Saturday, 26 October 2013

Interview With Sampath B


1. Can you tell us a little about yourself, your blog, and your aspirations and your hobbies!!
Hi this is Sampath and I live in Hyderabad. I have completed my graduation in 2012 from computer science engineering. Coming to my blogging this was started in the year 2009. At that stage I was really naive in blogging, later learnt many things and then started a gaming blog. There I used to share new game reviews and updates in gaming industry. But now I am writing on a technology blog.
i.e. www.TechBloggerTips.com .
My aspiration is that I want to see my blog in the top 30k list blogs. That is my goal now and my current blog is not even a month old. But now current alexa rank is below 700k worldwide and dropping and Indian rank is below 30k.
My hobbies are watching comedy shows, reading articles and ofcourse gaming. I am a hardcore fan of CS 1.6 game. I play a lot of online gaming in that game and my nick is Wrath.

2. How you first got involved in with blogging, are you an imaginative person?
My friend Sridhar once told me about blogging with blogger.com at free cost. He also explained the benefits of blogging.  You know we Indians are very attracted to the word FREE. So that’s how I got involved in blogging. Imaginative person, yes my pals think I am a person of that kind.

3. What do you find most challenging about blogging about your topic?

Most challenging part in blogging is getting listed in the top ten results of a particular query in the Google’s search page. There are hundreds of tech bloggers in the world so the competition is huge in the technology topic.






4. Tell me about some of the people you have met while working on your blog?
Through my blogging I have met many people through blogger meets and all of them are of different ages and are experts in their respected fields. I really feel blogging has changed my life and also career. Through blogging I have met many number of people who have gave me suggestions and ideas. Through blogging I got a job offer. Now I am working in a private software company that has a good name in the IT Industry prospective. I feel that’s the amazing part of my blogging memories.

5. How would (someone) describe your blogging style?
I generally write on technology, gaming and software based articles. When it comes to society based articles I am very emotional in my writing and very straight to the point. I got many compliments from my circle and one compliment which I always remember and that makes me feel happy. That compliment was from Mrs. Pattu Raj writer at Gardner at 60

6. What do you do when you are not working on your blog?
I spend time with my family and also play with my pet dog’s Jessie and lucky. These two are very attached to me. The everlasting friendship is between a human and dog is never ending, I love my pets.
7 .Where do you see yourself blogging wise in the next 6 months, and 5 years down the road?

I assume I will be making my website in the top 100k alexa rankings and about 5 years down the line it’s too far. No comments. :P

8. What networking do you do that you feel helps your blogging business?

I do online networking and also offline networking and that helps me getting visitors and traffic to my website.
9. How do you keep coming up with material/content for your blog? Many people struggle with coming up with different articles/posts and they only have one blog.

I generally refer to the Google news section where can I get latest information on various categories. So based upon that I use the information and do some work on it. Then I provide tutorials and reviews on software’s, applications and many other.

10. Whats your strategy with your blog in general?
My strategy is simple be straight to point and you can attract readers to your blog.


11. Any specific tips you have for newbie bloggers who want to make it in the blogosphere?

I only say one thing to Newbie bloggers that avoid plagiarism and try something unique in terms of writing style and presenting the information on your website.

12. What would you prioritize? Content? SEO? Traffic? Readers?
Every topic is interlinked to one another so I feel we should prioritize all these factors. Suppose we write an amazing article with quality content on the blog but you don’t publish to your social media or any other it is a failure. But we should also prioritize content since it is main thing on a blog/website.
13. Whats the best thing a blogger can give to his readers?
This generation youth like me check for Latest gadgets and gizmosJ. So that would be great thing for us.
14. A lot of people are interested in blogging for the money earning potential. What are some tips for people interesting in making money from blogging? What are some realistic expectations in regards to what can be made?

Frankly speaking if you are into money making via blogging then you need to have good content on your blog/website. Then proper submission of blog posts to the social media platforms where you can get good amount of traffic from US and UK. If you’re trying with adsense then you need to have large number of traffic from these countries. If you don’t have adsense then try affiliate marketing and that has been a huge success for many people or try with advertising companies like buysellads.

15. What motivates you most in life?
My father is my best friend in my life, whenever I am feeling lost he charges me with his boosting words. He is a hardworking journalist in the electronic media. He monitors whole operations of a TV News channel. I take that has a great motivation and he is my inspiration.

16. What has been your strategy for creating visibility to yourself and your blog?

I participate by commenting on the blog articles on various famous sites and that creates a back link as well as brings a visitor to my blog. That’s how it’s done by many bloggers around the world.

17 What was the most challenging moment in your blog content development process and why?
Hmm, I never faced that situation till now. Hope it doesn’t occur in future also J.
18. Everyone has a favorite/least favorite post. Name yours and why?

Yeah I have my favorite post and that relates to a real story happened with me in my life.
Here is the post
ARE HIJRA'S(TRANSGENDER) NOT A HUMAN BEING.?

