Interviews

Meet the youngest female author from Kashmir: Ayesha S. Khan

“If you want to be a good writer, be a good reader,” says Ayesha S. Khan, who has become the youngest female published author from Kashmir.

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1. Tell us about yourself?

My father named me AYESHA. Since to him, this is the most beautiful name a girl can have. My pen name is Ayesha S. Khan. I hail from Muzaffarabad- the capital city of State of Azad Jammu and Kashmir. I am 22-year-old and currently, I am a student of BS(English Language and Literature) at the University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Muzaffarabad.

2. What were your feelings when you became the youngest author from Kashmir?

Obviously, I was over cloud nine. But, the most important thing which I would always cheer is that KASHMIR part in this whole phrase. “The youngest published female author from KASHMIR”. I can’t describe in words that how does it feel to be recognized by the name of your motherland.

3. Tell us briefly about your book without giving any spoilers?

My book “The Freezing Point” is a cause and effect tragedy. As we all know that the effects are the result of some causes. The problem is we mourn over effects without paying heed to the causes. We want to mitigate effects and their drastic by-products but what about causes? Causes are the root of all effects. They need to be focused.
“The Freezing Point” sheds light upon the character’s life journey from bright and pleasant to the dark and bleak. It highlights the scenarios or causes which transform a normal human into an evil one. To know more read the novel and leave your reviews at https://www.meraqissa.com/book/510

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4. Who inspires you to write?

In my direct family, my brothers have always been an inspiration to me whether it be a writing or doing something else. My brother once told me that: “I can see an excellent writer in you”. I realized his words later when attracted a lot of appreciation for “The Freezing Point”.

5. Which authors from Pakistan and abroad have been your favorite?

Being a voracious reader, I read a lot of authors from Pakistan as well as abroad. In Urdu Literature, Ashfaq Ahmad, Mumtaz Mufti, and Qudratullah Shahaab are the most adored ones. In English Literature, I love to read Khalil Gibran, John Green, Khaled Hosseini, and Nicholas Sparks. Moreover, I couldn’t resist applauding Elif Shafak for infallibly portraying the companionship of Rumi and Shams in her magnificent work ‘The Forty Rules of Love’.

6. What motivates you to write?

Social injustice in the world and particularly in our own country -Pakistan is my biggest motivation to pen down stories and articles. I want readers to take home something worth pondering. I think other writers should also take inspiration from the issues which are deteriorating society in one way or another, and start working on them.

7. What message will you give to aspiring writers?

Getting published was not a plain sailing job. I know people think it’s easy to write something and you’ll get published in a month or so. This was not a case with me. I had to wait patiently to go through the processing of writing, editing, and publishing. Even, I was so desperate to have a glimpse of my book’s cover. The point is good things take time. If you really want to write and become a published author first practice the skill of patience. Secondly, Never think about the monetary benefits. Just excel in the skill, and give your hundred and ten percent. Our teacher once told us to, view money, fame and success as a by-product. Lastly, If you want to be a good writer, be a good reader. Reading gives you a lot of stuff to mull over. You can’t become a good writer if you aren’t a good reader. Here, the important thing is choosing reading stuff. Always try to choose the material which makes you think positive. So, that your writings may impact the masses.

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Interviews

“I loved the trend of reading good books and then sharing them with our social circle” – Faiza Kayani

“We are a nation blessed with many talented people but aspiring writers do not know how to have their work published. I want to help such writers so that their talent will not die,” says Faiza Kayani as she discusses her life and activities in this exclusive interview with MOIWrites.

1. Tell us about yourself?

I am Faiza Kayani. A software engineer by educational qualification and part of Civil Armed Forces. I belong from Tehsil Sohawa of District Jhelum to a family with an army background. I have remained a bilingual debater for nearly 8 years, won different prizes and trophies for my institutes. I was President of COMSATS Literary Society and worked with different societies as a volunteer for the betterment of society.

2. What inspires you to write? 

I started writing when I was in grade 6. At that time my father was posted in Gilgit and I was studying at Army public School, Gilgit. My father is a book lover. And we have a vast collection of books at home, most of them comprising Urdu Literature. I am basically a keen observer and notice daily life routine of people around me and the changing trends in society, both positive and negative, social issues around the globe particularly in Pakistan. I convert my routine observations in verses and normally write about the common issues of society.

3. Tell us about your book “Mohabbat gustaakh hoti hai”?

“Mohabbat Gustakh Hoti Hai” is my very first published book. Its genre is poetry. It’s not only poetry actually. It’s me and what is happening around me. It reflects the common things happening around us. Readers will be able to relate themselves with the poems.
4. What challenges did you face when writing this book? Team Daastan has played a vital role in this regard. Especially Syed Ommer Amer remained supportive and encouraging. The only hurdle was the lack of time. It sometimes became difficult for me to follow up in time due to workload.

