I am delighted to welcome Col. Sujit Dutta to my blog today to discuss his debut book of short stories, Vignettes of Life. He presently holds the post of Director of Schools and Colleges of the Army Welfare Education Society (Eastern Region).
Previously, he was commissioned in the Indian Army until 2008, when he took premature retirement as Colonel.
He began the second innings of his career as an HR professional in Mumbai, which he continued until 2018.
I had the good fortune to read his book a few weeks earlier and I have posted a review as well.
The stories in the book seem to be based on the author’s real-life experiences. When asked about it, Col. Dutta responds, “Your question possibly is a reflection of the close narrative style absorbing the reader. As you know, any story , irrespective of the medium, has traces of the creator’s life entwined in some form. Yes, in some stories, some thin strands of life experiences has been suitably dramatized to weave the story. Furthermore, the thoughts of the author also gets reflected in his/her writing, as much as it did in this book.”
The journey from manuscript to published book is a story we rarely get to hear because the focus is entirely on the finished product. For debut authors, finding the right publisher is quite an uphill task. Col. Dutta says that he has been fortunate to find the right publisher who could align with his values and anticipate his requirements perfectly.
In his own words, “The birth (publishing) of a book by almost all debut authors remains a saga of umpteen unread manuscripts and polite regrets from publishers. So, it is no different in my case too. After having faced a couple of rejections, it was a chance meeting with Team Literoma, wherein I got a big break and thereafter it has been a smooth journey from copy-editing to printing to marketing. I would definitely consider myself lucky here.”
He may be a debut author, but Col. Dutta has the discipline and fine writing style of a veteran writer. He says, “To be able to accomplish any creative art, requires discipline, dedication and consistent focus. Having to do justice to your day job, that too in a senior and important assignment, as it is saps your mental energy. But one has to be passionate enough to carve out sufficient quality time over protracted duration (in this case, over 2 yrs) to be able to complete the book. I usually take about 3 weeks on average to collate/research all relevant inputs for the story theme, design the characters and setting and then take about 10 days to complete the writing process. I normally write at night, sometimes even writing 1500 to 2000 words at a stretch. It also takes more than 4 to 5 re-reads to get the story flow and nuances right.”
As it turns out, Col. Dutta is no stranger to the world of writing. “Writing has been my constant hobby since early childhood, never to wane over decades. I have been writing professional articles, papers and multitude of stories over the years, many of them for publication. The hobby turned into a passion and one has been contemplating writing a book for almost a decade. Initially I was writing just to satisfy my creative juices. After having written a few stories, I felt, that it would be good idea, if I could thread these stories into a book. The overall experience of writing, publication and receiving accolades for my debut book is indeed heady, joyous and exhilarating. Being a author is great. And now it has become addictive too, let me confess.”
Many congratulations to Col. Sujit Dutta on the publication of his debut book, Vignettes of Life, and I am most eagerly waiting to see what he writes next!
Amazon India purchase link: https://www.amazon.in/Vignettes-Life-Sujit-Dutta-ebook/dp/B085TJR9PG/
Genre: Fiction, short stories
Publication date: March 11, 2020
Publisher: Evincepub Publishing
Format: Kindle edition
Blurb: Myriad vicissitudes in people’s lives has been lovingly woven into a collection of 14 short stories between the covers of “Vignettes of Life”. These stories revolve around human emotions and real life experiences laced with liberal dose of fictionalization. Each story encapsulates the eternal truth of life, that “Hope and Human Spirit triumphs, always and every time”.