Saturday, November 30, 2013

An Interview with Terin Miller, author of Kashi!!!

An Interview with the Award-winning and respected author- Terin Miller who has recently published "Kashi" released by Author's Empire.

1. Hello Mr. Terin, what is your feeling after being an author now? What’s your perspective about life now after achieving a rare flagship in your life?

I am thrilled to finally be published by someone else, who enjoyed my writing and believes others will as well. But my life for the most part hasn’t changed that much. As a good friend of mine, the writer Loren D. Estleman, told me years ago when he was having some sudden success: “I still have to stand in line at the Post Office.”

My perspective about life has grown, too, I think. I now firmly believe people should follow their dreams, no matter how unlikely the outcome may seem.  Not long before being discovered by my publisher Mr. Kunal Marathe, CEO of Author’s Empire,  a friend had sort of scoffed at my still-unfulfilled dream of being published, and suggested “if it hasn’t happened yet…” I’m at a stage in my life where I’ve already had one relatively successful career. But writing novels and short stories and occasional essays is what I really have wanted to do since I graduated high school. 

2. When you saw your first novel for sale on E-commerce websites and placed at a bookstore for the first time, what kind of thoughts dominated your mind?

Well, being a journalist for more than 30 years, I have seen my name in print often enough without being charged to now be more concerned what I wrote is not too drastically changed, and to hope besides me and my relatives (who are no longer around), someone somewhere will read what I wrote and if not be moved by it, at least enjoy reading it and recommend it to others. My greatest joy will be if ever I see someone reading a novel of mine and see their face change with the emotions that I hope to convey. That, to me, would be a major achievement as a writer.

3. Before we head towards discussing your book, we would like to know in spite of being an author, what do you exactly do? And do you wish to continue with the job or come into full-time writing?

As I mentioned, I am a journalist. I’ve been everything from a police reporter to a foreign correspondent (in two countries). Currently, and for most of the past decade, I’ve been an editor of other reporters’ work. While I enjoy it for the most part, the former reporter in me is often wishing to have been the one to cover or write the story.  But I once told a friend the great thing about being a writer or a reporter is that you never, really, ever have to retire unless you want to.  I still feel young enough to have something to contribute to both journalism and writing. In other words, I probably will need more time for my ego to deflate—or my books to become popular enough to support me and my family--before you find me working on motorcycles or fishing and camping any time other than on weekends…

4. What is your latest book- Kashi all about? And from where did this idea occur to you?

Kashi is about what happens when a group of young people encounter and emulate, to a certain extent, another group of young people. It is about the consequences of entering relationships from your own perspective without having the sensitivity or awareness of the perspective and beliefs of the other person.  And, ultimately, it is about the potential consequences of rebelling against a more seemingly repressive moral or religious code, without fully understanding the risks rebellion entails, or the risks and consequences to unintended victims or prior relationships.

The idea came to me first when I was a young Hindi student at Benares Hindu University. I was living with a group of people essentially my age, non-Indians, who were also language students . Some at the time tried hard to blend in, without actually investigating the society’s rules. And I witnessed some young Indians wanting to emulate us, particularly the freedoms of behavior we seemed to take for granted.

5. How much long did it take to write this book from the moment you started developing the story to start writing it till completing it finally with editing and all?

Well, as I noted, I first started thinking about it in India as a young language student.  I’d say I pretty much thought I had it done, after digging the idea out of a stack of others that I started years ago, when I first self-published it, about two years before Mr. Kunal Marathe discovered it. And I am grateful to his editing and helpful suggestions, as I believe the Author’s Empire published version far superior to my self-published version.

6. Indian Publishing is too hard to deal with, was it easy for you to get a Publisher or did u wait for a long time to get your work published?

I certainly have not experienced Indian Publishing being “hard to deal with.” For that, I credit Author’s Empire. I have experienced publishing in the United States, and found it extremely difficult. Mr. Kunal Marathe contacted me. In the U.S., to get a publisher to even look at your idea, you first in most cases need a literary agent. I’ve had two—the first, actually, is the person who convinced me to try and write a novel when I had just graduated high school. He spoiled me, in the sense that he always preferred to see and read a completed novel more than just consider an idea or a premise. These days, it seems, even literary agents want your “concept” summed up in one line, or the equivalent of the much-written-about “30-second elevator pitch” of movie writers, now called a “query,” before they’ll even consider representing you.  I guess the thought is if your “concept” is too complicated, readers won’t be interested and therefore no one wants to waste time on it. Imagine, as I do, Ernest Hemingway or William Faulkner having to “pitch” to a literary agent: “But what’s it about?” “It’s about an old man who hasn’t caught a fish for 80 days.” Or “It’s about a bear hunt.” Or, for the modern method, “It’s Titanic meets Moby Dick!” or “It’s Grizzly Man meets Kujo!”

7. What are the Promotional strategies that you and your publisher have applied to promote/market your book?

I really don’t know. I am delighted that Author’s Empire has taken promoting and marketing my book into its own hands. In the United States, more and more, it seems most publishers do not want to have to promote a writer’s work. And that leaves it to the writer, which is very little different from publishing the thing yourself. I am available for interviews, such as this, and even willing to Skype with book clubs, or to happily go to book signings and panels. 

8. What exactly is your target from your Books- 1. Getting most copies sold out, 2. Getting the love of readers or 3. You just wrote it because you wanted to write a book once in your life, hence you have no targets?

My target for my books is to have people read them, and hopefully for someone to get something out of it, to remember it, to maybe recommend it to their friends. If that means getting the love of readers first, and then getting most copies sold out, so be it. If all you want to do is write a book once in your life, I say do it. And don’t worry about how or if it ever gets read. 

