Yes when I was in school. It was a ghost story for our school magazine "The Scribe" and at the age of ten I managed to win first prize for the same. I was thrilled no end and it was then I decided this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.
What is your writing process?
Inspirative. I am assuming most writers would probably claim they have a sudden epiphany and they have to go and suddenly scribble something on a piece of paper. I would expand on that thought. I usually do the scribbling quickly in a notepad I carry around. If it is a poem I am done with it fifteen minutes later, but if it is a longer piece, I make notes and then see how the outline sort of fits into the way the story builds in my head and then expands on paper.. or laptop.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Treasure Island. I was six. I started reading full novels by the time I was that age. I don't quite know how but reading was a passion instantly. I read Treasure Island in its full form and I was instantly enraptured. And in my head I was on the boat/Island throughout the adventure and you could almost hear the way Stevenson had made Long John Silver so real. You became Jim Hawkins. You wanted to be him!
How do you approach cover design?
Your cover design should make the reader want to open the book. Or atleast approach it with interest. If it is too conventional or too abstract sometimes it tends to take away from some really good content.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Treasure Island by R.L.Stevenson (for obvious reasons) The Carpet Baggers by Harold Robbins. The author has an immense hold on his characters and the way he weaves them. His often rags to riches stories make you believe that anything is possible. IT by Stephen King. It would be short changing Stephen King to just mention one book here, since I am an avid fan of the gentleman. It isn't just the way he handles the horror genre. But quite the way he handles the human genre and presciently interspins it with the terror we all feel. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John Le Carre. Another author who takes the spy and mystery novel to a different scale altogether. George Smiley and his adventures take you deep into the intrigue and espionage of the counter intelligence community that now underlays everything that happens in geo political sphere around the globe. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. I would say the less said the better. This is not a novel. It is simply a modern day epic. And anyone who wants to understand the real art of writing should take some time out and read this.
What do you read for pleasure?
Everything. Fiction, religion, biographical pieces. I need to read as I need to breathe!
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My Ipad. Mostly by smartphone as well.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I wouldn't know as yet. I haven't really published or focused on it full form. I may come back and answer this a year from now.
Describe your desk
Very neat with the tendency to go completely awry when I am in a creative flow.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Dubai, which was a multi cultural city with a smattering of everything from the European to the Middle Eastern to the American to the Asian.. it was an interesting time. It influences not only the way you write but the way you think. Your mind is definitely expansive in its approach to the way it sees things if you grow up in a multicultural community.
When did you first start writing?
When I was six. I have been penning poems and pieces since then.
What do you hope to achieve when you start publishing?
Even though this maybe online it is a dream come true. I have never really given heed to the writer in me properly though I have been writing since I was very young and in all formats. From poetry to prose to short story to novella to plays. And across several genres from children's stories to the horror genre to mystery to generic stories and philosophical pieces. Publishing gets you a broader audience and an input on how you can actually improvise that content to make it worthwhile not to just the twenty or hundred or thousand people in your immediate circle but to a slightly larger audience. And at the end of the day, if you are skilled to write, I believe you are a messenger of sorts from the universe and its pool of knowledge and people you should get those messages whatever they are. Story or letters or poems. So this is exciting for me. To know the real measure or truth of what I pen and its value to someone out there.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
It completes me! As simple as that.
Any final comments?
For now let's see where publishing in this format takes me. Or publishing in any format. Thanks to Smashwords and their reader community I am actually keen on doing this and seeing where and how it pans out in the short and long runs. Wish me luck! Adios and blessings to all.
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