Recently I had the wonderful opportunity of interviewing the author of Essential Readings & Study Guide, which is an anthology of poems that deal with social, political and cultural issues. I asked the author a few questions that I found were relevant to the reading of his works, and also questions that I thought would be useful for you guys, and that would incite you to pick up this amazing book.
1. What made you want to write a poetry book, instead of a fiction or nonfiction autobiography?
The answer to this question is there in the preface to my second collection of poems entitled Write Son, Write. You can find it on page 67 of the Essential Readings book. I have written, “As poetry is the shortest form of literature, most captivating and didactic, I believe that in this busy, hustling world people should have a special attraction to poetry. Since reading habits of modern man diminish considerably and she/he substitutes that habit to watching TV and such visual media, I believe that it is my duty as a writer to promote poetry at any cost.”
2. Do you let others proofread your work before you publish it, or do you like to surprise your friends/family with your final copy?
My wife Anne is my first critic. She is a post graduate in English Language and Literature and an English teacher of the Teachers’ Training School. Immediately after the composition of a poem, correcting the grammar mistakes myself, I will take the print out and show it to her. After reading she will comment on it. There will be very few mistakes to be corrected which she would point out.
3. Do you have a writing schedule? If not, why?
As a poet I can’t keep a schedule of writing. A poem has to be born in my mind spontaneously. It may be spurred or its seeds would be found in some incidents or tragedies that are portrayed in newspapers and TV channels or from the observations during my morning and evening walks. I have composed poems on multitudes of topics and themes and I have tried my maximum to avoid repetition of themes and topics. Sometimes a poem will be born after a long month. And there are days when I composed a poem each almost every day.
4. Where do you find your inspiration (the most common question to ask an author ever!)
The answer is there in the previous answer. The inspirations are there in the reports made on incidents and tragedies that appear in newspapers and TV channels. Also from the observations during my morning and evening walks. Philosophical and metaphysical musings also supply me themes for the poems.
5. Which one of the poems in this K. V. Dominic Essential Readings and Study Guide anthology is your favorite, and why?
“Write My Son, Write” (pages 74-88), my longest poem in twenty one sections is my favourite poem. It is so because the poem is a manifesto of my views and philosophy.
6. My favorite poem was "How I Became A Vegetarian", why did you decide to approach that topic specifically?
I decided to approach that topic specifically because there is honest autobiographical element in it. I have been influenced by Hindu, the Buddhist and Jain philosophies, the philosophies that originated from the land where I was born and now live. Those three religions and philosophies treat animals and all other beings as siblings of human beings. I had the influence of Christianity in my childhood and youth as I was born and brought up as a Christian. The world has now become so intolerant to other beings that they are least considered and respected and are used and butchered for the pleasures and luxuries of human beings. I believe that other beings have equal rights to live on this earth as humans have.
7. Which one of your poems are you the most proud of?
“Write My Son, Write” which is my masterpiece.
8. There is a misconception that poetry writing is easy, which it definitely isn't. What is the hardest part of writing poetry?
Inspiration for a poem is the hardest part for me. It is a composition in the mind. Reproduction on the paper or computer is comparatively easier.
9. What is the longest you've spent perfecting a poem?
It is the poem “Write My Son, Write” which took almost a month to finish.
10. As a poet, when do you feel the most proud and accomplished?
I feel the most proud and accomplished when I receive a good review of a poem.
My favorite poem in the book was "How I Became a Vegetarian". As a vegetarian myself, I am always inspired by others who choose to not eat meat, and his poem was a strong commentary on the subject. Therefore, I decided to ask him a few poem-specific questions also!
1. The topic of vegetarianism is subject to many comedic jokes on the internet, why did you decide to tackle this topic?
It’s my love of animals as well as the awareness that other beings are siblings of human beings that made me a vegetarian. As a poet I believe that it is my duty to spread this message maximum so that the butcher culture of human beings will gradually be changed and thus facilitate the survival of other beings.
2. The punctuation is very interesting in this poem, why not follow the classic punctuation we often see in poems that consists of commas and periods only?
The poem is in the style of a dramatic monologue. It’s the poet’s mind speaking to him. Hence I have used the quotation marks and other such punctuations seen in conversations. The poem is in free verse and the difference between prose lines (syntax) and poetry lines are very thin in it.
3. The presence of religion is undeniable in this poem. Any specific reasons why you wanted to emphasize on God and Christianity?
