Monday, November 9, 2020

On Writing with Ruchi Singh: Get Ready to be 'Bewitched'

Today on 'On Writing', we have Amazon bestselling author, Ruchi Singh. Winner of TOI WriteIndia story contest, Ruchi Singh is a novelist who writes in two genres; romance and romantic thriller. She has a degree in Electronics Engineering and works as IT Quality Consultant. All her novels have been #1bestsellers on Amazon.

Today we will talk about her latest Novel 'Bewitched' which is already creating waves on Amazon.

Welcome to On-Writing, Ruchi!

 When did you first get the idea for your latest book ‘Bewitched?

RS: During Covid lockdown, I chanced upon the mythology tale of Menaka and thought what if similar events unfolded in contemporary times? Of course, the circumstances and motivations would defer, but the underlying theme was about two dramatically opposite characters coming together and taking responsibility for their actions.

Did you spend agonizing hours deciding on the names of your protagonists?

RS: Yes. I can’t start writing fluently unless the name is right. It has to suit the character’s personality in the plot. For my female protagonist in Bewitched, I already had a name, but for the hero I needed something which did justice to his larger-than-life background, hence I picked up Rudra, which is another name of Lord Shiva.

What was your writing process like for this book? Did you write every day? 

RS: With the lockdown imposed, I had plenty of time at hand without the social commitments, so wrote almost daily and since this story was clear in my head the writing was faster.

What is special about ‘Bewitched’? 

RS: ‘Bewitched’ is special for me for two reasons; this is the first time I was attempting to integrate mythology and contemporary genres, drawing parallelism between the two threads. Secondly, I was able to finish the first draft within three months of conception, which is a record of sorts for me and quite a morale-booster.

Who is your favorite character in the book and why?

RS: Apart from the two main ones, I liked Mansi a lot, she is gutsy and fearless.

How long did it take to finish writing ‘Bewitched’? 

RS: This was one story which, just flew on from my mind onto the pages. This is the first time I have been able to write the draft of a full-length novel in three months’ time, give or take a couple of weeks. Of course editing and further polishing took another month, but this got finalized super fast.

Please share a passage or quote from ‘Bewitched’ for our readers.

Far away on earth mankind suffered another kind of manthan. How to attain what devas had? I could hear it—the struggle. Everywhere, there was chaos created by desires and ambitions. I looked at Brahma watching the events unfolding. ‘When will it all end?’ I asked.

‘Never,’ he said.

‘Will they go to any extent to get what they want?’

‘Depends on the pull of the want. The manifestation of desire gives the energy to acquire its object.’

‘I don’t like the word “acquire”.’

‘Ignore the semantics,’ he said with an enigmatic smile.

‘Why did you create desire? Isn’t that the root cause of all problems?’

‘Yes, but it is the seed of all innovation and development too.’

In the current scenario of the global pandemic, what do you think is the role of a good story? 

RS: With the lockdown and social distancing, people have time at hand. More and more people have taken to watching and reading. In current circumstances, I think a good story, with happily-ever-after, spreads positivity and optimism, lifting boredom and loneliness.

You have used mythology in your latest book. What exactly made you remember the story of Vishwamitra and Menaka?

RS: I read almost all the genres, and growing up reading Amar Chitra Katha series, mythology was my first love, so when Kindle threw up a book about Menaka Vishwamitra on my screen, I couldn’t help but pick it up. And then there was no turning back.

What are the three things readers can look forward to in this book?

  1. The plot of the story. Based on my research from various sources, I have tweaked the mythology saga a bit for Vishwamitra. I think readers would love that.

  2. As I studied the motivations of characters, I realized that both Gods and humans are governed by the same emotions. I’m sure this is something that will be of interest to the readers.

  3. Dialogues and strong and interesting characters, especially the heroine.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Newbie Corner Author Interview: Manasi Patil

 Today in 'Newbie Corner', we have Manasi Patil, a 14-year-old girl from India who is passionate about reading and writing. When she was 5 years old, Manasi had written her first story ever. From then, her journey in the writer's world has started. She has written many unpublished stories and poems. 'The Cousins Crime' is the first ever published book and she wishes to continue the series.

