Hello, and welcome to “WHO’S ON THE SHELF?” with yours truly, Nonnie Jules! Since we are a book club, you know we had to offer something that included a bookshelf. A lot of interviews merely cover an author’s work or an individual’s career stories. Here on this “SHELF,” we get down and dirty and ask the questions no other interviewer dare ask. We ask the questions that you want to open up a book and find the answers to, on your favorite authors and fellow book club members, but, no one has dared to cover them. We get personal! Because, when you sit on this “SHELF,” YOU are an open book! Even if I have to pry you open!
Today, we have a very special guest on the SHELF with us, RRBC member, BALROOP SINGH! We have been celebrating her for the entire month of March and today, she gets to sit on the shelf with me!
NJ: Before we get started, how do you like the design and feel of my new shelf? We updated it in 2017 and in all honesty, I can’t recall any accidents lately, so I think this redesign is working. Are you comfy?
Balroop: The design is good. Yes, I am comfy as well as excited to be on the shelf.
NJ: Let’s start by confirming whether or not your author name is your birth name or a pen name:
Balroop: My author name is my birth name: Balroop – Bal means strength and roop means beauty. pronounced as in Bul – Singh is a common middle name that means – Lion.
NJ: OK, Bul-roop! Tell us where you were born? Do you still live there now? If not, what city and state are you calling home these days?
Balroop: I was born and raised in Ludhiana (Punjab) India. Now I live in San Ramon, California.
NJ: Married or single?
NJ: Any kids? What kind? Do you like them?
Balroop: I have two lovely, successful daughters. I love them.
NJ: Me, too! If you’re not there already, when you’re old and cranky, which one will keep you at home to care for you themselves, and which one started seeking out the A PLACE FOR MOM franchise facility in your area when they were 9?
Balroop: A cultural streak runs through their blood. Both of them would love to keep me and care for me. I would prefer the elder one.
NJ: And why would you prefer the elder one? Never mind answering now. Let me know down below in the comments. That’s interesting to me. Any pets? What kind? They act like kids, too, so I have to ask the same question…do you like them?
Balroop: No pets. Sorry, I’ve never liked them though my brother had a loving indisciplined pet but my younger daughter’s dog changed my prejudiced mind. The moment he met me, he could sense that I was not a person who would appreciate his love. He kept his distance for two days but on a third day he quietly came and sat by my side on the couch; slowly crept closer and looked the other way. I didn’t want to disappoint his overtures and didn’t move away. After that, all the days I stayed at her home, he sat with me, without jumping at me or resting his face at me. I love him for understanding me so well.
NJ: What an intuitive dog! I think everyone looks like a steak to my dogs, so, it’s best you don’t visit me, Balroop, unless you want to be licked all over – and even chewed in some places.
(Photo by Dominika Roseclay on Pexels.com)
What’s the food that’s so good to you, you go to bed dreaming about it, and you forego breakfast just to get to it?
Balroop: I have a sweet tooth and would crave for gulab jamun or jalebi but wouldn’t forgo my healthy breakfast for them.
NJ: Your gulab jamun? Jalebi? OK, I’m going to pass on both of those because I don’t know what they are. What’s your favorite color, Balroop?
NJ: Favorite sport …
NJ: Favorite TV Show …
Balroop: I don’t watch much of TV but I like music shows.
NJ: OK, do you mean musicals? Again, no need to respond right now. Let’s move along. So, do you have a favorite Actress or Actor?
(Photo by Sebastian Coman Travel on Pexels.com)
NJ: You don’t like any sports? Realllllllllllly? Well, do you like to exercise to stay fit OR do you not mind walking around with a beer belly?
Balroop: I have always stayed fit with two miles of walking almost everyday. I don’t like beer belly.
NJ: Biggest pet peeve that makes you want to spit nails? (For the record, NJ does not condone violence, but she does believe in being honest, so she admits that there are those times and there are those people, who do cause her to want to spit a few nails in the direction of their foreheads. Hey, just being honest. It’s the only way I roll).