5. Which authors from Pakistan and from abroad do you enjoy reading? 

Bano Qudsia is my all time favorite. May Allah bless her soul with peace. And specifically speaking about poetry, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Saghar Siddiqi and Parveen Shakir are my favorite. Juan Eliya also has a status because of his poetry.

6. Where do you see yourself five years down the road? 

Hopefully, an author with many books published in my name and I am planning to write “nasar” as well. I actually want to work for the betterment of Urdu literature and book reading. As due to advancement in technology and availability of E-books, the trend of having books in hard form is vanishing from our society. I loved the trend of reading good books and then sharing them with our social circle. That trend has faded away and I intend at reviving this trend. I want to work in collaboration with team Daastan which is already doing their job in a great manner. We are a nation blessed with many talented people but aspiring writers do not know how to have their work published. I want to help such writers so that their talent will not die.

7. What advice will you give to aspiring writers? 

Continue doing your work. You yourself are the best critic and analyst of your work. Keep on reviewing your writings periodically. It will help you in maturing your work. The more you will write the more your skills will be polished and never ever get disappointed by criticism. It will always help you in grooming.

Interviews

“I just wish to study at different universities around the world until I hit forty or fifty. A guy can dream, can’t he?” – Naveed Sheharyar Khan

Naveed Sheharyar Khan, winner of Daastan’s 3rd Season of “The Stories Untold” talks to MOIWrites in this exclusive interview.

1. Tell us about yourself?

I am studying Accounting and Finance at a leading business school of Karachi. However, unlike a majority of peers, I enjoy reading, writing and poetry more than the matters of compound interest and time value of money. They say that we all have a purpose to fulfill in this world. If that is the truth, then my life purpose has to do something with writing!

2. Since when are you writing?

I started writing almost three years ago when a friend of mine, literally, coerced me to write my first article. The article was not as good, obviously, but I craved more of the euphoria that followed.

3. How was it to be the winner of the Stories Untold Season 3 by Daastan?

It was surprising, to be honest. Several of the contestants were much more accomplished writers than I could ever hope to be, which is why I did not have much expectation to win it. I am proud of what I have achieved.

4. What was the name of your winning story and what was it about? 

The title of my short story was “True Justice”. The plot involved a young Threader, who was seeking justice (read: revenge) for the extinction of his race. The story is centered on the difference between justice and revenge, and how love makes its way into the equation.

5. Do you plan before you write or do you write by following the concept of “going with the flow”?

Stephen King has always been an advocate of going with flow. Considering the things that he has accomplished, it is only natural for lowly mortals like me to follow his advice, no?

6. Do you think writing is a skill that one learns or is an in born talent? 

I honestly do not know. All I know is that I had to spend long nights learning the rules of grammar before I could ever hope to improve even an aspect of my works. Talent might have a role, but I do not think we can get anywhere without a good work ethic, sleepless nights and disrupted daily routines.

7. If you were to give aspiring writers five writing tips, what will they be?

Honestly, I am an aspiring write myself, and I do not see myself fitting to instruct others in the art I know very little of. However, if there is one thing that I have learned, it is that you need to let your imagination run wild.

8. Who are the authors from Pakistan and from abroad are among your favorite? 

Saadat Hassan Manto, definitely! He might have written in Urdu, but there is no writer who has had a deeper impact on me than Manto. Other than that, I love how Elif Shafak sees the world and writes about it. And who could forget J.D. Salinger’s “The Catcher in the Rye”?

9. What are your plans?

I hope I knew, honestly. For now, I just wish to study at different universities around the world until I hit forty or fifty. A guy can dream, can’t he?

10. Your message for the youth of Pakistan?

I mean, a twenty-one-year-old advising the youth of a country would seem pretty bizarre, right? However, if you were to ask me one thing that I have learned from my twenty-one-years on Mother Earth, I would say that it could be: “Only a handful of people are going to, truly, believe in us in our entire lifetimes. We need to hold them close; but most importantly, we need to believe in ourselves, regardless of everything. No one will do it for us!”

Interviews

“Keeping my feet on the ground, I want to conquer the skies!” Sibte Ali, world’s youngest mystery author

“A mystery novel becomes an interesting read when it provides the readers with an intellectual challenge,” says 15-years-old Sibte Ali, world’s youngest mystery author in this exclusive interview with MOIWrites

1. When did you start writing?

I started writing when I was 11. At first, I used to do creative writing as my homework, but soon I gained an interest in it and started writing regularly.