I belong to a country where 80% are Hindus. Religions play a major role in India. It is in the blood of all Indians born. The way of life, food habits etc. are determined by the religion one belongs to. Majority of Hindus are vegetarians since the religion preaches against killings of any kind. Since I am a Christian by birth I have the right to point out the weaknesses or shortcomings of this religion, like the killing of animals for food. Presently my religion is the universal religion, a religion which embraces all creations. The butcher culture of Christianity has to be changed. And I believe that God the Father who is the Father or Creator of all human beings and other beings will never like human beings killing and eating their siblings, the non-human beings. I request my esteemed readers to go through my masterpiece poem “Write My Son, Write” to get a deep awareness of my philosophy.
4. You subtly put man and nature on the same level, insinuating that we are all equal. What made you realize this?
I believe that religion and science are twin sides of the same coin. There can be no religion without science or no science without religion. Based on science, what are we, human beings? The latest evolutionary being. And what are we human beings or the earth which sustains us compared to the vast universe which remains still unknowable? Now based on religion, just think of the status of the Creator of this entire universe. What are we human beings before Him? Is it common sense to think that human beings alone are His favourite ones when millions and millions of other creations are there? Hence I believe that there are no differences between human beings other beings to the eyes of God. I am of opinion that God the Father may like other beings more than human beings since they commit less crimes and offences to Nature
5. The use of the word "taunt" in the first line is incredibly powerful. Is there any other word that would have conveyed your thoughts the same way this word does?
True, I have deliberately and purposefully used the term ‘taunt’ since it is very powerful. Usually I search dictionary to use the apt terms. I couldn’t find a better term to express my emotions.
My mind used to taunt me:
“Hey Mister, incongruous
are your words and actions;
what do you write and teach?
Here is the full poem:
How I Became a Vegetarian
My mind used to taunt me:
“Hey Mister, incongruous
are your words and actions;
what do you write and teach?
The relation between
Man and Nature and God;
human beings and other beings,
all children of God;
Man has no right
to torture any other being.
Hey Mister, have you no shame
to eat the flesh of
innocent animals and fish?”
Born a Christian,
lived a non-veg life;
believed the teachings
that man is the centre of universe;
God made other beings
for his food and assistance.
Millions live in illusions.
Gandhi is my role model;
my eyes are opened at last
and I have become
a pure vegetarian.
To purchase the book, do so here! Thanks for reading x
In case you haven't noticed, I'm going through what is probably the biggest reading slump I've ever been in. Other than school books and review books, I haven't been reading anything and it's been bugging me a lot. I look at the books on my shelves and it genuinely hurts me that I can't find time nor motivation to read, which is why I put together this post. Hopefully, I'll be able to pick one of these books up and get back into reading!
1. Demigods & Magicians, by Rick Riordan
This is one of those extra books authors come out with that always makes everyone super happy. Not only are books like this very short, they also bring you back to the fantasy world you loved so much and simply remind you of why you like to read.
2. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, by J.K. Rowling
This one's a given. The first book also being the shortest makes it easier to read, but not any less interesting. The first book is a lot of people's favorite for a reason: the introduction to a magical world that will stay with us forever. Rereading this book is easy because you already know you love it, and it'll just make you read more books.
3. Anne of Green Gables, by Lucy Maud Montgomery
I've read this book so many times I can't even count, and it remains one of my all time favorites. I love children's stories and this one is simply so beautiful, and captures the essence of youth in the best possible way. Anne's innocence is the most precious thing in the world and this book is so easy to read. It was also given to Polish soldiers during WWII to give them hope so you know this book is a happy one!
4. Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda, by Becky Albertalli
Remember when this book was everyone's favorite book last summer? I remember wanting to buy it so much but it was so hard for me to spend $25 on a book, until I finally got it and read it. I will admit that it wasn't as good as I expected it to be, but nevertheless was a quick and fun read, which is why I would pick it up on a bad day just to get some reading done.
5. Maus, by Art Spiegelman
Would you believe me if I said I got to read this book for English class? It was an absolute gem to read, and I've been wanting to get into graphic novels recently and this was the perfect book. I had the best time reading it and although it deals with harder topics, I think everyone should read this book at least once in their lifetime!
I hope you enjoyed this short post, and if you're like me, in a horrible slump, I wish us luck to get over it!
Hello! I've been seeing a few booktube videos about how booktubers personally review their books, and how they decide on a Goodreads rating, and I think that it's a great idea for all booktubers and book bloggers to make. Not only does it show who you are as a reader, but also as a person. Today I'm going to be telling you guys of the way I review and rate the books I read, enjoy!