19. Name some of the bloggers whom you look up to and why?

Its Satish Kumar famously known as Satish Coolpctips. We both are from same college we met for the first time while we were organizing a LAN Party in the college. He is good friend of mine always supportive. He started as a blogger now he is a CEO of a company called pyrite technologies.

20. What is the story behind the name of the blog?

Its simple there is no much story behind the title. Since I am tech blogger who writes on the technology , blogging and ofcourse sharing tips to the new bloggers. So I came up with this name TechBloggerTips

21. Your connection with any Blogger Network like Indi blogger or Writeupcafe or any other and the experience?
I am member of Indiblogger and blogengage. As you know Indiblogger is a popular blogging network and blogengage is also a similar network but only difference is Indiblogger offers service at free cost but blogengage doesn’t. Blogengage it’s a good platform where you can find many quality content writers.
In writeupcafe I won few awards for my gaming blog but now am not using writeupcafe for my networking.

22. Which genre do you feel gets the raw deal?

If the blogger is famous for his writing skills then any genre for him would be a great success. So it totally depends on the blogger. Because even if the genre is a hot topic but the blogger doesn’t have enough content then it’s a failure.

23. Which one plug-in would you suggest all bloggers to have?
Many bloggers use wordpress as a blogging platform so I feel SEO plugin is must for a blog/website. Since it can get your blog post top on the Google search. If you haven’t tried any seo plugin till now then use a plugin called Yoast.  It’s a free plugin and a best one in the market.

24. Five adjectives that describe you.

Jaunty
Determined
Inquisitive
Ambitious
Wacky

25. What book would you say has made the biggest impact good or bad on you?

Wings of fire
was my favorite one. It was a great inspiration for me. Also there are many other books which made a great impact on me but this was the first one that changed my attitude.

26. Do you get easily provoked by positive/negative comments??
Yes sometimes I get easily provoked since I am an emotional person. But when it is from my close one’s  I will not react as much as I react with others.

27. Do you plan to write a book, as every bloggers dream it is?

Yes,
Planning to write an eBook on blogging and sharing few tips to the fellow bloggers.

28. Are you a judgmental person, do you prefer to take sides instead of standing neutral?
No I am not a judgmental person. I take decisions depending upon the situations but I always try to prefer the good path.





29. Your collaboration with other bloggers, are you much into social networking, tells us everything about it?
Yes I am very much active on social media these days and many new bloggers take suggestions from me regarding blogging. I’m active on twitter and facebook.

30. What genre attracts you the most and which genre you avoid?
I am attracted to the fiction and avoid genre which relates with negative impacts on mind.

31. Your Views on Contests and increasing plagiarism?

I like contests and giveaways and I participated till now on many contests and even won a few prizes. Coming to plagiarism I hate it. Now a day’s plagiarism is increasing day by day but we can’t do anything unless the people mindset changes. But whenever I see any plagiarized content I simply complaint to DMCA.

32. Words for me and my blogs Desire v/s Destiny and Blogger Interviews.

You are a versatile blogger and a good photographer. Personally I like your photography and coming to blogger interviews this is an awesome platform where we can find interesting interviews and I feel very much happy that I am also listed on this blog.
Thanks for this great opportunity Rahul.

33. On winning the Award/s , Are they Really necessary.
Yes they are necessary since they boost up our minds and take us to next level. Now I feel this interview as an award for me because this is my first interview. I feel the same thing now and I wish you good luck with your blogging and life.
Cheers,

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Interview with Sudipto Das of the The Ekkos Clan

 1.       Can you tell us a little about yourself your aspirations and your hobbies!!

Professionally I’m an engineer. I did my BTech from IIT KGP in 1996 and have been the VP Engineering of Mirafra Technologies, a Semiconductor Design Service company, providing design services to companies like Intel, Cisco, Broadcom, Qualcomm and the other top semiconductor companies.

My aspiration is to retire from my professional work and become a full time writer, some day…
My hobbies are music, traveling and reading.  I play violin, having trained in Western 
Classical Music. I was the governor of Technology Music Society (TMS), the institute band at IIT, during my final year. When few of my band-mates from KGP moved to Bangalore in 2006, we started the band ‘Kohal’ in Bangalore in 2007. We do few gigs a year.