Let's learn more about Manasi.

Say hello to Manasi Patil...

  • Tell us about your first book.

‘The Cousins Crime’ is my debut novel. It introduces ‘ Krisha Batra’, a sharp young teen, who loves mysteries as much as a bee loves nectar! She’s a very determined girl, and values compassion in others. While on a stop at the Glazer’s bakery, the shop suddenly faces a blackout and the cashier is robed. Previous ‘accidents’ have also been taking place at the bakery, calling for a close-down. Krisha strives to find the vandalizer. The novel is very action-packed, and readers experience an adventurous feel while reading it.

  • Name your top 2 favorite characters from books you’ve read so far.

Unfortunately, I don’t remember this particular book’s name, but one of my favorite character is Jake. He’s Amber’s brother, and I’m fond of him because of his nature. He loves Amber to no extent, and is always there for her. There are times when they face challenges, but Jake never leaves his sister’s side. 

Anne, from Anne of Green Gables, too is my favorite. Her day-dreaming and imagining takes a deep place in my heart. She’s always ready to help others, and can’t withstand anyone’s sadness.

  • Which authors do you mainly read?

I keep reading new books as I discover them and my favorite authors keep changing, but my all-time favorite author is Carolyn Keene (Mildred Benson and other ghostwriters…)

My recent favorite authors are Vera Jane Cook and Ann Evans. J.K. Rowling too, has been a long-time fav.

  • What makes you write?

I have always loved writing. It’s my hobby. But I also write to inspire people, somehow, and make them speak their voice too. As I always say, ‘Words are containers of power.’ Nothing can be more powerful than words.

  • What is your normal writing process like?

I aim to write for an hour daily. When I write, I try to forget the real world and get absorbed in my character’s world. It takes the writing process to a whole new level and makes it more fun! 

Along with it, I do daily writing exercises, which benefit a lot.

  • What kind of writer are you? Do you plot the entire novel/story or make it up as you write?

It depends. I do a basic outline of the novel, but not entirely. I discover scenes and make them up as I write.

  • Who inspires you most, and to whom would you dedicate your creative growth?

My greatest inspiration are my parents. They teach me to make way through struggles and I would dedicate my creative growth to them.

  • What is favorite genre of writing?

I like to write mysteries, of all. Other genres include fantasies, thrillers and sci-fi.

  • What comes first, the plot or the characters?

A bit of both. How would you know what kind of character to sketch out, if you don’t know the plot? And how will you write the plot without knowing the characters? It won’t seem real, in my opinion. So, you should have an idea of both when you plan out a novel.

  • What message do you want to convey to your readers?

I just want to tell them to keep imagining, keep reading, and be happy!

It was fun talking to you, Manasi. Keep going and all the best to you!

Check her out on her Amazon profile here: MANASI PATIL

Author's Featured book :

Book blurb:

This Summer, nothing is safe at the Glazer's Bakery. Not even the bakery itself!
It's summer vacation for Krisha. She intends to make most of it with her favorite detective books and donuts. But when on an usual visit to the bakery, the cash register is robbed, it prompts the owner, Sneha Kaur to tell Krisha about the other sinister threats and happenings going on in the bakery.
Disguised as a waitress, Krisha tries to figure out who's behind the vicious accidents. And as they get more devastating, Krisha realizes that she needs to act quickly. Although it's the first real-life mystery the 17-year-old will be solving, her efficiency doesn't show it at all. Will her sleuthing skills be enough to save the Glazer's Bakery from closing down?  

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Morning Pages : A Quick and Magical way to Creative Recovery

If there is one routine that has changed me as a person, it is the Morning pages.

 It has given me clarity of thought like never before and made me see the big picture in life.

 I write faster now, with clarity and often solve many confusing conundrums while doing this daily ritual.

What are Morning Pages?

Julia Cameron calls the morning pages as ‘the bedrock tool for a creative recovery.’

Morning pages are three pages written in longhand immediately after you wake up. That is three handwritten pages.