9. By when are you coming up with your next novel? And if possible, do give us an idea about what it would be.

Well, Author’s Empire I believe has plans for my next novel. When I wrote Kashi, I already was working on an idea for a sequel using the same character as narrator—John Colson. I won’t give you the title right now, in case it changes, but rest assured, another is coming. It is a “thriller,” though, a little later in John Colson’s personal history. And its subject is really the manipulation of relatively good hearted people who find themselves unwittingly part of a political game played by nations. And it takes place in India. Oh, and Colson has become the narrator in a third book, making Kashi really the start of a trilogy. The third book is sort of filling in some of the missing pieces of Colson’s background in India—why the country is so significant to him--and brings his character pretty much up-to-date.

10. In the end, tell us in 5-7 lines, what speech will you give if you win a Major Award for the Best Indian Author for your books?

Well, first of all, I’d thank whoever gave me such an award but note I don’t believe I’m qualified for it. I am not an Indian Author. I am an American author who happens to have written about India. I am an American author who still stands upon hearing “Janaganamana,” though I need a kick in the head to recall all the words. I am an American author who spent many of his “formative” years in India, and who always has and always will love India—seeing it for the first time when I was 3 ½ years old. But I also believe, as the great Rabindranath Tagore did, that literature—human stories—should know and recognize no borders. I look forward to the day when authors receive awards for being authors, regardless of their country of origin, or current residence, and when readers come to recognize that, while certain cultural aspects are inherent in writing, as they are in experience, some stories—that try in some way to describe the human condition—are universal. 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

An Interview with eBook writer- Gisela Hausmann!

Interview with an eBook writer- Gisela Hausmann.

1. Hello Mrs. Gisela, what is your feeling after being an author for a long time? What’s your perspective about life now after achieving this in your life?

Hi Abhilash, Happy to be here. Thank you for asking this cool question. It actually proves what I write about in my book – with the best effort everything is possible! Since I was born in Vienna, Austria, English is not my mother language, which means I probably had to work harder to write this book, which was also my very first novel-style book. However, the effort paid off. My ebook was recognized as being immensely inspirational and motivational and won Bronze at the eLit awards 2012, a rare achievement for an author with mother language German. Then again, that is exactly what I am writing about in “Naked Determination” - learning to own determination will get you where you want to be. 

2. When you saw your first novel on E-commerce websites, what kind of thoughts dominated your mind?

I hoped that all people, who need some practical tips how to reach their goals would see and buy it. It took me 45 years to amass all this important information, which has proven to work in the past and which keeps on proving itself. For instance, when I won the award. 

3. Before we head towards discussing your book, we would like to know in spite of being an author, what do you exactly do? And do you wish to continue with the job or come into full-time writing?

I am actually working on creating a reality show to improve education This would be a project, which could help millions of children and teenagers to get a better future. The project is also described in my ebook, in the chapter “the Reality of Education”. My work is mostly about helping societies. 

4. Gisela, in your book you tell of your adventures in India. It appears this happened right when Pakistani president Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq got killed in a plane crash? 
Yes, I absolutely fell in love with India, when I visited there in 1988. The trip encompassed touring the Golden Triangle New Delhi, Jaipur, and Agra. Seeing the Taj Mahal was really special. As I went on the trip I said to myself, “Well, I already know what the Taj looks like…” Truth is, it is the only famous building I have ever seen, which cannot be captured in a photograph. When I actually saw it, it was just so much more beautiful than it appears on any picture I have ever seen.  I also traveled to Srinagar, and from there up Zoji La to Zanskar and Ladakh. Among my trips to 48 countries this one is in the top 3. The beauty of the valleys, the spirit of the people left me in awe. That did not get spoiled by the fact that on the day we returned to Srinagar Zia-ul-Haq 's plane went down and we had to be confined to our houseboats. We also heard shooting but the beauty and peace of Zanskar and Ladakh was so striking that it will have a place in my heart forever! That is why I presented this story in my book. Even for a seasoned traveler like me this was more than special. 

5. In one of your stories you tell how met a sky marshal with a huge gun, aboard a Boeing 747. What went through your mind when that happened?
That was 1982; I was on my first Transatlantic flight, flying to New York City. Of course, that was almost 20 years before 9-1-1 and people did not even know about sky marshals. I was flying aboard ALIA, the Royal Jordanian Airline. Indeed, I had heard that the Israeli airline had sky marshals, but then that was something, which could have been just a rumor. So when this gentleman pulled up his trouser and showed me his gun, I almost fainted. My next thought was, “At least nothing can happen to me…” When he invited me into the cockpit, I almost fainted again. It was an awesome adventure, which is why it made it into my book. 

6. Gisela, you seem to have a way with authorities, you also got caught by the KGB in Russia?
(laughing)  Yes, I did that too. That comes from sticking one’s nose into everything and seeking every adventure. I was visiting the Kremlin and Gorbachev was there in the midst of a big crowd of people. That did not deter me to work my way through the crowd and take the picture. A second later the KGB agents had me and apprehended me. But they let me keep my camera and film. I use this story to show, how so very often in life we have only seconds to get what we want and if we wait this opportunity may never come back.  

7. So, what is the purpose of your book?
I have to admit that I love the adventure; I tested every limit, and sought every adventure I could be part of.  Of course, that is what adventurers do. Consequently, over the years I have found out what works and what doesn’t. 
 I wanted to reveal these tricks for the benefit of my readers. However, I wanted this book to be like I am, mostly adventurous and funny. I did not want to write a boring lecture book, I wanted a smart book, which is fun to read. There are also stories about friendship, love, jobs, and money, in other words, stories and concepts all of us can use. 

