Interview with Gabriel Constans, Author of The Last Conception
Gabriel Constans previous novel, Buddha’s Wife, was highly acclaimed by writers and reviewers, such as Bell Hooks, Chitra Divakaruni and Robert Blake. It is presently being adapted for the screen, as is The Last Conception. Other works of fiction by the author include St. Catherine’s Baby, The Skin of Lions: Rwandan Folk Tales, and Zem Master Tova Tarantino Toshiba: The Illustrious and Delusional Abbess of Satire. Visit Gabriel online at www.gogabriel.com or his blog at http://gabrielconstans.wordpress.com/
Where did you grow up? Redding, California, which was mostly logging industry and summer tourism for the lakes and mountains close by. I’ve been living in Santa Cruz, California for about 40 years now.
When did you begin writing? I began writing in high school, where I started an alternative newspaper. It wasn’t until reaching my late twenties that I began writing again seriously (or humerously).
Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments? When I’m writing something, I start in the morning and write all day and evening, for as many days as it takes.
What is this book about?
Passionate embryologist, Savarna Sikand, is in a complicated relationship, with two different women, when she is told that she MUST have a baby. Her conservative East Indian American parents are desperate for her to conceive, in spite of her "not being married". They insist that she is the last in line of a great spiritual lineage. In the process of choosing her lover and having doubts about her ability, or desire to conceive, Savarna begins to question the necessity of biology and lineage within her parents' beliefs and becomes forever fascinated with the process of conception and the definition of family. Threads of Dan Brown (DaVinci Code), Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni (Sister of My Heart) and the film The Kids Are All Right, are tied together in this colorful tale of awakening, romance and mystery.
What inspired you to write it?
There are a number of questions I was thinking about. One of those questions involved the thought that perhaps a different religious leader actually had children (contrary to historical belief) and that a woman in present day society was the last in line (unbeknown to her) of that famous teacher. I wondered what that would be like for her to find out. I also have one daughter who is married to a woman and they had children and another who is married to a man and went through IVF to have their children. I wanted to share a little of what those experiences are like and have it be an intricate part of the story.
Who is your favorite character from the book?
Charlemagne (Charley), because she is clear with what she wants and makes it happen.
Was the road to publication smooth sailing or a bumpy ride?
Once I found the right publisher, it has been very smooth and a wonderful process to bring this story to life.
What is the best investment you have made in promoting your book?
I’ve invested in time. It took a lot of time to find the right media markets for this specific work and to contact them all, which I’m still doing daily. Keeping a daily presence on social networks over the last several years is also a wonderful way to connect with people in general and specifically about the book.
What is one piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors everywhere?
It’s a complicated affair. Not everyone is a good writer and not everyone is able to write well. At the same time, if you practice writing daily, have others critique your work (and edit it) and keep at it, you may turn horrible work into something decent or some decent writing into something great. The other advice, that is always suggested, but is also true, is keep reading. Read. Read. And read some more.
What is up next for you?
I’ve written a screenplay of The Last Conception and have several producers reading it. Looking for others who may be interested, in case those now pass on the story.
Is there anything you would like to add?
I always think my latest story or book is the best and this is no exception. The Last Conception is a wonderful tale about love, romance and family. It is both personal and universal.