A Conversation With Samir Satam

Postcards From Memory – Amazon | Flipkart | Book On Facebook | Saimr S On Facebook

BLW: Let’s welcome the successful Indian author Samir Satam to Book Lovers World. Samir lives in Bombay where he works as a Software Engineer in one of the multi-national IT companies. He is an avid reader, a serious cinema lover and an individualist by nature. At an early age, he started writing his diary in verses and thus developed his passion for poetry. Postcards from Memory is his first book of poetry, and is among the among the top selling books on Amazon and Flipkart.

Samir Satam: Thank you so much for the introduction. Am glad to be here… (Smiles)

BLW: Firstly, congratulations on the getting published your debut book “Postcards From Memory”. Tell us a little about yourself.

Samir Satam: Thanks a lot for the wishes. I am glad that my first book worked out the way it did and I am thankful to all my readers who have made it a success.

About me, that’s one question I will never ever be able to answer… (Smiles)

BLW: We know that you are one awesome poet. Tell us about your book Postcards from Memory, what it means to you, and how did you conceive the idea of writing it? How long did it take to write this book?

Samir Satam: You flatter me… (smiles)… For me Postcards from Memory is like a dream come true. I always wrote poems for myself and sometimes used them to assassinate my friends. One of my friends got so frustrated that he asked me to get them published so that others get a chance to get slaughtered too… (smiles)…

On a serious note, I am too lazy to approach people in judging positions and convince them about the selling points of my work…. My friends did push me to approach publishers. They thought it would be unfair if my poems don’t reach people who can connect with them. I remember one of my friends saying, you have no right to keep so much beauty hidden in your stupid notepad.

BLW: Postcards from Memory is a bag full of memories and inspiring poems. We would like to know the home work you did to write this book.

Samir Satam: There’s no homework behind my poems. Mostly a poem reflects a poet’s state of mind. I believe it won’t be a poem if we try to write one. As clichéd as it may sound, but I do firmly believe, Poets don’t write poems. On the contrary, poems choose poets to take birth on paper.

BLW: What inspired you to write this book?

Samir Satam: Nothing extraordinary… Just Life… (smiles).

BLW: What was your learning from writing this book?

Samir Satam: Writing helps me know myself better. I have learnt that we think we know ourselves very well but there is so much within us that’s yet unknown to us. Our inner self is a travel destination that we can never explore enough. There are different ways people keep learning about themselves. My way of traveling within is writing and these poems happen to be the postcards I sent back to present while I was on tour.

BLW: Postcards from Memory is poetry book covering different shades of life. Would you be sticking to poetry or would you be writing stories as well in future?

Samir Satam: I cannot stop myself from writing poetry. If I do, I might end up in an asylum. Writing poems is the only way I can keep my sanity. Writing stories is an art that I am still developing. Let’s see how that goes.

BLW: When do you write the most? Is there a favorite place at your home or office where you write the most? Any props that you feel lucky to keep with you when writing?

Samir Satam: I am lucky in that sense. Inspiration doesn’t wait for my invitation. I write in all sorts of places. Sometimes I even wake up from my sleep with a thought and start keying words in my phone, so that they are not lost. But I enjoy writing the most in hidden coffee shops which don’t have people waiting for table. There’s nothing more exciting than having solitude, a cup of coffee and a head full of thoughts ready to take shape on paper. Other than that, some of my personal favorite poems have happened to me while traveling solo. Those poems give me a different kind of high. It’s as if poems have the power to become places and you can never think of those places without your poem playing on your mind.

BLW: As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

Samir Satam: I wanted to be a lot of things…. Some normal, some bizarre… To start with, like any self respecting comic reader, I wanted to grow up to become Superman… Then Peter Pan… Then Dorian Gray… Then an astronaut… A film director… Casanova… Weapons manufacturer… Scientist… Chef… At some point I realized that the most convenient way of being all these things in one life, is to be a writer.

BLW: What are your inspirations?

Samir Satam: My biggest inspiration has always been life as it happens. I think we are all infected by life. I just use that infection to my own advantage.

BLW: What books have inspired or influenced you as a writer?

