Pandragon Dan

Pandragon Dan


Interview With Reetwika Banerjee

Wow! These author interviews have just exploded on my blog recently! I recently had another email (this time from Goodreads) from author Reetwika Banerjee, we got talking and I agreed to let her stop by to tell us a little about herself and her story book Fantastic 40, which is a collection of "micro stories". Please welcome her to my blog and say hi.





Thank you for taking the time to appear on my blog. Can you tell my readers a little about yourself?


Reetwika Banerjee, 28 years, is professionally a Data Security consultant currently associated with Accenture. She loves to present her ideas and have participated in more than 25 Corporate and International conferences and business contests across the globe, crowning Laurels from most of them. With roots in the city of joy Kolkata (India), she is now settled in the silicon city of Bangalore (India). She had previously worked with Tata Consultancy Services and Wipro serving across various Indian states.


Reetwika’s hobbies include creative thinking and international travels and she dreams to be the Indian “Agatha Christie”. “Fantastic 40” is her first published book and she is currently working on her second book on micro stories.  



What first inspired you to get into writing?


Due to my intolerant attitude towards treachery, I had been subject to immense stress many a times. However it was my faith on my thoughts and actions, I was able to come out of it. In fact the extreme pressure I had taken and mental strains I had gone through stand out to be the most powerful source of inspiration for me. It drives me to stretch myself, pen down my experiences, express those hard-earned realizations, human behavioural patterns and character sketches through my writing. Once you get into some trouble, you get to know the real character behind many people around you.



Who are your favourite authors?


I love reading short stories – be it any language. One of my favourites being Anton Chekhov.



Nice! Do you have any other hobbies other than writing or is that your whole world?


Hobbies include creative thinking, international travels and digital photography.



Do you have a particular favourite genre to write in?


I write what I love to read.


I liked to read novels in childhood. With time, I started feeling tired of waiting so much to know what finally happens at the end. So started reading short stories and soon became an avid reader of the genre. Be it in any language I kept reading them. I enjoy quickly getting into the climax. Soon short stories too seemed too long to hold my curiosity back and I was slowly growing impatient to read them as well. Started looking for even shorter stories in the racks.


Well, before starting with my micro story concept, one question frequently came to my mind, - In today’s speedy world, do we really have enough time to relax and enjoy a full length novel? Keeping the fast pace of our promising nations, is it not high time to make a paradigm shift of the contemporary literary styles? Such thoughts ran behind me for months till the time I came up with the concept of MICRO STORY.




Sounds interesting! Without giving away too many spoilers, can you tell the nice people us a little bit about your new/upcoming book?


I am currently working on my second book of micro stories. I will not say it’s a sequel of “Fantastic 40” but ya of the same genre.



Where did you get the inspirations for this?


Every day we come across so many new things, happen to meet so many people, experience so many things around us – I believe every little thing adds up to motivating me towards writing.



Do you have any favourite characters in the story?


Personally I am very fond of one of my characters called “Mama”. He comes with a comical charisma.



If your book was turned into a film/TV series, who would you get to play the characters?


Ya will love to.



Which, in your opinion is more important – story or characters?


Storyline. Weak characters can build up fantastic stories if depicted well. But even with strongest of characters a poor storyline can destroy the entire effort.



What do you look for in a good story?


An unpredictable climax/turn in the end.



What’s the best advice you can give to authors?


Keep writing. Don't get disappointed even if you do not find a single reader. You never know your which creation will soar you to the zenith of acceptance.



Great advice. I can relate to the getting disappointed part.  Ok, now for the REAL questions of the interview – and these are real life or death here! The fate of the world rests on this question and could cause a time collapse that will wipe out all life in the Universe. So think carefully before you answer. What DOES the Fox say?



He is mute – Too many people around us are foxing each other making the actual fox a mere silent spectator.



Makes sense to me. Now why did the chicken cross the road?


To get to the other side.



And finally, how much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck would chuck wood?


A woodchuck would chuck all the wood he could chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood.



Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions and for stopping by. You guys can check out Reetwika and her story book Fantastic 40 at this Facebook pages.


Reetwika Banerjee

Fantastic 40


And as always, if there are any authors that wished to be interviewed on my blog, please send a message my way.


Thanks for reading!





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Who Is The Author?

Remember the Meet My Character interview with The Author? (See HERE if not) Well it seems that he's now spread to social media - for reasons not clear. And all I have from him is this chilling phrase.



What his intentions are I don't know - but I get the feeling we should keep a close eye on him in case he tries something dangerous. Guys, I need your help in keeping tabs on this character. So please can you follow him on any of the social media sites below and watch him in case he tries something. Whatever he's planning, I'm sure it is nefarious!
Thanks for the help guys. See you all next week.