It can take around half an hour to complete.  

It is a stream of consciousness way of writing where you just transcribe the thoughts that are hovering in your mind early in the morning.

 It is to be done without putting much focus on the grammar or the topic you are writing about.

 It is in a way making your brain vomit on the pages. 

And *most important* don’t reread them.

Why morning pages and not afternoon pages or evening pages?

Early in the morning, your monkey brain is half asleep and hence you can easily make it voice the venom it is preparing to spew out on you, once it becomes fully awake.

 Your anxieties, your fears, your dreams, your ideas, everything gets captured in these three pages that you write.

There are people who do this ritual in the afternoon or evenings and find the same benefits.

I, personally, prefer to write them first thing in the morning.

Can I type the morning pages?

Some people do the morning pages on their laptop or computer. 

It is then 750 words of stream of consciousness way of writing.

It keeps tracks of the number of words and alerts you when you reach the word limit.  allows users to write their morning pages online and save them. You don't even need to register at the site if all you want is to just write.

Again, I prefer to write longhand. There is something very satisfying about writing in longhand.

My experience with morning pages

I started writing morning pages in the first week of December. 

It is a routine I have religiously followed since then and I plan to stick with it.

The morning pages have made me more confident about my creativity. 

I don't get writer's block anymore.

They also gave me different ideas that I could implement in my life.

 Other Personal takeaways?
  • I got ideas to blog about.
  • I have written difficult scenes in my WIP that were troubling me since long after I dissected them over in this morning ritual.
  • I have tried out techniques of writing by attempting them in my morning pages.
  • I plotted an entire book idea one morning.
  • I have become more conscious about the little things that matter in life.
  • I completed one short story, which had been going nowhere, within one week of beginning the morning pages.
  • I have vented my anger and sadness in these pages.
  • I am more perceptive and grateful to the gifts that I have in my life.
  • Synchronicity has become commonplace.
I can go on and on about the benefits I have experienced after I began this routine.

How to write the morning pages?

As Julia Cameron herself says,

" *There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages*– they are not high art. 

They are not even “writing.” 

They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind– and they are for your eyes only. 

Morning Pages provoke, clarify, comfort, cajole, prioritize and synchronize the day at hand.

 Do not over-think Morning Pages: just put three pages of anything on the page...and then do three more pages tomorrow.”

The only important thing to remember is, do not re-read your morning pages. At least not for the first eight weeks.

Write them and keep the journal away.

 If you find it difficult to begin you can even write things like,’ I don’t know what to write here’ repeatedly and fill the three pages.

Trust me, you will get enough material to write about even if you are not a writer by profession.

Morning pages are for everyone. It is like meditation on paper.

Are you ready to unleash the magic of morning pages in your life?

Have you tried this technique? Do tell me what you think about it in the comments section.

Indian Bloggers

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Book Spotlight on 10 literary works by B S Murthy

BS Murthy

BS Murthy is an Indian novelist, playwright, short story, non-fiction 'n articles writer, translator, a 'little' thinker and a budding philosopher in ‘Addendum to Evolution: Origins of the World by Eastern Speculative Philosophy’ that was originally published in The Examined Life On-Line Philosophy Journal, Vol. 05 Issue 18, Summer 2004.

Born on 27 Aug 1948 and schooled in letter-writing, by 1983, he started articulating his managerial ideas, in thirty-odd published articles. However, in Oct 1994, he began penning Benign Flame: Saga of Love with the ‘novel art' and continued his fictional endeavors in ‘plot and character’ driven novels, Jewel-less Crown: Saga of Life and Crossing the Mirage: Passing through youth. 

Then entering the arena  of non-fiction with a ‘novel’ narrative in Puppets of Faith: Theory of Communal Strife, possibly a new genre, he ventured into the zone of translations for versifying  the Sanskrit epics, Vyasa’s Bhagvad-Gita (Treatise of self-help) and Valmiki’s  Sundara Kãnda (Hanuman’s Odyssey) in contemporary English idiom. 