Balroop: I can’t tolerate lies, procrastination, and hypocrisy. I wouldn’t spit nails, I would yell at those who irritate me but life has mellowed me down.
NJ: I assure you spitting nails makes you feel so much better – especially when one of them lands. So, are you neat or messy?
NJ: Are you nice or mean? Is that your perception of you, or is that what others think of you?
Balroop: Nice, my colleagues and students thought I had time and ear for everybody. Some family members don’t like me for my outspoken nature though.
NJ: Interesting. Facebook or Twitter?
NJ: We’ve come to realize that the internet is giving way to tons of budding friendships. Who would you say is the one person you’ve connected with the most…your internet BFF or buddy?
Balroop: I am an introvert and don’t interact much beyond my blog or twitter. Internet buddies come and go, only one has been consistent since I started my blog.
NJ: Internet buddies who become real friends don’t come and go… and even though you may never meet them in person, they can become just as close to you as the friends you might see every day offline. Balroop, who’s the one person that you’ve met online who makes you laugh the hardest?
Balroop: I can’t think of any such person. I laugh the hardest with my grandchildren who conjure new pranks everyday.
NJ: OK. Who do you favor most: Nonnie Jules or WonderWoman? Be honest.
Balroop: I am a realist, so Nonnie Jules seems better to me. I haven’t seen those movies of Wonder Woman.
NJ: You don’t know WONDER WOMAN? Well, let me introduce you…
We all know that WonderWoman has her truth lasso and Nonnie has…well, just her truths, in the no-nonsense way she forces us to be honest and tell it like it is, whether it makes others uncomfortable or not. In your opinion, which one does a better job of making the world a better place? You can be honest here, too.
Balroop: I haven’t met the Wonder Woman but I know Nonnie from her books and her zeal. So I would say that Nonnie is definitely making this world a better place by encouraging honest reviews of books and bringing so many authors under one umbrella.
NJ: Why, thank you, Balroop, for those kind words. Name two favorite INDIE books that you’ve read by RRBC members:
Balroop: ‘Whatever it Takes’ by Suzanne Burke and My Maine Haiku through the Seasons by Bette Stevens
NJ: ONE good INDIE book you’ve read written by an RRBC member that was so good you wished the entire world would read it …
Balroop: I think that it is yet to be written or is it already there and I am ignorant about it?
NJ: Only you can answer that question, Balroop.
Photo by Alexandru Rotariu on Pexels.com
Balroop: My opinion is that all books have something special to offer and no single book can offer the best.
NJ: After you read books, do you post reviews?
Balroop: Yes, I like to share my view about most books I read.
NJ: What do you think readers should base their reviews on?
Balroop: Reviews should focus on the style of the writer, how convincing are the characters and how well crafted they are, flow of the plot and finally the impact that it made on you. Just writing four to five sentences about a book, without any in-depth analysis is not a review according to me. That may be fine in case of a short story but not for a book.
NJ: I don’t think it’s the case in any review. Are you one of those who are afraid to be honest in their reviews lest the author gets upset with you, or is honesty your best policy, especially in reviews?
Balroop: Honesty has been my best policy but I would like to confess that I get pressurized by all five star reviews of a book (I wonder whether the reviewer has actually read it!) and post one if I am not able to find a sound reason for critical assessment.
NJ: You lost me there, Balroop. I don’t understand what you mean when you say you get pressurized by all five star reviews of a book. Please explain that for me. And, I would say that if you don’t find any issues at all with a book then it is probably deserving of a high mark. Have you read any poorly written books lately?
Balroop: Yes! The latest one is Souls: A Novel with too many typos and rambling style. I have posted my review to Amazon.
NJ: How many poorly written books have you read that you gave high marks to in your reviews when you knew they were horrible reads? Be honest, I won’t ask you to name the books here in public.
Balroop: I could have given 3 stars to some books but I gave 4, thinking I must overlook certain points. I think the pressure of high ranking must have prevailed upon my mind. There could be five to seven such books.