2.       How you first got involved in with writing, are you an imaginative person?
I used to always write, since my school and college days, mainly in Bengali. The Ekkos Clan is my first novel though. I started working on it in 2008. I wanted to do something that would bear my signature, my imprint. Anything I have been doing in my profession could have been done by anyone else. But I wanted to do something that only I could do, that would be done if only I did. Apart from my fingerprint ad my son, nothing I possess bear my unique signature. Writing a novel seemed like the only option to fulfil my dream of creating something unique, other than my son and fingerprints.  The book may not reach out to many people, at the end. It may be written off by the critics. Still, it will remain a creation which only I could have done. No one else could have come up with this particular name – The Ekkos Clan  - and this particular story line.I don’t think I’m very imaginative. I rely more on facts and figures.
3.Were you always interested in romantic genre?I love romantic books, but The Ekkos Clan is not a romantic book.
4.How did The EKKOS CLAN Happened?I’ve been always intrigued by ancient Indian history, especially the origin of our culture, our heritage, our religion, our languages. I figured out that there was not much literary works on these particular topics. Also there are lot of misinformation regarding these. I wanted to tell the true story of the origin of the Indian culture, Indian languages, but not in an academic way. I felt that if Dan Brown hadn’t written about the intriguing aspects of Christianity, not many things about Christianity would be known to us. Not many people would read history books. But writing about history in the garb of a thriller reaches out to a much bigger audience. So I decided to use the garb of a mystery novel to talk about Ancient Indian History.
5 .Where do you see yourself blogging wise in the next 6 months, and 5 years down the road?I use blogspot.google.com to blog. I generally blog on politics and culture. I’ve doing this since 2008 and I would be doing it for many more years.
6. How did the Name of the book get its innovation?Didn’t understand the question.
7. Were you good in studies, what was the most interesting part?I was mediocre in IIT. The most interesting part was the technologies behind telecommunication, something that has revolutionized the world beyond anything in the recent past.
8.Whats your favorite Genre, your thoughts on that especially In Indian scenario?Facts based fiction, something like Dan Brown & Amitav Ghosh, covering two divergent ends of the spectrum. This particular genre is seeing lot of good work in India now. Among the most popular ones in this genre, Ashwin Sannghi’s name comes to my mind.
9. Any specific tips you have for newbie Authors who want to make it in the publishing Industry?Read and read and read before you write. Writing is a very lonely process. You’ve to be very patient and disciplined.  Treat it like a project, make a good project planning and execute it with precision. Getting a publisher is not at all an easy task. Don’t lose heart and explore all options. Publishing industry is undergoing terrific changes. After 10 years there may be only e-books, and no conventional publisher may exist. So if you don’t get a publisher, self-publish an e-book and sell through amazon.
10.How do you manage your time in writing and your work.Lots of discipline and meticulous planning. I read and write only after 10pm and I keep awake till 2, again waking up by 7. I often fell sick owing to strain and lack of sleep. But I didn’t have any other option.
11.Whats the biggest mistake you have commited.I should have started writing seriously 10 years back.
12. What would you prioritize , Narration or words ?Narration – words will follow naturally.
13. Whats the best thing a writer can give to his readers?Share his love for something with his readers. If, after reading my book, a reader is inspired to read more about Rig Veda or the ancient Indian history, that would be my success as a writer. It would mean I’ve transmitted my love for history and culture to my reader.
14. A lot of people are interested in for the money earning potential of a writer. What are some tips for people interesting in making money from it? What are some realistic expectations in regards to what can be made?Statistically, you can’t make money with writing. Less than 1% of writers in India make good money through writing. Take writing as a passion and never ever think of making money out of it.
15. What motivates you most in life?Good books, good music and beautiful places
16. What has been your strategy for creating visibility to yourself and your work?Mainly through word of mouth, social media and print media
17 What was the most challenging moment in your content development process and why?Write authentically about exotic places in Hindukush and Russia without visiting the places myself
18. Everyone has a favorite/least favorite writer. Name yours and why?Answers in Question 19

19. Name some of the writers whom you look up to and why?My favorites are Rabindranath & Keats from classical literature. Eric Segal, Jeffry Archer, Amitav Ghosh, Jhumpa Lahiri, Khaled Hosseini from contemporary literature. Tagore made me fall in love with my country and culture. Keats enhanced the romanticism Tagore had ignited. Jeffry Archer amazes me with the volumes of best sellers he has written. Amitav, Jhumpa & Khaled inspired me to write about nondescript things from some small desolate corners of the world and make heroes out of apparently insignificant people.
20. What is the story behind the your blogging journey ,was it by chance?Blogging was the net practice to write my book.
21. Your connection with any others writers and what your efforts on that?Not much. I know just a few writers.
22. Which genre do you feel gets the raw deal?Simple romantic stories
23. Five adjectives that describe you.Patriotic, sensitive, romantic, sentimental, pagol (nearest Bengali word for dewana)
24. What book would you say has made the biggest impact good or bad on you?Amitav Ghosh’s books, especially Hungry Tide & Sea of Poppies; Jhumpa Lahiri’s Namesake & Unaccustomed Earth; Khaled Hossieni’s Kite Runner
25. Do you get easily provoked by positive/negative comments??No
26. Do you plan to write novel in collaboration?Yes. In fact I’m looking for a cowriter for my second book.
27. What genre attracts you the most and which genre you avoid?Historicals attract me. I don’t avoid anything.
28. Words for me and my blogs Desire v/s Destiny and Blogger Interviews.Wonderful effort to give a platform to people like me to speak out.
29. On winning the Award/s , Are they Really necessary.It’s always a privilege to get awards. They no doubt encourage you.
30.Tell us the Next thing we will hear from you. May be your Novel release.I’ve already completed the first draft of my second book, which is not a sequel of The Ekkos Clan, but I do have a plan to make a trilogy with Afsar-Kratu-Tista and linguistic palaeontology, of which The Ekkos Clan is the first book. My yearning to make my alma mater IIT Kharagpur (KGP) as a part of my literary creation is so strong that I want to write a KGP trilogy too, a set of three unusual love stories, all originating in KGP. My second book named Prembajar would be the first book of this trilogy. KGP to me is like a miniature world; everything compressed and contracted within the confines of the walls that enclose the campus. My attempt in writing the KGP trilogy is just a humble effort to talk about this world, of which, it was my privilege to be a part.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Interview with Saurabh Chawla