8. You won Bronze at the eLit Awards, with your ebook “Naked Determination”… tell us about that.

That was very special. Obviously, every year thousands of books get published and hundreds of those enter into competitions. That’s why I did not even want to think about whether there was a chance for me or not.  I basically entered into the competition because you can only enter in the year after publication and after that the chance is gone. So, if I would not have participated I would have skipped the opportunity. Three days before the winners were supposed to be announced, the organization notified all writers that the competition was so tough, that the judges needed one more week and the announcement would also come one week later. That’s when I really thought, “Ok, that’s it… no way I can win…” And, then I did win Bronze. I actually danced in my living room upon receiving the notification. 

9.  How long did it take you to write this book from the moment you started developing the story to start writing it till completing it finally with editing and all?

You caught, me… indeed, I had played with the idea for many years and taken a few approaches over the years. Somehow, none of them seemed to flow and work. Then, one day I had the idea to tell my stories as individual stories. I think that is important, because today we are all busy. Then again, as an ebook “Naked Determination” can be downloaded to a smart phone. While the reader has to wait somewhere, he or she can use the phone to read a funny story - with great tricks how to be more successful in life. Once I figured out, that I had to dissect the one long adventure story into 41 short adventure stories, it just flowed and I wrote the first draft extremely quickly.  I wanted to create something, which is fits into the life of readers. 

10.  What exactly is your target from your Books- 1. Getting most copies sold out or 2. Getting the love of readers?

To me “Naked Determination” is about application of good tricks. Lots of people would like to know how to reach their goals faster. Basically, pretty much anybody the planet wants that. However, the smartest book could be lying in front of us, if it is boring nobody is going to love the book, or the author, let alone read this book. So, what I really wanted to do is, TO DELIVER – deliver the book with the tricks, the adventures, the suspense, and all of it as humorous as possible. The cool thing is that every reader can get proof for himself. They can go to Flipkart or Amazon, download the sample to their Smartphones or  laptops and see for themselves, what a cool ebook “Naked Determination” is.  

Interview with author- Amit Shankar!!!

An Interview with author- Amit Shankar who has written Chapter Eleven recently.

1. Hello Mr. Amit, what is your feeling after being an author now? What’s your perspective about life now after achieving a rare flagship in your life?
Ans: Well, I guess it is another milestone, albeit a much cherished and treasured one.
I believe it was my perspective that made me choose writing rather than the other way around. I feel so empowered impacting lives and minds of people, making them delve deeper and helping them in deciphering life. 
2. When you saw your first novel for sale on E-commerce websites and placed at a bookstore for the first time, what kind of thoughts dominated your mind?
Ans:- I remember walking into the Landmark bookstore, Gurgaon and seeing my first title, Flight of the Hilsa, stacked on the shelves. I was too numb to react or even to comprehend the emotion. It was overwhelmed being in the company of other authors and sharing the space with them. 
3. Before we head towards discussing your book, we would like to know in spite of being an author, what do you exactly do? And do you wish to continue with the job or come into full-time writing?
Ans:- I am the CEO of South East Asia’s largest animation company. Being a creative guy, it gives me immense satisfaction in leading a creative organization, mentoring young creative minds and chartering the course of animation in this country.
I was on a sabbatical for 2 years to complete my first two titles, Flight of the Hilsa and Chapter 11. But then I realized being away from people was drying me up from within. Work place as vibrant and diverse as mine gives me immense opportunity to observe and understand. Numerous reviewers have pointed out the fact that they could not believe that a man could write so well from a young girl’s point of view. Well, I owe it to my work place.
On a different tangent, writing requires immense dedication and focus. So yes, at the right opportunity and the moment, for sure, I could consider being a full time writer.

4. What is your latest book all about? And from where did this idea occur to you? 
Ans:- Stories happen to me. I sleep over them, with them, let them engulf me, consume me. Post that, the process is fairly simple…to pen it down. Currently I am toying with two plots. Both are women centric. One, from the POV of a young girl, while the other the turbulent story of a young mom.

5. How much long did it take to write this book from the moment you started developing the story to start writing it till completing it finally with editing and all?
Ans:- I write in blocks. So I am not too sure about the precise time frame. Also, I write pretty fast. So the actual time taken to write, would have not been more than 30 days. For sure, you would be knowing that I don’t re-read or edit my work. Also, I don’t let anyone else edit it.

6. Indian Publishing is too hard to deal with, was it easy for you to get a Publisher or did u wait for a long time to get your work published?
Ans:- Cakewalk is the word I would use. And I am eternally thankful to Renu, the Managing Director of Vitasta; my publisher. She is such a sweetheart, always there for me. I owe a great deal to her.

7. What are the Promotional strategies that you and your publisher have applied to promote/market your book?
Ans:- Every story comes with its own destiny. And every story finds destined hearts and minds. I let my words do their own promotion. For sure, we do have a basic online presence with some banners on my page etc., some reviews here and there but apart from that I don’t have any strategy.

8. What exactly is your target from your Books- 1. Getting most copies sold out, 2. Getting the love of readers or 3. You just wrote it because you wanted to write a book once in your life, hence you have no targets?
Ans:- Love is what I seek, minds and hearts is what I explore.

9. By when are you coming up with your next novel? And if possible, do give us an idea about what it would be.
Ans:- Two stories, two plots and two ways. I would choose one. As soon as I finalize on the road, for sure, will let you know.

