So Konstelasi Rindu has been available on bookstores across Indonesia for three weeks now. Happy? Yes. But there’s should be more things to say, right? …
Now, why I sub-titled this blog ‘how to get a novel published by Gramedia Pustaka Utama, a memoar’
Well because Konstelasi Rindu is my first novel published by GPU (& fourth from all) after long history of rejections I received from them. Hyperbolic? No, that’s the truth.
I can also say, Konstelasi Rindu probably like the mash-up versions of all novels they’ve rejected. (Actually I can only remember two here )
Konstelasi Rindu is about a bunch of architecture students trying to live their life & dreams. The main character is Rindu Vanilla, she loves playing guitar & her mom has been hospitalized (for some reason I cannot reveal more it will ruin the plot for anyone who hasn’t read the book)
The musical part of Rindu has the same spirit as Ayfa, the character on my first novel that gotten this rejection letter. (About a musician who goes solo after kicked out from her band.)
(Picture taken July 2012, when I clean up my house, I blog about it here)
And about the architecture student life, at some part similar to Fresh Graduates, my other novel about one circle of friends (one of them is an architecture student) who had to face reality after they graduate from college. Fresh Graduate not actually rejected. My editor Hetih Rusli was suggested me to re-write it.
This was our text message conversation at that time. ( I was living in Banda Aceh)
(Picture taken before I gave my old phone to my asisstant)
But I was a newbie and a lazy new writer. I didn’t rewrite it. I never was. The first draft was still somewhere on my computer, untouchable.
An artist friend of mine once said, he better creating something new than fixing what he already made. Well that’s exactly how I was most of those times. I write a lot. But too lazy to edit or rewrite them. If only I’ve read Stephen King’s book ‘On Writing’ before, (or any of those famous writer advice) the story would be different. But I learn the hard way.
Konstelasi Rindu was whole different story with the novel I mention before. This novel probably the 86th version of Rindu’s story I ever write. (Okay maybe the 36th… so many draft I lost track).
Before I send it to Hetih, I probably rewrite it 15 times. And after meeting Hetih… I felt the earth shaking… Hard…. (Okay, I’m hyperbolic, but you can judge me by this short blog here) She asked me to fixed a lot of things from the draft I sent her. I don’t remember if she told me if there’s something good on that draft, but I remember she showed me a bunch of things I need to reconsider & rewrite. In one part of conversation she tried to ask me to change Konstelasi Rindu so it can be published for Metropop genre (again). But I think she just give up on me. I’m so sorry & thank you Hetih! :)
Finally after many rewrites, the editing taken over by Riska (and I don’t know how many more editor/proofreader), from I was still in Ciputat to now I’m in Kawasaki, Japan. Two year after the earth-shaking conversation with Hetih on GPU’s office, Konstelasi Rindu finally hit bookstores three weeks ago.
I hope it’s all worth the effort. There’s nothing a writer like me could asked more than the readers enjoy the book, as much I ‘enjoy’ all the process writing it. I hope Rindu Vanilla & friends find home in the readers heart.