Later, ascending Onto the Stage with Slight Souls and other stage and radio plays, he returned to fictional form with Glaring Shadow - A stream-of-consciousness novel and Prey on the Prowl - A Crime Novel to finally reach the short story horizon with Stories Varied - A Book of Short Stories. 

While his fiction had emanated from his conviction that for it to impact readers, it should be the soulful rendering of characters rooted in their native soil but not the hotchpotch of local and alien caricatures sketched on a hybrid canvas, all his body of work was born out of his passion for writing, matched only by his love for language, which is in the public domain in umpteen ebook sites

Some of his published articles on management issues, general insurance topics, literary matters, and political affairs in The Hindu, The Economic Times, The Financial Express. The Purchase, The Insurance Times, Triveni , are  at 

He, a graduate mechanical engineer from Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra, Ranchi, India, is a Hyderabad-based Insurance Surveyor and Loss Assessor since 1986. 

He takes a keen interest in politics of the day, has an ear for Carnatic and Hindustani classical music and had been a passionate Bridge player. 

 He is married, to a housewife, has two sons, the elder one a PhD in Finance and the younger a Master in Engineering. 

1_ Benign Flame:Saga of Love

Roopa marries Sathyam, hoping that he would help her become a doctor but as he fails her, feeling let down, she insensibly seeks lesbian solace in her friend Sandhya’s embrace. Soon, in a dramatic sequence of events, Tara, a suave call girl, tries to rope Roopa into her calling; Roopa herself loses her heart to Sandhya's beau Raja Rao, and Prasad, her husband’s friend falls for her. And as Prasad begins to induce Sathyam to be seduced by whores to worm his way into her affections, Roopa finds herself in a dilemma. But as fate puts Raja Rao into Roopa’s arms in such a way as to lend novelty to fiction, this ‘novel’ nuances man-woman chemistry on one hand, and portrays woman-woman empathy on the other.

Who said the novel is dead; 'Benign Flame' raises the bar as vouched by -

The plot is quite effective and it’s a refreshing surprise to discover that the story will not trace a fall into disaster for Roopa, given that many writers might have habitually followed that course with a wife who strays into extramarital affairs - Spencer Critchley, Literary Critic, U.S.A.

The author has convinced the readers that love is something far beyond the marriage tie and the fulfillment of love can be attained without marriage bondage. The author has achieved a minor revolution without any paraphernalia of revolution in the fourth part of the novel – The Quest, India.

The author makes free use of – not interior monologue as such, but – interior dialogue
of the character with the self, almost resembling the dramatic monologue of Browning. Roopa, Sandhya, Raja Rao and Prasad to a considerable extent and Tara and Sathyam to a limited degree indulge in rationalization, trying to analyse their drives and impulses – The Journal of Indian Writing in English.

Overall, Benign Flame is a unique attempt at exploring adult relationships and sexuality in the contemporary middle-class. All the characters come alive with their cravings and failings, their love and their lust. Benign Flame blurs the lines and emphasizes that life is not all black and white - it encompasses the full spectrum of living. - Indian Book Chronicle. 


2_ Crossing the Mirage - Passing through Youth

If passing through youth was like crossing the mirage of life for Chandra and Nithya, it proved to be chasing the mirage of love for Sathya and Prema though for plain Vasavi, Chandra's pitiable sibling, it was the end of the road.

As life brings Chandra, who suffers from an inferiority complex for his perceived ugliness, and Nithya, who was bogged down being jilted by Vasu, together, they script their fate of fulfillment.

And as poetic justice would have it, Sathya, who caused Prema's heart burn, himself was led down the garden path by Kala, doing a Sathya on Sathya.

Just not that, life has in store just deserts for Vasu owing to Nithya's retribution as he tries to stalk her. Besides, after many a fictional twist and turn, the way the story ends, challenges the perception that fact is stranger than fiction.


