De­spite hav­ing many chal­lenges Bhutanese au­thors still writes books.

With lim­ited mar­ket and read­er­ship, they are hand­i­capped with it but write to keep the tra­di­tional story telling alive. BT Sonam Pen­jor spoke to some of the au­thors dur­ing the re­cent Moun­tain Echoes. Rinzin Rinzin an au­thor and a for­mer Mem­ber of Par­liame

Bhutan Times - - One-one -

How do in­spire you to write books or what makes you to write books?

I like to read and write. I wrote my first book (Tal­is­man of Good For­tune and other sto­ries from ru­ral Bhutan) while I was study­ing in the Univer­sity of Mel­bourne, Aus­tralia, in 2001 to res­cue my­self from feel­ing home­sick. I pub­lished the book in 2002. Then I was ab­sorbed in sci­en­tific re­search and later pol­i­tics for about 12 years. I started to write for chil­dren since last year af­ter His Majesty the Druk Gyalpo de­clared 2015 as a Read­ing Year. I thought that I must make my own small con­tri­bu­tion to the noble event. Be­sides, the tra­di­tion of oral­story telling is dy­ing out, and along with it our folk tales. I would like to make my own con­tri­bu­tions to the preser­va­tion of folk tales for the fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.

How many books you have writ­ten and pub­lished so far and what was your re­cent pub­lished book?

Thus far I have writ­ten seven books. My latest publi­ca­tions, pub­lished early this month (Au­gust), was The Story of the Raven and the Owl and The Pheas­ant takes the snake to court, both il­lus­trated chil­dren’s books.

What are the chal­lenges you are fac­ing while writ­ing the books?

My pro­fes­sional back­ground is science and man­age­ment stud­ies. I have had no higher ed­u­ca­tion in literature as well as English lan­guage. Nev­er­the­less, this has never posed any prob­lem for me to write. The chal­lenges are not re­ally to do with writ­ing, but with pub­lish­ing, mar­ket­ing and selling the books. I am a self­pub­lish­ing au­thor. Given a small do­mes­tic mar­ket for books, pub­lish­ing books af­ter books is an ex­pen­sive af­fair. Nev­er­the­less, this doesn’t dis­cour­age me at all. One is got to do what he is got to do! So, I will con­tinue to write and pub­lish my own books, and hope for the best.

Any ad­di­tional mes­sages to our youth?

To the youth, my only re­quest is to read and keep on read­ing. This is be­cause read­ing is the main foun­da­tion for build­ing one’s in­tel­lec­tual ca­pac­ity (knowl­edge). Since we are liv­ing in a knowl­edge-based age, it is knowl­edge that will be your great­est strength in life. Be­sides, read­ing is fun. And, please, write. Write what­ever you feel like writ­ing. It doesn’t re­ally mat­ter whether you are a good writer or not. But, write you must. Af­ter all, if Rinzin Rinzin can write, so can you.

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