Hear hear hear!!! Pick up Age of Azmoq on Goodreads for free!!

Hello there! If you are thinking about whether you want to read Age of Azmoq (still thinking?! I wonder why… Oh I know, because I am someone unknown dude who claims to have written an amazing book), you can enter the Goodreads Giveaway program!! I am giving away 50 ebooks there! What is the downside right! Enter now!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Age of Azmoq by Rajamayyoor Sharma

Age of Azmoq

by Rajamayyoor Sharma

Giveaway ends March 19, 2018.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

 

Tone of a blog post (Why a post on this?! – Read on…)

In the words of the wise Obiwan Kenobi (Star wars reference for the uninitiated) – Hello there!

Many people who I have reached out to for advice, on writing and book promotion, have said – Maintain a blog. Keep writing. Good advice – I agree that I should have a blog (which I do). But since I started this blog, I have wondered, given there are barely any people actually following and reading this blog, what tone do I maintain in each post?

Why is that important you ask? Well, I recently heard some news where the presenter was shouting in a dramatic fashion (as if some major mafia had been exposed) that “other formalities need to be completed” (I know context matters, but it just sounded hilariously dramatic in any case). So, to me, tone is as important as content. And I haven’t been completely sure of the tone I needed to maintain while writing something.

Now coming back to the question – The tone I need to maintain depends primarily on 2 things. First what is my audience? That’s my biggest dilemma, and the options so far have been depressing to say the least, especially as a first time author. Am I talking to non existent followers of my blog (which is slightly sad) or am I talking to myself on the internet (which sounds like I really need help).

I recently had a few inspiring conversations and decided to take a more optimistic approach (glass half full and all that). I will talk to the future readers of my blog – Assume there will be people who at some point in the near (or distant) future will feel like taking 5 minutes once a week to read what I have written in the recent (or distant) past. That doesn’t seem to be asking for a lot from an individual reader, but if looked at cumulatively, it is a lot of time. Simple math – 5 minutes a week, 52 weeks a year for even a 100 readers is ~25,000 minutes/~400 hours/20 days a year! That’ll be a lot of interest in little old me!!!

Now that I have some internal clarity on the audience of my posts, the second thing is what do I write about? That is a tad more clear anyway – I’ll write about my book(s), books I read/want to read and any random thing I think is important (like this post – Feels totally random and yet important to me).

So, Readers of the future – you now have this post to read (or you’ve already have had if you are indeed reading this in the future). You’ll soon have more posts. Although in the future, you’ll already have all my posts available – depending on how far into the future you start reading my posts. If I am still alive and writing, there are definitely more posts to come. If it is beyond that, I am glad my posts are still relevant a century from now (again, optimistically assuming I will lead a long happy life), and well, you already have access to all I had to offer 🙂

Cheers!

The book is here!!!

After months of struggle and wait – the first book is here!!! Some of you might have already bought it. That is because it was available in all geos but for India till now. The India launch was delayed (for a myriad reasons, primary one being me understanding the modalities of publication for the first time).

Please go to your local Amazon website (like amazon.in in India, amazon.com in the US and amazon.de in Germany), search for Azmoq. You’ll find the book. Please read and review!!!

Cover page_final_front

Villasboro – a village isolated from the world…

Here is Villasboro – The first location in book 1 of the Age of Azmoq series. We meet our first protagonist in the village of Villasboro.

I love this place (I know it’s imaginary and not real – please don’t think I am slightly off). This village is quite close to my heart. If someone were to ask me what an ideal village would look like, I would say Villasboro. The people of this village have lived in isolation from the world all their lives and their demeanor reflects this.

Villasboro (edited) - color.jpg

Here’s the excerpt from the book, describing this village:

The village of Villasboro was in the middle of nowhere. For vast distances around, there were no other villages, towns, settlements or habitats of any sort. This extreme isolation was not a problem for any of the villagers. It was quite self-sufficient, and its inhabitants loved their home. The village was surrounded with such beauty—why would someone not love it? There were hills to the north, with a tiny brook flowing from them. There were dense forests on the other three sides and a small lake in the middle of the village that the brook flowed into. The hills, the forests, the lake and the brook made Villasboro quite a heavenly place to live in.