3_ Glaring Shadow - A stream of consciousness novel

In a stream of consciousness mode, ‘Glaring Shadow’ is the self-account of the life and times of a man, who liquidates his immense wealth only to consign it to the flames. The agony and ecstasy of his life as he makes it big in our materialistic world and the way he loses his soul in the bargain, only to regain it when tragedy strikes him makes one ponder over the meaning of success in life. This philosophical ‘novel of a memoir’ is a compelling read that is conducive to contemplate about the nature and scope of human relationships.


4_ Jewel-less Crown: Saga of Life

It's perilous penning this blurb. It's fine when a man is modest about his work. It even affords him the aura of an invisible crown!

But what about his work?

Were it an art or craft, it is there for all to see. What of the literary work of an unheralded author? Well, lauding the same might raise one's eyebrows. Failing to praise wouldn't make a 'jewel-less crown' either!

Why not see, if this is the great Indian novel.

This is the story of the rise and fall of an ambitious man, the decline, and the decay of his conniving wife, the trials, and tribulations of their wayward son as well as the grit and gall of a spirited woman, who enters into his life.

This depiction of their life and times not only pictures the facets of ambition and achievement, intrigue and betrayal, compulsion and compromise and sleaze and scandal, trial and sentence, but also portrays the possibilities of repentance and resolution, love and empathy coupled with compassion and contribution, leading to the spirituality of materialism, and that makes it the saga of our times.
The story of a lifetime, truly.


5_ Prey on the Prowl - A Crime Novel

Who could have poisoned Ranjit the realtor, Shakeel the Inspector, Pravar the criminal and Natya his accomplice?

Well, the needle of suspicion tilted towards Pravar that was till he perished with his mate, but then who was the one? 

Could it be Radha under the scanner for her role in the death of her husband Madhu and his mistress Mala, Pravar's sister? Or was it Ranjit's spouse Kavya, who owing to Stockholm Syndrome, takes to Pravar her kidnapper.

As these deaths by poisoning puzzle Dhruva, Radha, who worms her way into his life, avers that Kavya had the motive and the means to kill her spouse, her paramour and his wife beside the cop.

However, Dhruva begins to look around for the culprit reckoning that when the ill-motives of the natural suspects to commit a murder are an open secret, someone with a hidden agenda might be tempted to use that as a camouflage for his subterfuge.


6_ Stories Varied – A Book of Short Stories

This collection of Indian short stories deals with women's dilemmas in the Indian social milieu accompanied by unique denouements.

While 'Ilaa's Ire' contrasts woman's lot of the day with her eminence in the Vedic Age, '201' Qualms" depicts her predicament, torn between personal loyalty and citizen's responsibility.

As "?" addresses woman's marital stress in an alien land, 'Cupid's Clue' is about her acting on rebound in her native place.

Even as 'Autumn Love' lets woman discover the marital void in her life, 'A Touchy Affair' makes her amenable to her man's other woman.

Just as 'Love's How's That' inflames woman's old flame, 'A Hearty Turn' brings her innate lesbian leanings to the fore.

If 'Love Jihad' bridges lovers' religious divide with a secular plank, 'Tenth Nook' creates her marital gulf on the materialistic ground.

While 'Eleventh Hour' is about woman's lust for love, 'Twelfth Tale' underscores her zest for power.


7_Onto the Stage – Slighted Souls and other stage and radio plays

A compendium of the author’s stage and radio plays: "Slighted Souls" is a poignant love story set in rural Telangana, beset with feudal exploitation of the downtrodden dalits. Besides forcing the dalits to toil in the fields as bonded labor without impunity, the land owning doras had no qualms in reducing the womenfolk of this ilk as sex slaves in the gadis.

"Men at work on Women at work" is a tragic-comic episode depicting the fallout of sexual harassment at the workplace in the Indian urban setting with its traditional cultural underpinnings.

"Castle of Despair", built on the slippery ground of man's innate urge for one-upmanship, portrays its facade of falsity on the grand stage of human tragedy.

The radio play, "Love on Hold", lends voice to the felt anxieties of a man and a woman as their old flame gets rekindled and the dilemmas of possession faced by the couple in a conservative cultural background.