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Meet My Character

I was recently tagged in the “Meet My Character” blog tour and I was only too happy to take part. The aim of the game is that once you’re tagged, you have to interview a character from your series. Sounds fun! Before we see who I’m tagging, let’s check out my challenger – the fabulous author/voice actor, Morgan Straughan Comnick





About Morgan Straughan Comnick


Educator of young minds by day, super nerdy savior of justice and cute things by night, Morgan Straughan Comnick has a love for turning the normal into something special without losing its essence. Morgan draws from real life experiences and her ongoing imagination to spark her writing. In her spare time, she enjoys doing goofy voices, traveling to new worlds by turning pages, humming child-like songs, and forcing people to smile with her “bubbliness.” It is Morgan’s mission in life to spread the amazement of otaku/Japanese culture to the world and to stop bullying; she knows everyone shines brightly.









So anyway – the character I’ll be interviewing today will be from my forthcoming novel Amanda Moonstone: The Missing Prince – published through Paper Crane Books in 2015. Today I’ll be interviewing a character called The Author – and no, he’s NOT based on me! XD! I brought him here so he can tell us a little about his role in the story.




Me: Thanks for appearing to answer these questions, Author.


Author: I’d like to express my joy on being here. I’d like to... but Joy is an emotion. And emotions cannot be expressed by one that does not feel them.


Er... ok... Right, well let’s move on.



The Interview


What’s your real name?


My Name? A name is simply a false identity that we grant ourselves to give us a sense of belonging. I, on the other hand, have no such illusions. I have been named many things. The Thing That Should Not Be, The Last Firstborn, The Dark Eternal Night – even The Tragic Truth. These are just titles – they have no meaning.



Ok... Are you a fictional or historic person?


I am neither a character of fiction nor a part of your history. I am a part of my own history. I have been and always will be.



*sigh* This is going to be a long interview! Ok, when and where is the story set?


The story of Amanda Moonstone is set on the planet Draconica, a world I believe your “readers” are aware about. Amanda resides on the country Celtland, next to Brittana. For those who have read Trapped on Draconica, it is set just after those events, but before Legacy of the Dragonkin.



Ok, well at least I got something out of you. What’s your role in the story?


I seek to help Amanda realise her full potential.



And how do you do that?


(The Author looks down at his book and turns a few pages)



Um... all right... What do we need to know about you?


Only what I allow you to know.



Right... So, what is your main the main conflict?


Conflict? I have no conflict (looks up and stares at me with his one eye) I AM the conflict.



Ok, starting to get scared now! :o Can you tell us your personal goals?


What are goals but dreams we chase. I have no goals. Only endings.



Well, can you at least tell us what your desired “ending” is?


I could... but I DO hate spoilers...



Can you give us ANY straight answer?


Possibly. If you ask the right questions.



Well can you at least tell the readers when Amanda Moonstone: The Missing Prince is due out.


That is not in my hands. But of the Goddess – she who holds the power to unleash the tale upon the world. She who decides what words are to be said. What order they appear. She of whom you are at her mercy. She who holds your fate in her hands.



You mean – the publisher?


Publisher to you. Goddess to me. Even Authors have higher powers they must obey.



Well, I'm sure my publisher will be grateful that you think so highly of her :) Ok then. Is there anything else you can tell us about you?


(Closes his book and stands up) You are starting to bore me. I shall entertain this joke no longer.



Hey! Come on, don’t leave like that! You haven’t given the readers anything! Can’t you at least tell us... (suddenly I feel a choking sensation around my neck).


Words are only as powerful as those who speak them. And your words do not hold power over me. You will find out about me when the time is right. When the time is upon us.


The Author disappears in a puff of smoke. As I check my neck to make sure that there is no major damage, I notice that, scrawled on my wall is a cryptic message.


Who Is The Author?



The Challenge


Ok, whilst I try and recover from that shock, I am going to set the next interview. And keeping it with my Author friends at Paper Crane Books, I’m gonna tag the super talented Michelle Franklin, author of the Haanta Series. I'm giving her until Sunday to post her interview. Be sure to check back on her blog next week for her character interview. I’m looking forward to it! :)




About Michelle Franklin


Michelle Franklin is a small woman of moderate consequence who writes many, many books about giants, romance, and chocolate.











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Submitting Books To Pandragon Reviews







My blog is now open for book reviews! Got a book you want me to review? This is the place to be! If you are an author and would like to submit a book to me for review then I’d love to hear from you. Please read on and make sure you read ALL the information before emailing me.