10. In the end, tell us in 5-7 lines, what speech will you give if you win a Major Award for the Best Indian Author for your books?
Ans:- I would like to quote this Black Sabbath song 
“The lover of life's not a sinner 
The ending is just a beginner 
The closer you get to the meaning 
The sooner you'll know that you're dreaming 
So it's on and on and on 
Oh it's on and on and on 
It goes on and on and on, Heaven and Hell” 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

OOPS! I fell in for DON's daughter by Piyush Naik (Book Review-1.5*/5)!!!

   This is my 2nd novel within 24 hours. This is a warm up session that I had for 3 days so that as soon as my exam ends on 12th December which is going to start after 5 days from now, I can start reading novels back to back without feeling myself as a starter. Generally what happens is- I read the first two novels slowly because of losing the habit of reading. I pick up only after I get a wonderful page-turner. I don't know what am I going to write in the paper that's on 2nd December but let's see what God has kept in store for me. :-) Well, the novel that I completed just now is "Oops! I fell in for DON's daughter". It is written by a debutante- Piyush Naik. It's published by Diamond Books. Diamond Books is known for publishing those books which gets rejected by almost every Indian publisher. And the story that they publish are generally the childish teenage love stories. It's actually not meant for anyone who's above 17 years old. If someone like me is reading it, you can say, I am totally out of my head.

He's smart. He's good looking. He's witty.
His charm attracts girls. 
He's Piyansh Nigam (Piya)
She's intelligent. She's gorgeous. She's humorous. 
Her beauty makes boys propose her. 
She's Ashwinya Murthy (Ash)
Both Sixteen. 10th graders. But don't know each other.
Reason different schools, 
But one day,
Piya sees Ash and falls in love with her at first sight. 
'Love at first sight is Dangerous'
Ash doesn't know Piya existbut if Piya gets Ash, then he would not exist coz she's DON's daughter.

His friends suggested him to find someone else. He knows he's in queue. 
But still Piya wants Ash. He loves her a lot.
'Teen is the age of beginning of emotions and end of innocence'
Will emotions end innocence? Will he woo her? Even if he gets hertheir relationship will survive? Or he'll find someone else? Will he be a ray of light in the dark of her life? Was it love or just another crush?

A lot of questions an unusual pair an unusual story of crush, friendship, love, mistakes, teenage and Oops!

About the Author
Piyush Naik at just 18 has written his debut novel. He has done his schooling from Dyanmata High School, Amravati. And. Has did his Junior college from M.I.T. junior college, Pune. Currently he is preparing to crack the entrance of the brand of Engineering. 

When he was of 10 he heard the line A pen is mightier than a sword and when he turned 15 he decided to use that weapon as his passion. Just the difference was that his weapon was not a pen but was MS word.

       Well, what should I review in this book. Even if I would not have read it, I could have told you what the story comprises of. I don't find any mistake of authors when I read books on the same topic again and again and written almost in the same way. I think there should be a Censor Board kind of a thing which should check what books are out for release and restrict the ones written on the same lines of college/school teenage romance. It's actually enough now. Piyush Naik is 18 years old and I didn't expect anything better from him. At this age, one finds fame and recognition fascinating. Bollywood is a long way and seeing simple novels written all around, one gets a motivational push from conscious mind to write a novel. It happens and gets published. Someone like me who works in this field gets his hand on these books and wastes his few hours on it. 

          I don't want to discourage a young author like him. I was 19 when I started writing blog and I used to get almost the same kind of criticism as this blog post that I am writing for Mr. Piyush. That helped me to improve myself from there. Even now there's a big room for improvement and I am always open for suggestions. I just want Piyush to do the same with the kind of criticism he must be getting from the better critics. I found his narration and language very weak. Even if the same story could have been written in a better language, the book could have been in a totally different shape. The book is not even edited or proof-read, it seems. Practicals is written as particles. Quiet is written as Quite. And so on. There's no twist and turn in the story. As the title suggests, you feel that the book would be full of chases between the protagonist and his girlfriend's father and his men. But the book has nothing to do with its title. Similarly, the protagonist Piyansh is called Piya in the book for most of the times which confuses you if its a girl or a boy. Similarly, there's a character Mamma. Every time I read it, it seemed as if a mother is been referred but alas, even that's not the case. Summarizing, I would say that only the people below 18 years of age should entertain this book else you will be disappointed like me. I give it 1 but for the author gutting to write at the age of 18, I give it .5 more i.e. 1.5/5. 


Kashi by Terin Miller (Book Review- 3.4*/5)!!!

     5 days ago, I read a book "Dinner Date" written by Ishaan Lalit published by Author's Empire. It was quite an entertaining genre. Just after that I picked up another book by the same publisher "Kashi" written by Terin Miller. I am astonished with the fact that a new publisher like AE has guts to publish books of different genres unlike other publishers who release only one genre i.e. love stories based in Engineering colleges. Starting with this book that I read, Kashi, I would say that the cover page is beautifully done. A woman posing in red saree while its showering over her. Traditional building that ensembles fort in the background. A wonderful attraction that will lead in any reader to pick up the book. I always believe that a book is judged by its cover page no matter what. It is a fact and will remain to be. Haha! Wrong but true! Before starting the review, let's see what's the book about.

Kashi is a tale of clashes of cultures, relationship experiments and religious and moral differences in the holiest of Hindu cities, just at the time Indias second generation of independence comes to adulthood in the form of Sumita Meetha Sharma.

