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And Miles To Go Before I Sleep

BookReview-TagCloud4-10May2013

It is now almost a week since the book got released. Amreekandesi – Masters of America is now available online, and at major bookstores. For readers abroad, it is available on Amazon in the US and UK, as well as a Kindle edition available globally. You can find links to buy it here.

The response so far has been good. People have written reviews, tweets, and sent messages to me saying that the book is a light, fun read that they enjoyed reading, which is heartening. It feels good if my work is able to make people smile. Apparently it is now on Flipkart’s list of best-selling new fiction releases, which is a small but steady step in the right direction.

Created this word-cloud from the text of all the reviews so far. I think it is a nifty representation of what people are saying about the book.

BookReview-TagCloud4-10May2013

Like with everything else, it wouldn’t be fun if it were all perfect. People have pointed out that there are some grammatical errors, and a blunder around the names of two characters in a particular scene. Awkward! It is incredible how the human eye (mine) stops noticing things one you’ve read a manuscript a hundred times, especially if it is 80,000 word long. Will try to get these corrected in the next reprint, whenever that happens.

I was on radio this week, in conversation with RJ Chris on Delhi’s Radio One FM station. It was an interesting experience. Chris was very cool, and talked about life in America and the various facets of this life that i have tried to cover in the book. Here’s some clips from the interview.

The book launch plans are still not finalized. Trying to do it next weekend (18th) in Delhi, but need a venue confirmation first. Will most likely have launch events in a few other cities some time in June. I’ll be in London later this month, in case anybody from the Queen’s land is interested in an event.

All in all, we’ve got off to a reasonable start. Keep the feedback coming, and thanks for your support so far.

A Dream Comes True

Two years ago, i embarked on a dream. At that time, i didn’t know what will come out of it, but i knew that i had to tell this story. I wrote a few thousand words while on a break from work, and then life took over. Work pressures, the baby, Twitter, and Temple Run kept me away from proceeding further, and i gave up. Then in 2012, i again picked up on the thread and decided that this time i will take it through. A serendipitous three-week bout of Chicken Pox helped give me the solitude required to write. It also helped that i ran through the entire season of Roadies during that time. I could feel Raghu sir constantly egging me on, inspiring me no end by shouting at me in my dreams. I had heard the phrase in numerous Bollywood interviews earlier, but i actually came to realize what ‘being in character’ means then. The book was on track. The distractions were still there, but it took some persistence, working over late nights, and coffee, to finally complete the book after many months of slogging.

Cut to present day, and the book releases tomorrow. This is as historic an occasion as they come. A dream come true. One item checked off the bucket list. Hopefully the first of many more books to come.

The good folks at Random House sent out advance copies to several people – writers, journalists, Twitter rockstars, Facebook page owners etc, and the reviews are beginning to trickle in. So far, it’s been called a light, breezy read. People have also said that they found it hard to keep it down after they started reading, which is always an encouraging sign. Obviously, it is my first effort, and there’s always room for improvement where it comes to literary style and character development. All i can say is that you improve every time you write. I will too.

Now eagerly awaiting the release tomorrow, and feedback comments to start appearing on blogs, Flipkart, Amazon etc. Also extremely nervous. I’ve done my bit, and can now just sit back and bite my nails in anticipation. Reminds me of the time right before IITJEE results were to be announced. People may not realize this, but writing a book takes as much out of you as slogging for a competitive examination, especially when there’s so many other things in life that you need to balance. Writing is still a part-time activity for me, and my day job keeps me more than busy.

The formal launch plans are still not decided. Will post details here once i have some clarity. There will be an event in Delhi for sure, with potentially more events in other major Indian cities.

Go grab a copy of the book tomorrow, and let me know what you think of it.

As for the feedback – please be gentle, it’s my first time!