– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –
Today I’m on the ‘In The Company of Strangers’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but b
About the Author :
Awais Khan is a graduate of Western University and Durham University. Having been an avid reader and writer all his life, he decided to take the plunge and study Novel Writing and Editing at Faber Academy in London. His work has appeared in the Missing Slate Magazine, Daily Times and MODE, and he has been interviewed by leading television channels like PTV, Voice of America, Samaa TV and City 42, to name a few. He is also the Founder of The Writing Institute, one of the largest institutions for Creative Writing in Pakistan. He lives in Lahore and frequently visits London for business.
Mona has almost everything: money, friends, social status… everything except for freedom. Languishing in her golden cage, she craves a sense of belonging…
Desperate for emotional release, she turns to a friend who introduces her to a world of glitter, glamour, covert affairs and drugs. There she meets Ali, a physically and emotionally wounded man, years younger than her.
Heady with love, she begins a delicate game of deceit that spirals out of control and threatens to shatter the deceptive facade of conservatism erected by Lahori society, and potentially destroy everything that Mona has ever held dear.
First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂
Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
Thank you so much for having me here. For those who don’t know, my name is Awais Khan and I am the author of In the Company of Strangers. It is out in the UK from July 2019 and in the Indian subcontinent from early 2020. I have always been an avid reader, but it wasn’t until I attended college in Canada that I also began to appreciate writing as n industry, and realized that there was a great deal of respect for it in the West. I started writing my debut novel while I was taking the Faber Academy Novel Writing Course (Online).
Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
As a child, I loved reading Enid Blyton, Hardy Boys, Bobsey Twins, Famous Five and the Secret Seven. Then came Harry Potter and for some years, that was all that would be on my mind. It was like a craze. As an adult, I have a newfound appreciation for literary fiction and classics. I love Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina and Donna Tartt’s The Secret History. Having said that, I also love psychological thrillers like Gone Girl.
Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
J.K. Rowling, just to ask she came up with such a brilliant vivid world, and what I could do to emulate that success 🙂
If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
It goes without saying, but I would love to have tea with Hermione Granger and Albus Dumbledore. I would also like to invite characters from the Sookie Stackhouse novels as long as they don’t end up biting me.
Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
Not really. I’m not a very organized writer. My work is all over the place. However, having said that, I do like to sit on a comfortable chair with my laptop on the desk.
Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
I think that to some extent, a lot of writers use observation to pen their tales. A lot of them look into their own lives for inspiration. One should never say never, but to this point, I haven’t really based any of my characters around people in my life. So, they shouldn’t be worried. At least not yet 😉
Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I tried plotting, but it gives me a headache, and I feel constricted. I like to have some semblance of a storyline, and then allow the characters to guide me in the right direction.
Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
I would definitely ask all aspiring writers to keep going! Giving up shouldn’t be an option no matter how many rejections you get. They don’t say it for nothing that writers should have a very thick skin. Write whatever you want to, and you’ll discover that there is always someone who is willing to read it. Having said that, it is also very important to follow the rules set out my literary agencies and publishing houses. It’s a very competitive market out there, so even if loosely, try to follow guidelines.
What are your future plans as an author?
I am very excited about a novel on Honour Killing that I am writing. In addition to that, I have also written a dystopian YA trilogy which I feel is definitely worth a reader’s time.
Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
Of course! It will show you Pakistan in a very different light. A lot of people believe Pakistan to be a place of rampant poverty, destroyed cities and clumps of shanties. My novel introduces you to the secrets and lies of the Pakistani high society that thrives despite the threat of terrorism. It is a novel about forbidden love that can have devastating ramifications.
Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Awais Khan.
The Magic of Wor(l)ds
P.S. Are you an author (or publisher) who also wants a FREE interview like this? You can always contact me via e-mail!