Because of this serene and beautiful location that provided for all their needs, none of its inhabitants cared about the world beyond the boundaries of their village. To be honest, the isolation was quite stark. There was no civilization for hundreds of kilometers around the village. To add to that, it was difficult to enter or leave Villasboro, even if one chose to, given its location. But the villagers did not care. Through generations, they had stayed in this one place. So, they had grown to care little of happenings beyond the village, or even beyond their own lives. If the world beyond the village was destroyed, no one would have come to know.

The people of the village had a peaceful and detached demeanor, which was as much the character of Villasboro, as its hills or its lake. The thoroughly self-sufficient nature of the village had percolated down to each individual of the village who was quite content with the events of his or her own life, and didn’t bother anyone he or she didn’t have to. The villagers were simple in their needs, most of which they themselves were able to provide for.

Despite the isolation, every now and then, a few travelers did visit. But the villagers, given their supremely detached attitude, treated anyone who came in the same manner. Do your thing, don’t bother us.

Hope you fall in love with this place as well. Please keep an eye out for the book where you can read more about the beauty of Villasboro as well as the idiosyncrasies of its villagers (especially of some of our main characters 🙂 )

 

The Valantian continent – In all it’s glory! (Hopefully)

Here it is! The continent where the series Age of Azmoq starts off – ValantiaValantia has 11 countries in it with Morgenia being the largest and Ganolfan being the smallest. The ruling council of Valantia, the Valantian Imperium, sits out of The High Seat, a city in Ganolfan.

Valantia color_Final_with Title

Hope this excites you! Interestingly (at least to me), almost each and every place, be it city, river, mountain or desert has been named in a way that describes something significant about the location. There are so many locations and geographies I want to talk about – share what they are and what their names signify!

Will talk about some of them in detail once the book comes out. Keep a look out!

Let’s get ready to rumble!!! The book is out for Pre-Order

It is finally here!!! (well, not finally for you – you probably didn’t know that this book exists until a short while back). My book – after months of writing, editing, nitpicking (testing the patience of almost everyone involved) is available now on pre-order!

The book will launch on 17th January 2018!

Please go and order a copy right away! (I mean, you can wait… I can’t force you… But please go right away! Please!). Click the link below!! (In case you are from India – Amazon unfortunately doesn’t offer pre-ordering. Please add the book to your wishlist instead!)

Age of Azmoq: The Valantian Imperium

And don’t forget to share this info!!

 

Kicking things off! – Once upon a time (Part 2)…

So, where were we?

Ah yes, I was telling you about how I started writing. Given that you are reading the second post I have made on this topic, I am sure you are super interested in what I have to say and so I will make this a long post with all the details, however small they might be… Just kidding 😊 Will try to keep things short.

In the previous post, I spoke of innate affinities and pivotal events that influence (unknowingly) the path you choose. I detailed my key personality traits which helped prepare me for writing. Namely, reading, sleeping (very important to sleep) and boredom. They helped me merge and tweak characters and storylines from a young age.

Now let me describe the key events in my life. They may or may not be events where my choices were significant (to me or otherwise), but they affected my journey nonetheless.

The choice of undergrad college: Bit of context for non-Indians (not sure if there will be non-Indians reading this, but no harm in providing context. What are a couple of sentences, when you are reading a write up which is couple of pages long). India has a very competitive, conservative academic environment. Now, the pinnacle of engineering colleges in India are the IITs. While I did clear the entrance exam for IITs, I chose BITS Pilani (typically ranked below IITs) for my first degree as I got the major of my choice.

BITS Pilani gave me a degree of freedom and time I wouldn’t have had in probably any other college, especially not the IITs. Several reasons – I will not detail them here, because then this post will stop being about anything else; it’ll become one that extols the virtue of the amazing BITS Pilani

Getting a laptop: My first year of college, I was a model student (mostly). I attended at least 50 – 60% of the classes, I studied after I got back to my room. Then I got a laptop. My attendance dropped to 20 – 30% (it didn’t matter, there is no attendance requirement in BITS). I started watching TV series and movies at a breakneck pace. At times, I went through a whole season in a day. My mind was flooded with new ideas, stories and characters.

