Balthazar Rodrigue Nzomono-Balenda ( August 29, 1981), known as Rodrigue or Balthazar is a French-born Danish author and he is originally from the Republic of the Congo. Balthazar was born in Oullins, which is a suburb in Lyon, in France and his parents were diplomats in South Africa, before he and his family moved to Denmark. His parents, André & Rose Nzomono-Balenda were diplomats under the mandate of the former Congolese president, Pascal Lissouba. In 1997,there was civil war in the Congo As presidential elections scheduled for July 1997 approached, tensions between the Lissouba and Sassou camps mounted. On June 5, President Lissouba’s government forces surrounded Sassou’s compound in Brazzaville and Sassou ordered members of his private militia (known as “Cobras”) to resist. Thus began a four-month conflict that destroyed or damaged much of Brazzaville and caused tens of thousands of civilian deaths.
Balthazar has written two books, The Depth of My Soul & The Struggle of Power & The Fight for Survival. He is a multimedia designer and a student at the Nordic Multimedia Academy (NOMA). Balthazar identifies himself as a French – born Congolese because he is more connected with the Congo and France than Denmark. He speaks French, English, Lingala, Norwegian, Danish, partially German, Dutch and Afrikaans. Balthazar learns Chinese and Japanese in his spare time, he writes poems, he paints, he goes out and enjoys himself. Balthazar is also a member of the International Society of Poets, which runs poetry.com and he sometimes publishes poems at poetry.com. There will be more books from him this year.
You can visit his website at www.ganymedeweb.com.
Note from Balthazar to Authors:
“It took me over 6 months to publish my first book. I had a hard time finding a publisher who will publish my book. I contacted several publishers, but I had to pay them before my book could get published. There is a publisher which does not publish and sell my book, so I had to pay and sell my books myself. I was down and I quit because I was frustrated and I felt like I could not publish books because I had to pay publishers for it. When I found I-Proclaim, I was skeptic about their service, but I decided to overcome my skepticism and I discovered that their service is what I needed. I struggled with the documents of my book because they had to meet a certain number of inches from the top to the bottom and from left to right etc. I said to myself, I either had to make changes or see my book get published in a way that would not please the audience. When my first book was published, I was glad that I started to jump all the time. I-Proclaim gave me some guidelines about promoting my books and they sent me another document that I have to fill up and send back. I will do it soon. I struggled promoting my book and I had to keep finding ways to learn how. I promoted my book on Facebook, without any success. I promoted my book at http://www.dailybookshow.com and http://www.humanmade.info
I even went in many websites, where I could advert for free. I am still in the process of promoting my books and I believe I will make it through.”
Welcome to Beyond the Books, Balthazar. Can you tell us whether you are published for the first time or multi-published? Can you give us the title(s) of your book(s)?
The name of my first book is “The Depth of My Soul” and the name of my second book is “The Struggle of Power & The Fight for Survival”
What was the name of your very first book regardless of whether it was published or not and, if not published, why?
The name of my very first book is “The Depth of My Soul”
For your first published book, how many rejections did you go through before you either found a mainstream publisher, self-published it, or paid a vanity press to publish it?
I haven’t experienced any explicit rejections from any publisher, however some of them wanted me to pay before they publish my book and I am financially able to do that.
How did the rejections make you feel and what did you do to overcome the blows?
Rejection makes me feel sad, whether it is in the book business or any area of my life, but I am still me and It is going to change me at all. I can make changes, if there are mistakes in mu books for example because I don’t want my audience to read a bad book. My attitude is that i will always find a publisher who will accept me. Those who reject me, it isn’t my problem.
When your first book was published, who published it and why did you choose them?
My first was published on January 9th 2009 by I-Proclaim. I chose I-Proclaim because it is an imprint of Dorrance Publishing Company and it is America’s leading author service, since 1920. Their imprints provide an author with personalized service they require to be a published author. The quality of their publishing is so professional.
How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?
I was glad as a little child and I could help it. I started to jump like hell and I told my family and friends about it. They were so happy for and they could not help either. They were surprised that I became a published author. I feel like this is a great success for me as well, but I know it’s all about my readers, not me.
What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?
I keept learning how to promote my books on the internet and news papers. I wrote articles in NY Times and LA Times, but I don’t think they were effective. I kept learning how could do better.
If you had to do it over again, would you have chosen another route to be published?
I don’t know because I have not found a publisher who can offer me the service that I-Proclaim offers. There are no better publishers than I-Proclaim.
Have you been published since then and how have you grown as an author?
My second book has been published and there has been another author who was interested in my two books and his name is Stephen Ross Meier from Las Vegas. I am still under a process of growing, but I am working hard to get there.
Looking back since the early days when you were trying to get published, what do you think you could have done differently to speed things up? What kind of mistakes could you have avoided?
Yes, I could have had better book cover for my first book, I could of added tables of contents, preface, acknowledgements, a conclusion and for my second book, I could of formatted my preface and acknowledgements better and there could of also been tables of contents and a conclusion. For both books, I could of chosen Times New Roman, instead of Arial and I could have been much more vigilant concerning spelling errors . I would like to tell my readers, that I am learning from my mistakes and there will be better books from me this year.
What has been the biggest accomplishment you have achieved since becoming published?
I haven’t achieved anything yet, but I am grateful to be a published author and someday, I will achieve a lot of things.
If you could have chosen another profession, what would that profession be?
It would be a web designer, but I am already a multimedia designer what I am missing is a post graduate education.
Would you give up being an author for that profession or have you combined the best of both worlds?
I will combine both worlds because it is also important for me that I have a degree and another profession because I have these talents and I am not going to waste one of them.
How do you see yourself in ten years?
I see myself as a successful writer and a successful multimedia designer ten years from now. I see myself living the life I have dreamt of for years.
Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?
If you dream about being an author, go for it and remember that it requires time and hard work. If you experience rejection from a publisher, keep on marching until you find the publisher who values your talents and works. Whether your book is published by a publisher or you are a self – published author, remember that it is your responsibility to promote your books to your audience. Promoting your book require a lot of hard work and if you just want to write you book to gain millions, you are setting yourself up for deception. Do it because you enjoy it and the rest will come after all. You have something to share with your audience and believe that your book can make a difference somehow in this world. Be original and follow your dreams and your heart. You can be anything you want to be, believe in yourself. Remember that it you has to do most of the work when you promote your book. At the bottom line, it’s all about the readers, not you. Think about what makes then happy and what makes them angry. The AIDA model is a helpful tool.