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Interview with Chaitime – The bestest reviewer on the planet.

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Reviewers are like oxygen to new authors and I was absolutely thrilled when Chaitime not only  reviewed my book, The Warrior, but also interviewed me on http://chaitime212.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/five-questions-with-ty-patterson.html

I got interested in her back story and was delighted when CT agreed to be interviewed by me.

What is your journey? How did you come to be who you are and where you are?

Since I am just finishing graduate school, I haven’t completely finished my journey! In general however, as I was growing up, I discovered a love for science and for giving back to the community. Through my love for both, I decided to pursue a career in Medicine. I am graduating soon and intend to train as a general practitioner initially, and to later pursue a specialty, though I am currently undecided as to which specialty to pursue.

Why did you start blogging about book reviews specifically? There must be many other hobbies you are interested in, why specifically book review blogging?

Since childhood, I have been a voracious reader. I would stay up late in the night, reading as much as possible, and would always return from the local library with a sky-high stack of books! I decided to start this blog for several reasons. As I have gotten busier with school, I haven’t had as much time to read for fun. I also find, that after trying to get through 500 page dense textbooks, that I am less enthusiastic about opening a book for fun.

So, I have a few goals, with regards to this blog. First of all, I want to use it to re-discover my love for reading for fun. A few years ago, I would rush home from school at the end of the day to pick up my latest library book. I would eagerly await vacations, and would bring piles of books with me on trips. I remember, as a child,  preparing for long trips to India and trying to stuff the entire Harry Potter series into my suitcase, telling my mother that my trip would be “ruined” if I couldn’t get through the series one last time! I definitely don’t get that feeling when I open my textbooks and prepare for another late night study session!

Also, lately, a lot of the popular books I have been seeing in bookstores lately, and hearing about from classmates, seem to be the same old Twilight-esque story. Even the books that dominate the Kindle Bestsellers list, seem to often fit this mold. I want to read books with something new to offer. Even if they are paranormal books, which I love, and revolve around vampires and werewolves; I want to read a book with a different spin on the genre. I want to also challenge myself to read thought-provoking books that I would typically not think to read.

So all in all, I figured, why not do this and also help out up-and-coming authors by offering reviews? I read anyway, so it’s just a matter of typing up my thoughts on the story. I am pretty excited about this blog and about reading everyone’s stories!

Do you have any plans of writing any books? If yes, what genre would they be?

I have taken a few creative writing classes and tried my hand at writing a few stories. I would like to write and publish a book one day, when I have more time to pursue writing seriously. I have always been a fan of fantasy and mythology, especially since India has a very rich mythology, and I would like to introduce U.S. readers to these elements of my culture. I feel that when I do write a book, it will probably be for children or young adults. Young readers have an open mind and a rich imagination, and I want them to have the experience I did when reading books such as Harry Potter, for example.

Is there any book that has changed your life? If yes, which one and how?

I’d have to say more than one! One book (actually the entire series) is Harry Potter, as you could probably guess from my previous answers! This was the first series that I read over and over again! I think the series proved that you could have a book aimed at children and young adults, but it could still have a complex mythology. It is a book series that I can still read as a young adult, and get a lot out of. It taught me a lot as a teenager still finding my way in the world, with its central themes of love and loss, faith, and what it means to be a good person and a hero. The series also appealed to me because it has several amazing female characters, both good and bad. Many adventure stories revolve around and are aimed at boys only, and although the main character of the series is a boy, many female characters such as Hermione Granger and Harry’s mother, Lily, play central roles. Additionally, this book taught me a lot as someone who hopes to write a book one day. None of the characters are really written as black and white. Harry is definitely not a perfect hero. Throughout the series, you learn a lot about Voldemort’s background as well, and it helps you understand his motives. As evil as he is, you do feel for him in a way, and realize that he is not very different from the hero of the story actually. Both characters start out in a similar situation, but end up on very different paths, because of the events in their lives and the people they come in contact with.

Another book that had an impact on me, from a medical standpoint, is Complications by Atul Gawande, which is about life as a medical resident. This taught me a lot about what to expect during my medical training and as the author talked about his experiences with patients, it also solidified my desire to become a doctor.

What are the top ten lines that you have read in a book?
(In no particular order)

1. “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” — Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
2. “Voici mon secret. Il est très simple: on ne voit bien qu’avec le cœur. L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.” Translation: “Here is my secret. It is very simple: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” — Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince) by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
3. “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” — The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
4. “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.”  — From the poem, The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost
5. “Hello,” he said. “My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” — From The Princess Bride by William Goldman (or S. Morgenstern, if you prefer!)
6. “It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.” — Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
7. “Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore— While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door…” From The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe
8. “Tyger! Tyger! burning bright, In the forests of the night, What immortal hand or eye, Could frame thy fearful symmetry?” From Tyger, Tyger by William Blake
9. “But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.” From Aedh Wishes For the Cloths of Heaven by William Butler Yeats
10. Not a story, but I did read it in a book: “Be the change you wish to see in the world” — Mahatma Gandhi

Do you think Indian authors struggle to be read by a wider audience? If yes, why?

To clarify, I am of Indian origin, but I was not actually born in India. My parents came from India to the U.S. for their studies, and decided to stay. I was born in the U.S., but frequently visit India, and am always looking to learn more about my culture!

I do think that Indian authors struggle to be read by a wider audience. I am also working as a publicist for an Indian author, and have found that there are many challenges. This is especially true with e-books. The Kindle market and the concept of e-readers in general is new to India, and it will take some time, I think, before it catches on. I have read many wonderful books by Indian authors, both living in India and those who are non-resident Indians (NRIs). I wish that both Indian and US readers would get a chance to read them! Only a few authors have really managed to become well-known, such as Jhumpa Lahiri (author of The Namesake).



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