Monday, 2 July 2012

Dare to be Indie: Guest Post by Laxmi Hariharan


Laxmi Hariharan's Bio:
While born in India, Laxmi Hariharan has lived in Singapore and Hong Kong and is now based in London. She has written for various publications including The Times of India, The Independent, Inside Singapore, Inside Hong Kong and Asian Age. Indian mythology inspires her work. When not writing, this chai-swigging technophile enjoys long walks in the woods, growing eye-catching flowers and indulging her inner geek. Her debut novel is The Destiny of Shaitan.

Do you dare to be Indie?

 “So are you going to self pub?” I asked a friend who has spent years polishing her manuscript, collecting rejection slips and looking out for that long awaited email which asks for the entire novel. “I don’t know, how do you know when you should, and what happens if I were to do so only to have an agent interested in my work?” To go Indie or not, that is the question. A hotly debated issue which has kept many a writer—with a burning need to be read—up many nights.  My take: If Indie movies are accepted, why not Indie books?

Rob Kroese, author of the self published, bestselling, humorous, apocalyptic novel Mercury Falls and its sequel, Mercury Rises has a great analogy. The last I saw, he was on stage in front of an audience of famous writers, august agents and established publishers , likening the league of published authors to an elite night club, with gatekeepers, who decide who gets in and who does not. It struck a chord with me. So taking a cue from Rob, I have put together my own quiz, to help you find out whether you should go Indie or not.

Here are the questions: 

  1. Are you waiting to be discovered or somewhere along the way have you discovered yourself? 
  2. Do you write to be read? 
  3. Is your novel unclassifiable? It probably spans so many genres that you know you will have lost traditional agents within the first line of the pitch, for your writing and you cannot be pigeon-holed. YA, epic fantasy, inspired by Indian mythology, for example.
  4. At heart, are you an entrepreneur? Do you normally jump first and think of the consequences later?  Are you pragmatic about failure—enough to pick yourself up and move on swiftly to the next? 
  5. Do you like to experiment, and cannot resist a challenge? Do you thrive under pressure, and when the odds are stacked against you? 
  6. Are you impatient, probably a control freak? In fact, you so want to control your own destiny, that you keep checking in with the stars to find out what’s going to happen in your life, so you can steer it along the way you want
  7. Are you a technophile? You secretly indulge your inner geek, admit it! On a practical level are you at least on Facebook and twitter? 
  8. Are you social? Love debating with tweet-friends around the world? Really, you adore your virtual home and obsess over getting your gravatar just right! 
  9. Do you have the courage of conviction, the doggedness of determination? Is the power of persistence strong within you? Hopefully the goddess of wealth has smiled on you—enough  to let you invest in yourself and in your voice—so you can substitute some of the publishers’ services and give your baby a good start in the real world. 
  10. Perhaps, you had a near death experience—Life is too short. You just have to get your voice out there for tomorrow you may be too late. 

If you said yes to at least eight of the above ten, then I believe the force is strong in you. You may be among the fortunate few to take a punt on yourself.  

But wait! Before you press that enter button and send the words skimming out over the electronic waves, pause. Have you been true to yourself in your text—Really? If you are still standing upright, then there is more to tell. Go back, revisit, revise, rewrite, until hand on heart, you can say you have stripped yourself bare. When you have died a few deaths getting the novel to that place where exhaustion weeps in the arms of elation, then, you know all has been said. Now you have one last thing to do. Make sure your baby is perfect—every infinitesimal millimetre brushed to its Sunday best—for once it is out there you will be reborn, as your Author Avatar. People will actually read you. Many will love your prose, some will hate it and tell you so. Can you deal with that too?  If the answer is still yes, then what are you waiting for?  

The Destiny of Shaitan Book Summary
Kindle bestseller The Destiny of Shaitan is a delicious blend of gods & humans, sacred & profane; a gripping ride offering a glimpse into your own power. 

Partially set in a futuristic Bombay, this coming of age story is painted against the backdrop of a post-apocalyptic world.

When Tiina accompanies Yudi on a mission to save the universe from the ruthless Shaitan, she seeks more than the end of the tyrant; she seeks herself. Driven by greed and fear for his own survival, Shaitan bulldozes his way through the galaxy, destroying everything in his path.  Tiina wants Yudi to destroy Shaitan, thus fulfilling the prophecy of Shaitan being killed by his son. But she finds that Yudi is hesitant to do so. The final showdown between Tiina, Yudi, and Shaitan has unexpected consequences, for Shaitan will do anything in his power to win the fight.  The stakes are high and the combatants determined. Will Shaitan's ultimate destiny be fulfilled?


Philip Verghese 'Ariel' said...

Hi Dorothy Good to be here via a web friend, good to meet and read about yet another Indian author Laxmi
This is really amazing to note that the pages are devoted to your fellow authors and writers from around the world, Keep up the good work.
I am joining in,
Keep us inform
Keep writing
Best Regards

Tribute Books said...

Dorothy, thank you so much for featuring Laxmi today :)