2. Novels of which genre do appeal you the most?

I like Mystery/ thriller novels, especially of Agatha Christie and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I also read books by Jules Verne, known as the Father of Science Fiction. His books “The Journey to the Center of the Earth” and “Around the world in 80 days” are a must-read.

3. Tell us about your book, “The Next Generation of Bakers Street?”

It is a Mystery/ Thriller based on the grandchildren of the great detective Sherlock Holmes. Walking in the footsteps of their grandfather they become a team and fight against the evil powers lurking upon London.

4. How does it feel to be the youngest mystery author of the world?

It feels good to be the youngest mystery author of the world. I have dedicated my novel to my parents and friend, Hamza Waqas. It feels that at least, I have done something in this world that I will be remembered after my death.

5. What factors do you think makes a mystery novel an interesting read?

A mystery novel becomes an interesting read when it provides the readers with an intellectual challenge. A mystery novel often presents a problem (usually crime related) at the beginning and then gives clues to the reader so that they can hypothesize about the resolution. If it is in form of parts it should end on a cliff-hanger.

6. Which Pakistani authors (English and Urdu) you love to read or would recommend other to read?

I would love to recommend everyone to read a poet yet unpublished but her works are present on Wattpad entitled “Shinning Darkly” by Momina Mable. She is one fine poet. There is also another writer, she writes spiritual romance stories, Maryam, you can read her works also.

7. Your message to aspiring writers?

I would like to quote: “The secret of becoming a writer is to write, write and keep on writing.” – Ken MacLeod. The biggest secret behind all the writer’s success stories is writing. Never stop, keep writing. This is the best way to improve your skills. So, make and follow a habit of writing as much as you can.

 

 

Interviews

“I write because it makes me feel good.” Exclusive interview: Kinza Javed Choudhry, author of ‘The Rainbow Journey’

Pictures were taken from Facebook: @kinzajavedchoudhry and provided by Kinza Javed Choudhry

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1. When did you first begin to write?
Reading and writing have been my favorite hobby since childhood. When I was eleven, I used to write stories and keep them in my drawer. This continued until I was fifteen. A strong desire of writing ‘something good enough to be published’ arose within. My best friend motivated me to write more. My relationship with writing began soon after passing my Matriculation (grade 10) exams.

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2. Which novelists, authors, and columnists you like to read?
J.K.Rowling, Nicholas Sparks, Khaled Hosseini for English novels. Umera Ahmed and Nimra Ahmed for Urdu. I have never read columns, as a major part of my interest lies in novels particularly related to the genre of fiction and fantasy.

3. Did you ever face the writer’s block? How did you overcome it?
Yes, I faced it quite sometimes while writing my first novel. I can only write more and well when I can feel the situation or the characters that I am writing about. To overcome this situation, I would write sentences whenever they came to my mind and then compile them in a proper way later.

4. Tell us briefly about your book and from which genre it belongs to?
“The Rainbow Journey” is an English novel belonging to the genre of Realistic fiction. The basic theme revolves around Love, Lust, and Friendship. The word ‘Rainbow’ is for seven friends and seven phases of their ‘Journey’, which is life.

5. What inspires you to write?
I do not actually possess a reason to write. I write because it makes me feel good. When I cannot express my feelings to anyone, I simply write and capture them in words.

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6. What was the most challenging part from the time you decided to write a book to the time you became a published author?
I had no idea how challenging writing will be to me when I first began writing. Being an Engineering student, I did not find enough time to work on my book. I used to write whenever I got time. However, I had no idea of how to get the novel published once I had completed the first draft. Perhaps the most challenging part for me was to search, find and contact publishers and publishing companies.

7. What amount of research went when writing the first draft of the book?
I needed a lot of research to go into my book since I am an Engineering student with no English/Literature background. I never took any course in English or literature. It was my vision that stood by me during this process of research, writing, editing and publishing.

8. Which authors are your favorite?
When I choose books for reading, I mostly do not look at the author’s name. So far, my favorite books include Jannat k Pattay (Nemrah Ahmed), Peer e Kamil (Umera Ahmad), Harry Potter Series (J. K Rowling), The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns (Khaled Hosseini), Karakarum ka Taj Mehel (Nemrah Ahmed), Me Before You (Jojo Moyes) and all books by Nicholas Sparks. The list goes on but I would definitely like to include ‘The Rainbow Journey’ in the list.

9. What key qualities transform writers into successful authors?
Hard work, Stability, Passion, and a strong will to compete and survive.

10. Your advice to aspiring novelists?
No matter how challenging writing becomes for you, keep writing. And remember, reading is essential for writing. Read, write, have faith in the Lord and be confident when pursuing your passion of writing. One day, you will become a successful author.