Samir Satam: There are quite a few… Literary Fiction as a genre attracts me. Non-Fiction books that dig in the psychology of their subjects also interest me. For me, the characters in a book are effective only when I understand how their minds work. So when I come across such books, they make a mark in me for life.

BLW: We would be happy to know about any future projects that you are currently working on?

Samir Satam: I have a poetry book ready, but again I am just being lazy to approach publishers… I am in middle of writing a novel, but it’s too early to say anything about it. I am still too far from deciding the destiny of that story. I have written a few short stories but haven’t thought of publishing them yet.

BLW: What other secret skills do you have?

Samir Satam: If I tell them to you, they won’t remain a secret. (Smiles)… I don’t count it as a skill but I love experimenting with food… Both cooking and eating…

BLW: To be a good writer, one should be a good reader. We know you enjoy reading books. What are the best books you have ever read? Name any five.

Samir Satam: I couldn’t agree more… Reading is indeed a potent marinade to your own experiences in the recipe that bakes in your mind and comes out on paper… To choose five is a difficult task… My all time favorites include:

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje
The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
Love Begins in Winter by Simon Van Booy
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The Music of Solitude by Krishna Sobti
All poetry books by Gulzar sahaab
Jail Notebook and other Writings by Bhagat Singh
Without Fear by Kuldip Nayar

Somehow each of these books have helped me in looking at life from a different perspective, thus they have been instrumental in shaping me into what I am as a person today. And what I become, I write…

BLW: What advice would you give to all those aspiring authors who consider you as an ideal?

Samir Satam: I don’t think I can advise my peers or aspiring authors. Each writer has his / her own way of writing. I can just share what I believe in. The market should follow an author’s writing styles. Author’s writing style shouldn’t follow the market!

BLW: Message for the book lovers in this world!

Samir Satam: As long as there are people who cherish the company of books, the world doesn’t have the right to end… Keep reading, pals…

Thank you so much for your time, Samir. It’s our pleasure to chat with you.

A Conversation with Jyoti Arora

BLW: Let’s welcome the successful Indian author Jyoti Arora, a post graduate in English Literature and Applied Psychology, with two published novels, over five years of freelance writing experience, developing books for kids and abridging 24 famous English novels like Jane Eyre, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn etc. to Book Lover’s World.

Jyoti Arora: Thank you very much. I’m delighted to be able to express my views on such a platform.

BLW: Firstly, congratulations on the grand success of your second book Lemon Girl. Tell us a little about yourself.

Jyoti Arora:Thanks. It is indeed a great pleasure to see Lemon Girl receiving so much love from readers and critics.

When I was a child, books used to fascinate me more than chocolates, toffees or toys.

As for me, I have always loved books. And I am happy that I am able to pursue this love of books and turn it into a career. When I was a child, books used to fascinate me more than chocolates, toffees or toys. Even when I couldn’t read, I loved looking at the colourful pictures in the books. And I loved the fragrance of newly printed books, even if they were just school books.

I am a patient of Thalassemia Major. Due to complications arising from this, I was not able to go to school after class seventh. After that, I pursued all my studies through correspondence courses. Studying on my own meant loss of all my classmates and most of my friends. At that time, books really did become my best friends and kept me entertained and happy.

And now, books are the ones that are filling my heart with dreams and aspirations and giving me a reason to look forward to the future with hope.

Other than books, I love technology and spend a lot of time trying out new gadgets, apps and websites. I also enjoy listening to old Bollywood songs.

I am currently living in Ghaziabad with my parents and working from home with an IT recruitment agency.

BLW: We know that you are one awesome writer. Tell us about your book Lemon Girl, what it means to you, and how did you conceive the idea of writing a Feminist Fiction? How long did it take to write this book?

Jyoti Arora: Well, I did not write Lemon Girl because I wanted to write a Feminist Fiction. It just rose out of my disgust with what I was seeing and hearing around me. I had the basic idea of the story in my mind since many years. But I probably would have picked up a happier and lighter theme for my second novel. But then, the Nirbhaya incident happened. And as shocking as it was, the responses that it got from some people were even more shocking. After that, the sexual abuse of women and blaming them for all such crimes seemed to have become almost a fashion. I felt very disturbed with all this. And that is why the idea that I might have developed as a romance or general fiction ended up being developed as a feminist fiction and raising a protest against the crimes against women.

