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A Finnish author is looking to find success for his new book on India and English by collaborating with authors in that country. 

Despite rejections from both agents and publishers, the 43-year-old UK resident is going it alone in promoting his self-published ebook overseas.

Jesse Karjalainen, originally from Finland and grown up in Australia, is this week appearing on the leading publishing podcast in India.

 His appearance on the MyKitaab podcast is the result of a newly formed cultural friendship that connects the UK and Finland with Bengaluru, west of Chennai. 

 The word kitaab means ‘book’ in Hindi, Farsi and other languages and derives ultimately from Arabic.

The unsigned author’s latest book, English Masala, combines the history of India and the British Empire with the etymology of Anglo-Indian words.

He said: "The book takes a fresh look at the story of that amazing nation’s past and explores how it has contributed so many words to the English language."

He added: "I love to write about the English language and this latest book explores the fascinating origins of everyday English words that have a cultural or historical connection with India and the British Empire."

He cites well-known Anglo-Indian words such as shampoo, veranda, India pale ale and bungalow, along with surprising examples such as thug, Blighty, gingham, surf and factory.

He continued: "I thought I knew about India when I started but the more I researched the more secrets history of India's history I uncovered. There is so much more to the country than the Taj Mahal, curries and choking traffic.

"For example, I never knew that chess was invented in India, nor did I ever fully understand that the Portuguese were trading there for more than a century before the English even first set foot there."

Mr Karjalainen was interviewed about his writing career and his book on the pioneering podcast MyKitaab, produced by Indian author Amar Vyas.

The nation, with a population of more than 1 billion, is only now waking up to online publishing technologies such as ebooks and podcasting.

"The potential for podcasts in India is huge right now," said host Amar Vyas, " and the same is true of self-publishing.”

Amar himself has lived in the US and has since returned to his native India, where he is building a digital media company and author network. 

In addition to promoting his book, Mr Karjalainen is also exploring options for producing an audiobook version of English Masala.

He said: "It is amazing that a complete professional audio recording can be produced in India for a few hundred pounds.

"I also love the idea of having an audiobook version made using a genuine Indian accent – how cool is that?"

Mr Karjalainen is also a traditionally published author and his first hardback book, The Joy of English, was a simple guide to better grammar.

Working with the Indian podcaster and entrepreneur, he found that they both share a wide international experience.

By the time he was a teenager, Jesse had been to 36 different countries and so far he has lived in eight, while Mr Vyas has lived in 15 world cities, including several years in the US.

His latest book is available exclusively on the Amazon Kindle platform and the podcast interview can be heard at www.mykitaab.in.

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