#AuthorInterview: Monica Mujumdar Dixit, author of #AQuestforSpring  @monicadixit

Hello Book Lovers! In February I read A Quest for Spring by Monica Mujumdar Dixit and also got a chance to interview author later that I’m happy to share with you today. By chance if you missed my review on the book you can read it Here

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About author_edited

quest-for-springI was born in Raipur and did my schooling from Bhopal and Mumbai. I went on to graduate from Mithibai College, Mumbai and studied Law at the prestigious I.L.S, Pune. I practiced at the High Court in Nagpur till my daughter arrived. Post that I worked as a Legal Analyst at a publishing house publishing law journals. I took up a sabbatical to care for my ailing mother-in-law and since her passing away I haven’t returned to work.


Q&A_editedQ. When did you decide to become a writer?

It was not something I decided upon. It just happened. My friend with whom I shared the first draft of A Quest for Spring which I had written as a short story suggested I develop it as a novel. After much deliberation I thought why not give it a shot. And here I am today, an author.

Q. What inspired you to write A Quest For Spring?

I have seen far too many relationships break, soulmates drifting away. It was the unseeming possibility of ending up together for a happily forever that prompted me to write A Quest for Spring.

Q. What sort of research did you do to write this book?

The third and fourth parts of A Quest for Spring are based in the Valley and London. I have never visited Kashmir. Whatever I know is from friends who hail from Kashmir and a few books. The only ones that are written are Our Moon has Blood Clots by Rahul Pandita and Curfewed Night by Basharat Peer. Apart from these books I read whatever there was on Kashmir on the net.

I happened to visit London amidst writing A Quest for Spring so I got to observe a lot of things. The way people there dress up, the food they prefer, the suburbs that are reasonable to live in, the eateries and most importantly the tube route.

I wanted my protagonists to come across as authentic as persons. I wanted my readers to find a connect with them. I wanted my readers to identify Amolika and Raehan as persons they might know like may be a close friend or a cousin. To make them as authentic as any living beings I did a lot of research to portray their characteristics. I revised a bit of the basic French that I learnt in school. I watched Titanic and An Affair to Remember twice or thrice. I listened to the old classics Lara’s Theme and Five Hundred Miles and read books on Sahir.

 Sniffed onto a bottle of Old Spice to get a hang of the fragrance.

Q. How did you break in publishing world? How many rejections did you go through before finding publisher?

It took me three years to complete the final draft of A Quest for Spring. I started out in April 2014 and in April 2017 I had completed the draft. Since it took me three long years to complete it I did not want to wait any further to get it published as the subject would have become redundant or someone else might have published a book on a similar premise. At that time most of the big publishing houses were busy publishing celebrities and the wait was for over two years, thus I got in touch with Notion Press and self published the book.

Q. What was your favourite chapter (or part) of writing this book and why?

Part III of the book is my favourite part. I enjoyed writing it the most as it was a interesting to write about the challenges that Amolika faces in her professional life and the plot of Part III has a political background. It was as thrilling to write it as it is to read.

Q. What was the hardest part of writing the book? Was there anything that you deleted or altered?

The hardest part to write was the campus romance. It was years since I passed out of college and besides I had never been in a relationship, so that part was tough to write down. I had to run down the memory lane a number of times.

Q. Your favourite quality in a protagonist.

My favourite protagonist would be Amolika coz she is everything that I would ever want to be. Her determination, ambitious nature and perseverance are her strengths more than draw backs.

Q. What is the main thing you want readers to take away from your book?

A Quest for Spring is so relevant in today’s times. A Quest for Spring speaks about two people in love following different faiths. It’s a long and an arduous journey of two soulmates, Amolika and Raehan. It’s about love in the most human form. The protagonists are selfish, ambitious and even vindictive at times. They betray the trust placed in them by the other. They fail in their relationships but pick up the threads from thereon. They learn to forgive and most importantly trust again. They overcome all conflicts arising out of the faiths they follow as well as the ones they were instrumental in creating. In today’s times where the seeds of distrust and fear are sown so deep, A Quest for Spring brings in new hope. “Love doesn’t come with a guarantee of safety. There will always be challenges. To overcome them together is what love is all about.” is what Raehan says to Amolika and it kind of sums up Raehan and Amolika’s journey from winter to Spring. I would want the readers to learn to forgive and most importantly learn to love and trust again.

Q. Describe what your ideal writing space looks like.

My desk has my laptop, iPod and head phones, different types of journals, pens, highlighters and sticky notes.

Q. Who are some authors that inspire you?

Sarat Chandra, Jhumpa Lahiri, Anuja Chauhan, Gulzar, Erich Segal,

Jane Austen, Enid Blyton, and Charles Dickens.

Q. Your favourite childhood book.

David Copperfield, A Tale of Two Cities and Six cousins at the Mistletoe Farm by Enid Blyton were my favourite books as a child.

