Unplanned

Today, once again,

with my pen and paper,

I sat down at my favorite spot,

near the window of my flat,

and began to ponder

about what new I can write.

Just then, saw those dry leaves

falling from the tree.

To where they are destined,

I realized.

Sometimes it is better

not to decide what to write.

Let go of your thoughts, become carefree.

Only perceive and appreciate

the beauty of falling words

on their own, at their right place.

– Elysian Bookgraphy

Interview with Amanda Maricia Raphael, the Author of Sakhi- A Tale of Her Secrets

Stories gain life when it is relatable, and life always surprises us with twists and turns, it is you who decides whether to enhance it or make it complex. – Amanda

Hey guys, hope you all are doing well.
Today, I am back with another Author Interview. Recently, I read a book called Sakhi. It is a suspense thriller. You can find out my review of it in the review section. I managed to grab the opportunity to have a quick word with the lovely author Amanda Maricia Raphael, for her debut novel ‘Sakhi- A tale of her secrets’. It was such a wonderful experience to know her. She is such a generous and kind person. Thus, I am posting this exclusive interview with Amanda. You will surely love it. Enjoy!

•Hello Amanda! Can you tell our readers a bit about yourself and
your book?

Hi, I am Amanda, a former Electronic Lecturer who followed my passion for writing when I moved to Germany with my family. Sakhi, my debut book is a story of a young girl who is in a quest to find her biological father. The book comes under the genre of a romantic suspense thriller.

•Describe your writing space.
My writing space is my husband’s home-office space which would be free after six in the evening. It is a simple table, a comfortable chair, my laptop, my notebook in which I would have written hints to be developed on that day, but mostly I come up with something else when I sit to write. I prefer to sit in a closed room to write as I am a person who gets easily distracted. I have some beautiful plants kept on the window sill, which is adjacent to my writing space. I also like scented candles on my table, which would sometimes accompany me in my world of imagination but would add one more task for my IT man to clear up his office table the next morning. I am happy to let you know that a new writing space is getting ready in our home exclusively for me.

•How do you manage to juggle life and writing?
It is an interesting question!
I admit that it is not easy, but anyone can easily do it if writing is your priority or at least one among your first three priorities. I have a little angel who sometimes forgets that he is supposed to be an angel, so I mostly prefer to write in the evenings when my husband is free. But yes, I think about the characters and the situations most of the time, even while I am not physically present in my writing space.

•Tell us about the process for coming up with the cover.
Initially, I searched for photographs which would stand close to the content, but I could not find one. And then it was my friend, a passionate photographer, who suggested Fathima Hakkim, the brilliant artist who was patient enough to draw and redraw it several times until we both were happy.

•What was the inspiration for the story?
Even though I completed this book within a year, the thread to this story was within me for years. It all started with two brothers who were composed of a single soul inhabiting in two bodies. And later on, it developed to a love story.

•What were the key challenges you faced when writing this book?
This story was planned to portray the perspectives of various characters for the same incident or situation, and so it was challenging to connect the dots without logical errors. To be frank, I could not sleep until I solved it, and today, I feel happy about those challenges as it made my writing experience a memorable one.

•How do you develop your plot and characters?
Initially, I think about character specifications.and then I write hints of the whole story, which helps me to get the skeleton of the plot.

•Talk about the twists and turns, do they enhance the story, add
complexity or build suspense?

Okay, let me bore you with some philosophy!
Stories gain life when it is relatable, and life always surprises us with twists and turns, it is you who decides whether to enhance it or make it complex.

•When you’re writing an emotionally draining scene, how do you get
in the mood?

I roleplay it in my mind.

•Do you have a favourite character that you have written? If so, which one it is? And what makes them so special.
This question is something I always ask my readers when they message me to convey their views about Sakhi. And I get excited when people describe the colour of the love which they enjoyed or even argue about the characters when the grey area is showed. I love to discuss readers interpretations.
Now, answering my question to you, I would say that my favourite character in this book is love, unconditional love! I have tried to bring it in all possible relationships.

•What are your favourite lines from the book?
One can also be silently loud and quietly bold!

•What do you hope your readers take away from this book?
I want them to take Sakhi along with them even after reading it.

•What’s your own definition of an author?
An author is a creator of any written form which would outlive the writer itself.

•What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good
writing?

Good thinking!

•What books or authors have most influenced your writing?
Mr Vaikom Muhammed Basheer! He is a writer, humanist and a freedom fighter. His simple language and writing style has always influenced me like any other common man in Kerala.
Mr Mitch Albom- His philosophical novel, for one more day.

•What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I love to watch movies.

•What’s your favourite food?
Biriyani

•If you could invite one person to dinner, who would it be and what
would you cook?
Someone daring enough to test and name whatever I have experimented.

