entertaining adventures/journal entries from Keeneland Race Track (Lexington, Kentucky, USA) one of America’s most frequented horserace tracks.  No Sweat was at Keeneland the day Joe. B. Hall, a former notable basketball coach, signed commemorative Maker’s Mark Distillery (blue) bottles on Friday, April 11, 2008, at Keeneland, along with Maker’s Mark president Bill Samuels Jr, and Keeneland Race Track president Nick Nicholcson; 1,300 fans lined up at 6:30 am for the signing of the special 18,000 numbered limited edition bottles made of blue glass and dipped in ‘Kentucky Blue’ wax, honoring Coach Hall and his late wife Katharine who died of cancer in 2007. The event raised funds for Kentucky’s cancer research program.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Insiya Patanwala, Author & Poetess


A 14-year-old budding writer Insiya Patanwala, is a gifted child with a creative imagination who is going to make a debut today in the literary world with her fantasy novel series titled Esoterica. This book speaks about the world of angels which fears an invasion by the devils and the story is all about how nine teenagers battle it out to save the angel world.
 
A grade IX student in one of the leading schools of Mumbai, Insiya’s passions include reading, writing poems, short stories and painting. She is passionate about her budding skills and plans to write a series of books, that connects her fascination of this world to the netherworld. Insiya is the elder daughter of renowned pediatrician Dr. K.S Patanwala and Counselor, Ms.K Patanwala, and she has a younger, naughty, brother who she fondly calls Hatsy.
 
Welcome Insiya!
 
What is the premise for "Esoterica”?
The story of Esoterica revolves around a girl called Sophia who despises herself more than anything. Sophia doesn’t love herself at all for the simple reason that she is a misfit everywhere she goes until she and her friends find a strange book with inscriptions in the middle of a football field. The book is the turning point in their life. Sophia discovers many secrets and dangers but she knows that it is too late to turn back. None of them will ever be the same. Along with their friends from another world, they dig through the many hidden secrets. Will Sophia be able to cooperate? Will she maintain herself between the two worlds without getting stampeded? Will she defeat the evil sorceress who awaits her death? Will she be able to protect her friends and loved ones? Or will she fail to keep her promises to protect the universe?
 
Are your characters and storyline based upon your own life experience?
All the characters in my book are not based on my experiences. However, the protagonist in the book, Sophia, carries my personality and nature. Some of the emotions in the book are related to what I have felt in my school and teenage life. You would understand Sophia’s feelings if you know me well.
 
Who is your favorite character in "Esoterica"?
I really don’t have a favorite character in the book. Each character has his/her importance in the story. Each character plays an important role in the book and has a special place. However, I like Sophia’s character the most since she is the one on whom the whole book is focused. She is witty, smart, and sentimental, she messes things up but gets everything right in the end, she can sacrifice everything for her loved ones, she is strong and the MOST important thing is that she is just like me.
 
Who is your target audience?
This book is meant for all age groups especially teenagers who face the same problems as me.
 
When did you realize you wanted to become a writer?
I don’t really remember when I started writing but it happened as a result of reading fictional novels. I started writing short stories at the age of six years, that’s what my mom tells me. Then I realized that the stories were actually good so I started combining them and proceeded to write a novel.
 
Where do you like to write?
I like to write in a place which is quiet and peaceful where I am alone with my thoughts and ideas.
 
How do you maintain thoughts and ideas?
Usually when I feel alone, sad or negative, I make it a point to write something like a poem or an essay down. It helps me feel positive again, like all the negativity is leaving my soul. For the poems and short essays, I maintain a file.
 
Sometimes when I am bored, like in the middle of a lecture at school, I imagine scenes in my head, which I later put it down on paper when I get time. I keep the thoughts at the back of my head and when I want to write, they naturally come to me.
 
Who is your favorite author?
My favorite author is J.K. Rowling. I have always been a fan of the Harry Potter series. In fact, I got the idea of writing a novel from the Harry Potter series. J.K. Rowling is my idol. The Harry Potter books fascinate me.
 
What are you currently writing?
I am currently writing the third book in the Esoterica series.
 
What are you currently reading?
Currently, I am reading The Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan.
 
Can you share one of your poems?
 
THE GIRL

Aren’t you stunned and mesmerized?

Look at that girl staring back at you.

She is in tears but still she smiles,

She is strong enough to keep it all inside.

You can see the pain in her eyes,

Deep in the darkness it hides.

But still her smile doesn’t falter,

Even she feels like breaking down.

She has got a thousand problems, fake friends and bullies,

But she never complains about it.

I am proud of that girl in front of you,

Do you think you know her?

‘Cause she is the one staring back at you,

Your own reflection through the mirror.
 
Where is your favorite place on earth?
My favorite place in the world is a place where you can sit peacefully without any disturbance. There should be no noise except the songs of the birds and chirping of insects.
 
There should not be a paved road but moist grass that touches the bare feet. When you inhale, you can feel the fresh air without any pollution and the soft breeze kisses your cheeks. The best place in the world is to be somewhere where there is no human activity.
 
What do you like to do for fun?
I like to listen to music, paint, sketch, write stories or poems for fun.
 
The blurb of Esoterica:
Life is dull and boring for teenaged Sophia when all of a sudden one fine day life decides to surprise her. She finds a book that threatens to change her world. For good or for bad, only time will tell. Suddenly all that she believed in till now seems challenged as new realities begin to emerge. She is facing some of the weirdest truths of life confusing her if they are a dream come true or a nightmare turned into reality. What is in that book? Who is Sophia? What would you do if you were told – You are the savior of the Universe? To find these answers and many more join Sophia and her friends as they take a journey into the unknown where the lessons in knowing begin from themselves. From greed to deceit…..from friendship to families ….from adventure to fun and frolic, from joy to sadness, from victory to losses , from power to enmity and from love to hatred witness it all as you travel along on a magical journey of a lifetime to the world of Esoterica.

Connect with Insiya…
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