This wasn’t very healthy, and my grades eventually suffered, but hey! there is no moral to this post, it is just about what led to me writing. I am actively avoiding going on a tangent on morality of certain actions, because I care about you! I am sure there is only so much you want to read at a time from my posts 😊

Path of least effort: By the time I was in my 4th year, all I did was watch movies, eat, sleep and hang out with friends. I wasn’t sure what I would do. My parents were worried (rightly so – poor things). My dad told me to at least try preparing for a Masters (in engineering) or an MBA. I did the bare minimum – Masters application prep needed too much effort so I didn’t apply anywhere. CAT (the entrance exam for MBA) was just a day’s investment, so I wrote it. I lucked into getting calls to IIM A, B, C (for the uninitiated, these are good MBA colleges in India). Once I got admits from these colleges, I chose IIM B as it allowed me the freedom to spend my time the way I wanted to (plus it was Bangalore – a city I liked).

Oh boy, this post is getting too long! Ok, last couple of events – I joined an amazing company to work in, which gave me some time off in 2017 as I wasn’t doing too well, health wise. This time off is when all my storylines and ideas began to coalesce. I figured I had the time, so I started to write. A wrote a couple of short stories, enjoyed reading them, so motivated (not sure rightly so or not – as only me and my family read my work, none of them ever criticize anything I do. They are very sweet), I wrote my first book (I feel I rushed the last bit – but I am sure you are bored by now! I might detail the last couple of things later, if someone wants me to)

So, conclusions. Hmmm… I can’t think of too many conclusions. One is obviously, connecting the dots. I mean, I never did any of the things I mentioned so far with the intention of writing. It’s just that sometimes, you don’t choose the path, the path chooses you (that line sounds so philosophical… Not my intention. Or maybe it is. Sometimes you don’t choose the line, the line chooses you – see what I did there 😉 ).

Another thing I see is that given your nature, there might be things you will like more /be more passionate about, than others. It took me almost 27 years (that’s how old I am. No other reason for the time-span. And there can be many more reasons – let’s not go there) to realize that I am really passionate about writing – It fits my nature well. How you ask? (or maybe you don’t – again, I can’t really know; I am just guessing). As previously described, I hate getting bored and I love to read. And the thing with reading is, the book is already set. You can’t change/mold as per your imagination  – something you can do as a writer. So as I writer, I never get bored, because I am constantly thinking, creating and tweaking stories based on what I like.

So that’s that – a quick (maybe not that quick) introduction to how I started to write. Hope you enjoyed it (or at least so bored by it that you wouldn’t come back, or worse not pick up my book! Oh the horror!). Will be back soon with a new post – mostly about my book.

 

The book cover for Age of Azmoq: The Valantian Imperium!

It is finally here! After almost of a month of back and forth with the artist, the ever patient Teodora, the book cover for my first work is here!

book cover final.jpg

What are you looking at you ask? The cover depicts the High Seat, the city which is where the Valantian Imperium functions out of. Yes, Valantian Imperium from the title. What is this Valantian Imperium you ask? It is the governing body that rules over the continent of Valantia, the continent where the events of the first book take place.

The High Seat is a man-made city created on top of 4 hills, built to display the power and authority of the Valantian Imperium. The city is extremely secure – not even the wealthiest and the most powerful men from the continent can enter the city without express permission from the Imperium. For citizens of Valantia, visiting the High Seat is a dream. To be able to enter the Imperium Chambers, the largest building in the High Seat is something most people would be willing to die for.

Hope this cover gets you excited about what’s in store for you when you pick up the book!!

Kicking things off! – Once upon a time…

Hi there,

Welcome to the world of books written by me. Well, so far it is just one book. But I am sure I will write some more. Eventually. Before I start talking about the book and the world I have created, I wanted to talk about how I got to a point where I started to write.

Why should you care about how I started? You don’t need to. However, you are here. Might as well read what I have written.

