On Being a Small Press Author – Gautam Sen

Running a small press is just like running a business with a group of employees – well almost. I don’t actually get to see them every day and we can’t gather around the water cooler to chat. Since we all see each other only virtually, I thought it might be nice to ‘introduce’ our authors to both each other and their readers via a series of short interviews. These interviews will run twice a week until December – it’s a neat way of finding out how similar authors can be, and yet so different.

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Today, I’m very happy to present Gautam Sen, the author of The Fantabulous Fens. Gautam is our only writer currently living in Asia – in Bhutan. His book is just a wonderful children’s tale of the power of love, family and their role in what it’s like when you’re different from everyone else. It revolves around the Fens, an eclectic family living in India and dealing with nosy neighbors and townspeople who aren’t so nice. Gautam is a lovely writer and man, and captures the morals of life so well. I’m proud to have published his book and if you need a new book for your kids to read, I strongly recommend it.

1. The first books I can remember reading is: Noddy, Pinocchio.

2. The first book I ever wrote was: a book of short stories which didn’t find a publisher!

3. An average day in my life goes like this: I get up, I wish my wife, I do yoga meditation – I hope to contact God, but I don’t; I just get a nice electrical sensation in my body, and I tell God, ‘Okay God, if that’s all you have for me for now, I’ll made do with it, but just for now’; then I have a cup of tea with my daughter; then I go to my study where there’s an altar to my wife, with her photograph, and images of divinities, and a vase of flowers. I clean the altar and speak with my wife’s spirit. After this, I open my PC and take a look at the e-mails I’ve received. I do some yogic breathing exercises, and because half-an-hour must pass before I can take my meal, I use the time to get started on my work (which is online content writing). Over breakfast I watch the morning news on TV and chat with my school-teacher daughter, who by then is in the process of getting ready for work. Some relatives drop by to help out with the morning house-work. After breakfast, I work till lunch, with a tea-break in between when a relative drops in. After lunch, it’s back to work. Somewhere I sometimes put in a little snooze. Later in the afternoon, I do some freehand exercises and get down to meditation once again. At around the time I finish, my daughter’s back from school, and normally there’s a little exchange of news and views about how the day’s gone. Evenings are for walks and chit-chats and reading and television, and at bed-time I meditate once again and pray and remember my wife (I keep having internal conversation with her through the course of the day, and it’s like company, very intimate company).

4. I found out about Central Avenue Publishing from: browsing the website. I decided to submit my book because I thought it just might have a chance there

5. The last books I read were: ‘Reunions’ by Raymond Moody and ‘Brida’ by Paulo Coelho

6. In order for me to sit down and write, I need: the mood!

7. My ‘day job’ is: content writing

8. I carve out time to write by:  Since I’m not a professional creative writer, I don’t ‘carve out’ time to write. I wait for inspiration to descend on me, and if and when it does, it finds its own way to translate itself to writing.

9. In order to find time to write, I feel as though I sacrifice: my idleness!

10. I am currently working on: a poetry chap book

11. The best piece of advice I ever got was from: Mr. Anonymous and it was: If you want to write, write – don’t keep thinking about it.

12. The best piece of advice I would give is: If you want to write, write – don’t keep thinking about it! (which is just passing down the advice I took to heart, but the exclamation mark at the end is absolutely my own).

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