1) The plot
This is an obvious one, but plots are so important. The start, middle and end of a story play a huge role in their final rating, in whether it's a 4 or a 4.5/5. If the start is strong, the middle is lacking and the end is good, it will most likely get a better rating than a book that starts strong but ends badly, you know?
Some plots are so cliché and if I can predict the ending, which I usually can't because I'm oblivious, you'll know that it was cliché in my opinion and lacking. A good plot is usually one that keeps you on the edge of your seat, and that you wouldn't mind missing a few hours of sleep just to finish!
2) The characters
This might be controversial, because I know that characters shouldn't define a story, but to me, they do. Some characters are meant to be annoying (Umbridge, anyone?), but if the main character is supposed to be a loveable character, and I somehow find he/she annoying, I will not like the book - at all. In The Geography of You and Me, I'm sure the two protagonists were meant to be loveable, but I found them immature, childish and so, so simple that the entire book, despite its original plot, ended up being a book that I did not like as much as I would've wanted to.
On the other hand, if a villain is likeable (DRACO!), it means that the author is doing something right. When a villain's story interests you, it means that they add a lot more than simply being an antagonist to the plot, and I think that that's when I know I really like a story.
3) The writing style
Another obvious one, but writing style usually makes or breaks a book for me. If I find the writing style childish or poor, there is no way the book will get above a 4/5, even though it is the best plot in the entire world. It's like first impressions; if someone leaves a bad first impression on you, you'll forever be tainted. If I start reading and roll my eyes at the writing style (cough Divergent cough), the book simply isn't for me.
4) The dialogue
As a scriptwriter (from time to time), I enjoy dialogue a lot. And a good book to me has a very lively, engaging and dynamic dialogue, where every word leads to the next, and where nothing is said uselessly. A lot of times, characters will state the obvious, or repeat themselves, and that loses my interest as a reader. So, yeah, dialogue is important!
Here were the 4 things I focus on when I review books! It's pretty simple and straightforward, but I just wanted to let you guys know how my rating system works in my review section!
Thanks for reading,
Hello hello! Recently, I've had the chance to interview an amazing author, Dane Cobain! Check out his work here on his website. I've always loved being a blogger, mostly because of the amazing authors I get to work with, and Dane was an amazing person to collaborate with. He has a multitude of works published, including poetry AND fiction! Naturally, I had a lot of questions to ask an author who writes a variety of works. Here were his answers!
1) Where did you get the inspiration for the characters in your story?
Most of my characters are a sort of gestalt of traits from people I know, outlooks on life that are determined by their backstory, and a little pinch of myself thrown in for good measure.
2) Who is your favorite character in your book(s) and why?
I have a number of them out, but in Former.ly, which is my most recent fiction release, I think it would have to be Flick. She has her flaws but she rises above them, and she’s just a little bit of a badass. She was also the most fun to write!
3) How do you deal with writer’s block?
I don’t get it. I write every day and make the most of any time that I’m able to find. I work on so many different projects that there’s always something that needs doing, so if I get temporarily stuck on one then I just move on to another.
4) Is it hard to come up with something original nowadays?
I don’t think so. It’s a little bit like writing music – whilst there are only so many different notes, there are almost infinite permutations. There’s always a gap for something new; besides, everything is influenced by everything that came before it to a certain extent to begin with.
5) What is the best and worst part of being a writer?
I guess the best part is being able to turn ideas into reality; it’s always good to hold a physical copy of one of your books in your hands. The worst part is probably the amount of time that it takes – you need to put in a lot of time, and it can lead to you missing out on chances to socialize.
6) Do you let your relatives/friends proofread you? How do you deal with criticism?
I work with an editor called Pam Harris, and so between the two of us we’re able to put together a professional quality release. My relatives and friends read my work, though – I encourage everyone to always be honest with their thoughts, and so when I do get criticism (from my friends as well as from readers that I’ve never met), I try to learn from it. People are usually right.
7) Do you like eating while writing? What is your favorite snack to eat while working?
I’ve never been asked this one before – good question! I like food, but not specifically when writing – if I’m peckish, I’ll grab a snack. I do have a fondness for strawberry fizzy laces. You know, if you fancy sending me some.
8) Are you currently working on anything new? Can you tell us?
I’m always working on something new! There are three main projects going on at the moment:
9) What are your favorite books? Writers?
I always say that Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy is my favourite series and that Northern Lights is my favourite book. But other writers I like include Graham Greene, Ernest Hemingway, Charles Bukowski and Terry Pratchett, amongst others.
10) What are your tips for aspiring writers and bloggers?
