Book Review Title of the Book: A potpourri of drabble Author's Name: Harshita Nanda Available on: Blogchatter Website Format: E book
About the Author: Harshita Nanda is an author, blogger who completed her engineering from the prestigious BITS, Pilani and worked as an Engineer before taking up her passion of writing more seriously and has recently authored her second book through the Blogchatter E-book carnival.
Narration: The narration of the book is simple, lucid & is apt for readers who can age from young to the old can relate with. The twist with which many of the tales are weaved are sure to amaze you.
Book Cover & Title: The title is well thought out to present the bouquet of emotions displayed through the micro-tales. The book cover is a beautiful and fresh with azure -coloured delicate flowers at the periphery of the pages.
Content: This book is a collection of 100 micro-tales. They are 100 word stories called as ‘drabble’ and is perfect for readers who enjoy bevity. If you love reading but have paucity of time , then this book is for you as you can just finish it in one go ! The tales might seem very simple but they have the power to make you feel an entire flow of emotions as a long book would do ! Each story is unique and is stacked with varied emotions ranging from betrayal,panic, grief, romance etc and is capable of creating a long lasting imagery in the mind of the reader.
In The Red Nail Polish, the writer has played around with sentiments attached with the colour red. The missing jewellery is a tale with a twist. Similarly Over A Cup of Espresso will make you ponder on many norms that the society has laid upon. Heart touching stories like The First Love or Love at First Lick will tug the emotional chords for sure. Didi’s Steel Dabba is one of my favourite story where so much is said in such less words. These are just a few and I am sure each reader will have their own favourite stories to pick.
I will refrain from describing anything more about the stories because I want my readers to enjoy them by indulging in the brilliant wordplay by the author where some stories touch upon compassion and warmth, there are other who break the stereotype !
Stories may be work of fiction but they act as mirrors showcasing the reality and in this book, the author has cleverly done the same with her witty narrative style. So if you love reading micro fiction and want variety of sentiments that run down like a cascading river through the pages of this book then, this book is certainly for you !
Download the book here.
Interview with the Author Harshita Nanda.
Q- Please tell us something about yourself.
Ans -I have had a meandering life. I studied engineering at BITS Pilani, India, and worked in a company called TATA Elxsi before getting married and moving to Dubai in 2003. I have been based in Dubai ever since. I became a homemaker after the move, and am a mother to two teenage sons. I published my first book, “Xanadu: Three Souls Searching For A Paradise” last year in September. I have also been part of anthologies and won third place in Readomania’s February writing contest. “A Potpourri of Drabble” is my second book.
Q-How did writing happen for you. Tell us something about your current book and your experience while penning it.
Ans-Writing happened to me by accident. I started my blog in September 2016 as a place to vent. At that time, I was not very serious about blogging nor did I spend much time promoting or working on the blog. I would write what I would feel like, and not really pay attention to grammar, etc. Just before the pandemic, in February 2020 I was one of the top bloggers in Momspresso. It made me realize that I needed to start working seriously on my blog. I joined Blogchatter in September 2020 and immediately felt a connection with the community. It helped me in my writing journey. I tentatively tried my hand a fiction (something I had never written before) and it was well appreciated by my peers, boosting my confidence.
“A Potpourri Of Drabble” is a collection of my micro-fiction stories. I actually collated them while I was down with Covid. So while it was not easy it did take my mind off the physical discomfort of that time. I did try to keep the sensibility of the people in mind while collating. The fun bit is that these only cover one year, so all these stories were written between December 2020 and December 2021. I do have enough material for book#2!
The USP of the book is that it has stories that can be read on the go, you don’t really need to invest a lot of time, but it does give you the satisfaction of having read a good story. The biggest challenge in writing drabble is that one needs to limit to hundred words. To engross the reader and make sure it touches the right chord within that word limit is not easy. And yet there is a satisfaction when people come and appreciate your hard work.
Q-Blogging or Authoring a book? What would you choose & why?
Ans- I think I would choose both. Blogging helps me in penning my thoughts with clarity. Tells me what to expose and what to discard. And yet, is deeply personal. Authoring is escaping into a fantasy realm. I can create the characters I want, and I can make them do what I want (most of the time). And it gives me the satisfaction of creating something from the scratch. Something that will make an impression in the reader’s mind and maybe give them a break for some time.
Q-Who has been the greatest support in your writing journey?
Ans-My husband. He has been like a rock throughout. He critiques, motivates, pampers me when I feel low, and also helps me out with the technical stuff like formatting, etc. For Xanadu’s release, while I was feeling overwhelmed he just did one thing after the other to calm me down.
My father too. He is my biggest reader and will read everything that I post or write.
Q- Tell us about your first book Xanadu to our readers.
Ans-Xanadu is very close to my heart since it is my first book. I had sworn that I do not have the brains or the imagination to write a book, and yet Xanadu was born. I wrote it as a series of blog posts, in fact, the first rough draft of the book was done within 15 days since when I started writing it, the story just flowed. I feel very connected to Anita, Harish, and Bhoomi. Anita as a character was in my mind for the past three years, I did not know when her story will be written and I am so glad that she picked Xanadu. Like I said I never wrote fiction before September 2020. I feel so blessed that it was so well received by the readers and fellow bloggers.
Q-What is your future plan with respect to writing?
Ans– I am working on my third book which is a memoir of my time in BITS Pilani. I am very excited about it.
Q–How do you manage your time?
Ans– I am a homemaker, so am used to juggling many things at a time. I do keep a specific time in a day separate only for writing when everyone is off to school and college.
Q-What advice would you give to amateur writers?
Ans-I think, what we need to learn are discipline and perseverance. There is no shortcut in writing.
Q-Who do you look up to and how do you motivate yourself when you feel like quitting?
Ans -There are a lot of authors I look up to. I might like someone’s writing style or the way they develop their books. But I think one author I really look up to is Andaleeb Wajid. Actually, I do get disheartened quite a bit and suffer from imposter syndrome quite often. The one person who motivated me at that time is my husband. He reminds me that writing was and always should be fun for me. I then get back on track, then it is not about the number of sales or blog views or winning competitions.
Q- What genre do you enjoy writing the most?
Ans- I usually like writing emotional stories inspired by real life.
Q- Please share your favorite books/ authors and which author has influenced you the most.
Ans-I do read across genres except for self-help and horror. Romance is my favorite genre and I can finish off a book in a day if I get the time!
I have loads of favorite books and authors. A few of my favorites are “Radiance of a thousand suns” by Manreet Sodhi, Kiran Manral’s “More Things in Heaven and Earth”, and “A Man called Ove”. Anything written by Elif Shafak, Amitava Ghosh, and Chitra Banerjee I will read. Recently I read Elif Shafak’s “The Island of the missing trees” and loved it. “A Suitable Boy” by Vikram Seth was again an outstanding book that I finished recently.
I think one author that has influenced and inspired me the most is Andaleeb Wajid. Her book “The Sum of all my parts” was so simple and yet beautiful!
Q-Anything else you want to share with us.
Ans -Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and learn to take criticism in your stride. You do not have to agree with it. And do read my books!
I congratulate the author for her new book and wish her all the very best in her future endeovours.
P.S. This review is a part of Blogchatter Ebook Carnival.