How I will conduct my reviews


I will review any book by any author. It doesn’t matter if it’s self published, vanity published or traditionally published – if you’re an author who has a book, then I will be happy to give it a look (and you even got a little rhyme there from me!).


Reviews will be posted on my blog in the final week of each month (see below). I will also post any review on Amazon and Goodreads, and if you can suggest another place for the review to go, then let me know (I cannot currently put a review on Smashwords without buying the book first, so if you suggest this, please bear this in mind).


How I review the book will be based on the following criteria, starting with a brief synopsis of the piece/author:


COVER: They say never judge a book by it's cover, but I will spend a few moments talking abou the cover and outline any issues that it may have. This will not effect my overall review though - I'll just be making a comment on it if anything.

PLOT: Essentially: is it a good story? Does it flow well? Is the pace right for the subject?

CHARACTERS: Are they well developed and interesting? Do they stand out? How do they develop during the story? To me characters are a very important part of a story and a large factor in making my decision about a story.

READABILITY: This covers how the story flows and how the different parts join together. I will also include details of any typos or formatting issues.

ARTWORK: I'll briefly talk about the cover if I need to and any other artwork involved.


I will also identify the target audience and I will warn you if there is any adult content and anything else the reader needs to know. After that, I'll do a quick pros and cons section of each book and then a final mark. Much like my Read2Review reviews, I'll give a mark out of five and say for whom I think this book is recommended.


An example of how my reviews will look is found HERE.


Please note that all reviews will be purely be based on my own personal opinion and they will be as honest as possible. However, I will NOT post any reviews that are overwhelmingly negative. I myself am an author and know the level of hard work that goes into writing. That being said, I don’t believe in giving “empty praise” and will make my criticisms as valid and helpful as I can. If I feel that I cannot do a review without it being negative, I will contact you to advise you of this.



Time frame


Due to the fact that last time I got myself into a HUGE backlog of books last time, this time round I will be doing something slightly different, so as not to get myself into too much of a backlog. Therefore I will now be reading ONE book a month - and each review will be done at the end of the month. This way I can fully concentrate on the novel and give it the review it deserves. My calendar will start from September this year (2013) up until August 2014.


If selected for a book review, please select a month that you would like the review to be featured. I will aim to get reviews done in the last week of each month. Please note that these spots are based on a first come, first served basis and space can change. If more than one author wants a certain spot, I will have the final say as to who goes where. Please note that I am NOT accepting any review submissions for September 2013 as I have other commitments to focus on, so submissions will be from October onwards.


September 2013: CLOSED

October 2013: CLOSED

November 2013: CLOSED

December 2013: CLOSED

January 2014: CLOSED

February 2014: CLOSED

March 2014: CLOSED

April 2014: CLOSED

May 2014: CLOSED

June 2014: CLOSED

July 2014: CLOSED

August 2014: CLOSED


Should you require a review by a certain date, please let me know. I will try and accommodate where possible, but this cannot always be guaranteed.



What I WILL review


I will review Fiction novels (I will also accept short stories and novellas) of ANY kind, this means I will review Children’s/Young Adult/Adult/Etc. My main love is Science Fiction and Fantasy, however, I have also reviewed Romance novels in the past and I am more open to them than most male readers. I do not wish to limit myself to any particular genre so please contact me to discuss your book and I will usually accept it (with the exceptions mentioned below).


I also will accept poetry, graphic novels, comics and Manga of any style – in fact I openly encourage creators (artists/writers) of those to send them forward to me and I will be happy to take a look. For any artists out there who wish me to critique their work, I am also happy to do that as well.



What I will NOT review


I won’t review any novel that contains rape, bestiality, torture, murder, scat or child abuse if it is portrayed as a sexual fetish. I refuse to promote anything above that tries to pass itself off in that way. So that means no Hentai or anything resembling Hentai. That doesn’t mean I don’t accept erotic fiction – but if your work does include any of the above, please let me know in your submission.


I cannot accept any excessively erotic or pornographic artwork of any kind. Please bear in mind I have to be careful of the level of content I can post on my blog and this is the kind of stuff I don’t think I can get away with. If your novel or art contains anything like that then please let me know in advance.


Also, I won’t review fan-fiction of any kind. That’s not to say that I have anything against it, I just don’t feel right reviewing something that uses other peoples work. Unless of course it is a semi-canon source that is meant to be part of the same continuity. If your work falls into this, please let me know beforehand.


Finally, I will not accept Non-fiction books as I do not think I can give them a fair review. I also won't review autobiographies as I (personally) don't find them very interesting to read unless it's about a person I genuinely care about or have an interest in.