•If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
A Friendly, resilient, smart worker.

•What’s your favourite spot to visit in your own country? And what
makes it so special to you?
Kochi, the queen of Arabian sea.
The second part of the question is the toughest part of this interview. I am bewildered whether it is the beaches, forts, palaces, museums, backwaters, rivers or the practicality of a contemporary metro that makes it special or is it the memories related to the city which makes it special to me. Maybe all of the above.

•Share something your readers wouldn’t know about you.
I am a very bold person until an insect visits me!

Fun Part
Pick One:

City or Village
Cities with beaches

Tea or Coffee
Coffee

Paperback or e-book
Both

Morning person or Night owl
Night Owl

Movie or Book
Movie

Reading or Writing
Writing

Beaches or Mountains
Beaches

•And lastly, what advice would you like to give to a new writer,
someone who is just starting out?
I am no one to give advice, but I would like to share a tip which I used while I was struggling to focus on my writing.
I never used to take mobile phones to my writing space. And after watching the documentary The Social Dilemma, on Netflix, it made sense why it helped me.

Thank you Amanda for giving your time.

All the best for your future projects.

Emptiness

While watching the moon, 

remembering him, 

she takes a trip 

down to memory lane. 

Recollecting images 

from the past, 

she smiled; when they 

were together.

Concurrently, teardrops 

came from her eyes, brought her 

back to the present. 

Where she is alone,

when years have passed 

since his demise.

-Elysian Bookgraphy-

Do not Presume..

At times, marvellous, emotive, 

Humane.

At times, egregious, 

Inhumane.

A whole new experience,

Altogether.

Through the lane of words,

Travel.

Never surmise a book by its, 

Cover.

-Elysian Bookgraphy

Interview with Jerusha Mather the Author of ‘Burnt Bones and Beautiful Butterflies’

Hi everyone, today’s interview is really special. The author whom you are going to witness is an incredibly skilled person. Despite being diagnosed with Athetoid Cerebral Palsy, when doctors said that she would never be able to walk and talk, it is truly inspiring and impressive how she had overcome her difficulties and numerous obstacles with her no-fear attitude. Her book, ‘Burnt Bones and Beautiful Butterflies,’ is a collection of her poems, through which she hopes to encourage others to subdue their barriers in life. I am so grateful that I got this opportunity of interviewing her. “Having a limitation does not mean you aren’t capable of greatness.” Hereby presenting the full Interview with supremely motivating Jerusha Mather. Get Inspired!!

•Hi Jerusha, can you please introduce yourself so that the audience can know you better.

I am a poet from Melbourne, Australia. I was born in Sri – Lanka where the doctors said I would never walk and talk. My family and I came to Australia when I was two years old and through the rehabilitation therapy I received here in Australia, I learnt to walk and talk. I am also a PhD student at Victoria University investigating strength training and non invasive brain stimulation in adults with cerebral palsy.

•Do you think you were meant to be a poet?

Yes, I have always loved poetry in school and thus, I think I was meant to be a poet. I think I have been gifted in the ability to craft poetry that everyone can enjoy and relate to.

•How long have you been writing or when did you start?

I started writing poetry in primary school. I was invited to a poetry workshop and I discovered that I had talent in the area of poetry through the person running that workshop. In high school, my teacher and I started a poetry club and we would sit and chat about poetry at lunchtime.

I also loved reading and I used to go to the library every often when I was young. That is probably where I picked my writing skills. But my ideas are from my own unique experiences and eyes.

•Who are some of your biggest influences in your poetry?

My parents first and foremost.

However definitely Rupi Kaur. She is my inspiration.

•Tell us about your first book? What was the journey like?

It was a exciting journey. At times, stressful and challenging but I made it. 😊 Many of poems touch on the hidden human aspects of life. It touches on elements of love, hurt, and happiness, and hints of my journey. If anything, I hope people can relate to my poetry and feel like they are never alone in their journey. My words are with them.

My book is currently ranked ten in the Poetry by Women section in Australia, which has been a amazing achievement. I am glad my hard work has paid off.

•How did you come up with the title for your book?

The idea came through a picture I had in my mind of my own journey. That something good can come out of our life’s challenges.

•How important is the accessibility of meaning? Should one have to work hard to “solve” the poem?

My poetry book is written relatively simple but elegant. It does tackle complex situations and makes awareness of the imperfections of the human condition. And I think that is what people love about my poetry and ensures accessibility to anyone.

•Do the Internet and social media contribute to the well-being of poetry?

From my experience, I think it does. I think generally people are beginning to love poetry. I think social media and the internet has given us a chance to be expressive in a truly free manner. That does come with a lot of uncertainty and criticism for some people, unfortunately.