It took me about a year to write the book and then several more months to revise, revise, revise it.

BLW: Lemon Girl, a feminist fiction, written based on the grave social issues in India. We would like to know the home work you did to write this book.

Jyoti Arora: I researched about the post-traumatic effects of abuse and how a victim of such abuse might behave. What coping mechanisms she might employ. Having done Master’s in Psychology, I was already familiar with these concepts. That helped me in developing the character of Nirvi.

Some scenes of the book are based in Rishikesh. I did some research about that place too. Although, as my father hails from Hardwar, I’m a little familiar with Rishikesh as well.

BLW: What were your biggest learning experience(s) or surprise(s) throughout the publishing process?

Jyoti Arora: Since my Lemon Girl released, it has been reviewed by many different reviewers. And all those reviews have taught me how differently one single work can be viewed by different people. Lemon Girl has received much love and appreciation from all reviewers. But surprisingly, different people are highlighting different aspects, portions and sentences of it as their favourite. Some liked the feminist aspect of the book, some like the romantic, some praised its psychological insights and some appreciated the spiritual journey of Nirvi.

The responses I have got for my two novel have also taught me that characters that are too good are considered unrealistic. People like those characters better who have to battle with and overcome natural human weaknesses.

BLW: What inspired you to write this book?

Jyoti Arora: The bitter realities of the way girls and women are still treated in India and the way people still seek to put the blame on women for everything that goes wrong.

BLW: From Technical Blogging to Feminist Fiction, you write different styles and genres. Would you be sticking to one preferred style and genre in future?

Jyoti Arora: My technology blog is more of a hobby for me. I love using internet, computer and smartphones and different apps. And when I come across something remarkably interesting, I want to talk about it. And that’s why I started my tech. blog. Although I do feel now that it’s distracting me from working on books. It takes up too much of my time. But tech. blogging is very addictive and tempting and I love it.

As for my books, I think I would be sticking to General Fiction more. I would like to try out different genes. I want to write fantasy, romance and even horror. But I think General Fiction with beautiful love stories would remain my preferred genre.

I would try and talk about issues I feel strongly about through my books. But they may not always be feminist in nature. For example, my first novel Dream’s Sake tells a beautiful love story based on the theme of the fears and insecurities of people with disabilities and the prejudices they have to face from the society.

BLW: When do you write the most? Is there a favorite place at your home or office where you write the most? Any props that you feel lucky to keep with you when writing?

Jyoti Arora: I write best at night when all is quite around me. I type directly on my laptop. Sometimes, I keep music playing at low volume as I write. Old Bollywood songs especially.

I depend on my smartphone to jot down notes and ideas as they come to me. Mostly it happens that ideas would start pouring in when I’m half asleep. At such a time, a smartphone comes very handy to jot down quick notes without having to switch on the light. I use an app which syncs all my notes online so I can access them from my computer too.

BLW: What are your inspirations? Do you like writing a feminist fiction or a general fiction story?

Jyoti Arora: It’s my love for books that inspire me to write and try and create books that people can fall in love with. And for these books, the inspiration comes from life itself. All that I see or hear happening around me gets translated into fiction in my books.

As for the genre I like writing, I like writing books that tell beautiful love stories and also give a message. Other than that, I follow the demands of the story. I am not averse or partial to any genre.

BLW: What books have inspired or influenced you as a writer?

Jyoti Arora: I love reading classics. While working as a freelance Content Developer, I abridged about 30 classics. And you can’t read and work upon such great books without getting influenced by them. Even some reviewers of my first novel Dream’s Sake commented that my writing style reflected the influence of classics.

BLW: We would be happy to know about any future projects that you are currently working on?

Jyoti Arora: I am thinking of two ideas. One is a love story, other is more of a social satire. I’m exploring both but am not certain yet which I would choose to develop into my next book.