Meetha Sharma, educated, attractive, worldly, the daughter of a wealthy import-export businessman in the nascent new Indian middle-class, desires to be like her American and other expatriate friends. She chafes at old world ideas of behavior and conformity and longs to be seen as an equal in society. But her desires have consequences she doesnt fully realize, especially for the traditional Hindu musician to whom she was promised when she was 13.

A story of a generation of Indians unlike any that has come before themborn in a free and independent country, a country only granted its freedom after much effort and sacrifice by their forebears, a country only granted the opportunity to rise in the world as its former colonial status fades into history.

First self-published in the United States as From Where The Rivers Come, Kashi won in the category of Multicultural Fiction in the Best Books 2010 contest, sponsored by USA Book News.

It has also received honorable mention recognition in Writers Digest 2010 International Self-Published Book Awards, the 2010 Paris Book Festival and Beach Book Festival in the fiction category and the 2009 New York Festival, the London Book Festival and New England Book Festival.
   Coming to the review, I must say that the book has an Indian smell into it even when its written by an American Author- Terin Miller. Generally, when you will read an Indian based story written by a Non-Indian, you will find only the poor segment of India being discussed. They will either talk about the poverty, slums or crowded Mumbai Local. This book does not treat India as a country that's dealing with crisis and under-development. It depicts the traditional smell and purity that India and Indians have. The character of Meetha Sharma impressed me more than the protagonist got impressed. :-) Other characters, too, supported the story well. I loved the way Kashi, Benaras, Lucknow and other cities are discussed in the book. The emotions and background of each character is continuously discussed that brings a special effect to the story.

      Let's come to few drawbacks- I felt that the book has more conversation and less description of what's happening. It's story that excites not conversation. I also felt that the author kept the things short rather than discussing it in detail with us. The cost of the book i.e. Rs. 175 is certainly too much. It should not have been more than Rs. 125. I am happy that a different story is out in the market by one of the publishers that generally publishes debutante and as we are quite aware that Indian debutante are only interested in writing their college stories and teenage romances. I give this book 3.4 out of 5. It can be surely read if you love reading foreign speakers speaking about India. 


Information Technology Project Management by Jack Marchewka (Book Review- 4.25/5)!!!

 Well, it's not every time that I read the whole book that's in my syllabus of MCA course but this time I almost did it with one of my subject named "Software Project Management". People find it tough because of it being a theoretical concept. I find such subjects little easy because I love reading and I get a lot to read in such subjects. I don't like subjects which forces me to mug up something just because it can't be talked of in any other way. In the 3rd semester of MCA, that I am currently in, I have SPM as a subject which is my favorite. We were asked to refer Jack T. Marchewka's book and hence I read his "Information Technology Project Management"'s 2nd edition. The book is published by Wiley-India Edition unlike other books that are published by Tata McGraw Hill of MCA syllabus. After reading the book, I am quite confident that I'll clear the examination by writing something. That's the specialty of his writing and explaining things. 

About The Author:-
Jack T. Marchewka is an associate professor, the Barsema Professor of Management Information Systems, and the director of the Business Information Technology Transfer Center (BITTC) at Northern Illinois University. He received his Ph.D. from Georgia State University's department of Computer Information Systems in 1994 and was a former faculty member at Kennesaw State University. Prior to entering academia, Dr. Marchewka was a vice president of MIS for a healthcare company in Atlanta, Georgia.

Dr. Marchewka has taught a number of courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and has been a guest lecturer at the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University in the Netherlands. His current research interest include IT project management, electronic commerce, knowledge management, and organizational security and business continuity. His articles have appeared in journals such as Information Resources Management Journal, Information Technology & People, Journal of International Information Management, and Journal of Informatics Education and Research.

About The Book:-
This text fits a quickly emerging course in the IT curriculum- project management for IT. The focus is on addressing the issues that arise with software projects in industry- the costs, complexities and risks associated with IT projects, even as IT becomes more reliable, faster and less expensive. These risks are alleviated by effective use of project management techniques, and this book addresses those issues and the techniques used to solve them.

Key Features:-

  • Incorporates PMI's PMBOK (Project Mgt Body of Knowledge)
  • "Integrated Approach" to pedagogy will provide help for students to understand the big picture and the critical details
  • Hands-on, integrated case assignments
  • A knowledge management component which will provide a repository on the web for students' experiences and "lessons learned."

Table Of Contents:-

  • Preface
  • About the Author
  • The Nature of Information Technology Projects
  • Conceptualizing and Initiating the IT Project
  • Developing the Project Charter and Baseline Project Plan
  • The Human Side of Project Management
  • Defining and Managing Project Scope
  • The Work Breakdown Structure and Project Estimation
  • The Project Schedule and Budget
  • Managing Project Risk
  • Project Communication, Tracking, and Reporting
  • IT Project Quality Management
  • Managing Organizational Change, Resistance, and Conflict
  • Project Implementation, Closure, and Evaluation
  • Appendix A: An Introduction to Function Point Analysis
  • Index

             Coming to the review, I would start talking chapter-wise. The first chapter which introduces us to software and its development isn't written in an easy language the way other chapters of the book is written. Business Case is beautifully explained in the 2nd chapter. Coming to the third chapter based on Project Charter, you would again get depressed as even that's not explained as nicely as I expected. 4th Chapter rocks with a wonderful elaboration of Organization and Project Manager. 5th Chapter again bounced above my head. Chapter 6th and 7th are another disappointment. Chapter 8 explains Risk Management and its processes in the best way that was possible. Chapter 10th could have been hard to explain the quality management and six sigmas kind of thing but author has managed it very well.

