Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Book Discussion with Debjeet Mukherjee - Author of Voyages Volume 1

Two weeks back we reviewed Voyages Volume I - A Collection of Poetry by Debjeet Mukherjee. Today we have Debjeet Mukherjee with us to talk more about his life a.k.a. writerslife along with Voyages 1. Those who have missed the review can click here.

Can you tell our readers about your educational background?
I am a postgraduate student of economics at the University of Calcutta. My educational background was centered in and around Kolkata and I like improving my aspects and opportunities that studying provides. Opening up new avenues such that studying complements my other talents as well. I guess that’s the whole point of studying! To apply it.
What were you like at school/college apart from studies?
I was popular. Haha. Not in the usual sense but I was known for what I did. No matter where I step in I am able to create a unique identity of my own. I was never the topper and yet teachers and students knew me. I am grateful for the love and affection I received in my school and college days.
What are some day jobs you have held?
I wish I held any but I am currently a full time university student.
Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors? Which author inspires you the most?
I read fairly. Depends on the set of books I need to read at any given point of time. Study books, reference books, story books, poetry books, novels, it’s a big set. The importance of reading any one category of books increases given the ambience at that point of time; like study books are read more during exam months and stories and novels are a preference during vacations, while I end up reading no book at all during festivals. Lol.

My favorite authors are Paulo Coelho and Khaled Hosseini.
As far as inspiration is concerned, I am inspired reading the works of Paulo Coelho and when it comes to inspiration from an author as a person, I am more inspired by Vikram Seth although I never had the opportunity to meet him. I just love reading that man’s biography.
When did you start writing?
I started writing at age 12. I used to be an introvert (still am to some extent) and I scribbled stuff at the back of my school notebooks while my friends played dare challenges. Then I used to tear those pages and gift it to my English teachers. My teachers at school were my first and earliest readers. I switch between being an introvert and extrovert. I am an introvert when I am working on something and extrovert when it is complete and ready to be presented to the world. 
When did you decide to become a writer?
I decided to become a writer at class 8 when I was 14 years old. There was this English teacher of mine who used to support me above everyone else. While others read my work, she provided a critique. And then one day when I presented her a poem, she scolded me! Like literally she scolded me. I was surprised and confused. And then she went on to state that she had seen many future Keats and Shelley’s of India all lost in the rat race of higher studies. She feared that I will end up doing the same. So I made a promise that day that I will not quit writing and surely gift India the first Debjeet Mukherjee!
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
There are ambitions but I prefer not to say other than the fact that I won’t be quitting what I started. I am more of a presenter. I keep quiet and normally do not share my ideas unless I feel I have achieved what my initial thoughts have originally envisioned.
Do you have a special time to write, or how is your day structured to accommodate your writing?
I do not have a specific time to write. I write when I feel like. It may be months before I write another poem or it may be hours within which I complete writing a short story. My thoughts are random and when some idea comes I immediately finish writing it on any paper in front before the thought gets lost. Daydreaming and talking to myself are two important things that help me write better and I will not shy away from stating it.
Is this your debut work? 
Yes. This is my debut international self-published work. Like I said I have been writing for many years now but this is the first time that I have compiled up everything and published. It has till now been well received by authors, bloggers and book reviewers around the world as is evident from ratings and reviews on Amazon, Google Books and Goodreads.
What genre are your books?
My books are mainly non-fiction/young adult poetry and short stories.

Can you describe your current book in few lines? What’s it about?
My current book is VOYAGES Volume I – A Collection of Poetry. It is a new style of writing poetry wherein a two line quotation has been provided at the end of each poem which gives a gist of the preceding lines. This has been adopted to make poetry more comprehensible among people who commonly mistake it as a genre understandable only to the Elite.
Where did you get idea for this book?
The idea behind this was that most people share two line quotations on social media everyday when they are sad, happy, angry, betrayed or in love. What people don’t realize is that if they keep all these quotations together then it forms a new style of poetry. A poem can be looked as a collection of quotations. Therefore, I experimented this new idea of mine in this book and it has been a huge success. People who are reading it are surely appreciating my thoughts and efforts.
How much research did you do for this book?
The research into this particular poetry collection of mine is taken from several years of my life. My most recent poems are at the very beginning, and my earliest poems are at the end. It mainly reflects the thoughts that lie embedded in one’s life as a teenager as the collected poems are from age 14 to 21. So it may frequently be relatable to persons reading this particular collection and act as a time machine to help them re-visit their teenage years and the kind of feelings they dealt with as a young adult. 
What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
Deciding how to arrange the poems! Poems are inspired by age, experience, season, climate, place and mood. So it’s difficult to arrange a poetry collection such that it comes out as a meaningful message.
Can we have your book trailer?

When was your book published?
05 September, 2018. (Teacher’s Day, yay!)
Can you tell us about the response you got for your book?
My book has been reviewed and rated Five Stars by Readers’ Favorite, USA and it has also won a Gold Star at’s September 2018 e-Book Cover Design Awards. The book currently has near to/above Four Star ratings on Amazon, Google Books and Goodreads and I am expecting some more reviews and awards soon in the coming months. Unfortunately, the book was published as an e-book three months before this conversation and the e-book policy of my publishers Notion Press updates the book sales quarterly. So my author dashboard is currently without any sales figure.
What are you working on at the minute?
I am working on VOYAGES Volume II – A Collection of Short Stories. It will be a unique book since my writings reflect different experiences of people and I am sure it will have one situation/character with whom the reader can relate to. It will not be the usual short stories and there will be lots of satisfaction and peace of heart in every conclusion. It will reflect the goodness that is abundantly still present in this world but is just not always pointed out/discovered.
What are your thoughts on writing a book series?
I really have not given a thought to that but I may end up writing a novel. Book series are currently not in my Five Year Plans. Haha.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
To never let the aspirations fall down. As a student of economics I would say that every individual has a limited set of resources which he/she tries to maximize. Now the process of maximization is different for different individuals and it may not always lead to the best/efficient outcomes. But we either fail or we learn. If we fail then it simply means that our time has not yet come and we must always keep faith in our own processes simply because it is our own. Imitation never leads to efficient outcomes! 
Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?
My first short story “A Rural Coincidence”, won a Commendable Mention at the Wingword Short Story Prize 2017 organised by Delhi Poetry Slam; followed by a Shortlist for my internationally acclaimed story “The Farewell” at the Wordweavers India Short Story 2018 Contest. I am also an amateur photographer and I received Honorable Mention at the International Photography Awards 2017 under Non-Pro Nature – Wildlife category. My love for history made me a keen numismatist. I have a decent collection of republic India commemorative coins, Foreign coins bearing important dates, commemorative coins of USA and USSR and even Berlin Mint coins of Nazi Germany!
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