Every human being has this innate desire to express and many hold a desire to publish a book one day. Although a huge chunk of the population never pens down a word, some end up carrying the tag of a ‘struggling writer’ while a few manage to get themselves published. Everyone has a writer within and here we take you through the journey of Dev Saha, a knowledge manager with Capgemini who had just written marketing documents till date, found inspiration and embarked on a journey to write a book.
The time was around December 2008 and India was caught in a spate of terror attacks. 26/11 Mumbai attack had just shook the nation and reports of blasts from many other cities had left the citizens troubled and the police force helpless. The media was putting forth more questions than one could answer and the situation was pretty bleak. Times have improved since then but this was the time when many people got thinking about some of the fundamental questions. Dev Saha was one amongst them. A MBA graduate who was settling into his work life was rattled by the happenings. He had never written for a blog or a magazine before, his only experience was with technical documents at his job. But he found a calling where he had to pen down his thoughts.
Dev got to work and started his research in the area to lay the groundwork for his book. He decided to take the fiction route and came up with the concept of ‘The Brotherhood’. He didn’t contemplate much on how to write or what to write but just went with the flow. As they say, “Heart is all you need.” Here's an outline of the novel:
The novel follows a daredevil police officer, Ranjit Sanyal, who loses his wife and child in the attack and seeks revenge. There is the predictable hue and cry over the attack, but it is here that Saha tries to be different. As the book's title suggests, the 'brotherhood' is all about a cabal of all-powerful individuals who virtually run the nation from the background. They thrive on terror because this provides the fodder to their flagship companies to rake in the moolah. They secretly patronize several terror groups. It is when one of these modules turns rogue that all hell breaks loose and it shatters Sanyal's family. The story is about how The Brotherhood tries to use the seething anger in Sanyal to hunt down the terrorists. Until the police officer learns the truth. Full of twists and turns the story will keep you hooked till the last page.
Dev worked during his free time and weekends and managed to write the first draft in 8 months. Now comes the tough task- Publishing.
Indian Publishing Industry- The Works
Publishing is rather misunderstood in India. It is conceived to be rather difficult to get published or evoke a response from the editors. Also, there is a lack of awareness about how the system functions. Recently, at the Bangalore Literature festival, editors from leading publishing houses like Harper Collins and Random reiterated that the job of the editors at publishing houses is not to reject manuscripts. Publishing houses are in the constant hunt for good manuscripts, it is their shortcoming if they’re not able to read all that arrives at their desk. They need to pick the needle from the haystack.
The process for a writer is rather straightforward, the manuscript along with the covering letter has to be sent to the publication house (and there are many newer, smaller ones coming up) according to the guidelines on their website. It is better to send a printed copy as well. Generally, publishers take 4-6 weeks to revert and if they don’t, it is understood that the book has been rejected.
In case of Dev, he approached multiple publishers but struck a chord with Palimpsest Publishers – an upcoming publishing house based in Delhi. Many a times, it becomes frustrating for a writer not to hear back from a house but the case wasn’t very severe in case of Dev as he had his job alongside; it wasn’t a case of ‘life and death’. Self-publication is also a way but the drawback with this is that it’s very hard to be found. The publishing industry works on trust and for a reader also, s/he needs to trust in a book before buying. It was Palimpsest in case of Dev and they worked with him till they finally arrived at a final draft. The whole process took about a years’ time and the book is now out in the market.
Name: Dev Saha
Book name: ‘The Brotherhood’
Price: INR 150
Dev’s Role Models: Jeffrey Archer, Robin Cook.