In a publishing industry hit hard by the economic downturn, Shilpi Somaya Gowda has beaten the odds. Gowda (at right in photo), a 2007 alumna of the Creative Writing Program in SMU Continuing and Professional Education (CAPE), has signed a contract with HarperCollins for her upcoming debut novel, The Secret Daughter. The publisher has given Gowda’s book a release date of winter 2010.
Gowda will share her experiences selling her first novel in an SMU Writer’s Salon at 7 p.m. May 28 at Legacy Books, 7300 Dallas Parkway in Plano.
Even in a slumping and increasingly cautious publishing market, Gowda’s achievement “is proof that excellence sells,” says Amy Heitzman, CAPE executive director in SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development.
The novel tells the stories of three women – an Indian who places a daughter for adoption; an American who adopts the girl; and Aisha, the daughter, who travels to India to discover her roots.
Gowda wrote the book while studying in the SMU CAPE Creative Writing Program novel track. She also attended the program’s New York Seminar, where eligible writers meet with editors and agents who have read the beginnings of their books.
“Shilpi is talented. Most of our students are,” says Suzanne Frank, director of the Creative Writing Program and New York Seminar. “But she also had the determination, the drive to write and rewrite until she made her work the best she could. The willingness to work and to learn is probably her – or any writer’s – greatest strength.”
Gowda’s talk will be free and open to the public. RSVP online to the SMU CAPE Creative Writing Program.
Above, Shilpi Gowda (at right in photo) with fellow participants in the 2007 New York Seminar of the SMU CAPE Creative Writing Program.