Kissing the Demon by Amrita Kumar

Kissing the Demon by Amrita Kumar

When I read that first line of the book,  I knew it would be a fun ride.  For all those aspiring writers and  closet novelists this is a great reckoner to read.  Of course, the internet is full of similar stuff,  then why would one invest in another book to read.  It is because of the author Amrita Kumar’s experience of a lifetime spent with writers, editors and publishing houses.

Amrita Kumar is an anthologist, novelist, writing-mentor and creative writing teacher.  She has worked with the Government of India, Penguin India, Roli Books, HarperCollins, Rupa & Co., Encyclopaedia Britannica.  She was the editor of Indian Design and Interiors magazine.

Coming to the book, the first line itself hooks you with her funny take on Wren and Martin.  Here I was expecting a sermon on grammar ethics and she just made fun of it.  She further adds that as a writer,  she hates them but as an editor,  they deserve full respect.  She sets the tone and says this is not a ‘grammar rule book’.  And of course,  writing is not just about getting the grammar right.

When I started the book, I felt there are too many nuggets and I should highlight the ones I will return to.  But, when I started penciling the lines, I realized I might as well highlight the whole book.  Every paragraph is a step by step progression on how to write.

The book has 5 distinct sections dealing with various stages of the writer and writing from starting the book, plotting, narrating, characterization, ending and finally publishing.  She cheekily observes that a writer is someone who gets paid to write and when he puts the cheque in the bank, it does not bounce and the person is able to pay his bills with that money.  The author motivates you to write.  She talks about silencing the inner critic and fighting other demons.  For almost every point, she gives the example of various authors.  It shows the detailed research she has done for the book.  Of course,  she is good at it.  She has a whole chapter on doing meticulous research.

The section on Indian publishing is detailed due to her first hand experience.  It is a treasure trove of information.

I have not read any other book on writing though Stephen King’s ‘On Writing’ has been forever on my wishlist. But this one should be read by all writers,  aspiring or not.

As the blurb rightfully says, ‘Kissing the Demon will make your journey as a writer a little less painful, make you look upon that demon with a little more love.’


I received a copy from Writersmelon in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

Teaser Tuesday 14-Mar #TeaserTuesday

Teaser Tuesday 14-Mar #TeaserTuesday

A non-fiction book is perceived as boring,  just facts explained in a dry manner.  So, I was not sure what I had signed for when I agreed to review ‘Kissing the Demons’ by Amrita Kumar.  It is a self help book for Creative Writing.  Its directly mentioned in the tagline as ‘The Creative Writer’s Handbook’.  It pulled me in with its first two lines.  I instinctively knew I would love this book.  Here are it’s first two lines.

 

Among all the miseries heaped upon my generation was a fat squat book with a shiny red faux leather cover titled High School English Grammar and Composition.  It was the stuff of nightmares and it was authored by two men, Wren and Martin, who for some inexplicable reason I imagined as Laurel and Hardy with bowler hats and walking sticks.

During my school days,  I did not own one while our English teacher used to spew the virtues of the book.  I borrowed it for a few days from a friend to understand what it is.  A decade or so later,  as soon as my son reached school,  I promptly bought a Wren and Martin for him.  Alas!  it laid there  unused for years till I gave it away to another child.

 

 

She walks, she leads by Gunjan Jain

She walks, she leads by Gunjan Jain

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Author : Gunjan Jain
Version : Hard copy
Genre : Biography, Inspiration

Source : Author

Author website : www.GunjanJain.com

Pages : 556

 

 

 

The book She Walks, She Leads is quite an attention grabber.  With its red hardback cover with golden letters,  it is instantly attractive.  To add to that it is also bulky.  I love bulky books. It does look good on the shelf.   Continue reading

Wonder Women by Sam Maggs

Wonder Women by Sam Maggs

Author : Sam Maggs 
Release date : October, 2016
Version : Kindle
Genre : Biography and Memoirs 

Publisher : Quirk Books

Source : Netgalley.com

Tell me how many women do you know who have been pioneers in their fields.  Tell me about a woman (other than your mother or immediate relatives) you look up to for inspiration.  Tell me how many women have won the Noble prize in Physics or Chemistry or even Maths.

Chances are you were not even aware of women doing anything more than being assistants or the ‘Behind every successful Man, there is a woman’ person.

That is where ‘Wonder Women’ comes in to shake you out of slumber,  to sit up and notice and tell the world about all these wonderful women who have been in history all along.  Some are credited,  but some are not credited with their accomplishments.

Did you know that the first computer program was written by a woman named Ada Lovelace sometime in the 1840-1850s?  You know it now.  But,  it was a fact which was never acknowledged till very recently.   But,  by then the woman is no more and has never received the acknowledgement she should have in her lifetime. Continue reading

Colours of life by Inderjit Kaur #BookReview

Author : Inderjit Kaurbook cover (8)
Publisher : NotionPress.com
Release date : 2016
Pages : 194
Genre : Positive thinking / Non-fiction
Source : Tbcblogtours.com

The book is titled,  Kaleidoscope – Colours of Life – A Living Series – Book 3.   Though the book is part of a series,  since it is not a continuous tale,  it does not really take away from the soul of the book.  The book is more like the familiar ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’  books which is based on real life experiences by people across places.  In this book,  it is the author’s real life experiences and how she was able to handle the various situations in her life through positive,  re-inforced thinking.  She rightly points out that one can learn a lot from one’s surroundings,  by the people we meet,  by how we judge or react to them.

The first one-third of the book is made up of stories by relating them to the seven colors of the rainbow.  Each color represents a positive trait.  So,  Violet is spiritual, Blue is confidence, Orange is compassionate and so on.  Each of the colors begin with a story and goes on to detail the reasonings.  The remaining two-third of the book is for stories relative to the A to Z of positive traits.  Most of the stories are related to the author’s own life experiences and they are very heartfelt and genuine.  Each story ends with a powerful quote. Continue reading