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IN STORES NOW!!!!

  

Please check the Piggies on the Railway – A Kasthuri Kumar Mystery page (tab on the blog header)  for updates, excerpts, press coverage and other opinion.

Tribune India, March 28, 2010 –  ALAS! Lady-detectives, Indian lady-detectives are elusive literary creatures. Enter Kasthuri Kumar aka Katie, detective with a buzz and two bumbling feet. And ‘seasoned’ chick-lit writer Smita Jain pulls her off with elan. So apart from the mysteries the book holds (the title being one of them) what works is the plot. Ludicrous in parts, hilarious in others and mad-hatterish for good measure…you will feel the author’s relish as she takes on one preposterous situation after another playing out a rather cheeky plot.

The writing is breezy, racy. The language is colloquial and fun, irreverent too. And it is not just her characters, even the sub-plots are funny, eliciting that smile while you sit there unbelieving that someone could actually write all this down!

Tehelka, April 2, 2010 – WITH JAIN’S first novel, the bestselling Kkrishnaa’s Konfessions, being spun into a film, her second effort heralds a new mystery series. This chicklit-detective romp follows sassy investigator Kasthuri Kumar as she tracks a missing Bollywood starlet…entertaining.

The Statesman, New Delhi, April 4, 2010 – There’s a new type of detective hitting the Mumbai beat, Kasthuri Kumar, a.k.a. Katie. Smita Jain is a script writer for TV serials and knows what makes a popular page turner with a frothy mix of sex, humour and twists and turns of the plot…Enough to keep chick lit readers entertained with her crisscrosses for a pleasant while.

ALREADY OUT  

    

“Since I had had the misfortune of laying my hands on the cursed telescope my life had gone berserk, I thought miserably. I had witnessed a murder, been shot at (by a supari killer, no less), spent a night in the slammer and seen a man killed right in front of me. But having my story and screenplays stolen — that really took the cake.”    

How far would you go to get what you want?    

a) Steal b) Scam c) Seduce    

For Kkrishnaa, the 20-something, impulsive, gutsy and unapologetically ambitious scriptwriter of television soap operas, the answer would be d) all of the above.    

And what she wants most right now is to retain her long-running, hugely successful primetime show Kkangan Souten Ke. Unfortunately for her, she has writer’s block and knows it. What is worse, her Creative Director knows it, and is threatening to hand over the pen to Kkrishnaa’s erstwhile love and current adversary, Dev Trivedi.    

Kkrishnaa must find inspiration if she wants to keep the show. So she decides to spy on her neighbours, a decision that unfortunately leads to her witnessing a murder. And thence ensues a rambunctious, rollercoaster ride as Kkrishnaa desperately attempts to keep her job, resist Dev Trivedi’s charms – and oh yes – avoid getting killed….    

A wickedly funny, rip-roaring read.    

Businessworld     

A Whodunit with a little bit of high level office politics, good dose of humour and romance…. author Smita Jain knows her job….makes the narrative pacy…     

Time Out    

A toothsome devil’s food cupcake of a novel…. has the right blend of wit, sex and twists to keep this reader interested.     

Deccan Chronicle     

Move over Bridget Jones, We now have our own Kkrishnaa, writer of TV soaps, young, attractive, single, and living alone in the big bad city of Mumbai… just what the urban English-speaking professional young woman was waiting for. The style is clever, irreverent and witty. It is an action filled page turner… an unpretentious, rollicking romp through the lanes and by lanes of Mumbai.     

Financial Express     

Wow, when someone pulls off a clever mix of two popular genres and indigenises them to boot, that’s quite a coup.     

Indian Express    

You don’t have to like Kkrishnaa but you sure can’t ignore her… hilarious, rip-roaring.    

Mail Today     

Healthy dose of what goes behind making melodramas with a lot of dhang dhnag schvoom schvoom moments…effortless pace and stylish prose has the ability to hook her readers.    

People    

Action packed…entertaining read…never a quiet moment…suitable for a Bollywood action flick.    

The Pioneer    

Pacy read for the monsoon…light, fun writing is still a good bet.    

Mid-Day    

Refreshingly young, wickedly humourous.      

     

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Okay, it’s official. This is the second X – Files movie that has bombed. Chris Carter has effectively killed the franchise.

I can’t believe how people who managed such a hugely successful TV series for so long have consistently come up with movie ideas that have laid such eggs at the box office. And to think I dragged my friends to this film. They wanted to watch that Jesse James film. I argued fiercely against the plethora of good reviews it garnered, saying it was in the running for Oscars last year and that it was dud. Thankfully the same disregard for reviews held me in good stead while convincing them to go for the X-phillum. ’Cos that certainly didn’t get good reviews.

To put it in perspective, Chris Carter has tried to draw in X philistines with this movie. As a result he’s toned down the spooky stuff and also given the Mulder-Scully relationship extra dimensions. Ironically that’s what put me off the most. Come on guys, the reason I went to watch an X Files movie is I want to see more of the inexplicable paranormal stuff, not some tame organ transplant plot. And the Scully-Mulder exchanges just get mind numbing after a while. And the climax was such a damp squib.