1.       Can you tell us a little about yourself ,your blog,and your aspirations and your hobbies!!
               My name is Saurabh Chawla. I started to blog in April 2012. I like to read fiction especially in    Thriller/Suspense/Mystery genre. I like to write stories/poems/life events. Saurabh's Lounge is my blog where you can find my writings as stories/poems etc. I have recently started book reviews section in my blog. I prefer to write suspense stories mostly whodunnits.

2.       How you first got involved in with blogging, are you an imaginative person?
I first got involved in blogging in April 2012 through a friend's reference. I had a flair for writing. Even in school, I used to be good in writing section of the English paper. Yes, my inclination towards imagination helps me frame stories and poems which I scribble in my blog.

3.       What do you find most challenging about blogging about your topic?
Blogging on my topic has a lot of challenges. There are lots of top writers who are awesome in their own way and frame stories which blow my mind away. All I take home from them is inspiration and motivation to write more and keep learning. Blogging as a community needs a lot of dedication and consistency in order to survive and not get lost in a crowd.

4.       Tell me about some of the people you have met while working on your blog?
               Blogging is a platform which I initially underestimated. But 1.5 years down the line, it helped me to learn many things and meet some awesome people who had same tastes as mine and to grow my network. There are lots of people who are my friends also. To name a few of them are
1.       Saru Singhal
2.       Arvind Passey
3.       Valli
4.       Meera
5.       Privy Trifles
6.       Kalpana Solsi
7.       Amit Aggarwal
And there are lots of other people who have always inspire me and will keep on inspiring and motivating me.

5.       How would (someone) describe your blogging style?
               This one is pretty tough but I would summarize from the comments I get on my writings. The poems I write are straight from my heart and mostly written in subconscious state of mind. I guess there is no other way of writing a poem at least for me. For stories, as per my readers, my whodunnits are liked by all of them. The main goal of a suspense story is to keep the reader guessing and I try to involve much twists and turns in order to keep my readers engaged and most importantly, to keep guessing.    

6.       What do you do when you are not working on your blog?
               I am in a full time job. Sometimes I may even not get time to concentrate on my blog but I make sure to not to neglect it at any cost. I make sure to update my blog whenever I get a new thought or inspiration from my fellow bloggers, authors, writers. Rest of the time, I am either sleeping or doing some daily chores.

7 .Where do you see yourself blogging wise in the next 6 months, and 5 years down the road?
As far as blogging is concerned, it's a great platform and I want to keep on going. In 6 months, I see myself as a good writer/blogger with lots of motivators/readers. For next 5 years I see myself as a published author and a known blogger.

8.       What networking do you do that you feel helps your blogging business?
               I make sure to read other bloggers whenever I get time. I have joined many bloggers networking websites like Indiblogger, Blogadda etc. I do make sure to remain in contact with them via Facebook, twitter social networking platforms.

9.       How do you keep coming up with material/content for your blog? Many people struggle with coming up with different articles/posts and they only have one blog.
              Writer's block is something which I feel can be completely cured when a person invests some time in reading. When he/she starts reading others, new fresh ideas start coming in mind automatically.  Well sometimes watching movies and keeping some time off from writing also helps a lot.

10.   Whats your strategy with your blog in general?
                I started as a fresh novice not knowing where exactly I would end up to. But as I have come here till now, I have planned approach for updating my blog. Also I take care for researching beforehand if I plan to write something which requires a well researched approach. I currently try my best to update my blog every 3-4 days. 

11.   Any specific tips you have for newbie bloggers who want to make it in the blogosphere?
               As of now I would like to tell the newbies who plan to start a blog of their own is to be original and try not to imitate or do copy paste kind of stuff as sooner or later you will get caught and then your entire reputation would suffer. Also, it will help you to go a long way which is not at all possible when one follows a copy paste strategy.

12.   What would you prioritize? Content? SEO? Traffic? Readers?
               Going by my priority, I would rate Content as first, and the reader s and traffic will automatically follow. For SEO and traffic is concerned I will surely take its help in growing after some time. Basic SEO I guess all who have been in blogging know but advanced SEO is often required when you have to grow large.

13.   Whats the best thing a blogger can give to his readers?
                That depends on his talents,. The things he is passionate about. There are lots of people out there. One cannot master all things. There are different passions in different people. I guess if the blogger sticks to his own passion/interest, he might be able to give his readers valuable insights on the subject he is good at.

14.   A lot of people are interested in blogging for the money earning potential. What are some tips for people interesting in making money from blogging? What are some realistic expectations in regards to what can be made?
               As of now, I am currently not aware about how much one can earn. I have seen many making millions and many quitting blogging as an option for earning. My take on this is to write or blog if you love it. It will make you master of your subject and if everything one starts doing for money only, then I guess he/she will hit a bottleneck and start stagnating after some point. Learn learn and learn and  then there are plenty of options in blogging itself which will lead you to earnings from it. Just do it if you love to do it and not just for the sake of it.