Why do I want to talk about how I started? Well, after I wrote this book, I started to tell my friends and family about it – why didn’t I tell them as I was writing it, you ask? (well, maybe you don’t ask. But hey I don’t know you that well, so I am assuming you are asking) Well, that’s a long story. I really don’t want my first post to rival my book in its length 🙂 The sentiment I encountered the most, was surprise.  Apparently, I wasn’t really the type to write fantasy books. People thought, at best, I would have written some book on management (makes sense – given my day job as a management consultant).

Well, here it goes (The part about how I started writing). At least the short version – I have a tendency to digress (Occasionally. Once in a blue moon). May re-visit and pen down the long version if I feel like.

We all have innate affinities and inclinations. We also have important events which occur in our lives. The choices we make during these events, coupled with our affinities (which also influence the choices) lead us down a certain path. The path becomes clear only once we are already well on our way. We can only connect the dots, retrospectively. There are 3 – 4 factors and 2 – 3 events in my life that led me down the path of writing. I’ll lay out how these factors and events are connected, and how they pushed me towards the path of writing, closer to the end.

  1. Reading: This might not come as a surprise (because I have started to write, not because you know me in anyway). I love to read anything with a story. Fiction, biographies, book on business (as long as they tell a story). And I read fast – I usually read a 500 page book in about 4 – 5 hours. Why does speed matter? Will come to that soon.
  2. Sleep: I love to sleep. Each and every one of my friends know it. My family knows it. My wife wishes it wasn’t true, but it is. I can sleep any time of the day for any duration of time. And when I sleep, I usually read/watch/listen to something. And then as I fall asleep, I imagine. I imagine scenarios where characters and setups from various books and TV series I have read/seen interact with each other .
  3. Boredom: I get bored very quickly. I need activities (work or otherwise) that continue to excite my mind and imagination. And I don’t really like getting bored (not sure if a lot of people do, but I thought its better to clarify). Interestingly, I don’t get bored of reading/watching the same thing over and over again.

So, I read a lot, absorbing the entire story line quickly. When I am about to sleep, I make various story lines and characters from different setups and imagine their interaction. And I do it repetitively, especially the stories and characters that excite me, tweaking those interactions in my mind every time.

Now,  the events. There are many important events in my life and this isn’t a list of the most important ones, in absolute terms. They are, however, important in my journey towards writing my first book.

As I write this, I realize that this post is becoming too long. So I will lay out the events and my conclusions in the next post.  I swear it wasn’t my intention to split this post into two, but it is turning out to be a little long. Believe me, this is still the short version. I have/will not go into the details. Not a lot. Some detail is, after all, necessary. How would a fairy tale be, if stripped down to its bare bones, without details? (not saying this is fairy tale – just taking an example. Please do not jump to conclusions). Once upon a time, there was a person. That person was nice but comes up against some obstacle. Then that person overcomes the obstacle and lived happily ever after. See – boring, isn’t it?

Anyway, where was I? Oh Yeah. I am ending this post because its too long 🙂 Will conclude in the next post 🙂 Until then, Cheers!!!

Hi there! Welcome… Um… Welcome!

Hi there! Welcome to my blog! This blog is about the book(s) I write/hope to write and the books/series/movies that have inspired me. So far, I have written one book, which is the first one in my pentology (like a trilogy, but with 5 books) – Age of Azmoq. So the book is Age of Azmoq: The Valantian Imperium. You can read up on the book(s) under “What is Age of Azmoq all about?” on the menu bar. You can read a bit more about me under “Who is this chap?”.

I am sure you can figure these things out without me telling you, but I am a tad nervous as I have just started down this path and I don’t really know whether a lot of people will like what I write. So I am being a little cautious and making sure whoever visits the site/blog knows where to read more about my book(s) (I write the “s” in brackets because although right now there is only one book, I hope that it’ll soon be plural).

I have started this blog with 2 objectives – one is to talk about my books (obviously – I won’t start a blog and not want to talk about my books!) and the second is to talk about my love of books (both writing and reading). We are all bound by the reality we live in, but in the realm of imagination, what we can see and be is limitless. I always look forward to delving into the various worlds that great authors create, I hope you do too! I will use this blog to discuss some of my favorite worlds (including the one of my own creation).

I hope you enjoy the read!! Please feel free to reach out to me anytime!