I warned you that I wouldn’t shut up about A House of Rage and Sorrow this week, so I’m sticking to that promise and bringing you a Q&A that I’ve been dreaming about since September last year. The author of one my favourite sci-fi series graciously agreed to answer my questions on the blog today. She also has a diverse anthology coming out soon, Color Outside the Lines, for which I have the ARC and am counting down the days until I can make time to devour it! She’s from Karnataka too and that makes me feel like I have a special connection with her. I’ll cut short the intro now and dive into the actual Q&A because I’m beyond excited to share this interview with you all!
I’ve been putting off writing this post for almost 2 months now out of sheer laziness. However, these past two days I’ve been trying to catch up on my BookTube subscriptions and it has reminded my why I love BookTube as a platform so much. I seem to engage with it in bursts currently, which is something I need to work on and make it part of my routine. Earlier this year, I hit upon the idea to pair my posts here on Unputdownable Books with similar videos from my favourite BookTubers so I can give them a shoutout in what I hope is a different way. I hope this helps you to discover some amazing BookTube channels to follow and I hope you like their content as well. Without further ado, let’s get into the list!
I’m back with another interview of another author I truly admire, the one and only Sandhya Menon! When Dimple Met Rishi took the YA rom-com scene by storm when it came out and so has her next two books. Her first book was what got me into reading YA contemporary at all since I was more of a hardcore fantasy fan back in 2018. I love that desi characters are getting their own happy ending thanks to Sandhya and that desi models are so boldly featured on her beautiful covers. With that fangirl-y introduction aside, let’s jump into the Q&A part!
The bookish community has undergone several changes in the past few years and one of the most important steps in the right direction is the push to publish more diverse books. Readers have been clamouring for more stories that represent the world as it is today with all its diverse glory. However, there is still a lot of work to be done here, which is what articles like the one on The Guardian that states only 1% of UK’s children’s books have BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) main characters show. With social media, it has become easier for publishers to gauge what their audience wants and yet we continue to see little to no improvement in the state of things. While there are multiple reasons why the status quo isn’t changing at the rate it’s supposed to, today I want to bring up one of the issues that is rarely addressed when it comes to diverse books and publishing.
The biggest to-do item of 2019 that is still languishing on my list is to figure out how to use social media to boost my blog. If you’ve wondered the same, chances are you’ve probably done some searching around and stumbled on a wealth of resources. However, they rarely seem to be geared towards book bloggers and more so for bloggers in general, especially those who seem to have a lot of time and money to invest in their blogs. This post caters to the very specific book blogging crowd and will also be helpful to those who blog as a hobby. I’m just an amateur when it comes to social media, so I had a friend help me out in putting together this post – Shruti @ This is Lit (the expert), who works in the social media analytics field. Her characteristic wit and professional insights will hopefully teach you a trick or two that will turn you into a social media wizard in no time!
Looking to add some fun into your reading routine? Readathons are just the thing for you! They usually take place online on one or across several social media platforms so you can connect with fellow readers and share your progress. They can be as short as 24-hour ones to elaborate month-long readathons. Some are low-key and don’t demand too much but some are quite challenging with a set of rules, points systems, progress trackers and giveaways too. Today I want to highlight some of my favourite readathons that I think everyone should take part in!
As every good Asian blogger is wont to do, I squealed with excitement when the Year of the Asian Reading Challenge was announced by the wonderful hosts – Vicky, Shealea, CW and Lily. I also started Stars and Sorcery, a book club on Twitter, with the express wish to read more sci-fi and fantasy by authors of colour. My co-hosts Shruti, Charvi and Aditi are hatching plans with me to bring back Indian Lit Readathon around the same time this year too. 2019 will definitely turn out to be the Year of the Asian for me because of these three reasons but if you’re also looking forward to doing that, I wanted to give you a little nudge in the right direction by putting together a list of recommendations. I’d mentioned in my post about reading challenges a few weeks back that I’d do recommendations for all the challenges and here is the first one in the series. I have teamed up with 9 amazing Asian book bloggers to help you achieve the highest attainable level in this reading challenge – the Bengali Tiger. Please note that I’ve mentioned the rep wherever possible – I’ve only mentioned the main character’s Asian identity, and in some cases, the author is Asian but hasn’t written about Asian characters, so I have left those intentionally blank.
2018 had been a good blogging year for me but I decided to take my content up a notch in 2019, which meant doing things that scared me. One of those was to write to authors I adore with all my heart to see if they’d be interested to do a Q&A on my blog. Roshani Chokshi, one of my favourite authors of all time, has a book coming out on January 15th for which I’m very excited, so I decided to send out an email and see what transpires. To my absolute delight, I heard back soon and she was sweet enough to take time off from touring, writing, wedding planning and celebrating the holidays with her family to answer a few questions. If you’ve read my December wrap-up post, you’ll know that The Gilded Wolves is on the list of my most anticipated January releases. I haven’t stopped shouting about my love for the Aru Shah series, which made it to my best of 2018 and yearly wrap-up post! I also raved about A Crown of Wishes, the companion to The Star-Touched Queen on my blog back when it had a much smaller audience. My point is that it’s no secret that I love Roshani’s writing, so I’m deeply grateful for the opportunity to chat with her! With that gushy introduction aside, let’s dive in to the Q&A part!
Can you believe how fast December is flying by? I feel like it started just yesterday and yet here I am talking about my plans for 2019! I had a bit of a struggle as to what to write in this post because it mainly functions as an announcement for two very exciting things that I’m officially launching in 2019. Talking about what I want to accomplish next year struck me as the logical extension of the core idea and hence the lengthy, weird title. Without further ado, let me go through my five main goals for Unputdownable Books that will give you an insight into what kind of content to expect next year. The announcements are the end and you can scroll to the bottom if you’re especially interested in that.
I can’t believe how lucky I am to have snagged an interview with an author whose book is one of my all-time favourites! If you’d been around for my January Wrap-Up, this name would probably be familiar to you. I read Gloria’s debut novel, American Panda, in February and I loved it as much as I hoped I would. I cannot seem to shut up about it and even made a friend on Twitter when I was raving about it once. Even though Gloria has been busy chasing deadlines for her next book, she took the time off to respond to me and I cannot express my gratitude enough for this wonderful opportunity! With that little introduction aside, let’s dive in to the Q&A part.
Some quick information about the special guest for today –
Gloria Chao is an MIT grad turned dentist turned writer. She currently lives in Chicago with her ever-supportive husband, for whom she became a nine-hole golfer (sometimes seven). She is always up for cooperative board games, Dance Dance Revolution, or soup dumplings. She was also once a black belt in kung-fu and a competitive dancer, but that side of her was drilled and suctioned out. American Panda is her debut novel, and Misaligned is forthcoming fall 2019.