Do you see two windows closed or two open?

As an author interested in the paranormal and supernatural, this is the question I get asked a lot. Do I believe in ghosts? Have I experienced any? Do I think ghosts exist around us? I’ve had a few experiences which defy logic. And I’m okay with them, because you cannot find a logical or scientific answer to everything. Continuing the blog series of real life ghost stories, here are four more tales.

Mystery man in Patna

When she was little, a friend of mine moved to a new home in the outskirts of Patna. It was pretty much undeveloped then and the kitchen window…


I’ve always found the job of a literary agent very curious. Since as an author I know that most Indian authors don’t make much money, I do not understand how a literary agent, who charges the author 10–20 percent commission on royalty, makes any money in Indian publishing. This curiousity led me to ask these questions to Kanishka Gupta, a friend and my agent in India for YA/A novels.

Kanishka runs the literary agency Writer’s Side and has represented more than 400 authors in his short six years as an agent. I find him superquick in his responses, honest about…


A long time ago, seven granite temples stood on the beach of Mamallapuram near Chennai, a port at that time. Myth has it that lord Indra, the god of thunderstorm became so jealous of the town’s beauty that in his anger, he brought out a great storm from the Bay of Bengal, gobbling six of the temples. And so only one remained, the Shore Temple, built on an outcrop of land on the beach, to guide the travellers coming from the sea.

Some 60 kilometers from sweltering Chennai on the East Coast Road, Mamallapuram is more of a popular weekend…


It was yet another humdrum day when someone put this across. One million photographs that the British Library has put up online on Flickr. That can be downloaded, used, pondered upon, awed at. One million pieces from ancient books, from across time, across languages and lying in various vaults at the humongous library. It’s an old reservoir, but I didn’t know about it. Hence I had to bookmark this somewhere and which place is better than my Get Inspired section? For I know I’m going to come back to this site again and again for the rest of the internet…


I had a chance to attend a talk of the award-winning English writerJim Crace in Chichester University when I was there for a writing fellowship. He was marvellously witty, charming and brutally honest about the publishing industry and how to keep an eye out for things that destroy writing. His latest novel Harvest, won the 2015 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the 2013 James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and was shortlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize. That’s a lot of awards for someone who’d famously announced his retirement and then backtracked when a new idea took over his mind.


Shantala, the Hoysala queen

“This is the most famous sculpture of the Chennakeshava temple,” says the guide, pointing at a voluptuous dancer, etched in the ceiling of the entrance. “Shantala, King Vishnuvardhana’s main queen, built the surrounding spaces of this temple. She was a genius at mathematics and a gifted dancer and musician.” The details, as far as our eyes, shaded from the sharp sun, can see, are astoundingly minute, created patiently by a talented sculptor working with soapstone. From the folds of her jewel-encrusted mini dress, to the leaves of the flowering tree that encompass her, and the way that she stands, her…


In 2001, while receiving the Carnegie Medal for his children’s bookThe Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents, author Terry Pratchett said, ‘We categorize too much on the basis of unreliable assumption. A literary novel written by Brian Aldiss must be science fiction, because he is a known science fiction writer; a science fiction novel by Margaret Attwood is literature because she is a literary novelist. Recent Discworld books have spun on such concerns as the nature of belief, politics and even of journalistic freedom, but put in one lousy dragon and they call you a fantasy writer.’ Pratchett was England’s…


After three months of extensive marketing for Cult of Chaos, I am back on the desk, somewhat wiser, somewhat still the novice and definitely a dreamer. As I move on to various other exciting projects that are brimming up (including the third installment of Anantya Tantrist’s series), I thought I should whisper all the trade secrets I learnt. And in our age, that means writing a blog. So here it is peeps. If these are useful, comment below. If not, comment still!

1 Take a few months off

First of all, for any marketing effort, you will need to take out a couple of months. That’s…


I’ve been writing books for six years now. When I began my journalist career more than a decade ago, I was sure I couldn’t write an article. It took me five years of wanting to write fiction, a Master’s degree, one failed novel and millions of procrastinating moments to finally do something that all blogs, all writers keep suggesting: write. After a year of stalling, I started to write fiction and once I did, I couldn’t stop. In the last five years, I’ve written six books, four of which are published and two lie at various edit levels. The longest…

Shweta Taneja

fantasy author / loves sf, tech, travel, history, magic / 5 books, 200+ articles / pubbed with @HarperCollinsIN @HachetteIndia @livemint @WeDiscoverIndia

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