8_Puppets of Faith: Theory of Communal Strife

This thought-provoking work, besides dissecting the anatomy of Islam, steeped in the Quran, seeks to depict the psyche of the Musalmans, shaped by the proclivities of their prophet, vicissitudes of his life and the attitudes of his detractors, which the mechanism of their umma perpetuates. More to the point, aided by “I’m Ok – You’re Ok”, the path-breaking work of Thomas A. Harris and Roland E Miller’s “Muslim Friends–Their Faith and Feeling”, this book, for the first time ever, psycho-analyzes the imperatives of the Muslim upbringing, which has the potential to turn a faithful and a renegade alike into a fidayeen.

Also, apart from delving into the ironies of the faiths that affected the fate of the peoples, eclipsed the cultures of communes, altered the course of history and afflict the politics of the day, this book examines how the sanaatana 'Hindu' dharma came to survive in India, in spite of the combined onslaught of Islam and the Christianity on Hinduism for over a millennium. This book is for those who wish to be aware of the follies of their faith and the foibles of others to lighten the burden of dogma and reduce the baggage of prejudice postulated in its thirty-four well-structured chapters.

Possibly in a new genre, this free ebook is a book for our times.


9_ Bhagvad-Gita: Treatise of Self-help

Bhagavad-Gita is the most beautiful, perhaps the only true philosophical song existing in any known tongue’ so opined William von Humboldt.

In this modern rendition, the beauty of the Sanskrit slokas is reflected in the rhythmic flow of the English verses of poetic proportions in modern idiom even as the attendant philosophy of the song that is the Gita is captured in contemporary idiom for easy comprehension.

The general consensus is that the in vogue Gita of 700 slokas has many an interpolation in it, but no meaningful attempt has ever been made to delve into the nature and extent, not to speak of the effect of these on the Hindu society at large. The methodical codification of interpolations carried out here puts the true character of Gita in proper perspective. Identified here are hundred and ten slokas of deviant nature and or of partisan character, the source of so much misunderstanding about this book extraordinary, in certain sections of the Hindu fold. In the long run, exposing and expunging these mischievous insertions is bound to bring in new readers from these quarters to this over two millennia old classic besides altering the misconceptions of the existing adherents.


10_ Sundara Kãnda: Hanuman's Odyssey 

While Mahabharata's Bhagvad-Gita is taken as a philosophical guide, Ramayana's Sundara Kãnda is sought for spiritual solace; many believe that reading it or hearing it recited would remove all hurdles and usher in good tidings! Miracles apart, it's in the nature of this great epic to inculcate fortitude and generate hope in man for it’s a depiction of how Hanuman goes about his errand against all odds. Besides, it portrays how Seetha, on the verge of self-immolation, overcomes despair to see life in a new light? With rhythm of its verse and the flow of the narrative this sloka to sloka transcreation of the canto beautiful of Valmiki's adi kavya - the foremost poetical composition in the world, Hanuman's Odyssey that paves the way for Rama to rescue his kidnapped wife is bound to charm the readers and listeners alike.  Interestingly, as the following verse illustrates, it was the forerunner of the magic realism of our times – “Gripped she then him by shadow / Cast which Hanuman coast to coast, Recalled he in dismay then / What Sugreev said at outset / That one fiend had aptitude / To grip its prey by mere shadow.”


Thursday, February 13, 2020

On Writing: In Conversation with Natalie Reddy

Today we are in conversation with Natalie J Reddy, a Canadian Author who spends her days trying to escape reality by making up stories about the characters in her head.
There is nothing she loves more than to be pulled into a fictional world whether it is in her own writing or the writing of others. Her debut novel is the first in a New Adult Urban Fantasy series with characters who have supernatural abilities and dark and
sometimes unknown pasts to overcome.
When she is not writing, Natalie can be found having all sorts of real-life adventures with
her husband and daughter or curled up with a good book and a cup of tea.

Was becoming an author always your dream or was it a particular event or
incident that gave birth to the author in you?

