It’s been three years since I got the first idea of writing this novel about ‘kretek’ (clove-cigarette), the signature cigarette of Indonesia. This is the longest period for me finishing a piece of novel. I guess it explains why I always support producing cigarette (especially kretek), though I don’t smoke at all. I got my reason, and the more I dig deeper on to clove-cigarette, the more I see the core of a kretek and how it worth treasure. (In this part, you don’t have to be agree with me, especially if you hate smoking and smokers *wink*)
I have given this hot-hot-hot fresh from the oven novel to my first readers. They are my closest friends whom I trust to be objective enough to criticize my work. And of course, one of them is my editor in Gramedia Pustaka Utama Publisher. Hopefully, by January or February 2012, my novel will be seen on the market.
If the previous novel, Kronik Betawi, I took my father’s background as its setting, then in this novel I took my mother’s. Somehow, even if I don’t mean to, those two novels bring me closer -spiritually- to my parents, although I don’t always have smooth relations with them. But those novels had transformed to time machine for me which allows me to peek deeper side of their personality and my families of the previous generations (whom I don’t even know at the present).
There’s a lot of ways to upgrade oneself. And for someone whom I think I had been too long stuck in a class, while the others have upgrading themselves, for me -as a writer- this is an upgrade. My dear readers, I humbly present to you: GADIS KRETEK, a novel.