Shouvik Banerjee: Author Interview

Everyone has to deal with their share of failure in their lives. What makes us all different is how we deal with it. Seven Sundays by Shouvik Banerjee is a book that narrates one such story. We at thenotoriousreader knew that we had to talk to the author of the book to understand the work and his writing style better.

Shouvik Banerjee began his journey as a science student, but after a string of career failures and consequent depression, quit his Ph.D. to pursue a career in content writing. He writes poetry, short stories, and songs. Seven Sundays is his first book.

Can you tell us what inspired you to be a writer?

One of the natural inheritances you receive from a Bengali family is the deep love for literature, music, and art. I have never walked into a Bengali household that does not have books. Such houses do not exist, at least in Bengal they don’t. And I have always been attracted to stories, partly because of this inheritance, and partly because of the stories Baba told me every night at bed. So I guess, the seeds of becoming a writer were planted in me at a young age. But I only discovered the true joy of writing after circumnavigating a wrong career path for almost a decade and then
returning to the starting point, a little wiser, and with a whole lot of life experiences.

Please tell us more about your book.

Seven Sundays is a self-exploratory journey into the nature of failure and finding one’s way to success, narrated explicitly as a fable to the protagonist by a stranger over the course of seven Sundays.

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Can you please shed some more light on the main characters of the book?

The two main characters in this book are Alok and the stranger who walks into his house on a rainy Sunday evening. Alok is at his lowest point in life but then his past walks in to repay a debt and consecutively show him what failures can teach us.

Why did you choose to write about this particular topic?

In 2018, after getting dejected with multiple career failures, I had an epiphany about a boy climbing a hill to reach a castle that was on top of it. It was quite instantaneous, and it made me realized that I had a story that was worth telling. In the following week, I wrote 10,000 words and for the next nine months, I kept writing and re-writing until I had the book I wanted to write.

Will you try your hand at any other genre?

Oh yes, absolutely! I think self-help was a one-time thing. I am writing a YA fantasy book after which I will start a children’s series. Or at least that is the plan unless something else demands my immediate attention. My future books (if they get written and published), however, will mostly be literary fiction.

When should we expect your next book? What will it be about?

As I mentioned above, I am writing a YA fantasy book and hopefully, it will be published either this year or early next year. The book is about two children – one of them speaks in rhymes while the other operates a flying bed – who travel to a strange land and revive the great clocktowers that have fallen asleep so that they can defeat the army of evil crabs.

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What would you have been if not a writer?

I was actually pursuing a different career before writing. I have a master’s degree in genetics and had plans to become a scientist. But life obviously had a different plan for me. However, if not writing then I would have liked to try out my hand at becoming a chef. I enjoy cooking at times, and it has always felt like something I could have pursued as a full-time career.

Who is your favorite author?

That is a tough question! You can never have one. But a few authors whose works I admire are Amitav Ghosh, Arundhati Roy, Salman Rushdie, JK Rowling, Satyajit Ray, Saradindu Bandyopadhyay, Ray Bradbury, and George Orwell.

How do you like to spend your free time?

I either read books, procrastinate, watch movies, or stare at life outside my window going about its business.

Is there any message you would like to give to your readers?

For those who have read my book, thank you so much! It means the world for an author to have his book read. For others, you can give it a try if you are interested in something unconventional.

You can read more about the book here.

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