How much will I charge for reviews


I will NEVER charge any author/artist for a review of their work. This also means that I will NOT accept bribes of any kinds, so don’t even think about doing that – it will not make me review your book any quicker. I will review the books in the order that I get them, so please be patient.



And now – the important thing... How to submit to me for a review


I will accept ONE title per author. If your book is part of a series, please send me the first part of the series. If you have more than one book currently out, please send me the one that you most want reviewed. If I like what I read, I will be happy to read more of your work.


Please send all review requests to with the subject heading “Review Request” and then the title of your book. All you need to do for this first email is a little synopsis of your book, telling me about the story, characters, genre, etc. You don’t need to go into too much detail, just a few paragraphs is fine. By all means include a link to your website or blog for me to check you out if you so wish.


DO NOT send me any review requests via my Facebook or Twitter - I do not read DM's on Twitter and my FB is purely to promoting my own stuff (ie, my writing and my blog) and other stuff. Any review requests sent this way may be ignored. Therefore send me an email.


If I like what I hear, I will ask for a copy of the book. DO NOT send me a copy of the book on your first email. I need to make sure that I can give a full and honest review of the book first, based on the synopsis you give me, so don’t send it until I tell you that I am ready to accept it. By all mean, send me any promotional material and a book cover – just don’t send me the book straight away until I ask for it.


I will ONLY contact authors who's book I have an interest in, so if I do not contact you - it's nothing personal, I just don't feel I can give you a proper review of your work.


For comic and graphic novels, it’s ok to send me some sample artwork if you so wish. I will probably only ask for one issue in the case of a long running series. If it’s a one off, the full issue will be fine.


When I ask for the book, it is probably easiest to send them in PDF or Mobi files. However, if you only have hard copies of the book, I will accept them as well – however please see the disclaimer below.





Please note that the above information is subject to change without prior notice.


I reserve the right to not review a book based on the above and I reserve the right to cancel a review at any given time. I will always give a reason for doing so in this instance.


By the same token, you have the right to ask me to cancel a review if you so request prior to its posting.


Should you wish to send me a paperback copy, you are responsible for your own postage and packaging. I will not return any paperbacks sent to me.


As previously stated, I will only contact those who's book I want to review. If I do not reply, within 7 working days, it means that I have chosen not to review your work this time.


By sending me a copy of your book, you acknowledge that I can use any material provided (ie, cover art) for review purposes. You will retain full copyright to the book and its contents. You also agree that any comments I make on your work will be based on my own opinion.



Guest posts/blog tours


For those wishing to do a guest post or wish to have me as part of their blog tour, or to include any of my works on their blog, please email me at the address above to discuss.



Reviews of my books


If you wish to express an interest in reviewing any of my books - please contact me at the above email to discuss.



So there you are, hopefully the above is ok for you and please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions.





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Right Side, Left Side - A Guest Post By Benjamin X Wretlind

Today I'm joined by Benjamin X. Wretlind, author of the excellently disturbing Castles: A Fictional Memoir of a Girl With Scissors (click on the picture below to see my review of it), with a very interesting guest post on the subject of both sides of our brains. Hopefully it will give you all food for thought! Enjoy!

Right Side, Left Side (or Multitasking the Dinner Plate)

By Benjamin X. Wretlind


There have been, at different times in my life, three or four or even five different novel ideas competing for attention. In March 2006, I tried to analyze how to deal with this mess. The following is a post I made on my original blog (with some tense changes here and there). I bring it up now simply because I find it ironic to read just one day after finishing Phillip K. Dick’s A Scanner Darkly.



Multitasking the Dinner Plate


Allow me to present you with this poor analogy. Pretend you’re sitting at the dinner table with prime rib in front of you. You’re offered a creme brulée and bottle of Dom Perignon. While the meat is good, you’re tempted to let the other two objects make love with your taste buds just as much. Yes, they compliment each other as a whole, but each one has a unique flavor that demands attention, not haphazard scarfing or slurping.


As a child, I ate my food in a specified order (usually clockwise). Peas never made contact with rice, steak sauce didn’t touch mashed potatoes and the last thing on my plate was the flavor I wanted to keep in my mouth the longest. As I grew older, I abandoned this approach and learned to combine the flavors of different foods on my plate by multitasking.


However, I still have my priorities: the main course is generally consumed in multiple mastication sessions, while complimentary dishes are taken care of in one or two. This is how I eat, and it is balanced.


However, my writing life has bounced between two extremes: multitasking to the point of never completing anything, and working on one thing only for months at a time. The former extreme is just plain bad for business and the latter results in a loss of focus. When a bunch of novel ideas compete with each other in my head, I wonder if my approach should not lean more toward a balanced combination of multitasking with more emphasis placed on the project I feel the most connected to at the time. After all, it’s all about focus.