Just stick at it – you need to put a lot of time and energy into it, but it’s rewarding. You’ll need a little bit of luck, a little bit of talent, and a whole lot of hard work. That’s it!
And voila! I hope you enjoyed reading this interview, and I hope it helped you if you are an aspiring writer or blogger, as I try to focus my questions mostly on the process of book writing.
Have a great day,
Hi hello, before you freak out over the title, I'm still here!
katherineandbooks has been my child for a year now, and even though I will continue posting blog posts that are related to books, I have decided that as a nonfiction writer, I wanted to post some of my work as well. katherineandwords seemed like a better blog name, because it includes everything I want to talk about on this blog, seeing that I want to explore other art-related topics on this blog as well. If you are an author I am working with, I will still be taking review requests and book tours, because my blog will still be literature focused!
Therefore, as of August 14th 2016, katherineandbooks will be replaced by katherineandwords. The content will not change. In fact, it will simply be improved, as I will have more to post on here!
Hey everyone! I am so happy to announce that I have been working with an amazing author, J.J. Sherwood, for the release of her book Kings or Pawns, which is the first book in the Steps of Power series.
All in all, this book is an awesome epic fantasy novel that sounds perfect for lovers of high-fantasy and urban fantasy, and just about everyone. Here is the synopsis:
"8,994 P.E.—The elven city of Elvorium has become corrupted to the core by politics. With his father dead and the Royal Schism at his back, Prince Hairem ascends the throne as king of the elven world on Sevrigel. Young and bold, Hairem is determined to undo the council’s power, but the brutal murders by an assassin loosed within the city threaten to undermine the king’s ambitions.
As corruption and death threaten to tear Elvorium apart from within, the warlord Saebellus threatens the city from without, laying siege to Sevrigel’s eastern capital. With the elven world crumbling around him, Hairem finds himself in a dangerous political balance between peace and all out war."
I am here to announce today that the author and her editor are actually launching a Rafflecopter giveaway for a SIGNED copy of the first book and the second book! I will be reading this really soon, and if you'd like to join me, I suggest you enter the giveaway (or buy the book!). I will be posting a review for it as soon as I finish, and I can't wait to dive into another fantasy world.
A huge thank you to the author for this opportunity, I really hope that you guys enter it! If you would like to purchase the book, here is a link.
Thanks for reading,
This is a pretty unrelated blog post, but I just really wanted to talk about the concept of working in an industry that passions you.
I'm guessing that if you read this blog (first of all, thank you so so so much, you like books, and perhaps movies. As someone who has grown up reading books and watching Ghibli movies, the concept of storytelling is something that has struck me at a very young age. The idea of creating, and telling a story, of writing it and of building an entire world dedicated to a few characters who came out of my brain was simply a great concept, and as I grew older, and found out that people could write books and screenplays for a living helped me find out what my dream job was.
However, as I grew even older, the more I got into writing, the more I found out about the other aspects of filmmaking and book publishing. Now, I know that my dream job would be to be a literary scout and a movie producer, but the question is, how am I going to get there?
And that's where I had the idea for this blog post.
Many people on booktube have this dream of working in the book industry, and although it isn't impossible at all, no one is clear as to what they want to do. The book industry, so I've heard, has many, many components to it. PR, HR, book editing, book writing, marketing, cover designing... The list is endless. Because I personally want to be in the film industry as well, I've researched a lot on a job that interconnects both industries. Working in an industry like those is definitely rewarding, especially because it is so hard to break into it, and everyone seems to think that these industries are unstable and unpaid.
My tip for myself, and for others, is that I believe we should all turn our passions into something productive. Who says you need to money? I make absolutely no money from blogging, but I do get ARCs and books, and I was able to transform my love for reading and writing into something productive. If you like books, start a blog! Write fanfiction! Write reviews! Anything will help you, trust me. Having this blog on my CV has been a blessing. Same thing for the film industry, all you need to do is MAKE things. Put yourself out there!
There are so many obscure jobs that we don't know of, and most of the time, people make you think that if you aren't studying sciences, you're wasting your life away. Show them that what you love can be turned into something bigger. If you aspire to make $200k a year, then I'm sorry but this might not be right for you. But if you want to make a decent amount, want to live comfortably and work a job you are passionate about, I highly suggest you start looking for those obscure unknown jobs now. I'm mostly posting this blog post because I just found out that being a literary scout is a thing, through a lot of weird research. It's never too early to start thinking about this!
