Thursday, 23 April 2009

London Book Fair

The back entrance or entrance to Earls Court 2 where we plebs were given our badges and allowed to enter the Fair. Great buzz and a huge venue.London, the tube travel, the crowds and the pace of life in the smouldering heat (yes, it was sunny all 3 days!!)was an experience as it was the first time for me in London as a non-tourist.
Highlights for me were :
1. Meeting YWO friend and author Waheed and his lovely wife.We have been emailing and Facebooking our YWO experience, so good to see him in the flesh. Also meeting Farhana of The Asian Writers online mag and Ashanti a fab journo, and a firebrand of energy.

2. India Market focus, what a great opportunity to hear Vikram Seth, Anita Nair, Girish Karnad, Anandamurthy and Javed Akhtar.Sizzling events with India at its best.Were the big publishers interested in bringing Indian authors to the UK's notice? Or were they keen on selling British authors to the burgeoning Indian market? It depended on who you spoke to,both sides were hoping to get the best out of the event.See the article in Bookseller today and draw your own conclusion. Boris Johnson's keynote speech was as expected, political barbs, humour, a classicist approach to the Fair. I learnt that 'Cheese ' was an Indian word! I knew all the others like pyjamas, chintz, bungalow, juggernaut and jodhpurs were of Indian origin, but this was a new one.
3. A seminar event was with young BME wannabe writers, publishers, students and emerging creative people desperate to be recognised by the mainstream industry. It was highlighted by Hardeep Sigh Kohli, a fellow Scot and TV personality who made us all laugh and managed to put the serious message that it was time for the industry to shed its white middle class male image and start encouraging the voices of all the sections of the British society.

What did three days of being at the event do for me- a new author? Did I get a five figure contract with The Publishers? Well... NO, but I networked, met many people, tried to get publishers to take note of new authors, saw the ebook technology making inroads and the new expresso machine that was churning out books and handing free copies of a YWO author's book!Blackwells in Charing Cross will be adding this machine in their store so go print your own if you wish.
Was LBF worth the cost, travel and effort? Yes definitely.

Sunday, 19 April 2009


I,m in the big smoke for the Book Fair. Three days of books, publishers and the crowds in Earls Court.My first visit at the Fair so looking forward to this experience.

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Glasgow Borders Book Launch JUNE 4

Contact: Leela Soma
Mobile 07837761315
'TWICE BORN -'Pure Dead Brilliant'

Chapatti and Curry or Mince and Tatties?
Glasgow or Madras?
Love and Identity…
‘Twice Born’ a novel by Leela Soma is about all this and more!

Read this unique novel. Ram and Sita's new life in Glasgow. Do they cope okay? A twist in Sita’s life makes the culture clash a confrontation. Is she truly ‘twice born,’ entwined in two cultures enriched by the Indian womb that had nurtured her soul and the Scottish cradle that had nurtured her being, her heritage unique? Read and find out.

Comments from readers:

At last! I got your book from Amazon last week but it was worth waiting for. I enjoyed your story very much - and also enjoyed learning about the Scotland -India connections. Hope you're working on the next one now. I'm looking forward to reading more.
Dr. Ann McLaren (Vice President, Scottish Association of Writers)

I read your book and really enjoyed it. Fascinating insights into your rich cultural background and such vivid description. It's wonderful to read and find your self so identifying with the author's words that you can almost feel yourself transported back in time. There were moments like that in your book and in two I have read recently, James Kelman's Kieron Smith, Boy and Janice Galloway's It's Not About me. C. Stapleton (Principal Teacher)

I bought your book at the ’Aye Write’ Sudden Fame event on Sunday, persuaded by the extract you read from it, and must say I'm thoroughly gripped, which is the mark of a good story. It's very interesting to see Britain in general through other eyes. A really fine achievement.
Anne C.Clarke (Makar, Federation of Writers Scotland)

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

BBC WM Midnight Masala show

Yep, this is where BBC WM has its studio. A pity Harvey Nicks was shut. I could have gawped at the stuff though the pennies would not have stretched to buying anything there.

A midnight drive in Brum was a new experience, as we don't know the city at all.Glad it was a holiday and as it was late there was very little traffic.The show- MIDNIGHT MASALA on 12th Sunday- was fine so do listen to it on BBC iPlayer if you have the time. Fast forward as my interview is in the last half hour of the show. Satnam Rana the presenter and Arshia in the studio were a friendly duo, made me feel welcome. The chat about the book was just right for that time of night. I read two very short extracts to give a taste of the storyline. Hope 'Twice Born' does reach a wider audience.

Easter is over, we can look forward to warm summer days.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

One down two to go

One Radio show over. I enjoyed it though I was very nervous as I had no idea of the format of the show, or the questions that Nihal was going to ask me. Strange too sitting in a wee studio in Glasgow and talking to someone I had never met, through the mike. It was okay till the very end when he asked where the book was available.I had no idea that I could plug my book so I stammered a bit and only Amazon came out clearly. If you've missed it go to the website and listen to the Nihal show for the next 7 days on iPlayer.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

April Radio Shows

Lovely time with relatives showing around Glasgow and Edinburgh. The sun shone some days, it was mild and spring is in the air.
Back to the novel, a great flyer by a young designer at will soon be around as many places in Glasgow as possible. Three radio shows in April starting tomorrow the 8th, 10- 11 am on BBC Radio/Asian Network hosted by Nihal.I am looking forward to the show. Next I'm off down to Birmingham on Easter Sunday at BBC RADIO West Midlands at 'Midnight Masala' a 40 minute show including reading extracts and an interview interspersed with music, sounds great.Then on 16th April between 10-12 am Radio Awaz, Glasgow's own Asian network is broadcasting the interview that I did earlier.

A month of shows and choc eggs, what more does one need?

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