15.   What motivates you most in life?
               There are several factors in my life which are my motivations. Firstly my parents who always support me in what I do. They just don't force me to do this and do that. Secondly, I would like to thank all my readers  who take out their valuable time to read my blog and encourage me more and more. When I sense their expectations rising, I start learning more and try to improve myself  in my next writeup.

16.   What has been your strategy for creating visibility to yourself and your blog?
               There are many platforms available like Indiblogger, Blogadda, Technorati, Paperblog  etc. These help you to form a community with bloggers out there. Also, social networking like Facebook, Twitter has helped a lot. Rest you have to read others as well for letting them know your existence.

17 What was the most challenging moment in your blog content development process and why?
Earlier it was like easy for me to do while writing when I just started my blog. But as the number of posts grew, so does the hassle of handling them. The challenging part was selection of topics which I would love to write on and that too not for short period, but over a long period. After shortlisting about twenty topics, I cut down many of them and came out with 5 topics viz. Stories, life events, poems, how to's and quotes.

18.   Everyone has a favorite/least favorite post. Name yours and why?
               My favorite post in my blog is the perfect plan which I wrote recently some time back. This post I came up while sitting the office and the moment the idea striked, I started penning it down. The expressions, the descriptions, the emotions which I portrayed in this post according to me were just perfect  according to me. It took some time to write it but it was worth the wait.  For least favorite one, I don't think there is any as of now.

19.   Name some of the bloggers whom you look up to and why?
              I try to read all the bloggers out there and try to reach new ones every next week or so. But some bloggers have left  impressions on me and those are the ones whom I always love to read. The list is long so to cut it short I would like to list some of them below:
1.       Saru Singhal (her poetry is marvelous and she knows how to say more with less words. She has been a source of inspiration to me since I started reading her.)
2.       Afshan Shaikh (her reviews section and creativity inspires me to scratch my head every time to come up with some new idea for my next post.)
3.       Arvind Passey (his research and dedication he shows is reflected well in each of his posts)
4.       Joshi Daniel (his photoblog is simply marvelous and the depiction with every photo is wonderful)
5.       Ankita Singhal (her dedication and creative thinking is well reflected in her each post which I just simply love to read.)

20.   What is the story behind the name of the blog?
               The name of my blog was a tough one to think of. I changed my blog's name about 3 to 4 times before coming up with the name Saurabh's Lounge. There is no story as such behind naming my blog except It came up when I was actually sitting in a lounge and thought this name for my blog.(Haha)
21.   Your connection with any Blogger Network like Indi blogger or Writeupcafe or any other and the experience?
I share a healthy connection with Indiblogger, Blogadda, Writeupcafe etc and I make sure to actively participate in activities organised by them. My experience with them has been wonderful.

22.   Which genre do you feel gets the raw deal?
               I guess it's the love/romance genre. But nowadays suspense/thriller genres are also catching up fast.

23.   Which one plug-in would you suggest all bloggers to have?
                No particular choice as such but I guess they must have a join this site plugin for easy access to their updates by their readers.

24.   Five adjectives that describe you.
1.       Patient
2.       Emotional
3.       Compassionate
4.       Persistent
5.       Self Motivator

25.   What book would you say has made the biggest impact good or bad on you?
               I read “25 principles for reaching from where you are to where you want to be” by Jack Canfield. Though, the principles are tough to implement, but I am trying hard to implement on me. The good impact is if one follows these principles he/she can get to the top but the bad thing is if he/she is not able to cope with tremendous change then he/she might fall down.

26.   Do you get easily provoked by positive/negative comments??
               Earlier I used to be aggressive and replied instantly to any comment whether positive or negative. Now I take some time. If it's a negative comment, I analyze where I went wrong and if possible correct it.  If the comment is positive, it obviously motivates in its own way. But I take care and try to reply politely all the time.

27.   Do you plan to write a book, as every bloggers dream it is?
               Yes! I have started one book. Let's see where it goes.  As time permits, I sit and write. It's very tough to write a novel. A short story is easy to write.

28.   Are you a judgmental person, do you prefer to take sides instead of standing neutral?
               I prefer to be neutral all the time but if some wrong is going on, then I might point a finger towards it.

29.   Your collaboration with other bloggers, are you much into social networking, tell us everything about it?
               As a blogger, some networking is necessary to make sure you are not left alone. I feel like interacting with every blogger including some close ones to make sure I don't miss their updates and they don't miss mine. It's a small family where each and every blogger/writer  share his/her insight for others to comprehend. My collaboration with every one is good and healthy. I am not a social networking buff partially due to it being addictive and partially due to busy schedule.

30.   What genre attracts you the most and which genre you avoid?
                A tricky question. I love suspense/thriller genre as it forces me to do some mind work. I try to avoid love/romance genre as they tend to be predictive.