I hope that this blog post was somewhat helpful and inspirational, and it was in no way a list of possible jobs (I don't even know them all I'm 18!), but I hope that if you were looking for a little push, this was it.
To commemorate a year of being a book blogger, I've decided to finally join booktube. I've been using my blog and lack of time as an excuse for not making videos, even though deep down that is what I wanted to do. It's simply so much easier to write, however the feeling of talking about books is so much more fun and rewarding, and hopefully I can continue making videos for a while!
If you want to subscribe to me, I have one video up already, so feel free to watch that!
You can find me right here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEiszd4KJeACTZKHL_ZidGA
Hello hello! I have today a list of 5 books that are on my TBR for the upcoming fall. I hate having TBR piles because I never get to read the books and end up feeling like crap because I feel like a failure, so I've compiled 5 books I think I am 100% going to read, so I can actually stick to my TBR! Here they are!
1. Kings or Pawns, by J.J. Sherwood
I own this book, thanks to the author, and it seems like something right up my alley! I love anything high-fantasy or urban fantasy, and although I do find them hard to get into at first, especially on Kindle, I am so stoked to have this in my eBooks! You can buy the book here and we can read it together this upcoming fall!
2. The House of Hades, by Rick Riordan
If you've been following my Goodreads, you know that I have finished the first three books in the Heroes of Olympus series. I absolutely adored them, and they gave me the same feeling I had when I was reading the Harry Potter series. I love the characters and the world building, and it's so obvious that so much work and research went behind this series. I love Nico so I can't wait to read this 4th instalment!
3. The Queen of the Tearling, by Erika Johansen
A movie starring Emma Watson? Yes please! That's the main reason I want to read this book, plus the fact that I've only heard great things about it. It is quite an intimidating book however, because of its size. Also, if you know me, you know that books like this are usually a hit or miss, so hopefully I will enjoy this book!
4. The Sky is Everywhere, by Jandy Nelson
No TBR list is a katherineandwords TBR list if there isn't a Y.A. contemporary in it. I LOVE Jandy Nelson, and I've only had positive experiences with her books, so this should be a favorite of mine!
5. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Script), by J.K. Rowling
So this book isn't out yet, but I have preordered it and CANNOT wait to receive it! I love reading scripts, and this one is based on a favorite of mine, and also written by queen Rowling herself? How can I not be excited for it!
I hope you enjoyed this blog post, please let me know if some of these books were favorites of yours, and I will get to them soon!
I was rewatching old T5Ws (Top 5 Wednesdays) and I found this one that I had somehow skipped over. This is probably my favorite T5W so far, because I'm someone who is really picky with books, especially the ones everyone loved. For some reason, I can't get myself to get into, nor finish some of the most popular books around booktube, and this is why I decided to, although it is risky, write this post!
1) Rebels: City of Indra, by Kendall and Kylie Jenner
Not being able to finish this book wasn't a shocker to anyone, let's be real. The book was poorly written, and although had an interesting premise and had lots of potential, the way the characters, the world, and the concept was introduced was so bad I couldn't pass the first 50 pages. I honestly still pick it up from time to time, but always end up putting it back down. It's a shame, because the cover is probably one of the most gorgeous covers ever.
2) The Maze Runner, by James Dashner
I rarely talk about this series on my blog for the simple reason that I had never finished the first book. I'm not sure why I didn't finish it, however, because I don't remember it being particularly bad or boring. I think that I had found a better book to read while I was reading this, and never thought that it was important enough for me to pick it up again.
3) Insurgent, by Veronica Roth
Most of you guys know that I will never be finishing this series, ever. I simply find it so overrated, and I don't think the writing is good, nor do I like the characters. The thing with this series is that there are a lot of things I absolutely adore about it, but also a lot that I simply hate about it, therefore I can never decide if I like it or not. I think I skim read the last 50 pages of Insurgent, simply because I had gotten so far and could not just leave it there, but I honestly don't care that much for this series anymore.
4) Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
I have a good explanation for why I never finished this book, and it is because I read it at a time where I didn't feel like reading, nor did I really understand literature back then. However, surprisingly, I never thought of picking it up again, and although I really should, I simply can't get myself to do so.
5) City of Bones, by Cassandra Clare
I could not get past the first few pages of this, and I'm so glad I didn't purchase the entire series at once. I really hope to get into this series however, because of how great their fanbase is and whatnot. I'd love to get into urban fantasy like this one, but for the moment, it really isn't for me.
I hope you enjoyed reading about these rather popular books that I will not, and was not able to finish. Hopefully, some of you feel the same!
Thanks so much for reading,