Hey guys! How is everyone doing? Today we have with us Saket Suryesh, the author of The Rude Tenderness of Our Hearts. Keep on reading to find out more about his book and himself. Be sure to participate in the giveaway. Saket has generously offered to give away FIVE copies of The Rude Tenderness of Our Hearts to our lucky readers!
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Smith studying art at Yale, with a bright future ahead of him. He is not a man of half-measures. What happens when he falls in love? And who does he fall in love with? How much love is too much love? Surprise yourself with Love in Yale. Shiva is a man in mourning, an asocial man, even if great. What will a father do whose daughter falls in love with an ascetic and a warrior? How would she win in love if not by losing herself? Read to find how the story of Shiva and Shailputri ends. Sarthak is a modern man, with a modern family, trapped in the modern world. This day has seen him coming out as an undisputed winner in corporate warfare. He is rushing to meet those he loves- his wife, his daughter. What happens then? Will time bring solace or will he be Betrayed by Time? A soldier is beheaded on India- Pakistan border. His headless body comes back. Will his soul find its salvation in the patriotic reception he gets as a martyr, having served his country? He is an Indian soldier, he could belong to any country. Where is the resolution to the people who die in such conflicts? Are they great men destined for divinity or are they human, all too human, like me and you? Discover a different perspective of territorial conflicts in The Death of Soldier. These and three other stories are placed in different time, different worlds, with nothing but one common thread that runs across them, connecting them is a human heart beating across the book. Surrender to the magic of human heart.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Saket is based out of Delhi. He works with an IT major and lives with his wife and daughter. He lives on books and loves classics, both prose and poetry. He unabashedly draw his inspiration from authors of old English like Charles Dickens, Bernard Shaw, Dostoevsky, Joseph Conrad, Emily Bronte, Virginia Woolf and Scott Fitzgerald. He confesses carryingan ancient soul within him which explains his love for old works of literature, both in English and Hindi. He has earlier published a collection of Essays “If Truth Were To Be Told”, A collection of Poems in “Songs of Desperation, Hope and Love”, Co-authored a collection of Poems “A Walk Through Nature” with Poet and Author, Marta Moran Bishop. He blogs extensively as “Love, Life and Happiness” (www.saketsuryesh.net) where he writes about parenting, politics, literature; reviews the books and translations of Ghalib’s Urdu Poetry. He is currently working on his first fiction, a romantic story. His work is available on Amazon.
Other Works by Saket:
Rescued Poems: Collection of Poems, collected from Old diary pages and Social media
If Truth Were To be Told: A collection of Essays
Songs of Desperation, Hope and Love: A collection of Poems from Younger years
A Walk through Nature: Collection of Poems, Co-authored with Marta Moran Bishop
Short Stories: Betrayed by Time, The Death of A Soldier
He loves to interact on twitter (@saket71) and Google+ @saketsuryesh
CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR:
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself, Saket.
I am an engineer from NIT Raipur, did a Masters in International Business. I work in one of the global IT majors. An only son, I discovered solitude early in life and books were the only friends I had. My father being with Air force, could not help much as far as building lasting friendships goes. Moving city to city, for a child is traumatic, almost like a plant being plucked again and again. Books were the only thing in my life which offered a semblance of permanence and only resolution to my lingering loneliness. I live in Delhi with my wife and my only little daughter and looking at my daughter, growing, I believe she is the best poem I have ever written.
2. What inspired you to write your book, The Rude Tenderness of Our Hearts?
I have previously written and published poetry. I was working, rather am working on a fictional novel, which is moving quiet slowly and leaves me baffled time and again. During one such moments of trying to grasp my breath, I saw an interesting video by Ray Bradbury. He advises that if your full-length novel is not moving as well as you want, or you are hit by that scary writers-block, instead of surrendering to the inertial, write short story. A short story has the same structure as a novel and is shorter in expanse and scope. This also means that you have less space within which your story needs to rise to its full potential. It is therefore a good exercise in the intermittent time between the novels. I took the advice and wrote few stories. Those who read them appreciated them for a different outlook it brought to very common events in our everyday lives. While I continued working on the fictional novel, I had seven stories with me. I decided to publish them as The Rude Tenderness of Our Hearts to see how they are received by the wide world outside.
