Archive for March, 2016

Everyone welcome Solstice author, Malay A. Upadhyay!

1. What’s the title of your latest release? Link?

There have been several short stories that have released this Winter. Selfie Simulation, a SciFi story based in Switzerland’s St. Gallen’s & France’s Nice, released as part of Project 9 anthology. Meanwhile, the standout novellas were A Christmas in Barcelona and An Enlightened Fly. All these stories are linked to the world of Kalki Evian, and are based around one of the major characters, providing in-depth look at his/her background and character.

2. Why do you like writing in this genre?

Fiction, in general, is where one gets to create. I find it to be the most potent form of sharing knowledge – through imagination and entertainment, as in mythology, which has been the crux of all that mankind has learnt till date. Contrary to belief, fiction is more reflective of human nature than other genres, for it caters not just to the tangible but also to the more abstract, unexplained elements of our character that we can only sense.

3. What do you like to read?

I read a lot of factual stuff to fuel my managerial interests, particularly with regards to cultural behaviors and Marketing concepts. It helps me build ideas and knowledge which I can use in stories or at work. In fiction, I like adventure, mystery and stories of individual heroics. So Prof. Tolkien’s Middle Earth is right up top, then there’s Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Sherlock & Fountainhead.

4. Favorite movie?

Lord of the Rings trilogy. The Bourne trilogy. Shawshank Redemption. Man from Earth. And a host of others.

5. What are your writing habits? Music or silence? Daily regimen or spurts of creativity?

Silence & spurts of creativity. There is a technological, managerial or social concept around which the story is to revolve. For the flow of story itself, I try to pen ideas down as they come, wherever I am, whatever I am doing. The challenge is to organize all such notes as they begin to pile up over time. Eventually, with the thoughts set in front of you, you realize that the characters have already been defined, the flow of the story more or less set, and the gaps clear enough for you to work on. And then comes the improvisation.

6. What was the most surreal moment you’ve had as a author?

It was while I was writing my second novel – The Fly That Followed Me. It is the prequel to Kalki Evian: The Ring of Khaoriphea, and I hope to see it next year. In one of the chapters, a certain Fish approach is suggested to determine the fit between any two parties. I started it as a way to decide one’s career progress but as the concept developed, I realized it could very well be used between any two entities, even among couples! Of course, that’d turn marriages rather institutional.

7. How can readers find you?

They can find me on Twitter at @KalkiEvian. On Linkedin, I’m at www.linkedin.com/in/upadhyaymalay. They can also follow my blog at http://www.kalkievian.com.

8. What do you know now about being published that you wish you’d known before submitting?

While I have come across many promotional windows, it’s a never ending job. And a clarity of strategy as well as avenues would be excellent for any author before his/her book is published.

9. Favorite snack/drink while writing?


10. Look at your writing area…what’s the item you keep to inspire you (piece of artwork, figurine)?

I do not have a fixed writing area as it is important for me to change settings to stay refreshed. But I tend to have music handy for when I take breaks.


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Morning, everyone! It’s spring! Which, around here, means it’s raining. Still. Just a little warmer than it was last week.

People often imagine the life of a published author as one filled with red carpet invites, cavernous offices where we sit in a comfy chair. A maid or butler bringing us lunch on a silver tray so we remember to eat. And so much money in the bank that we don’t blink if our children want to go to Europe for a summer. Or Yale for six years.

Um, nope. This is work. Hard work. Our house is modest. My husband’s job pays the bills. Mine helps with groceries and, currently, the rest is being funneled each month to help make it so our daughter doesn’t start college knowing she’ll graduate with a mountain of debt. That’s the COO salary, anyway. The royalties? I get to go to my favorite coffee place once a month on sales.

Writing is hard work. It’s not glory. It’s trying not to sound pitiful when you beg for reviews. It’s not screaming in frustration when you look at your sales and wonder what you’re doing wrong. It’s making decisions between a free promo that may or may not work or paying hundreds of dollars that still has no guarantee of increasing sales.

It’s knowing you write good books, ones worth reading, and wondering why no one else seems to think so. Why they can’t spend a couple of dollars on something you spent years working on. It’s balancing family time, writing time, working, and sleeping. It’s chanting a mantra about how ‘this too shall pass’ when you get asked by someone you went to grade school with for a free copy “because you know me!”.

It’s hearing from writers who want to be published say they love your blog, but never bought your book. Or, bought the book and couldn’t find 5 minutes to leave a review on Amazon.

The hard work isn’t the writing. It’s staying positive, hopeful, and taking the deep breath before venting online. It’s reminding yourself, sometimes every minute of every day, that the next day could be the one where a review will be posted. Or sales will start to pick up.

It’s savoring that one extra cup of coffee for the month, the one that your royalties paid for, and dreaming that your sales go up where you can visit once a week. Or once a day.

It’s the never ending dream that, one day, the hard work of now will pay off.


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Well, it’s out. “Wielder of Tiren” is up for sale. Both the paperback and the ebook. Don’t worry, I’ll provide links at the end of this post.

Arwenna’s story is now over. I’m waiting for reviews (always) and hoping I didn’t disappoint my readers with how her story ends. She’s been with me in various forms for a decade now. It wasn’t easy for me to let her go, but it was necessary.

Because of her, I’m now a published author.  Because of her, I’m now the COO of a growing indie house. Because of her, I found the strength in me that I didn’t know existed.

Because of her, I’ve come out of my shell.

I learned a lot writing her story. About myself, my friends. Of what I can accomplish, how to inspire others to reach beyond the lessons we were taught far too young. The ones that say we’re not going to be good enough to reach our goals. That, yes, there will be obstacles put in front of us. But it’s how we work to get past those obstacles, the people we are when things suck, that’s what matters.

And that we tried in the first place.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. There’s a lot of me in Arwenna. Too much in some ways. As she grew, healed, and found her strength so did I.

Thank you to each and every one of you that’s gone on the journey with her. Because of her, my muse is now dancing outside and free. No longer locked away and the voice silenced.

May you find the key to unlocking your muse as well.


ebook: http://www.amazon.com/Wielder-Tiren-Raven-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B01CIS1DKM

print: http://www.amazon.com/Wielder-Tiren-Raven-Chronicles-3/dp/1625263422

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Good morning!

It’s been a crazy one here. It’s been super busy around the publishing house, which is a good thing!

One of the things I’ve been trying to get a lot of new authors to understand is that a traditional publisher isn’t your personal publicist.

A publisher has to be concerned with the entire House, not just one book. They have to treat each author fairly and equally. They can’t be promoting one all day long and ignore the other 300 authors or 900 titles.

Authors are the ideal person to promote their own books. Why? Because we know them, inside and out. Backwards and forwards. We know better who our target audience is, who is more likely to take a chance on a new author. Your publisher? Probably not so much. When you read dozens of books a week in the slush pile, and even more as they move through editing and proofreading, they tend to become a big blur. It’s easy to confuse which book had a main character of Chris that was a woman vs. one where it was a man.

Especially with an indie house, you shouldn’t expect your book to be given a 5 star promotion treatment. No ads in the NYT, no contest entries. Why? Because they’re building their reputation as a whole. You’re going to have to do the research, be your own publicist. It’s not easy, no. I’m not saying it will be. But you can’t rely on your publisher to do all the work while you wait for sales to start. It’s rather arrogant, if you ask me. You’re expecting them to ignore hundreds of other titles, ones that may well be selling much better than yours, simply to promote your title.

That is your job. If you don’t want to do it, hire yourself a publicist. But don’t expect your publisher to do it for you.


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