Q: At the outset give us a brief about your book releases?
My novel ‘The Trader of War Stories is a geopolitical thriller.
To put it in simple words, CarenIrr, a US based English professor has written a book on the emergence of this genre. The book is called ‘Toward The Geopolitical Novel’. She has defined it as a ‘new literary form’ that meets the needs of the new century. When themes of nationalism, revolution, war conflicts, experience of immigrants are imagined in one plot, the book can be classified as a geopolitical novel. As a writer, I believe my novel ‘The Trader of War Stories’ fits into this category.
English is a universal language and it has a global readership. This intellectual belief has always engrained in me. That’s why the narrative in my novel is not west centric, despite my protagonist, an Italian British war correspondent, who is hailing from a place called Springfield, Essex in England.
He is basically tasked by his editor to cover stories for his agency from Beirut, from where he could write about neighbouring conflict zones.
The novel starts from the Bosnian War and ends in Kashmir, where a political uprising has happened. It is a reflection of his family and work relationships, that includes the globetrotting experience. My characters in the novel yearn for knowledge, power, freedom, peace, and family life with deep cultural longings.
My other book, ‘Musings on Global Politics’,is an anthology of my newspaper columns and unpublished essays. I have selected a wide range of my political write-ups with an aim to engage the reader. In non-fiction writing, informative and candid narrativesare getting commericalised and are continuously making new standards. With this anthology, I have tried to follow this principle. I believe, it can benefit avid readers of politics, including relevant academia and university students, but I am ready for any criticism pointed towards me as well.
As a writer, having an impact on the reader is essential, because only then, I believe, the narrative serves its purpose.
Q: Where did you get the idea of writing and how long did you take to write the novel?
Since my college days, I followed the trend of blogging. It helped me become a freelance researcher, a columnist, an avid reader and even a long form writer. Years later, I released two of my books. Now, a sort of satisfaction has prevailed in me. Sometimes, I feel it was destined for me to become a novelist.
It took me around three and a half years to complete my novel.
Q: Did you have any goals before ventured into writing,getting published, or just to finish, etc.?
Yes, I did have goals. But the goalswere not aimed at achieving monetary benefits. I was pursuing my passion and investing my time into something constructive. Observing, intensive reading and reminiscing is part of my writing. Infact, I read somewhere that 99 percent of writers don’t make money on their books. It is ironical, but it’sa fact.
Writing without a mentor and writing with the help of a mentor has been an argument for making a good narrative, but I think, without goals, you cannot write a novel.
When I was writing my draft, my aim was a meaningful plot that would engross the readers, by mixing facts with fiction. Also, I tried my best to make characters that were inspired by real life events.
Q: How did you begin writing? Did you intend to become an author, or do you have a specific reason or reasons for writing each book?
If I talk about my novel, I thought that if I could weave stories around a traveling war correspondent, I could achieve my aims for becoming a novelist. The reason to write the novel was to emotionally unburden myself and to become a learner as well. In that sense, I intended to become a novelist. During the writing process, we, as writers, encounter innumerable stories. So we become more aware and try to weave a plot at the same time.
Q: What authors do you like to read? What book or books have had a strong influence on you or your writing?
I follow a long list of authors. I might have around ten to twelve favourite authors. During my schooling, I remember borrowing novels from the school library.The characters of Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew intrigued me, as a schoolboy. Then, I started reading novels of Dan Brown and Jeffrey Archer. I was fascinated. ‘The Kite Runner’ by KhaledHosseini, Basharat Peer’s ‘Curfewed Night’ and ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist’ by Mohsin Hamid have had an emotional impact on me.
I have appreciated the lyrical prose in ‘Maps for Lost Lovers’ and ‘The Wasted Vigil’ written by NadeemAslam. ‘The Collaborator’ by MirzaWaheed, ‘My Name Is Red’ and ‘Black Book’ by OrhanPamukalso has had an influence.
Q: Aren’t writers supposed to be solitary?
Yes. Writers like their own space. For me solitude is part of the writing process. Time management is also important for writers.
Q: Any last thoughts for our readers?
I will tell them to read what interests them.