31.   Your Views on Contests and increasing plagiarism?
               Contests truly are encouraging and motivating and also help to curb writer's block as well. Increasing plagiarism is a big problem but I guess DMCA is getting strict and content copying will come to a halt someday. Well it's a hope only still :)

32.   Words for me and my blogs Desire v/s Destiny and Blogger Interviews.
                First of all Thank you for the interview. Rest I have been to your blog and found very useful information. I have been to blogger interviews and it's a great way for a person to know how other bloggers are motivating themselves and also it's a good platform for knowing new bloggers.

33.   On winning the Award/s , Are they Really necessary.

                Award(s) as I said before too are a great source of inspiration and motivation for the winner and a step towards learning for other bloggers. Learning never stops and if one thinks it has stopped, that person cannot grow further. So my request to all is to improve upon yourselves and don't be disheartened by not winning. Just keep on trying with an aim of getting the award and one day you will win.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Interview with Rafaa Dalvi aka The Indian Raconteur

1.                  Can you tell us a little about yourself your aspirations and your hobbies?
http://bloggerinterviews.blogspot.in/
http://bloggerinterviews.blogspot.in/
I’m Rafaa Dalvi aka The Indian Raconteur. http://rafaadalvi.blogspot.in/ I’m an Automobile Engineer and a typical Mumbaikar. Right from my childhood, I loved reading all kinds of novels and watching all kinds of movies. This flair for creativity has been there from a long time. Most of the people know me as the guy who won 5 ‘Get Published’ contests in 5 months and won the Indian Bloggers League 2.0 Booker Prize award. I’m a modest person and I don’t let success affect me. But yes, my hunger to be one among the best grows day by day.

2.                 How did you first get involved in writing? Are you an imaginative person?
I would give credit to my mummy who used to tell me bedtime stories every night without fail for many years. There was a time when the stories became repetitive but instead of getting bored I observed new aspects of the story that I had failed to observe before. I started imagining alternative endings to Aesop fables, Akbar-Birbal stories etc. Hell, I had even penned down different endings for movies like Sholay,  Andaz Apna Apna, Baazigar etc. So yes, I guess I’m an imaginative person.

3.                 Were you always interested in the romantic genre?
Well, to be honest, the trend among the Indian authors is to debut with a romance novel. So, I too started writing romantic short stories only to find out that I was too cheesy and my writing of romance resembled that of Mills n Boons. I’m not proud of it but it did help me win the affection of a lot of female readers. I don’t enjoy writing romantic stories but people tell me that I’m able to pen down decent stories in this genre.

4.                 How did Tere Hi Liye happen?
In the month of March, Indiblogger and Harper Collins had organized a ‘Get Published’ contest and my story failed to make it to the final 10.Here I was contemplating with my first failure when I saw a FB post about another PAN India contest. I edited the same story and mailed it. Imagine my surprise when three months later, I was the first person who they announced as one of the 27 contributing authors.

5.                 Tell us something about Kaleidoscope?
I joined Indiblogger in March and made many friends there. One of them suggested me to send my supernatural-erotica story “Karma is a Bitch” for a contest organized by Parlance Publishers with the judge being Ashwin Sanghi. I still remember that moment when a day before my birthday, I got a call from the editor congratulating me on being a part of the anthology. This was the moment my boyhood dreams came true. Though Kaleidoscope failed to create any ripples in the vast ocean of literature, I made many new friends and it was the dawn of a new era.

6.                 What about the other published works?
My supernatural-thriller story Reborn about a psychopath hunting for a new victim is being published in ‘I’. Also, ’25 Strokes of Kindness’ published by Grapevine India will contain my story Pentimento about an orphan girl who has to cope living with a person who considers her as his own daughter. My poem Loss of Innocence is also being published and I was surprised when it got selected because I’m an amateur poet. I want to be known as a versatile writer and hence I choose to participate in those contests only which are being judged by established writers and not those one-time hit “national bestsellers”.

7.                 Where do you see yourself blogging wise in the next 6 months and 5 years down the road?
I believe in quality over quantity. I’ve written only 60 posts in a span of five years but still people who’ve read my stories appreciate them. I don’t write just for the love of writing because that way I’ll never learn the fine techniques of writing. I set goals like attempting a humour story or a horror one and after completing them, I ask different people to review them. For example, if I’ve written a humour story, I ask bloggers like C. Suresh and Rickie Khosla to go through them or I ask authors like Coppola and Dr. Vivek Banerjee if I’ve written a horror story. Their reviews have helped me to become better. We are all students in the vast universe of literature and it is eventually upto us whom we select to be our mentors. So the span of 5 years is too far ahead as I concentrate on only one genre at a time.

8.                How did the ‘The Indian Raconteur’ get its innovation?
We, Indians, pride ourselves as being one of the most creative and intellectual people alive. Be it Mahabharata, Ramayana, Panchtantra or even Bollywood for that matter, we’ve always come up with brilliant stories and I wanted to do the same with my blog. I just wanted a medium to tell my stories and I thought a blog presented the perfect opportunity for it. People keep telling me that going through my blog isn’t time consuming and I believe a simple presentation is the reason for it. Having a decent legible font size with a light coloured background can do wonders.