I was sorely disappointed (The scathing looks my friends keep shooting me throughout the film didn’t help). I am a huge fan of the TV series. For years, I set aside everything else on Sundays just so I could watch an episode of my favourite show. I even lit candles on the day they aired the last episode. For many Sundays after that, I faithfully switched on the telly at the appointed time in the hope that Ten Thirteen productions had changed their minds, and was left with a feeling of emptiness when they perversely didn’t.

Anyway, to address another issue, I know I haven’t been writing regularly. I expect that will continue for some more time. The reason is that Diwali is coming up and everyone (most of all my creative director) is keen to take off during the holidays. Now I don’t want to spoil her plans because I really like her (she makes sure I get paid on time). But mostly I want her to have this holiday because she is stressed out and is making my life hell. As a result we have to finish a month’s work in less than half the time.

On yet another separate note, Kkrishnaa’s Konfessions is # 2 on the bestseller list, trailing only Sea of Poppies. At least that is the case in Landmark stores (and elsewhere, I like to think). Life is good.

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Some time ago, the Hindutan Times had carried a story, Bubble Trouble, on how the great Indian Soap Factory works. For all of you who are interetsed in writing for television, or are even remotely curious about it, do check it out.

The story gives various POVs – the channel’s, the producer’s, the writer’s. For the latter bit, they contacted me for my inputs, which in itself is reason enough to read it. Kidding. 🙂

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First the good news. Kkrishnaa’s Konfessions is sold out. And we’re going into the second print run. In the second lot we’re tweaking the cover design a bit to accommodate the spate of *ahem* the good reviews.

I’ve always dreamed of having stuff like Brilliant!…Jain sets the pace from the word go and doesn’t let it flag…Simply unputdownable! embellish the cover.

Soon you’ll see refurbished Kkrishnaa’s Konfessions adorning the shelves. And hopefully (and where I really want to see it) the pages of the Amazon catalogue.

The bad news is that my photograph may have to knocked off. Ah, well.

On the scripting front, I have queries for at least two more new shows. And the producers won’t take no for an answer. So I figured that with the amount of time I spend in saying no, I might as well write the damn episode. And get paid for it.

You see, I can’t say no so I spend a lot of time beating around the bush bitching about various TV personalities who also happen to be good friends, TRPs, movers and shakers tec. The average talk time on each of these ‘no’ calls is about two hours. Which is about how long it takes to write the screenplay of an episode. Get it?

But the only way I can do this on an ongoing basis is by hiring an assistant, which also I have managed to do. Tentatively. Which means we are on on a trial basis.

My plans for becoming a one-woman screenwriting industry seem to be coming true. Eyah-ha-ha-ha! (evil laughter).

Plus the second novel is a work-in-progress. So that should hit the shelves sometime end of this year.

Maybe I will dominate the whole writing space. More evil laughter.

As you can see there’s a lot happening. Speaking of which, there was something else I had to do. Which I can’t seem to remember.  I do know there was something.  Wait I remember! There are people coming home today and I forgot to order Biryani!

As the subtitles on badly transcribed movies would read – Excrement! Excrement! Excrement!

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All aspiring screenwriters out there, interested in writing a comedy on television, I’m looking for an assistant.

Essential Qualifications:

  • You must be a resident of Bombay, preferably, living within a one hour periphery of say, Seven Bungalows, Andheri west. As you all know, given the traffic, you could be in Lokhandwala and it can still be challenge to travel two kilometres in that time. So go figure.
  • You must be willing to set your personal life aside. Birthdays, anniversaries, deaths. No exceptions. If you commit to writing an episode and then leave me hanging at the last minute, remember, I’ll do the same with your moneies.

And now, the not so essential qualifications:

  • You must love writing.
  • You must have a knack for storytelling.
  • You must have a basic understanding of screenwriting. And by that I don’t mean you need to have experience.

If you think you meet the requirements, please drop me a line at my email address given on the sidebar. Give your name, background and phone number.

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No time for a long post today as I am off to two meetings shortly. The first one is to discuss the money and the creatives (in that order) for a new detective show and the second one is to discuss the money and the creatives (again in that order).

I don’t know why I’m going to these meetings. God knows I don’t have the time to take on a new show.

If my creative director on my current show read this she would have an apoplexy. After killing me, of course. M, if you’re reading this, remember that I love you. More importantly, remember that you love me.

Actually I do know why I’m going to these meetings. And that’s because the respective creative directors guilt-tripped me heavily. Did you know creative directors are more proficient at guilt-tripping than the ’60s celluloid mother?

As if all entreaties of, “I was there for you at such and such time…you have to help me,” weren’t enough, they threw in promises of untold riches as the final clincher. Now I’ve heard all this before and asked them to talk figures, just in case a difference of opinion about what constituted riches between us.

But the fish had been hooked and they prepared to reel the catch in. “Come to the meeting,” they said enticingly.

Sigh! I prepare to go for my meetings.

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