What am I working on?
I’m working on two very different books – a fantasy sequel and a light romance with a strong cultural flavor.
The sequel is the second book in the Aoife and Demon Trilogy. Rise of the Syhlain, after Cursed be the Syhlain, is darker than the first book as the readers will see Aoife mature and realize her place in the Realm as it’s lost Princess. Demon will stand by her throughout her journey as the two gather new allies, and foes, in their quest to Khuzdoh. This project is near completion but as always, we are taking it slow, not compromising on details and good stuff, not yielding to time frames either if they don’t work for us. The book is set to release sometime end of this year.
The other book, my chick-lit, is set in Pakistan. There’s nothing fictional about the world it is set in. Karachi is my hometown, also of Sophia, the female lead, and her life is exactly like what my friends and I and many like us have led in Pakistan. So, if you really want an insight into what an Asian cosmopolis that you thought you’d heard all about is like – Love Me Do is a must for your collection. The book is complete and set for my Aug-Sept release schedule.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I don’t think I’m different, just original. I do leave my signature on whatever I write but it’s not as if what I write has never been written before. Seriously, this universe is older and wiser than we think ;) So, what I can do here is perhaps name a few writers that have inspired me.
For fantasy, Tolkien and his Lord of the Rings – I just couldn’t get enough of the characters, the wars, the languages and races and that’s what I subconsciously did with my Realm. We created a language for the Realm in Aoife and Demon. We created interesting races and their cultures from scratch. When you read the books, you’ll feel as if you’ve actually been transported to that alternate universe.
Love Me Do is of course a lighthearted woman’s fiction. My inspiration - Sophie Kinsella, Amy Tan, M. M. Kaye, Pearl S. Buck - to name a few. It’s different because it’s set in Pakistan – and you won’t have any bombs blowing up any shrines or people therein. No bleak stories either. It’s just the normal life at its best defining love in its multiple shades. It is the kind of book that I rarely get to read about Pakistan myself though that’s how I’ve lived it there.
Then, last but not the least, there’s my blog – two to be honest. One is for my political rants and the other, this one, is milder, for rants pertaining to life and writing life in general. Now, these two forums are my stingers – if you will.
Why do I write what I do?
To tell readers about myself and my heritage. Everything I’ve written to date has a part of who I am – in the story if not the characters, in the setting if not the story, in dialogues or characters names if nothing else. If you read my books and blogs, you will find me.
How does your writing process work?
I don’t do deadlines. I don’t do outlines. I do drafts – first, second, third, and fourth. The first draft is the pestering period – as in that’s when I pester the wits out of my group of selective beta readers, aka my BFFs, to read and critique. After they hand over their analysis, I incorporate their notes where they work for the story, and move on to my second draft. After another (and final) round of collaborative reading, I finalize the story in the third draft and edit it to make a fourth. The fourth one I send for a professional edit. And then, I publish it.
My Aoife & Demon: Cursed be the Syhlain was picked up by a commercial publisher after I self-published it, so I can proudly say that yes, I’ve been both ways and it’s all good.
I would like to invite three of my favorite writers and bloggers to join me on this blog tour.
My invitee to this blog hop is Shamila Ghyas, my cowriter for Aoife & Demon but that’s just tip of the iceberg. She runs a blog that, in her words, ticks people off so it must be the truth. Keep your sense of humor handy when you visit her on Facebook.
My invitee to this blog hop is Amy Surprenant: impossible love with real characters! Yes, that’s how she chooses to define herself. She has authored the Cure Series (under the name Amy Croall) and the Death Series (under the name Ami Urban). Visit her blog to connect with her.
My invitee to this blog hop is Karoline Barrett, the author of The Art of Being Rebekkah. If you’re looking for fresh voices to read in women’s fiction, she must make your list. Visit her website to connect with her.
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