Fixing the Focus Issue


There are exercises to combat loss of focus, but most of them are related to some aspect of project management in the business world. They are not easily transferred to the uninhibited creative mind; in other words, the right side of the brain cannot form strategies (i.e. the path to completion of a “real” project), or break down a project into component tasks. Our right side is often exercised in areas that are contrary to compartmentalizing our creative efforts. It does, however, explore possibilities. Within these possibilities, strategies can be analyzed, and eventually goals can be achieved.


If we subscribe to the notion that novels are projects, and writing them is a career path, then managing the creation of these novels should be no more difficult than managing a software development project or a large defense contract. I’m not saying we apply Critical Path Analyses or Gantt Charts to them, but there are tools that might effectively guide projects to completion without losing focus. To do this, though, we have to assign “novel writing” to the left side (or logical portion) of the brain and infuse creativity into what can now be called a managed project.


I’ll back up for a moment. As some of you know, I used to be a meteorologist and often used a managed process and creativity to analyze the state of the atmosphere at a given time to forecast what the state will be in hours, days or weeks. I was also, for about three years, a project manager and interface designer of prototype climatological Internet applications for the Department of Defense. Software developers who might be reading this are usually guided by requirements documents and shudder at the idea of “creativity.” Damn you for thinking outside the box, and such. As a meteorologist who developed software, though, I had a unique point of view while managing these projects at work: I could insert creativity into the regimented software development process without fear of reprisal. Things got done, and there was much rejoicing in the land.


If I were to turn that around, though, and attempt to apply a managed process to what I feel should be a strict creative expression, I would ultimately lose focus and feel my creativity is being stunted by the logical progression of the requirements document. Timelines would be missed, and although a project might see fruition, it would not do so in an ordered fashion. The end result would be a pretty-looking piece of crap.


So if the first approach to managing projects at work was successful, I wondered: why can’t I apply this principle to writing novels? Why can’t I insert creativity into a managed task?


The answer is: I already do it, and so do you. Yes, the right side of our brain cannot accept guidelines; that’s the hemisphere that, when presented with the order “Stay within the lines,” will translate it into “What would my picture look like if I melted this burnt sienna crayon on the paper and used a tongue depressor to push it around?” And yet, we use our left side to force our creative expressions into linear patterns, to use words, to see order (exposition, conflict, rising action, climax, denouement), and to understand grammatical rules that we adhere to religiously. Combining the two hemispheres allows us to ultimately create something that is accessible to others.
Writing is a managed process infused with creativity.



The Man With Two Brains


When a writer loses focus on a project, there must be a breakdown in one or more of the functions of the brain required to create. I argue that the creativity is not lost here. It is, instead, writhing around in pain in the right hemisphere, unable to cross the corpus collosum–the bundle of nerves that connect the two sides of the brain–and guide the logical process of the left hemisphere. A writer’s focus becomes blurry at this point. He or she attempts to force creativity through the left side or tries to push some managed process through the right. The writer wants to believe that his or her work is a strict creative expression. Headaches ensue and projects suffer.
Roger Sperry, a Nobel Prize winner, conducted a study regarding the vast differences in the way the two hemispheres of the brain react to the world around a person. These “split brain” experiments laid out, in so many terms, what each hemisphere is capable of doing. More importantly, he characterized the need for synchronicity between the two hemispheres in the creative process:


Communication between the two hemispheres of the brain is essential if our creative efforts are to be well integrated in many dimensions . . . Indeed, when the halves of the brain exchange their disparate experiences, pool their viewpoints and approaches, the resulting synthesis brings . . . a whole symphony of talents. (Sperry, R. W. (1975) Left-brain, right-brain. Saturday Review. Aug. 9, pp. 30-33)


With all that said, I offer myself this analysis: in order to complete a project, we must break it down into its component parts, assign a logical progression of plot, and finally allow our creativity to guide the words that come from our left hemisphere. If we do this–assign novel writing to the logical side of the brain and treat it as a project to be managed like any other project and broken down into manageable tasks–we can allow the creative brain to explore deeper, imagine more, dream larger. The stronger the right hemisphere becomes, the more clout it has with the left hemisphere.


In short, we must have two brains, and they must like each other.




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Barnes and Noble:


Thanks to Benjamin for the extremely interesting guest post, which I hope was equally as helpful to you guys. More guest posts to come in the future!


AUTHORS: Want to contribute a guest post? I am always welcome to any author who wants to post on my blog. Please contact me at to discuss.


Until next time.




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