Author Interview | Ahmed Faiyaz

I recently got to read the book Bestseller by author Ahmed Faiyaz. I was so fascinated by the book and its premise that I decided to interview the author. You can read about Bestseller on my blog. Sending all my thanks to the author for this opportunity and his time. 


1. Hearty congratulations to you on your recent book 'Bestseller.' Could you tell our readers about the book?

Bestseller is a comic satire on the publishing business in India, and the story is set in Mumbai. It has a love story in the backdrop, as well as a lot of drama, intrigue and behind the scenes politics which is depicted with a dash of humour.  


2. Bestseller had a theme that is not often discussed in books. How did you come up with the idea of Bestseller?

 I was very active in the publishing business over 8 years ago, writing and publishing several popular bestsellers. So the story draws from real life experiences and people I met during my journey. Years ago, I decided to step back and write stories that I am only truly inspired to tell, and to not write anything till such a story emerges in my head.  I needed to live a little more and draw energy and inspiration from new experiences, and thus grow as a person and as a writer, and while I stepped away this germ of an idea about a publishing house and the hunger to stay relevant and make bestsellers came to my head.


3. Are the protagonists or any other characters like Akshay, Anya and Zorah based on real-life people?

 I feel that in some part the character of Akshay in Bestseller is a lot like me. His thoughts and inner feelings about various aspects of writing, publishing and life, his disdain for glitz, glamour and the celebrity life, and his wry sense of humour is very close to what I am like. When I was writing from his perspective, I often approached it as how would I react and what I would think or feel in that situation.  Anya and Sudhir are very much like many emerging and popular writers today - very focused about their image, selling books and building a brand, and much less focused on the quality of their writing. They are all about wanting to be popular and would break rules and stereotypes, and its not completely right or wrong to be the way they are. The book doesn't judge anybody, and I've just done by bit to paint a picture of what people in this business are like.

Zorah is one of my favourite characters in the book, and actually to me one of the strongest characters. She has a strong personality and grit, and this is shaped by having been through what she has coming from a broken family and being raised by a single mother. I take exception to the way women are portrayed in Indian cinema and literature, and though things are changing, they are often portrayed as weak and vulnerable, and needing a man to fulfill their dreams and to protect them. Zorah depicts the Indian woman living in the metros today. She is strong, independent, knows her heart and mind, and is working towards building a career and finding love.


4. You have been writing books for a long time now. What made you start writing books?

A combination of being an avid reader, having an imagination and a penchant to tell stories, and falling in love and getting my heartbroken. All of this contributed towards getting started as a writer.


5. Out of all your works which books do you want your readers to read and why?

Another Chance to understand love in these complicated times, and Bestseller to laugh a little bit.


6. You have written books of many genres. Which genre resonates with your writing style the most?

To be genres don't matter and its all about the plot and the characters. I do think however that drama and satire resonate well with my writing style


7. Any other genre that you haven't tried yet but want to try?

Perhaps a thriller or a murder mystery


8. What are your favourite books and authors? 

F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby, Tender is the Night and Pat Hobby Stories
Haruki Murakami - Norwegian Wood, Kafka on the Shore, After Dark
Oscar Wilde - The Importance of being Ernest, The Picture of Dorian Grey
Paul Auster - The Brooklyn Follies, The Book of Illusions, The New York Trilogy
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol and Great Expectations
Sankar - The Middleman, Chowringhee
Saadat Hassan Manto - Bombay Stories, Toba Tek Singh Stories
Ruskin Bond - Delhi is Not Far


9. Other than writing, what do you enjoy doing?

 I love to read, watch movies, play tennis, travel and spend time with my boys.


10. Last but not the least, any message for your readers?

Stay inspired and keep reading. Get a copy of Bestseller :)

 


Readers can  stay in touch on
Instagram - @ahmedf45,
Twitter- @ahmedfaiyaz
Facebook - @AhmedFaiyazWriting,

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