3. Are any of the characters in your book inspired by someone you know or are they complete results of your imagination?
While the characters would be influenced by people I meet, in terms of how they speak, their demeanour, their physical presence, the stories are fictional. It is always a writer’s interpretation, an imagined entry into the minds of his characters.
4. Did you always want to become an author or was it something that you eventually thought of or realised? If not an author, what did you want to be when growing up?
I guess, I always wanted to be a writer. Even when I was going through the conventional middle-class family pressures of becoming either an Engineer or a Doctor. I remember reading Ramayana and Mahabharata at the age of nine or ten. I would read silently like an adult even in primary school. I wrote my first poem when I was in fourth standard. It was a Hindi poem, and I remember feeling proud of having written it. It was quiet a mature subject, something on poverty. I don’t remember the words of it, but I do remember that it was not a rhyming poem. My Hindi teacher was bemused and called up my father to confirm if it wasn’t his poem. My father had no idea that I had written a poem. He was quite pleased, but felt my readings needed to be curtailed and turned towards Mathematics and Science. Since then I kept on writing. It was only after my daughter came, that I decided to get my work published. It started with a collection of essays, If Truth Were to be Told, followed by two collection of poems and one Poetry collection written in collaboration with Ms Marta Moran Bishop, a brilliant writer based in the US.
5. Tell us why readers should pick up your book.
There is immense amount of emotions, great deal of learning which is flowing at some subliminal level in the ordinary events unfolding around us. We miss them, pushed for time and engaged in our internal struggles. These stories offer you a very distinct vantage point, very deep insights. We all have stories of soldiers getting martyred on the borders, of beheading of soldiers, staring at us out of the Newspaper headlines. The Death of a Soldier, looks at the soldier as a very human entity, with aspiration for himself, for his family, for his love. Similarly, Shiv and Shailputri looks at much known story of Shiv and Parvati, but it is told from the perspective of the relation between Shailputri and her father. It is that often-missed vantage point which makes these stories extremely readable and invokes as the title suggests, the rude tenderness of our hearts.
6. Who are some of your favourite authors and what are some of your favourite books?
I am an avid readers. While I mostly do not read contemporary, not out of any disrespect to the modern writers, but mostly because firstly, having drowned my growing up age in Halliday & Resnick Physics, I feel I have missed out on reading the great classics like Dostoevsky, Virginia Woolf, Joseph Conrad, Maugham, Charlotte Bronte and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, to name a few. Mostly I read classics, which apart from being fulfilling, I consider them missing part of my formal education in literature. I do love reading poetry as well, where Pablo Neruda, Yeats being my all-time favourite. I also read a lot of Urdu and Hindi literature and I am a die-hard fan of Ghalib and Sahir. I love writing which demonstrates a love of language. Very few contemporary books would qualify there, as I find most current literature seem to be written with set-formula for commercial success in mind and are bland in terms of depth of language and intensity of emotions. Contemporary writing that I enjoyed reading are far and between like My Salinger Years by Joana Rakoff, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and All the Light We Cannot See by Anthoy Doerr. Mostly however, it is classics for me, to which I keep going back, again and again.
7. If you could read only one author’s works for the rest of your life, which author would you pick and why?
This is a tough call. My pick would hover among Conrad, Maugham, Virginia Woolf..yes, if it is only one, It has to be Dostoevsky.
8. What are the three things you’d like to have with you on a deserted island?
Kindle, my phone and Picture of my daughter and wife.
9. What advice would you give to aspiring young writers?
Read a lot, and write with your heart. Do not be trapped by the calculations of commercial success. Be kind and principled, it will reflect in your work.
10. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Saket has generously offered to give away FIVE copies of his book, The Rude Tenderness of Our Hearts to five lucky winners.
As usual, giveaway rules are simple:
*Giveaway is open for residents of India only.
*To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form below.
*If the form doesn't load, go here.
*Once winners are picked, they will be emailed and will have 48 hours to respond, or else, we'll be compelled to pick new winners.
Hope you liked this post! A big thank you to Saket!
Happy reading everyone :)