NJ: Balroop, that’s almost a crime in my eyes. I hope that’s not your practice any longer. So, there are some INDIE authors who have come onto the scene and have given our literary playing field a new look. Can you name two INDIE authors who have done this in your eyes? And, how have they changed the field for us?
Balroop: Now this is a hard one! I believe each author offers something new. However, I admire those who are bold enough to write freely about real issues in an interesting manner. They may wade into fantasy for a while but those who return to the ground to make a point that could benefit humanity are outstanding in my view. I admire John Fioravanti for his book ‘Reflections’ and Suzanne Burke for ‘The Alternative.’
NJ: Are you an author? Are you a good one? C’mon, we love honesty here.
Balroop: Each author considers himself/herself to be the best. So am I.
NJ: Balroop, I live in the real world and I don’t agree with you that each author thinks he or she is the best. That’s stretching it a bit. How long have you been writing?
Balroop: I have been writing since 1990…wow! I don’t think I’m so old! I never took it seriously till I published my first book in 2013.
NJ: Are you able to take constructive criticism of your written work?
Balroop: I crave for constructive criticism, which is so rare. I believe in the dictum “critics are your best friends.”
NJ: Name two books that you’ve written?
Moments We Love is my latest poetry book.
Allow Yourself to be a Better Person. (Inspirational)
NJ: Which one do you think is the best?
Balroop: I have grown with each book. I consider my latest poetry book – ‘Moments We Love’ to be the best.
NJ: OK. Good thinking. We should always be better with each new book. Do you have a blog or website? I love GREAT blogs, so would you say that yours is written well enough for harsh critics like me to enjoy?
Balroop: I love my blog. I named it Emotional Shadows, as I like to explore emotions. Lately I have started sharing some reviews of outstanding books at my main page otherwise I have a separate page for reviews. I think you would like it.
NJ: Which online resource or organization has helped you as an author the most?
Balroop: Tutorials at YouTube and Amazon have helped me.
NJ: How were you helped by them?
Balroop: I could learn to upload my books, how to make book banners and Twitter linked me with RRBC and many awesome authors inspired me to join it.
NJ: Since you’re sitting on the SHELF, you’re obviously a RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB member, so what do you think of the club?
Balroop: I haven’t come across a more supporting platform, I love how much twitter support our team has been offering to each other. I only wish for critical views. I know goodness and benevolence are the unwritten rules of blogosphere but our club members are too sweet.
NJ: I’ll read your book, Balroop. And you know what kind of review you’ll get from me -whether it’s good or bad, you’ll get the truth. Everyone should want that, but sadly, too few do. They aren’t equipped for the truth, therefore, they’ll stay stuck in the grandeur of their minds and they won’t grow, and the cowards of the world will continue to tell them how great they are, while the true connoisseurs of the written word, will shake their heads … knowing these are the ones who make it hard for us and who cause the traditionally published world to look down on Indies.
NJ: Would you recommend RRBC to your friends and family?
Balroop: Sure, I have been talking about it since I joined it.
NJ: That’s awesome! What’s your most favorite program or place here within RRBC? (#PUSHTUESDAY, RAVE WAVES shows, Block Parties, Writers’ Conference & Book Expo, BOOKS OF THE MONTH discussions, “ON THE SHELF” interviews, etc.)
Balroop: All programs serve a meaningful purpose. My favorite one is #PushTuesday.
NJ: This shelf is getting hard on my hiney so we’re going to wrap this interview up. Any final words for our reading audience today?
Balroop: My best wishes to all the authors of RRBC, together we can reach the zenith! We rock! Many thanks for offering me this valued spot Nonnie.
NJ: It was my pleasure to have you with me today.
To my guests, please pick up a copy of either of Balroop’s books above. Please be sure to leave her a comment below as she would love to chat and answer all your questions!
Have you joined RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB yet? Well, here’s your chance! And, since Balroop was on the “SHELF” today, tell them she sent you.
Until next time, take care. We’ll see you next month, right here on the “SHELF” with another INTERESTING GUEST!!!
DISCLAIMER: RRBC does not alter the writing of any guest who has participated in our interviews. We post material exactly as it is submitted to us.