           11th Chapter is again a hard thing to break for the readers. Even that's not wonderfully done. Chapter 12th rocked because of Outsourcing. I enjoyed reading this part the most. I gave presentation on this topic in my class too. Leadership and ethics is wonderfully explained in Chapter 13th- Leadership and Ethics. Chapter 14th, the last chapter of the book, explains Project Implementation and Administrative closure, the last phase of the Software Project Development. And with it, a wonderful book that explains almost all the important topics in a very easy language with labelled diagrams ends on a good note. For my classmates, I have also made notes of this book. Now you can estimate well how much in love I am with this book. Jack Marchewka, you rock. I give this book 4.25/5.



Saturday, November 23, 2013

Dinner Date by Ishaan Lalit (Book Review- 2.75/5)!!!

980th BLOG POST -->>

     This is the 2nd book that I am reading from the new emerging publisher- Author's Empire. I have not yet checked their distribution but if next time I would be going to Crossword or Landmark store in Mumbai, I would be checking if their 2-3 titles are present or not. After that, whichever book I would be reviewing of their, I would mention if as a new publication, they are ready to cover the country or focusing only in their zone like Mahaveer Publication generally does. That's the only issue I have with new publications that they don't distribute the book well and depend only on Online pre-ordering and ordering. Let's see what Author's Empire does in future. 

             Well, for now, after Chakra by Ritu Lalit, I have read book of her son, Ishaan Lalit, that's also published by the same, AE Publication, named "Dinner Date". Ishaan Lalit is basically known for writing Sci-fi novel which is popular only in the small section of readers and hence this book could have given him a wonderful image as its from the commercial fiction genre. Though I felt that the book was nice but there's lot of improvement that could have been suggested by the people who read it in developing stage. And its quite evident that the writer's purpose of writing this book was something different- Because some critic challenged him in his review that he writes sci-fi only because he can't write anything else, he tried his hands on this. And he passes with 50% marks, I would say. 

About the Author:-
Ishaan Lalit is a seasoned author with three books already in the market. His unusual plots and the pace of his books have gathered much appreciation. His first book ‘The Bracelet’ gathered good reviews from both HT City and Pioneer. His second book Hexagon, won The Best Science Fiction Award at the Indian Literary Awards. Ishaan Lalit is also an aviator and adventurer. His third book Dinner Date is one of the most highly anticipated books of 2013. He has travelled many countries and that shows in his writing as his books mix multiple cultures and personalities seamlessly. He currently resides in Delhi - NCR but is often out of the country looking for new material to write about.

Sam Thomas, today he is a charming, well-dressed, successful lawyer, but he was not always so. He was a goofy, clueless, awkward young man. The first time a beautiful girl kissed him, he ran away screaming, which led to the rumours that he was gay. When he tried to put the rumours to sleep, he only ended up getting into worse trouble and got beaten up by the schools gymnastics team. Dinner Date is the story of one evening, when Sam recounts his story and tells of how he and his friends, Ram and Rohit, go from one fiasco to another in their law school, from almost getting expelled to meeting his estranged godfather, to falling in love with the Deans daughter. The trio fumbles through all the obstacles comically. Dinner Date is a love caper, set amidst moot courts, law school, politics and family secrets.

        Coming to the author I would say:- Yes, he has written a book that can be read one time but the people who are already a fan of this genre may feel disappointed because it offers nothing new. The writing style is wonderful with easy language and funny scenarios being discussed in the story every now and then. That's the best part about the author. He does not like to keep the story simple. And the only story that one loves to read is the one with twists and turns. Everything in the book seems to be incomplete, that's the only problem with the author that I have. He should have carved the story more deeply and tried to create more branches out of the main plot. But what we get to witness is the main plot discussed repeatedly in the book. But still, cutting short all the pros and cons, I would say that the writing style is readable. 

        Initially, when the concept of Godfather is brought up in the book, I said to myself,"Is this really happening?" but as the story progressed and the role of Alex kept getting better, I enjoyed every part of it. I also loved the interaction between Godfather, Sam and his parents. The family values are beautifully portrayed. Aditi is one character I would love to convert into real life person. She is too interesting to be with. What a character! For this, I would like to thank author. Haha! The court session in the beginning when Sam and his friend had to prove themselves to stay in college is one wonderful part of the book. His equation with Ravi Ahuja is also interesting to read. I wanted the friendship to be shown with more power between the three friends but its kept very low profile. Whatever! The changing attitude of Sam after a while and then coming back into aukaat is also a good modification done in the plot. In all, I would say that the book is fine read when you are in journey. But I won't recommend you the book being a die-hard reader. Cover page is beautiful, no doubt. Well done, Amol Karambe. 



Thursday, November 7, 2013

An Interview with Debut author of The Justified Sin, Harpreet Makkar!!!


             It was a nice time interviewing Mr. Harpreet Makkar who is debuting very soon with his book- THE JUSTIFIED SIN. Do read a straight forward interview I had with him.

1. Hello Mr. Harpreet, what is your feeling after being an author now? What’s your perspective about life now after achieving a rare flagship in your life?

It feels great, everything happening around, the excitement, and the desperate wait to hold my book in my hands, everything getting bigger by time. 
I don’t think there will be any change in my perspective towards life. Becoming an author is secondary but being a human is primary thing for me. I will be taking life the way I used to take earlier. But yes of course, things change when you got people to notice your actions and there are people to follow you and that’s the time when you need to be careful with your words and actions.

2. When you saw your first novel- The Justified Sin for sale on E-commerce websites and placed at a bookstore for the first time, what kind of thoughts dominated your mind?