•Do you have any particular audience in mind when you write?

I write for young people and adults. Particularly young women. I also write for myself. For the healing and letting go of all

the emotions on paper.

•What are you currently working on? Also, what are you reading at present?

I am also a neuroscientist / PhD student by morning so I do research and read a lot of strength training literature. I am currently working on a systematic review.

I have currently been reading a book called the boy that could not walk but run.

•How can people/readers contact you?

You can contact me via Instagram @jerushamather

•Your Favourite book

I have so many. But I really love ‘So much to tell you’ by John Marsden. It’s a really touching and thoughtful story. It is one that is close to my heart.

•If you could spend a day with another popular author, whom would you choose?

Probably Rupi Kaur. 😆😉

•What do you like to do when you are not writing?

Research

Travelling

Watching movies

•What’s your favourite food?
Anything to do with Potatoes!

•What advice would you like to give to aspiring writers?

Write free. Write from the heart. Be open and share your passion with the world. Also read quite a bit.

Fun part:

Pick one

Tea or Coffee
Tea

Movie or Book
Book

Summer or Winter
Summer

Twitter or Instagram
Instagram

Paperback or e-book
Paperback

Reading or Writing
Writing

Freedom or Hope
Hope.

•And lastly, what do you see as the role of poet in modern-day society?

To bring the heart and soul to life and examine aspects of the mind in such a open and creative way. It must be deeply explored with clarity and truth.

Thank you Jerusha for your time.

All the best for your future projects.

Keep Shining Always!

Book Review: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

“The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.”
“Humanity takes itself too seriously. It is the world’s original sin. If the cave-man had known how to laugh, History would have been different.”


Set in London during the Victorian Era this is a story of an unbelievably handsome young man, Dorian. Basil a talented painter, captures Dorian’s beauty in a portrait but feels a little disappointed, thinking it reveals too much of his feelings for his subject. He discusses the same with Lord Henry Wotton, a friend of Basil who is a charming talker, a famous wit, and a brilliant intellect. However, possessed of wrong, fascinating, and poisonous theories. He disagrees with Basil and claims that the Portrait of Dorian is a masterpiece. Meantime, Dorian enters and curses his portrait, which he believes will one day remind him of the beauty he will have lost. He says, “If it were I who was to be always young and the picture was to grow old. For that, I would give everything. I would give my soul for that!”.


Basil knew the nature of Henry very well and was not sure about Dorian meeting Wotton. He thinks Dorian will have a bad influence in the company of Lord Henry. As the story progresses Lord Henry’s influence over Dorian grows stronger. At this point, enters Dorian’s love interest Sibyl Vane, a beautiful actress who performs in a theatre. One day when she decides to quit acting to live with Dorian and wants to only focus on their relation, Dorian rudely breaks the relationship. After doing so, he returns home to notice that his face in Basil’s portrait of him has changed: notices a cruel expression on the face of his portrait. He realizes his mistake and decides to seek Sibyl’s forgiveness. However, the next morning he gets to know from Henry that Sibyl committed suicide the previous night. Lord Henry in-spite of giving him the right advice convinces Dorian not to feel bad about it and transforms the death of Sibyl into artistic success.


Later on, Henry gifts Dorian a book which he finds fascinating. Under the book’s influence, Dorian spends his next 18 years and simultaneously sinks deeper into the world of sin and corruption.


Seriously, I don’t know how I felt about it. Great, sort of complicated with an undergoing philosophical theme, this story explains the different shades of a human. No matter how far we run from the sins which we perform in our lives, ultimately, all will be paid off here only, Karma does hit back. This one is considered a controversial read due to the content it delivers; the immorality. Regarding this book, Oscar Wilde said that he wrote the three main characters as reflections of himself. Wilde said, “Basil Hallward is what I think I am: Lord Henry is what the world thinks me: Dorian is what I would like to be—in other ages, perhaps.”


Every book always has something to say, to deliver, it is up to the readers, at the end what message they take away. One can interpret it differently. In my opinion, The Picture of Dorian Gray is a fabulous piece of work in the field of literature and has been presented most artistically. A timeless classic.

Q: Have you read this book?

Book Review: Heidi by Johanna Spyri

Heidi by Johanna Spyri is a short classic tale of a little orphan girl named Heidi. Novel starts with the scene of Aunt Dete taking her niece Heidi, to her grandfather who lives in the mountains of Swiss Alps. 

🌸

Dete, who has taken care of Heidi for long, but now she is not able to do the same because she has got a new job in Frankfurt. However, villagers warn Dete not to leave Heidi with the old man as they think that he is a harsh hermit who has rejected religion and lives far from civilization. 