Books and writing were both things I loved at an early age. I loved writing stories and
reading them to my brothers and I always did really well in Creative Writing classes at
school. But being an author wasn’t something I started pursuing until I got married in
2014. After our wedding, I left my job working in childcare and moved to the city my
husband lived in and for the first time since I was sixteen I didn’t have a full-time job. It
was at that time that I found the book “No Plot? No Problem!” By Chris Baty and learned
about National Novel Writing Month which takes place worldwide every November. It
was only July at the time but I didn’t want to wait until November to try writing a novel so
I gave it a shot. I ended up writing a 50,000-word novel that month, and that’s when I
really started to consider becoming an author.

How important are the names of the characters in your books to you? Do you
spend agonizing hours deciding on their names?

Oh, great question! It depends on the character to be honest. I do give thought to every
name I give a character but some come easier than others. With Darshan’s name for
example, I spend hours on a baby name website trying to find the perfect name for his
character. But there was another name that I found on a children’s television show and
one other was the name of a waitress I met at a restaurant. I kind of find names
everywhere. When I hear one that I find interesting I’ll write it down for possible future

What is your writing process like? Do you write every day? Is there a favourite
place to write?

My writing process keeps evolving and I’m still working out what works best for me.
Right now I am a stay at home mom to my four-year-old daughter and that means my
writing has to work around her. I do have an office and it is definitely my favourite place to
write but I’m often interrupted which means that I don’t always get to write there. 

I do a lot of my writing on my phone which helps me get more done on days when I’m not able
to sit down at my computer. I’m not a writer who writes for hours at a time. I’m a sprinter
who will try to get as much writing as I can do in fifteen or twenty-minute (or
sometimes five-minute) increments. I try to write at least a few hundred words every day
to keep up a daily habit but there are some days where I don’t write at all.

While writing Forgotten Scars I was able to learn more about my needs as an author. At
least half of Forgotten Scars was written without much planning. The second half I had
to plan before I could finish because I got really stuck. I am currently working on the
sequel and this time around I have done more plotting and outlining which has been
really helpful. I think I’m definitely a hybrid between a plotter and pantser. I love being in
the moment with my characters and seeing where they lead but I need a general guide
so that I stay on track and true to the story.
One thing that has always remained the same regardless of where or when I’m writing is
tea. There is always a mug of tea close by whether I’m writing in my office or on the
couch with my daughter. Tea keeps me going :).

 What is different about Forgotten Scars’?

Hmmm, another good question. One thing that is different from some other books is that
my main character Wren is far from perfect. Right off, we see that she is a bit broken. On
top of her emotional wounds, she has her own physical imperfections that set her apart
from others.
The Psi are also something that is different. Many books have different supernatural
creatures in their world (witches, vampires, werewolves) but in my world, the Psi don’t
make up a fraction of the supernatural world, they are the supernatural world. They may
have different powers or appear to be different supernatural creatures but at the end of
the day they are all the same thing. Psi.
Another cool thing about my book is that the setting is in Canada! I’m a Canadian author
and I really wanted to represent my country and use it for the setting for this first book. I
can count on one hand the amount of books I’ve read that are set in my country and I
wanted to change that.

Who is your favourite character in the book and why?

Oh, this is a hard one! If I had to pick one, I would probably say Misha. Misha has
evolved in a lot of ways. He was meant to be a side character and have a much smaller

part in book one but I loved writing him so much that he ended up with a bigger role. He
is also the strong, silent, brooding type and who doesn’t love one of those?

Which do you prefer as a reader? EBook or Paperback?

I love a physical book, I love the feel of it, the smell of it and how it looks on my
bookshelf. But if I had to pick I would have to say Ebook. I read and buy more ebooks
than physical books. It’s easier for me to pull out my phone to read a book than it is to
carry around a paperback everywhere. But I possibly love Audiobooks even more. As a
mom I am constantly multitasking and audiobooks mean I can do my dishes or fold my
laundry and listen to a book at the same time. Perfect!

How long did it take to finish writing Forgotten Scars’?
It took me about a year and a half from writing the first sentence to publication.

How important do you think is marketing in today’s world for any book?

