Mainstream professions are just a stereotype according to the new generation. Millennials follow their heart and this is how passion can turn into a profession.
Author Suzanne Franco breaks down the path of making her hobby of writing into her career and not embarking on stereotypical professions.
Q Who/What inspired you to become an author?
I have always found true life stories of strong, motivated women fascinating. Writing was a hobby for me at first but I couldn’t really find any direction until true life dramas began to ‘find’ me. I believe our modern society will be equally inspired by these true stories of, sometimes forgotten, heroines. And unearthing the true stories of these brave women inspired me to get their message out.
Q Tell us about the challenges that you faced in the initial stages.
A real challenge I faced was trying to get published in South Africa. I was told in 2005 that the political sphere was not yet ready for the true life story of the first black South African woman to put on show in Europe true life story. Yet, once Exile Child was published in the UK, South Africans were captivated by Sarah Bartmann’s true life story. The challenge of not being taken on by a South African publisher was huge, but my determination and belief in their struggle helped me overcome these challenges.
“Franco gives readers a window into the depths of prejudice and racism, and a very real depiction of this heroine who lived more than a lifetime ago. A truly inspiring read!”
– Proud Magazine
Q Do you have a specific target audience for your books?
I know most people don’t understand, but as a writer I feel as though I am a source, a sort of channel, for women’s voices to be heard, even forgotten voices of the past. So my audience is literally ‘universal’ meaning any age, creed, culture, gender, economic background and therefore the response I receive worldwide for my historical novels is inspiring.
I am passionate about South“Author, Suzanne Franco, tells the sad and tragic true story of Sarah Bartmann, a young Khoisan woman who involuntarily became the most terrible victim of colonialism and racism.”
– The African Reporter
Africa’s turbulent history and I’m inspired when true life stories of brave, courageous women find me and I’m honoured to bring their incredible stories to the world.
Q What is the journey of the book from scratch? How to cope with the challenges?
As I mentioned previously, a story to be told finds me; then I undertake many years of research, not only on the topic or people of the time, but also on my protagonist.
A massive amount of time, energy and sheer hard work goes into writing a book, no matter the genre. Any author can easily become overwhelmed at times and all authors face many challenges when it comes to publishing their masterpiece. It’s hard enough to write a book, but then comes the real battle of getting it published. Even if an aspiring author’s book is accepted by a publisher, there is no guarantee that it will be presented to the public properly. There are many routes an author can go when publishing their book these days, such as self-publishing and only publishing online, such as an eBook.
Q With a fast-paced evolution
of technology, has the market of conventional book-readers affected? What is your opinion regarding increasing popularity of e-books?
I believe that there is still a strong desire to physically hold a book. As we are inundated with technology in our daily lives, at work, at college and at home, there is nothing quite as satisfying as curling up with a good book.
I don’t see the written word in paperback ever going out of style.
Q What is the scope for today’s youth in India if they aspire to become an author?
Gone are the days when students used to take up subjects like engineering, medical etc. Nowadays they want to build up careers in fashion, animation and some are willing to pave their path towards becoming an author. I personally believe everybody can write, if you can think you can pen it down. You just need the confidence within you and the support to fuel the process. With recent boom in print media and technology a person can take his/ her writing to any corner of the world and you will see open doors if you have the will.
Q What kind of challenges will the Indian youth face when they take up this as a career option?
I think confidence is really necessary because being a writer you wear your story on your sleeves. It can be a constant reminder that you have to prove something to the people and that people expect a lot from you because they will invest their money in buying your book. In spite of such challenges we need to strive forward.
Writing was not my cup of tea. I practiced English by writing a diary, worked on my vocabulary and grammar, researched a lot about publishers and got in touch with the authors to get the idea. I managed the marketing thing on my own. I was scared and somewhere in between I gave up too but ultimately I invested in my faith to reach to my target. This journey was beautiful.