-From an aspiring author to a traditionally published author, to a self published author.

Sudesna Ghosh or Sue is an author and freelance editor based in Kolkata. She is a graduate of the University of Rochester (USA) and you can find her with her nose in a book, or writing a book, or trying to make her cats happy. Her latest book was released recenlty – A Perfect New York Christmas.

Writer…right from childhood

“My love for writing started in elementary school in the United States when the teachers encouraged us to write short stories and share them with the class. In fact, after a few sessions, my teacher told my mother that everyone waits eagerly to hear me read out my stories. I also owe my love for reading and creating books – pretty much living in books – to my bookworm mother. She always took me to the library and that got me into reading and dreaming about having my own name on a book cover someday,” shares Sudesna.

Life as an author…

“I started my professional writing career as a short story writer during my stint at The Telegraph newspaper in Kolkata. I was writing short stories for the children’s supplement there. I don’t like the idea of growing up even at this age, so it came to me naturally,” she adds.

“My first book came as a surprise when Harlequin came to India. It was called What Would I Tell Her @ 13 – a parenting book for parents with teen daughters. I had a great experience doing research for the book because I studied psychology in college and adolescent psychology was my favourite course. It was also fun speaking to prominent women from various fields for interviews about their teens.My second book was also nonfiction; News Now. The book was also commissioned by Harlequin and targeted aspiring TV journalists,” tells Sue about her early books.

The twist…

“In 2017, I decided to attempt self publishing. I published 5 ebooks using the Amazon Kindle Publishing platform. The first was a young adult novella about a girl dealing with negative body image and body shaming at school. The second was a small collection of short stories for cat lovers (I am a cat lady.) And then came a fun romance novella, a middle grade children’s book about a cheesecake thief and two sisters, and finally, a short and sweet Christmas romance,” she adds.

“As a multi-genre author who has grown from an aspiring author to a traditionally published author, to a self published author, I can say that I have learnt a lot about the publishing world. In the beginning, I put so much stress on the writing process and ignored the importance of marketing. Book promotion techniques are something that I am still learning. The indie publishing community is very supportive, so we are learning together as we go along,” she adds.

Why self-publish?

“I plan to continue taking the self publishing route because I like being able to produce multiple books every year and having complete control over the publishing process. Traditional publishers can rarely publish more than one book a year and even the approval/rejection time is a painful wait. Moreover, self-publishing lets the readers decide how your book will do – doesn’t matter if you are a celebrity or not,” she shares as a matter of fact.

Favourite genre…

“The romance genre is my current favourite. It is a misconception that only women and girls read romance books. I have male readers as well and people of all ages,” she laughs.

Aim as a writer…

“First and foremost, I write for myself. I write whatever comes from the heart at the time. My thoughts and dreams become a story on the page. And then I can hope that some people will identify with them because we humans do have a lot in common when it comes to the basic needs and wants of life,” tells Sue.

So, what’s the hardest part of writing? “I find starting the hardest part because I procrastinate and procrastinate. But once I start, it gets easier and easier. Some author friends say editing is the harder part because they have to cut out large chunks, I haven’t faced that yet,” she replies.

Advice to aspiring writers…

“Read a lot,even outside your genre. That helps you pick up useful pointers about the craft. Don’t hurry to get published. Make sure you and at least a couple of beta readers like what you’ve written,” she says.

What next ?

“Book 8 will be another romance book. The last two were set in Singapore and New York – international romances. This one will be set in my hometown of Kolkata. So I’m excited,” concludes Sue.



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