🌸

Surprisingly, grandfather turns out to be very welcoming and caring. Heidi makes a new friend, a little boy named Peter, a goatherd who lives with her grandmother. Soon Heidi started loving the mountain life. 

🌸

One day Aunt Dete reappears and takes her away from the peaceful life of mountains to Frankfurt as a little companion to a wheelchair-bound girl, Clara Sesemann. Heidi unwillingly goes with her aunt. 

🌸

Story progresses and Heidi starts living her life at Sesemann house. While living there she experiences a new world altogether, gets a new friend Clara, meets Clara’s grandmother who teaches her about God, encounters a servant, who always makes her unhappy. In all this chaos she also misses the lovely mountains, grandfather and Peter. 

Will she be able to go back to her Grandfather and Peter? 

🌸

This book and its setting, very much reminded me of Anne of Green Gables. Heidi’s character is portrayed beautifully. She is the cutest. A kind hearted fun loving little soul who spreads happiness wherever she goes. Loved the writing style especially, the descriptions of the Swiss Alps that were perfect. 

🌸

This story teaches us that kindness, caring, and sincerity can make a big impact on the people around us. It also gives a message to belief in God. God has given us the best gift which is our lives and we must be grateful for that. Frankly, we are no one to judge a classic; they are called classics for a reason. 

This was a pleasant, heart-warming and a feel-good read. 

Rating: 5/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Q: Have you read this classic?

An Unsaid Love Story

From the ages,

he just keeps gazing at her.

By a far distance,

with all his endearment.

She knows, his pure adoration & devotion.

Traveller on the same boat, also she is. 

It’s ironic, they can’t be one, ever.

They know it, because

that will be the end.

Sun and Earth – 

An Unsaid Love Story.

-Elysian Bookgraphy-

Book Review: Unmasked by Jenifer Kanin

“You cannot control what the people around you are going to do or who they are going to be, even if they are the people we love the most. They may make choices we don’t agree with, and sometimes we even have to suffer the consequences of their bad decisions. But the only thing you can control is how you are going to react to those people and to the events that happen around you.”

🦝 

“It is not the choice that is ultimately the most important thing, but it is our commitment and attitude after the decision has been made that will determine if we are happy and satisfied or not.”

🦝 

Just finished reading this awesome piece of work called ‘Unmasked’ which is a debut novel of the author Jenifer Kanin.  Frankly on its first impression, a book which seems to be a light and fun read, surprisingly it is not just that. 

🦝

This book is full of great life lessons, some of my favourite lines from it I mentioned above. To my surprise this book gave me a wonderful experience and was totally unputdownable.  A very well written, adventurous ride with a taste of suspenseful mystery that will surely make an impact on your way of living life and how you think in every situation. 

🦝

Dive into the undaunted, exciting and an inspirational journey of Gary whom I must introduce you all with, is a Raccoon. Yes a Raccoon, who with his friend Jenny and their action-packed performance will make you fall in love with them. Jenifer has done a commendable job in writing such fun loving and at the same time very well determined characters.

🦝

I want to congratulate the author about how brilliantly she has spread this strong message through her book that we are living on the same planet and carry similar emotions whether it is an animal or a human. She beautifully broke the barrier between humans and animals, and has conjoined their lives, way of thinking, sense of righteousness and justice.  

🦝

This was totally worth it and I had a great time reading it.

Thank you Jenifer for this… Very Impressive and Exceptional!!

Rating: 5/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Highly recommend this to all.

Book Review: I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

“A tragic accident. It all happened so quickly. She couldn’t have prevented it. Could she?” 

🍂

In a split second, Jenna Gray’s world descends into a nightmare. Jenna moves to a remote cottage on the Welsh coast but she is haunted by her fears, her grief and her memories of a cruel November night that changed her life forever. Slowly, Jenna begins to glimpse the potential for happiness in her future. But her past is about to catch up with her and the consequences will be devastating…

🍂

Being a fan of psychological thrillers/mystery novels, I have read so many books of this genre, the most hyped ones as well, but still I would like to say that this book is a hidden gem, much better than the most. 

🍂

Brilliant! Really fantastic to be a debut novel. I freaking loved it. Better than “The Girl on the Train”. Period.

🍂

An extraordinary gripping story of Jenna Gray which starts with a tragic accident that leads to an emotional journey with a whole round of staggering twists and a shocking back story, this will make you engrossed throughout. 

🍂

Incredibly crafted storyline, impressive writing style and with no dull moments, I LET YOU GO by Clare Mackintosh is an absolute winner. One of the best books in the thriller/mystery genres that I have ever read. 

🍂

Don’t waste your time, if you haven’t read this yet, go grab it now and thank me later.

Rating: 5/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️