Author Sudipta Mukherjee was born in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand and raised in Kolkata. After finishing her graduation from Calcutta University, she went on to do Masters from Central Sericulture Research and Training Institute of (CSRTI), affiliated to the University Of Mysore, where she was awarded a gold medal for her academics. She had worked with multiple organisations before quitting the professional world to pursue her dream of being an author. She lives with her husband and daughter. THE CROSSROADS is her debut novel.
She is here with us to share her experience of being a published author by a leading publishing house of our country. Her distinctive lookout and courageous steps of quitting the professional world to fulfil her dreams can inspire and motivate the people who come in touch with her. Following are the parts of the conversation she had with me…
Please tell us something about yourself.
I am an author by passion and by profession. The Crossroads is my debut novel with which I entered this amazing world of story-telling. A lover of music and a voracious reader, I am a traveller for life. I wish to linger in the minds of my readers long after they have turned the last page.
Tell me something about the book.
“The Crossroads” is a journey through a woman’s heart, tossed between love, ambition and separation. The story revolves around Aparajita Basu (the protagonist), her evolving relationship with her childhood sweetheart, Aniruddha, and all the people she meets and mingles in her life.
As for the rest, I leave it for the readers to find out for themselves.
Why did you take up this genre?
Honestly speaking, I did not pick up the genre. The genre chose me, would be a good way to put it. I just penned down the story that came into my mind. Its origin is entirely organic. That’s how I write most stories.
What can a reader expect from this book?
The Crossroads is a bouquet of human emotions. Each reader will find a little something for his/ her delight.
Who are your favourite authors? How often do you read?
Well, I have a whole bucket of authors as a favourite, and certainly not one that I could point. A good story written in a great style is what appeals me, even if the author is someone lesser known.
When I am not writing, I am reading.
What challenges you faced while penning down the book? How you overcame them?
Writing this book was not much of a challenge because as I said, I penned down the story that first came into my mind. There was not much of engineering to it. I just went on adding details, characters and scenes that the story demanded.
The real challenge was when I ventured into publishing it. Dealing with the refusals, emotionally handling the rejections and all. It was difficult to keep the spirit high, I admit. But again I was hopeful, that I would get a chance sometimes. And that hope kept me alive and working.
What was the best feedback you got for your work and from whom?
There have been many since release, and I am thankful to every one of them. But out of that entire bunch of feedbacks, I would like to highlight two very special ones.
The first came from Moira Forsyth, the Editorial Director of Sandstone Press. She had been very honest and encouraging in giving her review when the book was still under process. I remember to have remained awake (in excitement), half the night, after reading her mail. I am thankful to her, for that little spark of encouragement when the situation looked bleak.
The second once came for a senior friend of mine, Mrs Sikha Mitra, after the publication of course. She had enormously praised my work and compared me with a prominent literary genius of the West. I am so thankful to her for her good words, and wishes. Although little selfishly drawn, I will always love her for this.
I hope that I keep up to their expectations.
How was your experience with Leadstart Publishers?
I would like to thank Leadstart Publishers, for publishing my first work. It is because of them that I could call myself an author. And I will never forget it.
My experience with them has been good so far.
How do you keep yourself motivated to write more?
Motivation is an inner thing. It’s a deep desire, a desperate wanting to prove you to do something that you love above everything else to see yourself successful in it.
Generally how much time you dedicate for writing while framing this book?
Well, I am not a disciplined writer. There are days when I write for ten hours straight. Or for as long as ideas keep coming into my mind, or I can keep my eyes open. There are days when I don’t write at all. The Crossroads is a product of many such days and nights.
How has Leadstart helped you in growing as an author?
Leadstart has helped me in establishing myself as an author. It has played a big part in transforming me: from Sudipta Mukherjee, the individual, to Sudipta Mukherjee, the author. If that is what you mean by growth.
What advice would you like to give to the budding authors?
Write for the love of it, and not exclusively to get published. If you make small steps every day, you are sure to reach your goal. As somebody once said, follow the headlight of your car, and you will reach your destination.