Monday, September 3, 2012

GUTGAA - Meet and Greet


Q: Where do you write?
A: I write in my study. Sometimes I go to a favorite coffee-shop to work outdoors, with a laptop under my arm, sipping some cappuccino or something.

Q: Quick. Go to your writing space, sit down and look to your left. What is the first thing you see?
A: Three motivational pictures of my dream office with some reminder phrases on them. If you’d like to know what they are, let me share with you: “Make Feel Your Presence; Stick to Your Argument; Keep Your Clarity; Make an Impact; Create Influence; Be Proactive!”

Q: Favorite time to write?
A: It varies. However, I can concentrate much better at nights.

Q: Drink of choice while writing?
A: Well, mostly strong coffee, and sometimes herbal tea.

Q: When writing , do you listen to music or do you need complete silence?
A: It depends on my mood actually. But mostly I listen to rock or new age music.

Q: What was your inspiration for your latest manuscript and where did you find it?
A: Latest or earliest, I always get my inspiration from two sources: The real life (real experiences) and dreams I have while asleep.

Q: What's your most valuable writing tip?
A: Well, after all these years spent by translating or writing hundreds of books, I acquired many skills and various habits about writing. Since my approach in translating is to rewrite a book in another language, instead of translating it phrase by phrase, I see translating work as writing, too. So I can say the most important parts of writing, after the inspiration, are layouts (I call them writing maps), and of course, discipline. Anyway, you can’t be an artist without discipline, and this is what I see the new enthusiasts lack most.

Q: After so many books translated or written, you must be a well established writer already. So why do you still need an agent?
A: Well, that would be a rightful question. However, most publishers in my country follows a system different than how it’s done in Europe or The US. This approach creates a vacuum in writers’ agency line of work in my country. And there aren’t many writers in my country who can speak or write in English (which I see the universal language of mankind) much fluently, so mostly they can’t go worldwide. But if you want to do something professionally, and as perfectly as possible, I believe you must work with professionals, and do what you do in a professional manner. That’s why, at this stage of my career as an artist, I believe I need a professional agent who would promote me better than I can do myself. 

Who is Selim Yeniçeri?

Yeniçeri was born in Istanbul, Turkey, in February 7th, 1972. From his early childhood he began to signal to his artistic potential, and at 8 years old, he began to work as a dubbing actor for Turkish government’s television and radio station TRT, while getting trained on acting by many famous, or legendary, names of Turkish Government Theater. He also acted on stage in many plays, beginning with Macbeth by Shakespeare (Yeniçeri was 11 years old then, and he acted Lord McDuff’s son).

When he was a high school student 14 years old, and with experience in various lines of art so far, it was time for music now. He grabbed the old guitar of a family friend, and began to learn how to make rock music. When he was through the high school, he began his formal artistic training at Mimar Sinan University Academy of Fine Arts as a Traditional Turkish Handcrafts student. Meanwhile, he also focused on his music, and he had concerts in various cities.

When graduated the university, with his own words, since “he read a lot, and he had to find a way to read for free,” he began to translate books from English to Turkish, and he translated his first book The Belonging by William R. Brassell for Okyanus Publishing. This decision was a turning point in Yeniçeri’s life. While working as a book translator, he also studied on psychology and self-help with a leading Turkish psychologist Mahpeyker Kocgunduz, whom Yeniçeri met when he was trying to overcome his problem of genius syndrome.

In 1999, he began to record his first (and only for now) album titled Road of The Kings. All the songs in this symphonic hard rock album were written and composed by Yeniçeri; other than being the lead singer in this album, he played rhythm, lead, and acoustic guitars, piano, and keyboards. However, when the recordings were complete in the beginning of 2000, album proved to be a disappointment for Yeniçeri due to imminent global financial crisis.

At the beginning of 2002, he flew to Philippines. Living in this tropical country for around a year, he made pop rock and R&B music at various bars with his Filipino band named The Diamonds. At the end of the year he was back to Turkey, and taught English for a private foreign language school until 2004.

In 2004, he founded Cosmic Books as the company’s first general publishing director, publishing books about spiritualism, New Age, metaphysics, self-help, and occultism. Again in 2004, he published his first novel titled Enigma. The plot of the book was highly surprising, and a nationwide publishing magazine Kitap showed the novel as one of the most interesting works of the year.

Focusing on his career as a freelancing book translator afterwards, Yeniçeri became one of the best selling translators of his country in 2005, translating the legendary medical work You: Your User’s Guide by Mehmet Oz, MD.&Michael Roizen, MD.

With hundreds of radio plays, dozens of concerts, one symphonic hard rock album, numerous illustrations and artworks, around 300 translated books in various genres, 8 written novels and self-help books under his belt, Yeniçeri is a shining example of putting what taken from books into good use in real life; also a loving husband, and a much admired father of one.


  1. I very much like the idea of a writing map. Cool!

    I'm your newest follower. *waves* Very nice to meet you!


  2. I write much better at night too.

    So nice to meet you!

  3. I couldn't even keep up with your list of accomplishments... your muse must have a lot of fuel. Good luck with GUTGAA!

  4. Good luck with GUTGAA. Please, stop by and say hello if you haven't already.

  5. I completely agree with what you said about discipline. I think the disciplined side of writing comes out after the first draft is finished and editing begins (and seems to never end). Nice to meet you and enjoy GUTGAA!

  6. That is quite the resume! I wish you the best of luck in GUTGAA!

  7. Love the Bio, and quite interesting a life you have had. It is fascinating that you are able to capture your dreams. Quite fascinating. I wrote a book about being a patient, since I'm a Stanford-trained doctor who was a trauma patient, too. I had a near-death experience and delineated it in Chapter One.

    Dr Margaret Aranda, Author


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