9.                 Were you good in studies? What was the most interesting part?
I had a fast grasping power and I enjoyed English, History and even Science to an extent. But engineering was an entirely different ball and game altogether. Never had I felt so helpless like I felt these past 4 four years on several occasions. But engineering taught me to complete my work before deadlines and the most interesting part was doing ‘Jugaad’ whenever appicable. Doctors can save lives, bankers can manage finance but an engineer can find a solution for any problem.

10.            What is your favorite genre? What are your thoughts on that especially In the Indian scenario?
My favorite genre is crime. I’ve grown reading novels of Mario Puzo & Elmore Leonard and watching movies of Coppola & Scorsese. This is one genre I can’t get enough of and that’s why I’ve decided to write my debut novel on crime. You can read the prologue here: http://rafaadalvi.blogspot.in/2013/06/the-greatest-artist-that-ever-lived.html

11.              Any specific tips you have for newbie Authors who want to make it in the publishing Industry?
Don’t lose hope when your stories don’t make it to the final list. Keep trying hard and don’t ever lose hope. Edit your stories at least thrice in a month and read your story aloud. Try to complete your work a fortnight before the deadline as editing is the key to success. My story in Kaleidoscope got good reviews but it wasn’t edited well as I was just a newbie and it left me disappointed. From that moment onwards, I gave equal importance to editing too.

12.             What would you prioritize? Narration or Words?
Both. You won’t like a story if it isn’t written from the heart. Then again, you won’t like it if it isn’t crisp and doesn’t appeal to your intellect level. One without the other cannot survive and they both go hand in hand.

13.             What’s the best thing a writer can give to his readers?
Honesty. As long as a writer respects his readers, writes for his pleasure and not for commercial success, the output would be genuine and original. The moment a writer becomes a sellout and starts writing just for the heck of it or for making fast money, his readers lose faith in him. Harry Potter turned many people into writers who tried to make money writing below-par fantasy stories. In the same manner, Twilight resulted in many bad vampire love stories on Amazon and now 50 Shades of Grey is continuing the tradition by being the role model to thousands of erotic novels. This trend of reaping the benefits of others and trying to ride on their success is killing literature slowly. A writer shouldn’t waste paper by being a part of this travesty.

14.             A lot of people are interested in for the money earning potential of a writer. What are some tips for people interesting in making money from it? What are some realistic expectations in regards to what can be made?
You can’t make money in the current Indian market because people tend to buy pirated copies even if they need to pay only Rs 20 more for the original copy. Moreover, with the amount of novels and publishing houses coming in the market, a reader easily gets confused and ends up buying pirated copies. Online stores like Flipkart, Infibeam, Homeshop18 etc don’t make profits from books and only sell books in the hope that the buyers of discounted books will someday buy electronic and household items from them. Unless you’re an established name in the literary world, making money shouldn’t be a realistic expectation and you should concentrate more on writing quality honest stories.

15.             What motivates you most in life?
The will to excel always and be known for my quality work motivates me. I want to be remembered as a talented guy who knew what he was doing with his life. Finally, everyone tries to become the yardstick to which every other writer is measured and I’m no different.

16.             What has been your strategy for creating visibility to yourself and your work?
There’s no strategy as such. Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter have helped and also Indiblogger, Blog Adda, WriteUp CafĂ© etc have proved to be excellent platforms to showcase talent.  Moreover, participating in contest swas equally important as they showed where I stood with others and provided a huge scope for improvement.

17.              What was the most challenging moment in your content development process and why?
The start is always the most challenging part. Once you know how you’re going to go about the entire process, it becomes a bit easier. As long as you stick to the plan and don’t get distracted, things will gradually fall into place.       Writers block happens to everyone and I was no exception. I took this time to catch up with my reading and watch few movies. Before I knew, I had formed plots in my mind but I still wasn’t able to write. After a two month hiatus, I wrote stories for my team ‘Westerlies’ in IBL 2.0 and we ended up winning IBL. So be positive and don’t let anything or anyone slow you down. 

18.            Everyone has a favorite/least favorite writer. Name yours and why?
Michael Crichton. He’s the author of numerous brilliantly researched bestsellers like Jurassic Park, Lost World, Timeline, Prey, Congo, Next, Andromeda Strain, Great Bank Robbery, Disclosure among many others. Charles Dickens comes second.

19.             Name some of the writers whom you look up to and why?
O. Henry, Roald Dahl and Oscar Wilde are those versatile writers whose short stories I enjoy reading the most. The manner in which they can spin an extra ordinary tale with an ordinary background is a huge feat. Among the present lot, I like Khaled Hosseini, Dan Brown, Frederick Forsyth, Salil Desai and Vikas Swarup for their creativity and story-telling ability.

20.           What is the story behind your blogging journey? Was it by chance?
 I always imagined numerous plots and scenarios in my head as a kid and having a blog was the only logical choice. A blog presented the perfect opportunity for me to tell my stories. I started with articles on WWE and then moved to amateur poems and movie reviews. But now, I only write stories and a yearly review of the top 10 Bollywood & Hollywood movies on my blog. The traffic or no. of posts or no. of comments on my blog has never bothered me and never will.