BLW: What other secret skills do you have?

Jyoti Arora: I used to be good in drawing, painting and handicrafts. When I was in school, I loved making all sorts of handicraft items. I have done a diploma course in Fine Arts too, through correspondence. But it’s been many years since I indulged in any such work. I get no time for that now.

BLW: To be a good writer, one should be a good reader. We know you enjoy reading books? What are the best books you have ever read? Name any five.

I like writing books…
that tell beautiful love stories
and also give a message.

Jyoti Arora: Best books? Well, I have read many great books. But I don’t think I have the right of judging them and trying to decide which of them is better than the others. But I can tell you the ones I love most. I love reading Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre and call them my comfort reads. Every time I feel dull or gloomy, they work well to perk me up. I also greatly admire books like Gone With The Wind, Wuthering Heights, Villette etc.

They are great literature, even if a bit too heavy to be read again and again.

BLW: What advice would you give to all those aspiring authors who consider you as an ideal?


Jyoti Arora: Nurture your creativity, train your writing talent, and follow your dreams no matter what setback you have to face on way to your destination. There’s too much competition even in literary field now. It’s not easy to succeed and become a best-selling author. But if writing is what you want to do, do it. Just try and get better and better at it.

BLW: Message for the book lovers in this world!

Jyoti Arora: Dear readers, your appreciation means a lot to us writers. New writers especially can live and die upon every review they get. So if you liked the work of a writer, please leave a review of it on any retail website of your choice or websites dedicated to books like Goodreads, LibraryThing etc. If possible, send a personal message to the writer. You never know but one kind word of your review can revive the dying dreams of an aspiring writer!

Thank you so much for your time. It’s our pleasure to chat with you…

A Conversation With Rashmi Kumar

BLW: Let’s welcome the renowned and successful author Rashmi Kumar of Hooked, Lined & Single to Book Lover’s World.

Rashmi Kumar: Thank you for the generous words and a wonderful welcome ☺️

BLW: Congratulations on getting published your second book. Tell us a little about yourself.

Rashmi Kumar: Currently a full-time mother to my two-year-old son, I am enjoying every bit of this phase of my life where I see my little boy grow up right under my nose, right under my care. I thank God for motherhood despite its many challenges.

Before moving to Canada three years ago I was a journalist and worked with many established newspapers and magazines in India. My last job was with Deccan Herald as Features Editor. Other than journalism I also dabbled as a part-time Radio Jockey with 102.6 Rainbow FM and worked as a voice over artist for several ad films. And other than partying very hard over the weekends, I devoted my Saturdays as a volunteer with an NGO for the mentally distressed and suicidal.

BLW: We know that you are one awesome writer. Tell us about your book, what it means to you, and how it all started? How long did it take to write this book?

Rashmi Kumar: Thank you again ☺️. Hooked, Lined & Single draws its inspiration from some of my personal experiences and some from what I have observed within our society. When you get at a certain age, the pressure of marriage increases–societally, physically, mentally and may I say, even spiritually at times. For me, the pressure was more internal. It was external to some extent–not because people around me forced me to get married, but because you live in a society where there is not a single dull moment. And your sense of loneliness heightens during festivals, weddings and other occasions. And honestly, I was no aberration to this.

When I set out to find myself a man to marry I came across such funny and sad incidents that they had to be shared!

When I set out to find myself a man to marry I came across such funny and sad incidents that they had to be shared! Of course, many anecdotes of Alafia meeting various prospective grooms have been spiced up but HLS really is a story of many Indian women and especially those who went through the pain staking process of finding Mr Right–which again, is a myth, of course!

It took me close to a year and half to complete HLS.

BLW: Hooked, Lined & Single is significantly based on ‘Women in India’ and society’s perspective regarding marriage. It’s a sensitive issue you took. We would like to know if there is any real life incident that inspired you to write this book?

Rashmi Kumar: Like I already mentioned, this book germinated in my mind right at the moment I set out to “find Mr Right.” That’s the problem with authors, they see a book in everything and everyone–or at least I do :-/

BLW: Is there a style of writing you prefer? Would you be sticking to the same style and genre?