I won’t call it dominating, it was some kind of mixed feelings, excited to see myself there, happy to reach this far and nervous thinking about the response from my readers. Not able to think about anything else, I was confused. But all thanks to Kunal and friends who supported me all the way, from the very start till the end. 

3. Before we head towards discussing your book, we would like to know in spite of being an author, what do you exactly do? And do you wish to continue with the job or come into full-time writing? 

I completed my engineering in 2011 and worked as a Senior Design Engineer in one of the top MNC’s of the country in Bangalore for around a year or so. But later I realized it was not exactly what I wanted. Looking back towards my family and situation at home, I decided to quit. I came back home and joined my Dad in his business. 
Currently I am working as an Insurance & Stock Broker, and for now my plans are to continue with it till the moment I earn sufficient enough to live my life with all required luxuries and then get into full time writing. 

4. What is your book all about? And from where did this idea occur to you? 

What do you call it when three beautiful women come in your life, but you are still single? What if they all, at some point, tried to entice you, but you feel like committing suicide because of loneliness? What do you call it when you made no mistake, but still, you feel guilty as sin?

Having so many people around, still you are alone. Always thinking n caring for your friends and not getting anything in return, forced to live with guilt of a crime you never did. This is what my book is about; story of a guy having everything yet nothing, he did everything to keep people happy yet he was accused, he was betrayed and what not. Let’s leave something for our readers to read and let’s keep the excitement.

5. How much long did it take to write this book from the moment you started developing the story to start writing it till completing it finally with editing and all?

You will be surprised to know that I wrote this story few years back, at quite a young age and though it was not a story at that time, I mean everything was just like some rough notes. Writing down my experiences, my feelings was my passion at that time and it took me I guess six months to convert those notes into a full fledge story. And then couple of months for editing n all. It was a nice journey, enjoying every bit of it. 

6. Indian Publishing is too hard to deal with, was it easy for you to get a Publisher or did u wait for a long time to get your work published?

It is indeed very hard for debut authors to get published. But as they say, nothing is difficult when there is dedication and sincerity in your work. I tried my best, and with a person like Kunal, things are never difficult. He will do whatever he can and even if he can’t do something he will guide you properly to get it done. 

7. What are the Promotional strategies that you and your publisher have applied to promote/market your book?

There is nothing much to do, my main goal is to reach every possible corner with my book and convey my feelings through my words. I am trying my best to do that, making people aware about my book using offline and online mediums. 

8. What exactly is your target from your Books- 1. Getting most copies sold out, 2. Getting the love of readers or 3. You just wrote it because you wanted to write a book once in your life, hence you have no targets?

I don’t have any set targets, infact I never get into something thinking about the targets. For now my main aim is to deliver my book into as much as hands possible. And I just wish people to feel my writing, as reading something just to read it is something I never wished for. People should know me by my writing not by my name, and their love is all I want. 

9. By when are you coming up with your next novel? And if possible, do give us an idea about what it would be.

This book is quite important for me, being the first one of me and of course the story is really close to me. For now I just wish to deliver my best in every possible form.
And definitely I will be back with my next book and I will try to put it up by next summer. It will be again something based on romance. 

10. In the end, tell us in 5-7 lines, what speech will you give if you win a Major Award for the Best Indian Author for your books?

That will be a dream coming true. Anyways I can practice for that now. 

“Good evening ladies and gentleman. I am grateful to you all for considering me capable enough for this honor. There are few people I wish to thank before I accept this award as it belongs to all those people. Starting from God, to my parents n family for their support and faith in me, and my friends for pushing me all the time and last but not the least, Mr. Kunal Marathe, my publisher, a friend, a brother and what not. He supported me in every possible form, whenever things got tough to handle he was there. Thank you all for this honor, a big thank you from bottom of my heart.”



Participate and win a Blackberry (Contest by Author's Empire and Harpreet Makkar)!!!


          There are many contests these days at the time of a book release and at the pre-ordering stage. But not many are as rare and a good opportunity as this one by Author's Empire and Harpreet Makkar is for latter's debut book- "The Justified Sin". I don't generally talk about promotional strategies of books but this one compelled me to ask each one of you to participate to test your luck. You never know you may be the one winning Blackberry or author-signed copy or some other goodies. :-) The Offer is posted below. Do read it nicely and start participating along with your friends.

Author's Empire India and Harpreet Makkar bring you an exciting chance to win a BlackBerry Curve and many other exciting goodies.

All you have to do is, order The Justified Sin, a novel by Harpreet Makkar from any online bookseller between 5th to 15th November 2013, share this picture, and send us the order number on the official Facebook page of Author's Empire or The Justified Sin.

Author's Empire:
The Justified Sin:

Also, every buyer will get the book author-signed.

Terms and conditions: 

1) The offer is valid on order and purchase from, and

2) The offer is valid for orders made from 5th to 15th November 2013. 

3) The winners will be announced on 30th November 2013. 

4) After ordering the book, send us the order number, your name, e-mail id, contact number and the name of the seller (

5) Please provide us the copy of bill (proof of purchase) of the book to claim your prizes. 

6) Write to us at for queries. 

Some of the links to order the book:


Sunday, November 3, 2013

DIWALI SPECIAL: Ravi Subramanian speaks with us, ARB!!!

    Diwali means something special celebratory. The Blog would have looked incomplete if there would not have been a bit of lightning here. :-) So a Diwali Special for all of you- My Interview with one of the Top 5 Bestselling Authors of India- Mr. Ravi Subramanian. I think this is the only interview in the world where interviewer and interviewee has spoken almost the same number of words. Haha! Read the interview and do give your feedback about the author's thoughts. :-)

1. Starting with, a very Happy Diwali to you, Mr Ravi and also a hearty Congratulations from my side for the success of your latest book- Bankerupt. Can I ask you about your confidence at the writing stage regarding this book? Well, everyone knows that your book will sell 1,00,000 copies minimum but were you nervous about the expectations that your readers would be having with you?