21.             Your connection with any others writers and what your efforts on that?
I keep in touch with various bloggers and published authors.  I avoid only those who remember me only when their books are being launched and act ignorant otherwise. The best thing about being a part of numerous anthologies, Facebook groups or Indian Bloggers League is getting an opportunity to interact with various people who voice different opinions but have a common love for writing.

22.            Which genre do you feel gets the raw deal?
Erotica is a taboo in India and people esp. women writing it are considered to be immoral by the society which is actually quite stupid. Don’t we belong to the nation that is the birth place of Kamasutra?

Humor is another genre which gets the raw deal. Most of the Indian readers haven’t even heard of P. G. Wodehouse, so we can’t expect much from this genre in India.

23.            Five adjectives that describe you.
Altruist
Sarcastic
Honest
Multi-tasker
Carefree

24.            What book would you say has made the biggest impact good or bad on you?
I read Wuthering Heights in my 5th std. and that was the first novel I read. It was an eye-opener and I realized relationships could be so devastating that fuck up your lives. I lost my innocence after reading Oliver Twist and To Kill A Mockingbird in my 7th std. The last book which had a big impact on me was A Thousand Splendid Suns. I doubt anyone can read that piece of literary gem without shedding tears.

25.            Do you get easily provoked by positive/negative comments?
Negative comments only fuel me to write better while the positive ones fail to affect me in any manner whatsoever. One must realize that people who criticize us can simply ignore our writings but instead they spend time and energy to do so only for our betterment.

26.            Do you plan to write novel in collaboration?
I don’t believe I can do justice if I write a novel in collaboration. Though I appreciate the effort undertaken by the authors of ’Ohh! Gods are Online’ as they penned down a surprisingly good novel.

27.            What genre attracts you the most and which genre you avoid?
Like I said earlier, crime attracts me the most. I love writing about death. It’s an enigma I would love to explore a lot without actually meeting it. Romance is the genre I want to avoid as it’s been done to death in India. Also, I’ve decided to stop writing on erotica after reading Himadri Shrivastava as I realized I can’t do justice to it and end up porn-writing.

28.           Everyone has a favourite/least favourite post. Name yours and why?
My IBL Booker Prize winning post: http://rafaadalvi.blogspot.in/2013/07/27.html

29.            Name some of the bloggers whom you look up to and why?
I love Suresh C ‘http://www.jambudweepam.blogspot.in/’ and Rickie Khosla ‘http://reekycoleslaw.com/’ for their sense of humor, Vikram Karve ‘http://karvediat.blogspot.in/’ for his dedication for writing, Stephan AK for his versatility ‘http://www.thesolitarywriter.com/’ and Sriram R. ‘http://www.gametheori.com/’ for his intellectual writing.

30.           Is winning award/s really necessary?
An award function is a place where people from all categories get awards and everybody is under one roof. Now, if I’m a Bengali writer who’s got an award for writing posts in Bengali, people who’re waiting for other awards get to know me. The word of mouth spreads. Lo and behold! You’re famous. Now that’s a good thing right? But then again there are many instances where jealousy seeps in and people resort to unprofessional and anti-social behavior like slandering which should be avoided. I’ve won the IBL Booker Prize along with two other bloggers and nothing has changed. At the end of the day, it’s an achievement irrespective of what people say and you can live without it too.

31.             Your views on contests and increasing plagiarism?
             Contests help you to interact with new people and they also help you to come out of your niche and try new genres. But if you’re one to sulk, then I sincerely request you to stop participating because you’re not winning anything and using your creative skills in the wrong place.
I don’t understand why few people copy-paste the work of others. Just a few pats on the shoulder? It just takes away the fun from it all. I wish there were strict laws for such an offence so that people thought twice before pressing Ctrl C + Ctrl V.

32.            Words for me and my blogs Desire v/s Destiny and Blogger Interviews.
I like your initiative and how you’re gradually working towards achieving it. Don’t hurry and avoid typos. Always edit your posts before posting them. You never know you may have good content but may lose readers who lack patience.

33.            Tell us the next thing we will hear from you. Maybe your Novel release.
The team of Westerlies is planning to launch a multi-genre anthology comprising of 20 stories of 4.5k-5k words each. We’ve made sure that all genres and various aspects of life are covered. I expect the book to be out by early 2014.
I’m simultaneously working on my novel. I’ve finalized the characters and I’m working on my plot right now.

Rahul, I’ve enjoyed giving this interview and I hope sky is the limit for you.


Note from the Interviewer Rahul Miglani :- I started as an erotic story teller and was highly misunderstood with in Indiblogger itself where some of the most famous bloggers did not even knew the difference between Erotica and Porn .So when I started doing homework on Rafaa I was more than Happy.Well It has been a pleasure knowing him and I am sure the people reading this would have loved this interview as well.Keep the good work going on Rafaa.Enjoy People.
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