I would say that marketing is pretty important for an author. With the popularity of self-publishing, there are more authors than ever putting their work out there. It’s easy to get
lost in a sea of books if you have no marketing strategy. That being said I think that
writing the best book you are capable of is even more important first and foremost. The
best marketing strategy in the world isn’t going to help you if your book isn’t well written
and properly edited.

Please share a passage or quote from Forgotten Scars’ for our readers.

His back was turned to me for a long moment, and my eyes darted to the stupid candelabra I’d
left on the desk. What was the likeliness I could get to it and smash his brain in before he could stop me?
“Not good,” he said.
“Your chances of being quick enough to smash my brain in aren’t good.”
“What?” I shook my head. Had he just replied to my thoughts? I was sure I hadn’t voiced my
murderous thoughts out loud. Or had I? Nothing else made sense. I was losing it. I was totally losing it!
Darshan turned his gaze on me. You’re not losing it—yet. He raised a brow with the word ‘yet.’
I stood there, frozen, and he took advantage and moved toward me. His mouth lifted in a smirk,
and he cocked his head in a casual yet predatory way.
I swallowed the lump that had formed in my throat.

“I—” I shook my head, trying to find the right words. His lips hadn’t moved, but I had heard him.
His lips hadn’t moved. Was there a word for that?
Telepathy. Darshan shrugged, his voice filling my mind. That would be the word for it.
I clenched my hands, trying to calm the shaking that had started.
The word I would have used would have been, impossible.
I sucked in a breath. “I—I’m confused.” I cursed the quiver in my voice. My heart had started
pounding, and my palms were sweating.
Darshan closed the gap between us, a dark expression on his face as he gripped my arms. I tried
to pull away, but his grip was iron.
“What are you?” I asked. “I don’t understand.”
Of course, you don’t. But you need to.” His golden eyes narrowed, and I lowered my gaze. He
dipped his head, forcing our eyes to meet. I need answers, Wren, and I’ll use every means at my disposal
to get them.”
“I can’t give you what you need,” I said, and his grip tightened. I winced as his fingers bit into
my arms.
He shook me as his voice roared in my head. You can! You’re just choosing not to.
A whimper escaped my throat, shame joining the fear coiling in my gut. At that moment, I was
glad I didn’t know how to find Wendy, because I would have given them almost anything to be allowed
to leave.
“I can’t. I swear! I don’t know anything—not anything useful anyway. I can’t help you.”
You know more than you think you do, he insisted.
But I didn’t. Why wouldn’t he believe me? Why wouldn’t he just let me leave?
Darshan cocked his head as he looked at me. Are you afraid? His grip loosened just a bit.
“Yes,” I whispered. There was no point in lying; it was obvious.

Good. You should be. He dropped my arms, and I resisted the urge to rub where I was sure there
were now hand-shaped bruises. “But not of me. You should be afraid of the woman you’re protecting.”

What are the three tips you have for readers of this interview who are aspiring

1) Write, write, write! You can’t publish what isn’t written. And even if you think what
you’re writing is terrible, keep going! That’s what editing is for ;).
2) Write what excites you. If you’re bored while you’re writing it, your readers are going
to be bored while they read it.
3) Don’t compare yourself to others. No one is on the same journey. Don’t cheapen your
experience by expecting it to look like someone else.

Thank you, Natalie. It was great speaking to you. Wishing you the very best in all your future endeavours.

About the Book:

Memories can be painful, but not remembering at all can be almost maddening!

Wren Peterson-Cruz isn’t without scars. In her nineteen years, she’s been through more trauma than most, but the memories of her greatest trauma are buried deep within her mind.

Wren had long given up hope of finding out the truth about her childhood until she’s pulled into a world she never knew existed. In this world, she meets people who are far from human. They call themselves Psi. They have powers and abilities that shouldn’t be real and seem to be looking to Wren for answers that she doesn’t have. Or does she?

The Psi, who have more secrets than answers, offers her a unique opportunity. An opportunity that could lead to the answers Wren’s wanted her whole life. But can Wren trust them to protect her and help her discover her true self? Or is she being pulled into a world that is more dangerous and deceptive than she realizes?