Q. Do you read book reviews? How do you deal with good or bad ones?

Yes, I read each and every word. The good ones bring immense happiness. I take the bad ones with a pinch of salt. I just use them to improve my skill. Fortunately A Quest for Spring hasn’t received very many bad reviews.

Q. What are your future project(s)? What’s it about? (*if relevant)

My next book will draw heavily from my grandparents love story.

Q. Advice for aspiring authors.

My advice would be that one should never give up and believe in one self.

Q. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

I just want to request them to read A Quest for Spring.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Website:  http://monicamujumdardixit.com

Facebook: Monica Mujumdar Dixit, A Quest for Spring

Twitter: @monicadixit

Goodreads

Lnkedin: Monica Dixit

Book Links: (Amazon)

Many thanks to author for taking the time out of busy schedule to answer all questions so wonderfully.

I hope you all enjoyed reading Q&A as much as I did.

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“Though it was winter, spring had return to their lives. The long gray winter veil had finally lifted, making a way for spring. They knew that someday winter may return, but it did not worry them for as long as they were together they could face the hardest of winters and together set on A Quest for Spring!”

 

A Quest for Spring by Monica Mujumdar Dixit

 

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Bookmarked Quotes (4)


A Quest for Spring by Monica Mujumdar Dixit

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Publication Date: September 12th 2017

Publisher: Notion Press

Read Date: February 20th 2018

Genre: Romance

Pages: 402

Stars: 4.5/5

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Blurb∼∼

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review_edited

‘A Quest for Spring’ was a quest for love, happiness, contentedness, and completeness in life of characters.

I went into book with the thought that it’s romance book and there will be lot of talk about love but I was surprised and it was good and pleasant one. Story was mainly about trust, betrayal, friendship, jealousy, and love. It was more than just romance. It covered many small topics including political issues, religious differences, terrorism, family loss, mental issues, loveless marriage, divorce. Story was narrated in third person perspective and was divided in four parts covering 20 years of life span and love story of Amolika and Raehan.

Characters_edited

Amolika– was ambitious, smart and self-centered person. Her life goal and carrier was most important for her that I found very admirable. Initially this nature of her looked little negative but as I read more about her I could understand her perspective. Her justifications for her decisions felt realistic. I liked how she turned out a strong female character of the book. Her love for her family, friends and Raehan was remarkable. She was not that selfish as she looked initially and the biggest reason I can give was what she did for her Kaka (uncle) and Raehan. No matter how much a person is selfish for the rest of the world, there are always selected people in their life for whom they can do anything and are ready to put their second nature (selfishness) aside. This character showed it wonderfully.

Raehan– He never got love from his family not in way that a child should get and rarely shared his feelings to others. Though his thoughts were little different from Amolika, she was the only one in his world who could make him look at things with different perspective, she brought out the best things in Raehan. With her he developed tremendously and without her there was so much coldness in him. He was caring, kind, and gentleman.  

Both main characters and other side characters were flawed but they were likable (except Vikram, I never liked him from the very beginning) and realistic. Oh I loved Millie and Dhruv as well as Naazish. Friendship between Millie and Amolika was most lovable, I so envy it that I want to be a part of this small group.

What I liked_edited

The prologue was wow. To be honest I wasn’t expecting it just by reading blurb. It was so interesting that I wanted to read Amolika and Raehan’s story from the beginning that started in past in 1997 narrating how Amolika and Raehan met, how their friendship and relationship developed, what went wrong how they parted which was also surprising. Though I knew this was going to happen but not exactly how I thought.

I loved poetry and the mention of all the famous events and persons during this time frame of story in the book. Romance throughout the book was clean, appropriate for any age group. I loved the relationship between main characters, it was adorable. I binge read this book. I finished 400 pages in 2 and half days which is highly unlikely of me. It kept me awake till 3 a.m. It was great page turner and emotional roller coaster. I loved the way author justified the title of the book. How the events and phases of life were compared to seasons, it felt so appropriate and reasonable for the story. I specifically loved last lines of the book expressing the title, it  was awesome.

I loved to know characters in this first part of the book. I literally could feel for Amolika. I could understand her feelings and turmoil. It was real hard for her from the very beginning and I could see where story was going how it was going to end and who will be most affected by all. Part-I was so beautiful and also sad at the same time.

There was so much sadness in second part. I don’t like Indian parents being so typical, I don’t know about other countries but in India this is every child’s nightmare. I didn’t like the way Amolika’s kaka was pushing her for marriage and what happened after that, God! I just didn’t like those two characters Vikram and Kaka (maybe he was being parent but still wrong is wrong, this mentality is not right). Ahhh, as expected Kaka felt guilty of what happened, at last he confessed it and told Amolika what he should have in the very beginning (why parents do this!). But I liked that part, It was something that every parents should understand and implement in their life and should say it to their children before its too late. I really felt bad for Amolika. The feelings- anger, sadness and hopelessness- was so intense that I could deeply feel it.