Rashmi Kumar: Well, I am mostly comfortable doing a style that’s not too literary and yet not too colloquial. While I write for the masses, I also write for the classes. I prefer any writing style that’s real, unpretentious and forms an instant connection with its readers.
No, I would like to keep experimenting and trying out new styles.

BLW: When do you write the most? Is there a favorite place at your home or office where you write the most? Any props that you feel lucky to keep with you when writing?

Rashmi Kumar: There’s no fixed time when I write, but when I do get inspired to write, I do it like someone possessed. Unless you’ve that drive, you can’t do justice.

There really isn’t a particular spot that acts like my “creative hiding place,” (thanks to a two-year-old!) but I would certainly like to retreat in a natural surrounding with just the nature and me for my future writings. Like for HLS, I went on a break to Jim Corbett for many months just to finish the book.

There definitely is something interesting I do before I start writing or before I set of to do any work. I make an air cross across my chest and surrender my thoughts, words and actions to God.

BLW: What are your inspirations? Do you like writing a real story or a fiction story?

Rashmi Kumar: People inspire me. In the past my travel experiences had inspired me a lot. That’s why I give much prominence to places and vivid human characters in my books.

I am neither a stickler for fiction nor for non-fiction. Although, I am most comfortable doing fiction, as an author, I feel the need to be open and adaptive to anything that’s real as well as not real.

BLW: What books have inspired or influenced you as a writer?

Rashmi Kumar: I have been deeply influenced by the works of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Having read almost all his literary works, I wish I can emulate his style of writing, but I know that’s only a dream 🙁 The other book that has me gripped is Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love.

BLW: We would be happy to know about any future projects that you are currently working on?

Rashmi Kumar: Currently, I am crushed between two choices. And both are works of non-fiction but have deeply changed me as a human. First one is a chronicle about my motherhood experiences. I am trying to present this in a short story format with tips to new mothers. My second endeavour is something more spiritual. This would be about my journey from India to Canada and the catharsis I went through along the way.

BLW: What other secret skills do you have?

Rashmi Kumar: I have taken on to cooking big time. In future, I might even do a book on some recipes. I am also a trained Hindustani classical vocalist but I don’t have the desire to ever perform publicly.

BLW: To be a good writer, one should be a good reader. Do you enjoy reading books? What are the best books you have ever read? Name any five.

Rashmi Kumar: Of course, I love to read. Without reading well, you can’t write well! My top five books are: Love in the Time of Cholera and Memories of my Melancholy Whores both by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Life of Pie by Yann Martel, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini and of course Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love.

BLW: On a personal note do you like the author Rashmi Kumar from the person Rashmi Kumar?

To be a good writer
…one should be…
a good reader

Rashmi Kumar: I love ’em both 🙂 Both are incomplete without each other. Both draw inspiration from each other and both thrive on that hope and inspiration. But yes, generally, I am not a very disciplined person. You could even call me lazy! But when I start writing, I am different. I am more focused, more disciplined and definitely a better manager of time. Other than that, I am pretty hopeless in these areas!

BLW: What advice would you give to all those aspiring authors who consider you as an ideal?

Rashmi Kumar: Write, write, write. Don’t stop no matter what!

BLW: Message for the book lovers in this world!

Rashmi Kumar: My strongest and the only message from my heart is: If you want something real bad, it’s easy to chase it, pursue it and run after it! That’s where we go wrong. There is a reason why sometimes something doesn’t work out for you just when you want it so bad. That moment it is important we leave things to destiny or God. Because when we try to change the course of our life to get what we b want, it may not be the best thing for us or may not be the best thing for us at that time. For instance, in HLS Alafia so desperately wanted to get married but as life would have it, she kept bumping into all the wrong men, all the time. But, the moment she decided to let go, she found someone (Ethan) who truly cared for her but she still decided to let it go because she finally realised that it’s important she left the decision to life and God. If Ethan was truly meant for her, he would be hers any way. Even if she decided to leave the chemistry between them in a limbo.

Thank you so much for your time. It’s our pleasure to chat with you…