“Splendidly Red would feel less of a romantic novel and is more of slice of ship-life punctuated by the personality-based snippets of the characters – a few out of the many who toil day in and night out to transform US cruise vacations of guests into unforgettable experiences. And there are not many books that discuss the ‘Ship-life’ of employees set against the background of cruise ships. So, I felt like penning one to share my experiences of zippy ship-life, the hectic inner workings twinned with cross-cultural sensitivities.” says Jain Raj, the author of Splendidly Red which was recently launched on 13th February 2022 and is available worldwide on Flipkart and Amazon. HydRAW (Hyderabad Readers and Writers), founded in 2018, organized the book launch event. The chief guest for the event was Mr. Kerala Varma, a proficient writer himself and a retired banker.
Jain Raj has a background in the hospitality industry with work tenures in US cruise ships, and stints in Australia and Oman later on. The fascinating lives of crew members, a once in the lifetime cruise experience, has inspired him to pen down this story. He also loves to dabble with pastry and bakery stuff besides travelling.
When asked what Splendidly Red is about, he smiles and says, “It is the story of friendship, clinging to hope in the worst of the situations life throws at you.” He reminisces his past, “The hospitality team, especially on a cruise ship, works for long hours, sometimes 14 hours at a stretch in a day. Teams change with each tenure, different people every time from different cultures and different parts of the world, all of this is a very different experience one cannot relish in a corporate world.”
The prose is resonating and similar to the classic English writing style punctuated with the ship cruise slang and lingo. Halfway through the book, the reader is already a part of the bakery team in the cruise, nibbling at the strawberries and fully immersed in the breezy and refreshing love tale intertwined between different cultures. The friendship bond between the various teammates strengthens as the story advances. The reader connects with the characters of Splendidly Red easily.
Ceyan, the protagonist, is the next-door boy, sweet, innocent, hardworking and unaware of the cruelty of life. He wants to find a place under the sun and anchor himself to his family and friends. Thrown in life challenging situations in varied complexities – sometimes hilarious, sometimes cruel, and sometimes in the catfights of his career nuances, Ceyan gets five stars for standing solid on his ground, unwavering and resilient. He is a dream bestie, a team player, and a loyal lover.
Kerala Verma, the chief guest who launched the book said, “What attracted me to Splendidly Red is the life in a cruise ship as its backdrop. It’s a life most of us are not familiar with. A book attracts you when it talks about a life you have never experienced. The honest and authoritative descriptions in the novel are based on the experiences of the author as an employee on cruise ships. The red strawberry is usually associated with high-end hospitality is the symbol of hope in this book. That’s another thing I liked about this book. Because I believe the three essential ingredients of happiness are: work, love and hope. The novel Splendidly Red is about the work in a cruise ship and the story is full of love and hope. That’s why I am hopeful that the reading of the novel will be a happy experience. And we would feel grateful to the author for giving us a peek into the life in a cruise ship, something most of us are not familiar with.”
Kerala Verma also said, “Jain Raj has created a novel with a complex web of characters and incidents happening in places and situations with which many of us would not be familiar. That adds to the appeal of the novel. The story takes us from the suburban milieu of Thiruvananthapuram to the big bad city of Mumbai, to Florida, and to a cruise ship that takes him to various parts of the world. It is a journey with both suspense and romance built in. I wish Jain Raj all the best in the success of this novel.”
Jain Raj took over a year to complete his debut book; he combined his lifetime experiences; his anecdotes at sea into an engaging one of its class novels set up against the backdrop of eighties spanning over Kerala, Mumbai, and the international waters.
Asked about the challenges in the publishing industry, Mr. Jain Raj confesses that he had discussions with 10-12 publishers, but he could not finalize any one of them until he found the right publisher for his book, ‘Bare Thoughts Lit’.His advice to the debutant authors is to believe in themselves and work with quality editors.
Mr. Jain Raj is currently working on another novel expected to be released soon. He wants to experiment with a different genre and is excited about his forthcoming work. He is also thrilled at the release of his debut love story, coming-of-age, two young hearts who support each other through thick and thin following the voice of their hearts. It is the story of their lives, friendship, and love life.
Splendidly Red is available on Amazon.
You can reach out to Eka Publishers/Bare Thoughts Lit for any of your publishing queries through email or a phone call. For contact details and further information, you can visit their website:www.ekapress.org
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