Third part, and another phase of life where two separated person meet after long time of heart break which is still fresh and unhealed. This portion of the book included politics, doubts and suspicion, hatred and coldness of characters. It was like everything was crumbling in already crumbled life. I loved Amolika at this point of book. She was so remarkable, more strong and determined person. I was thinking what happened to Raehan because till this part and almost majority of the book was focused around Amolika. Here I got to know about life of Raehan how he turned out after the separation. Honestly by the end of this portion I didn’t know what will happen next.

The fourth part of the book was unpredictable and in this part there was the actual development in Raehan. It focused on depression and later how he accepted the changes in the life, came to terms with the past and Amolika’s betrayal, he realized his mistakes and love. This part was full of emotions. Climax was okay not that drastic but was good. After so much sadness there was feel good factor in this part and loved the way book ended.

why not 5 stars_edited

Conversations at some point were repetitive. End was little stretched. I didn’t like some characters disappeared suddenly like Sameer and Dhruv. Otherwise story was great. There were some punctuation and spacing errors but I don’t bother much while I read, those who are sensitive for such errors might feel it irritating.

conclusion_edited

Overall, this was compelling, fast paced, thought-provoking, spell-binding life journey and love story of Amolika and Raehan, covering many issues and with many messages that any age group would love to read it. I recommend this book to everyone who find it interesting.


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About author:

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Buy here: Amazon.in / Amazon.com

*** Note: I received this book from the author, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to author for the copy and giving me chance to read this book. ***

What do you think about the book and my review? Have you read this book already? Have you read something similar to this book? Share your thoughts in comment-box below.

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? (18)

It's Monday! What Are You Reading

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?’ is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organise yourself. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.

Hello Book Lovers! I hope you all had great week. My week in reading was good.

Last week, I read and reviewed∼∼

Prithviraj Chauhan: The Emperor of Hearts by Anuja Chandramouli

Stepping Out of Time by Renée Paule

9 Chocolatey Bites: A Short Story Collection for Children by Ananya V. Ganesh

Currently Reading∼∼

A Quest for Spring by Monica Mujumdar Dixit

36307043Raehan and Amolika come from two very different worlds. And for the time that their worlds overlap and stick to one path, life seems beautiful. Between projects at college and hanging out with friends, the two of them come to a startling revelation that involves a bond of love between them.

Unbeknownst to the both of them, there lies a leviathan of espionage that eventually consumes the bond they share, driving them apart by force.
Sixteen years pass, when fate decides to rekindle their bond – only this time, the challenges are exacerbated by the unresolved baggage of the past. Do the two of them find each other? Does the dull, grey, long-standing spell of winter rise to give way to spring?

I started this yesterday, has finished 25% of the book and I’m enjoying it. So far, it’s more good than I expected.

Next this week∼∼

The Last Straw (Pigeon-Blood Red Book 2) by Ed Duncan

36671089When a teenage girl witnesses a carjacking gone bad, she is marked for death by a crime boss with no apparent motive. A black lawyer and a white enforcer with an unlikely history forge an uneasy alliance to protect the girl from a hit man with an agenda of his own.

After they find out that the crime boss is the father of the black teenage carjacker, Paul Elliott – lawyer and close friend of the witness’s family – begins counseling them.

As the long-simmering feud between Rico and John D’Angelo reaches boiling point, bodies start to pile up in rapid succession… and old scores will be settled.

I read first book of the series last year and I enjoyed it. This one sounds good as well.


What are you reading this week? How was your last week? Have you read any of these books before or planning to read in future? What do you think about them?? Share your thoughts in the comment-box below.

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#BookNews: Special #offer for the entire #Valentine’s Week

Hey Book Lovers! Author is running a campaign on this Valentine’s week so I would like to share it with you all about special discount for the entire Valentine’s Week on behalf of author. The book is,

A Quest for Spring by Monica Mujumdar Dixit

Published: September 12th 2017 by Notion Press

Genre: Romance

36244257Blurb:

Raehan and Amolika come from two very different worlds. And for the time that their worlds overlap and stick to one path, life seems beautiful. Between projects at college and hanging out with friends, the two of them come to a startling revelation that involves a bond of love between them.

Unbeknownst to the both of them, there lies a leviathan of espionage that eventually consumes the bond they share, driving them apart by force.

Sixteen years pass, when fate decides to rekindle their bond – only this time, the challenges are exacerbated by the unresolved baggage of the past. Do the two of them find each other? Does the dull, grey, long-standing spell of winter rise to give way to spring?

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36244257-a-quest-for-spring?ac=1&from_search=true

Here is the offer-

 

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I’m also planning to read and review it next week. So if you decide to get it I hope you enjoy it.

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