Welcome to a day in the life of Gustavo Bondoni
Please give us a brief outline of who you are. I’m a novelist and short story writer from Argentina… or at least that is what I am by inclination. By training, I’m an engineer with an MBA who has always worked on the commercial side (sales and marketing) of companies varying from tiny startups to massive Fortune 100 enterprises.
My passion for writing came about because I love to read. And my selection of genre came about because Asimov and Robert Asprin and Douglas Adams were the men on the racks of my local bookstore when I was twelve and began to read adult fiction. With names like that, how can one not be hooked?
As an interesting aside this was the eighties, and I still have the battered copy of Heroes in Hell I bought at Waldenbooks way back then. I assume it’s the only copy in Argentina.
You’re a writer – how is this reflected in your typical day? I’m a writer, and it basically consumes my day, even when I’m not writing. On the practical side, I’ll be obsessively checking my email for acceptances (or rejections, sadly), contracts, edits, or just about any other communication with the publishing world.
On a more interesting note, I’ll always be plotting the story or book in progress, or cooking up ideas for new ones. That doesn’t change just because I might be working on something else.
Do you have a family? What do they think of your job? Do they assist you? I have a family. My wife and I live with four children: two that are hers from another marriage and two baby daughters of our own (2 years old and one month old as I type, respectively). The older kids seem more interested in their tablets than in books, but my wife is amazingly supportive… although she does sometimes get annoyed at my habit of not even realizing that people are talking to me when I’m writing.
How do you fit in ‘real life’? What in the world is real life? Actually, I try to live a normal existence. Unless I tell them, most people can’t even tell I’m a writer. The truth is that I can fit my target wordcount (around 1500 words a day) into the slots between other tasks.
Do you have a particular process? The only process I really swear to is to write every weekday, and to try to get 1500 words in. Anything else is a bonus. Some people like to outline… I prefer to find out what my characters are going to do as they do it.
Are you very organised? I try to be. Life has a way of biting you… and also, my wife is the Mistress of Chaos…
What is your ideal working environment? My ideal working environment would be an office with a closed door. But this is sadly not possible at home… and right now, my corporate job is also home-based. But one can dream!
What do you eat for breakfast? Tea with lemon and a type of cracker that you can only buy in Argentina called cerealitas. Unlike most crackers, these actually taste good and are therefore probably bad for me.
Would you recommend your chosen craft to those interested in doing it? Wow. Loaded question. It’s very difficult to make a living from writing fiction. Anyone looking to write for that reason would likely be better served by becoming a journalist. However, I have found no satisfaction greater than receiving an email confirming that something you invented was judged good enough by an editor you’ve never met to be shared with others and paid for. That rush is indescribable. So yeah, on balance, I’d say everyone should give it a try.
Most popular novel: Siege