Blog Moves To “Prem Rao, Story Teller.”

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We are moving! This blog effective January 7, 2014 will now be available at Prem Rao, Story Teller. This move is prompted by my attempt to consolidate all my blog posts relating to books, writing, book reviews etc in one location. Thank you for following my posts, and I hope you will continue to do so at the new site.

More on Querying

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If you want to see your novel published, the querying process is one of the first challenges that you need to deal with effectively. I don’t have the numbers, and the estimates I have read vary so much that it’s difficult to pin the number of queries literary agents receive every day.  I do know for sure they add up to a huge number. Irrespective of this number, the fact remains that the query determines whether your book project will proceed to the next stop or not. Here are a few posts from experts to supplement what I had written some days ago in a post:  “On Querying”. More

“Devnaa’s India:Delicious Vegetarian Home Cooking & Street Food”

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“Devnaa’s India: Delicious Vegetarian Home Cooking & Street Food” by Roopa Rawal will be a welcome addition to the cookbook collection in the kitchen book shelf of those in the UK and elsewhere who are developing a new-found taste for Indian vegetarian cuisine. More

“Christmas Mysteries”

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With Christmas very much in the air, it was fitting that my reading took me to “Christmas Mysteries: Ten Excerpts To Set The Season” put together by Open Road Integrated Media. There’s something about excerpts that you may have noticed. If, like me, you enjoy mysteries, stories incomplete and the scope to figure out for yourself what happened before or after that excerpt, you will enjoy reading them. If you don’t, while they make for good reading in any case, excerpts can be annoying as you find yourself wanting more with the excerpt ending just as you got hooked to it. More

The Best of American Magazine Writing

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To tell you the truth as  a kid, it was my ambition to become a journalist. I would have loved to have become one but in the India of the ’60s and ’70s where I grew up, it wasn’t considered to be a hot career. At least that was the case in my family.  I have loved and followed magazine writing over the years. As a writer myself, I have often felt the short, terse sentences and the pace of the articles written in magazines call for special skills. Some of these are  quite different from those you would need for a long novel, though basic elements of good writing would undoubtedly remain the same.

“The Best Of American Magazine Writing, 2013″ from the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) in collaboration with the Columbia University Press, makes for interesting reading. The Editor in Chief of The Atlantic, James Bennett and Sid Holt, Chief Executive of the ASME deserve credit for having put together such an interesting anthology. As the name suggests, this is an annual compendium of the best articles written in different magazines which cover a wide variety of subjects from politics to stories of human interest. They cover works of public interest, reporting, feature writing, and fiction. Many of these articles have been adjudged winners in the National Magazine awards.

First up you read a fascinating article which first appeared in The Atlantic, “Fear Of A Black President” by Ta-Nehisi Coates. After all Barack Obama made history when he was elected the 44th President of the United States. Sure, he was one of the few African-Americans to graduate from Columbia University and the Harvard Law School, but how would he fare as the President in very demanding times?

I was delighted to find a short story by Stephen King, “Batman and Robin Have An Altercation” from Harper’s. I have admired his writing over the years. Most of all, I am grateful to King for his little book on Writing.

Some of the others which stayed in my mind (and perhaps indicate my areas of particular interest) are:

  • “Did You Think About The Six People You Executed” by Robert F. Worth of the New York Times in ‘Reporting.”
  • “Ten Days Inside The Mansion- and the Mind- of Kim Dotcom, the Most Wanted Man on the Internet, by Charles Graeber in Wired.
  • “The Innocent Man” by Pamela Colloff, in Texas Monthly in the category of Feature Writing incorporating Profile Writing.

If you want to gift someone with thought-provoking yet interesting reading for the festive season, why don’t you consider “The Best of American Magazine Writing, 2013 ?”

 

 

So, What Exactly Do You Write?

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Before I became a writer, I was a reader and a voracious one at that. It meant grabbing any book that caught your fancy and reading it primarily for your enjoyment. It didn’t matter one bit whether or not I knew which genre it belonged to. As a kid, I loved thrillers, mystery novels, crime stories and stories about the wars. This kind of grew on me over the years. It was probably inevitable that when I became a writer, I would try to write stories of the kind I loved to read. More

On Querying

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As mentioned earlier, I am in the process of querying for my third thriller, “Let The Dead Stay Dead.” As always it has been a hugely educative experience.  I had the opportunity to see many interesting websites and blogs of literary agents and was totally lost in the wealth of knowledge and perspectives found there. This is by no means a comprehensive list. I am only mentioning top of the mind a few points that have stayed with me. More

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