Thanks a lot for your Diwali wishes which I heartily reciprocate. 

Well the nervousness and the anxiety is not about the sales numbers. With success comes the burden of expectations. I was tackling a subject which was alien to the Indian reader. Gun control in the US and the academia in the US were not subjects about which many had written in the past. I was also making a deviation from my comfort zone and writing something new. And this the first time I was working with Penguin. All put together made me anxious. 

2. How do you manage to write differently on the same topic of Bankers and banking industry every time? Don’t you feel scared each time that your book might get rejected because of getting stereotyped? 

While I write about bankers and banking, All my stories have a distinct flavour. They are very different from each other. Hence the fear of getting stereo typed doesn’t exist. I am very clear in my mind that they day I feel I am getting repetitive or that I am unable to churn out stuff which is fresh and interesting, I will stop writing about banking. 

3. After J.K.Rowling stepping into thriller and adult fiction, can we expect Mr. Ravi Subramanian to write something else in future than banking? 

Oh yes. In fact if you look at my new book – BANKERUPT, it’s a move away from banking. It is based in the backdrop of academia in the USA and is set amidst the raging gun control conflict in America. Yes the regular banking linkage is there, but it’s a lot less than my previous books. I will be exploring newer subjects as I evolve in my writing career.

4. Don’t your previous banks with which you have worked asks you to avoid writing the incidents or conditions that directly or indirectly hits upon their brand?

No one has ever asked me to do that. In fact many in the banking industry appreciate my writing about these issues and bringing them into limelight. 

5. In India, very few authors have actually done extremely well. Counting few, I can remember the names of Chetan Bhagat, Amish Tripathi, Ashwin Sanghi and you. Do you feel that being in Top 5 writers who are seen up to; you have a responsibility of being truthful and accurate in writing books and giving interviews?

I agree that I one has a responsibility of being truthful to readers ..irrespective of wether you are in the top 5 or top 10 or top 100. Being truthful to your readers makes you not worry about what you said in an earlier interview. That’s one thing I love about someone like Ravinder. He does not pretend to be what he is not, and this trait of his helps him connect very well with his readers. 

6. Also, the names that I have taken above write in a particular genre or topic including you. Do you think that this is a success formula of being a successfully and extensively read writer? 

No. I don’t think so. Initially it helps you define a genre and people remember you by it. But what is more important is the simplicity of the story telling and originality of the plot. That’s what makes you successful. If you write in a particular space and write badly, no one is going to read you. 

7. How do you end up releasing a book in a year time even when they have plots and sub plots that needs extensive researches because other authors take 2-4 years on the name of research and character-building?

I would not want to comment on other writers, but I use an extensive mix of research and creative licensing. This helps me mould my stories appropriately and take judicious creative calls on the storyline. If you focus on the story and give I the desired time, it is not very difficult t bring out a book a year. In fact in the west you have bestselling authors who don’t run a writing factory and yet bring out two books a year. 

8. Well, this question suits a guy in his 25th year but still I would ask you, does getting featured on television and seeing your books almost in every bookstore of India fascinates you even today?

Being recognized for your work and being talked about it fascinates and excites everyone – irrespective of age. Seeing my books piled up in every bookstore is a huge turn on for any author. Ask any author and he will tell you how upsetting it is to walk into a store and not see your books stacked up. 

9. You have published 6 books till now. That’s not the only thing; you have also made your daughter write a book when she was just 11 years old. Do you discuss your books with her while writing them? And how do you see her future as a writer?

Just a small correction. I did not make her write a book. She wrote it on her own … Yes she and I discuss a lot about books. In fact some interesting twists in my stories do find their genesis in my discussion with her. I am extremely proud of the fact that she wrote her first book at 12. She write well, communicates well. And this makes me believe that she has great future as an author. 

10. You are financially very stable as you are also in a job at a very senior position. You are also open to readers and aspiring authors. Do you ever think of establishing a Publishing company yourself for the sake of writers who write well but never gets published? You are also aware of some very good books in market but yet haven’t sold more than 1000 copies; hence I am asking this question to you. 

A few years back it was a dream for me, to run a publishing company. But it is not easy as it seems. Even if I set up a publishing house, I may not be able to give wings to aspirations of many authors. Commercial success, even in business is important. Hence this plan is on the backburner at this point in time. Who knows maybe the thought may be rekindled at a later date. In the interim, I am open to speaking to anyone who wants to leverage on my six year long journey and learning’s, as an author. 

With his wife and daughter!!!
11. Thanks a lot for the great interview sir. A last question- How do you see yourself after 15 years i.e. after retirement? Don’t skip this question saying that you have not thought for long. I know successful people have a plan diary with them always.  In the end, what would you like to tell your readers how grateful you are to them for the success of Bankerupt? 

I am extremely grateful to my readers, without whose love and support, I would not have reached where I have as an author. They have made me what I am. I owe every bit of success to them. And that’s the only reason why I value their feedback very strongly. As far as where I see myself after fifteen years… well.. let me think now for you haven’t given me the option of not answering the question. I don’t think fifteen years down the line, people will remember me as a banker. They will ‘hopefully’ remember me as an author, who  gave readers extremely interesting stories. 20 books down, I will be a retired banker, a satisfied author and the father of a dynamic author. If this becomes a reality, I will consider myself as having led a successful life. 

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