Come over to Bangalore LitFest to swap ghost tales

I’m heading to the Bangalore LitFest this weekend for a fantabulistic workshop. The thing that excites me the most. Ghosts! What else? Come over peeps, swap tales of the paranormal and share your experience of the supernatural. Listen to kids and adults as they share their stories and even write a letter to a ghost you always wanted to chat with. Oh the best part? It’s free for all!
Head to the bangalore literature festival for a chat with ghosts!
Details:
Age: 9+ (courageous parents can join in)
What we will do: Have a paranormal experience to share? Or love to listen to stories that chill and thrill? Join author Shweta Taneja in our spooky circle and listen and write some scary tales.
Time: 45 minutes
This session is part of the Children Literature Fun @ Bangalore Literature Festival.

Call 9945799224 for details or head to its Facebook Events page.

Deal with post Diwali blues by donating

Hope you had a fantastic Diwali. Now add more lights to it by donating. The best way to feel good about yourself is to bring in light into someone else’s. It lifts your spirits up and makes you feel thankful for what you already have.

With this Diwali’s wishes, I wanted to share a few of my favourite places to donate to. Donate to one of these causes, write back to me and I’ll send you a signed-copy of any of my books. In case of How to Steal a Ghost @Manipal, it would have to be an ecopy with a personal email 🙂

Donate. Now. Believe me, you’ll feel great.

Independent Media

Citizenmatters: They are a team of passionate journalists and a long list of voluntary bloggers who want to do good, reveal inefficiencies in the system and make their city beautiful, warm and welcome. I would recommend this one if you’re based in Bangalore. Donate here.

The Wire: A team of fantastic journalists who are coming up with in-depth insight into current politics, culture and our society. Right now, they’re better than any mainstream media. Find here how they’re funded and donate.

13886427_494847720639720_1485080451208064134_nEducation

Donate A Book: This is a library crowdsourcing platform through which you can help build a library in a school. The initiative is run by Pratham Books, one of the more innovative children books publishing house and is fabulous. For a book in a child’s hand opens a new world. It allows the child to dream, to think of new possibilities, to know that a different future is possible for her. Give some kids stars, by donating here.

Kalap Trust: Kids of a remote village in Utharakhand are looking for people to sponsor their additional education. This genuine work is done by a friend of mine.  Sponsor a child here.

(images courtesy Kalap)


Know other NGOs doing great work? Comment below and I’ll add them on in a future blog. Till then, keep donating!

 

Talking about Indian comics in London

I’ll be giving a talk on Indian comics at the Cartoon Museum in London later this week. This post is about how it happened. It’s a good story, do read it!

Early in May I attended a workshop on British comics, full of comic scholars in London, led by the marvellous Paul Williams from Exeter University. There I was, in bustling, sunshine-y London, closed off in a small room with twenty scholars, who had brought along old comics from the 40s, 50s, 60s, 80s – all decades really. We discussed on visual imagery in war comics, what British identity means, and many other important things. And I didn’t miss the outdoors, which says something about the comics, the activity and knowledge that these fabulous scholars presented there. But I digress. What happened in lunchtime is what led to the talk.

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We munched on fried fish, aalo pakoras (you read it right), spring rolls and quinua salad in the pub while talking comics and then headed back to the Cartoon Museum, which is where this workshop was happening. It was a 10 minute walk. While walking back, I happened to accompany Anita O’Brien, the curator at Cartoon Museum and then of course it being comics, I started yapping about my love of comics and how there are so many talented artists doing fantastic things in India and how she should do something about it here in London. She told me she’d commissioned the World War I graphic novel with Campfire. I told her the artist, Lalit Sharma, was a good friend. We found out we knew more than a couple of other artists from the industry.

‘You should do something more on Indian comics here!’ I cried, my head buzzing with ideas.

‘Why don’t you do it?’ she asked, calmly.

‘Me? Do what?’

‘Talk about Indian comics,’ she said.

‘Oh,’ I said, rather eloquently.

And that’s how it happened. Before I knew it, I’d asked Jason Quinn to ask me the right questions in this talk, who was sweet enough to agree. We will talk about comics coming out from India, some of which we love, some which we don’t, swap tales, talk about my work and his and anything else we feel like really. We have the stage after all.

If you happen to be in London and would like to join in the joy ride, come over. It’s a free event and you’ll get to hear stories about comics. What can go wrong with that? All you need to do is register yourself by sending a tiny email to the Cartoon Museum at shop@cartoonmuseum.org to reserve a seat. It can be a sentence long, really. I don’t think they have a word limit to it.

Finally, the moral of the tale (for there’s always a moral): Always walk back from the pub and always yap about the things you love. 🙂

Hope to see you there!

 

 

 

Winners and importance of gifting books

As part of spreading the word around about Cult of Chaos and Anantya Tantrist, I’ve been hosting giveaways of the book at various spaces, online and offline. As a result of buying copies of my own book to giveaway to a few people I know or do not know, I’ve realised how important it is to gift books. Till now, I didn’t gift many books as I always thought of books as a personal choice, much more personal than the crockery in your cupboard or even the spectacles you wear. It’s something that each person or kid should pick up on their own (except for me and my brother who always gift each other books on rakhi, the only time we exchange gifts). So I ended up giving something banal, like chocolates. However, gifting is actually a lovely way to explore new authors and adventures that you would never have started on if you hadn’t got a copy. And it also encourages the industry. So from now on, if you call me on a birthday or a party, expect a book. No more flowers/chocolates.

