Balarko Gupta – I did not even know the end when I started writing.
A brief about author Balarko Gupta, who has self-published his book “Down the Memory Lane” with Amazon. He has almost finished writing a murder mystery novel but he hasn’t approached any publisher yet.
Balarko has worked in Montreal, Canada, Boston, USA and Toronto, Canada. He worked for the Atomic Energy of Canada for 25 years from a design engineer to the position of the Director of marketing and finally, as the Director of a billion- dollar nuclear project. He has visited over thirty countries and sixty cities.
Synopsis of his first book: This is not a standard book of travel where you can find names of hotel, travel agents etc. but rather, it reflects some fond incidents of cities and countries which have stayed in my memory for ever.
How long did it take to get your first novel/book published?
It took me around six months. The process was easier since it was a self-published book.
What mistakes did you make with the publishing with your first book which you try not to repeat?
There were several mistakes. The editorial checks weren’t done right.
Can you focus on working on two books or stories at the same time?
Yes, I can.
Is there a modus operandi you follow and formulate before you actually start writing your next book?
Not really. But for my second book which is a murder mystery novel and which is almost finished, I started with a clean slate. I had a basic idea about the plot involving both Montreal and Kolkata but no detailed scenarios or characters.
One session with Moitrayee Bhaduri in Kolkata gave me the energy to continue and I finished the novel after I returned to Montreal. As I continued writing, characters and their relationships kept on popping up. I did not even know the end when I started writing.
Does the writer’s block actually exist? Any tips you would give to come out of it.
I really don’t know what that is. Remember, I am not a prolific writer, just a beginner. Unfortunately, I cannot offer any tips.
What was the book that influenced your life, and why?
I don’t have just one book. In my school years, it was a Bengali book titled Sanchaita, by Rabindranath Tagore. It is a bouquet of wonderful poems of all seasons. It influenced my life at that age.
My early days in Canada, I read a book titled Markings by Dag Hammarskjold, past Secretary General, United Nations. It is a wonderful combination of prose and poems related to his life, letter to a friend, etc. It is a very different kind of a book but I still turn pages of this book when I feel I need a guide.
Positive book: I can clearly see now by Dr. Wayne Dyer.
This book has influenced me for the last fifteen years because it deals with positive energy. Even during a winter blizzard in USA where a truck sprayed slush and snow on a mother and three young sons, the mother was furious and the two older kids were angry but the youngest child, instead of getting angry and frustrated, thought of this as a snow-ball event with a smile in his face. This is positive thinking.
How often do you read other novels? Who are your favourite authors?
I don’t read much these days. I used to when I was travelling all over the world.
Favourite authors over the years: Somerset Maugham, Robert Ludlum, Dan Brown, Michael Ondaatji, Rohintan Mistry, Wayne Dyer and most recently Moitrayee Bhaduri