Wednesday, June 28, 2017

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: S.G. Basu

Tell me a about yourself. What got you started in writing?

I’ve been an avid reader all my life. Wanting to write a book myself had been on my mind, but it sort of simmered on the back burner while I went to become a computer engineer. Much later in life, I was happily working as a telecommunications business analyst when the fangirl in me stumbled against an unsatisfying ending of a favorite young adult series. I had to get my perfect happily ever after, so I started writing my own take on it. It was supposed to be just one scene. Never thought I’d enjoy the process so much and fall for it.

I continued writing after that, mostly in my free time, or at night after the family had gone to bed. A few years later I had a complete novel in my hands. Another year later, I had a couple more novels completed. There was no looking back after that. I was hooked.


How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or do you prefer writing freehand?

Except for some note-taking now and then, which I do freehand with paper and pen, I write exclusively on my laptops. I use two laptops, one a Windows VAIO where all my manuscripts take shape, and a MacBook Pro for formatting and creation of advertising graphics.

Someday, I’d like to have a dedicated writing room, but it hasn’t happened yet. At the moment, the guest bedroom in my house doubles as my writing studio.

What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?

Starting a new project is hands down my favorite part of the writing process. Diving into a new story with brand new characters is a thrill ride. It’s like starting on a treasure hunt in uncharted territory.

The least favorite part is editing, particularly the final proofread. By that time I’m so eager to set my story free that every minute spent ruminating feels like a cruel test of patience. But presenting my stories in the best form possible is extremely important, so there’s no skipping over it either.

How do you come up with your characters? Why would readers want to get to know them?

They come to me in my dreams. No, really, some of them do. Sometimes, I wake up with the vivid memory of a dream, complete with characters and the outline of a story. Out comes the paper and pen! Sometimes characters come to me from other stories I love, when I go what if this were different? For example, after reading Cinderella, I might think, what if the stepmother was trying to force Cinderella into this marriage with the prince and Cinders ran away from home to prevent the union instead? Off I go outlining! Other times, characters pop into my mind from random conversations with friends. And sometimes, I simply want to write an interesting story about a character with certain traits or in a certain world.

My characters are true to life. Some are broken, some are heroic, but none are perfect. Just like most of us. Readers would easily identify with my characters or sympathize with their flawed human behavior, be it conflicted teenager Maia from The Lightbound Saga series or Noell, the young mother who puts up with domestic abuse for years in my Kindle Scout winning The Eternity Prophecy.

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What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?

I mostly use online ads to promote—online book promotion services, Facebook ads, AMS ads. I have a few favorites among the book promotion services, such as Robin Reads, FKBT, Fussy Librarian. I have had good experience with AMS ads also, and they are perfect to keep a trickle of promotion going in between major advertising campaigns. Once in a while, I do blog tours also.

Other than online, I try to go to local events—book fairs, library events—as time permits.

How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?

I’m lucky to be a full-time writer, so I don’t have to schedule my writing time around a day job and related activities. I do have a young family and I schedule my routine around the family’s activities. My writing time is from 10AM to 3:30PM, a solid chunk during school hours. I spend any free slots between 3:30PM to 6PM for marketing and support related work. I try to get another block of writing time from 10PM to 1:30AM. This routine usually generates about 2000 words every day, unless I have a severe case of block or family commitments.

What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?

Call me crazy, but I like to have at least three projects on simultaneously. I’ve found that having multiple projects on hand is helps keep the pesky writer’s block away. Whenever I hit a plotting issue or I’m simply tired of writing one story, I switch to one of the others. Usually this gives me time to ruminate on new ideas and come back with a fresh ideas when I get back to the temporarily sidelined project. Right now, I’m working on two novels for a pen name and the fourth book for my YA science fiction series, The Lightbound Saga.

I have a couple of new books out. My Kindle Scout winning book, The Eternity Prophecy came out a few months ago. You can find it on Amazon - The Eternity Prophecy. It’s currently on a month-long promotional at a discounted price of $1.99.

An anthology from Kindle Press authors just came out with a story about one of the characters from The Eternity Prophecy. Here’s where you can pick up a copy of that book - Summer Solstice.

Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.

I have a whole bunch of them. I actually have a binder where I put all the ideas that I think of but I know won’t get into the production cycle soon because the ideas might not be developed completely yet or I may have a lot of ongoing projects already.

There’s one project that I want to work on as soon as I can. It’s set in a tidally-locked planet named Twilight. The story is about an evil empire, an uprising against said empire, a rebel spy, and a general the empire sends to Twilight to root out the rebellion. I wish I could write it now, but only have 24 hours in a day. So . . .  2018 it will be. I’m also considering submitting this novel to Kindle Scout.

What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?

Writing, publishing, and achieving success takes hard work and often, a lot of time. Talent is useful but what you need more of is, perseverance and openness to learning and trying out new things in case the first way isn’t successful.

Before you get into publishing, learn about the process as much as you can. In this age of the interwebs, we’re lucky to have great resources are online. Read about current trends from blogs (Joel Friedlander’s thebookdesigner.com, Joanna Penn’s thecreativepenn.com, The Passive voice thepassivevoice.com, Derek Murphy’s creativeindie.com) and online forums (kboards.com). Also study the genre you’re interested in, from bestselling cover designs to common tropes. Read extensively, particularly from the genre you like to write in.

While you soak up information, keep on writing. Finish that book and publish. Then write the next book. And keep on doing it.

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Website:  www.sgbasu.com



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