And now for a bit of announcements on winners of various contests.

Over at HarperCollins webpage

These are the two questions we asked. (Answers at the end of the post)

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Winners:

Krishna B, Coimbatore

Aastha Jain, Delhi

Over at author Kiran Manral’s website

Kiran was superbly helpful and did a detailed interview and then a contest. (details)

Aditya Anand, Jaipur

At  The MJ Show

The amazing Mihir Joshi had a Twitter chat and then declared winners in his Youtube show which covers fabulous inde-musicians

Abhishek Prusty, Cuttack

So glad that Anantya will be shipped to all these lovely people and cities. Congratulations all of you! Hope you enjoy the book 🙂

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Didn’t participate? It’s not to late. One contest and one giveaway is still on!

Contest on superstitions

At author Sharath Komarraju’s website.

Giveaway at Goodreads

And if you’re too lazy to write, just apply for this giveaway at Goodreads. And hope you’ll win the copy!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Cult of Chaos by Shweta Taneja

Cult of Chaos

by Shweta Taneja

Giveaway ends March 10, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

(Answers to Harper Collins contest: Answer 1: True Detective. Answer 2: Ouija board. Could you guess?)

 

 

Interview and giveaway @KiranManral’s site

I know author and blogger Kiran Manral since the days when she was a freelancing writer based in Mumbai and me, a fulltimer in Femina, based in Delhi. We didn’t ever meet, we still haven’t but we interacted over email and kind of kept in touch for all those years. She’s a very popular blogger in India, one of the most popular ones and has moved on to become a novelist as well. So it happened that I offered a giveaway copy of Cult of Chaos on her blog which has a very, very strong following and she, like the sweetest woman that she is, agreed not only to the giveaway, but also on doing an interview with me.

Check out her books:
Once Upon a Crush (Flipkart // Amazon) or Reluctant Detective (Flipkart // Amazon)

Read the complete interview here. My favourite bits of it:

What made you decide to write a book, what was that moment when you decided you must give it a shot?

I don’t remember any one instance really, but after a few years of chasing stories as a journalist and editor, I realized that I wanted to tell stories instead. I didn’t start immediately however, something that I perhaps should have. From the desire to write, it took me five years of a Master’s degree, two failed novels, millions of procrastinating moments, blogs on stuff, to get to actually writing. And once I did, I haven’t stopped! In the last five years, I’ve written six books, four of which are published and two lie at various edit levels. The longest of this, my latest Cult of Chaos, touched 1,20,000 words at manuscript stage.

How long did it take you to research and write this, and how do you see this evolving as a series perchance? Continue reading “Interview and giveaway @KiranManral’s site”

Blogging at HuffPost India (+interview)

 HuffPost India runs an extensive blog section and I had to get in. To start it, this week, I have posted an updated version of the blog about Rajnikanth and a community that lives near my home. Next week, something sinister is coming up. Keep a track 🙂
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Marketing for my book has taken over my life currently. I’ve been writing and talking, furiously. Nothing fictional, but something that is somewhat more difficult: it’s all about myself, about Cult of Chaos, about Anantya Tantrist, so much that I see friends getting the tired ‘there she goes again’ expression sometimes. But then, I’ve worked on this book for two years and so have to do this for a month or two more, hoping that the books takes off, gets some wings before I sit back in my corner and start writing again. So I got an interview done for a blog Locomente. Here’s a bit of my favourite part.

Tell us something about your kickass tantric heroine – Anantya Tantrist.

Anantya’s a spunky independent girl who lives in Chandni Chowk. She has had a violent, abusive past, but she doesn’t feel like a victim. In fact, she’s quite the opposite. She has shifted to the city recently, but made it her own. Her profession, that of a tantrik detective, is her own choice completely. She has shrugged her father’s patriarchal legacies and the luxurious life she was offered to make it on her own in Delhi. She is not a goody-goody girl in any way. She smokes beedi, spews gaalis, glugs drinks at a seedy bar, and has one-night stands with various species. She lives by her own morality and ethics and doesn’t care two hoots on what the society thinks of her.

Professionally, I think she’s attracted to danger and unsolvable mysteries. She’s quite good at this detective thing she has fallen into. She enjoys being in the centre of action and likes to solve cases and help the underdogs of the supernatural underworld. She hates most of the tantriks around her though.

The complete interview

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Lastly, I’ve started a giveaway on Goodreads. I love the way they take complete control. All you have to do is say I have a copy of the book and I will send it to someone by post. As a reader, all you have to do is click and hope that you win the lucky draw.

Free books at Goodreads

I am giving away free author-signed copies of The Ghost Hunters of Kurseong! To participate, all you got to do is sign in with a Goodreads account and click.

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It’s that simple really. And Goodreads is a beautiful place to meet people who love books and find new books for yourself! Connect with me on Goodreads! 🙂 Click below to reach the Giveaway. May the most curious win. (oh, and the giveaway is on for a month! That gives enough time for even the laziest of people to participate)

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Ghost Hunters of Kurseong by Shweta Taneja

The Ghost Hunters of Kurseong

by Shweta Taneja

Giveaway ends August 28, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win