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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Author Interview : Andaleeb Wajid, author of 'Asmara's Summer'

Andaleeb Wajid
Read up, Interview with Andaleeb Wajid, author of ‘Asmara's Summer’. This piece, had lots of Bangalore and expressing it in the bittersweet style was this author. In this interview, she tells us, how the entire book came about, how she relates the lives of her characters to lives today, the most challenging part of the story, which character she felt most close to, what she thought was different about her book, the next book she has planned  and much more, Folks…

How did ‘Asmara’s Summer’ happen? Could you describe the journey?

‘Asmara’s Summer’ was a fun book for me. Ideas pop up when you’re not really thinking about it in particular. 

I was on my way back from Tannery Road after visiting an uncle and I was in an auto and the idea just breezed into my head. It excited me and I decided to work on it.

How did the story, especially Asmara and Farzaan’s come out?

I start off most stories with a central idea and somewhere along the way; the romantic interest creeps in, asking to be given some space. I let it in and then before I know it, it sometimes just takes over the story. 

Asmara and Farzaan were similar. I knew I was going to have a love interest for Asmara but he just walked into my head, fully formed.

Bangalore is a relevant part of your story. How did the life and its experiences play a part in your novel?

Bangalore is a relevant part of most of my stories because it’s home for me. I’ve lived here all my life and I don’t really ‘get’ other cities, the way I get Bangalore. At least that’s what I think. I try to showcase life as it is right now, especially for young adults.

What kind of research did you put in it?

This isn’t a research based book. I live in Bangalore and I’ve visited Tannery Road many times. The rest of the story was pure imagination.

What according to you is different about your book?

Pitching Asmara who is modern, progressive and belonging to a very ‘right here, right now’ generation against Rukhsana who is more staid, conservative and shy, allowed me to showcase both kinds of young adults that one would typically see today.

How would you relate the lives of characters to the lives today? Any similarities?

I think they’re very true to life. It’s what many of my readers have told me. However, I haven’t based them on anyone as such. These characters have a life of their own and sometimes even minds of their own.

What was the most challenging part about writing ‘Asmara’s Summer’?

My only challenge, when I’m writing a Young Adult book is that I want the voice of the protagonist and characters to be authentic. It should definitely not feel like someone much older has written them, or that someone is trying very hard to get the voice right. I just want it to be natural and real. 

What are the most fulfilling parts in your book?

Different things. Asmara’s reaction when something weird and strange happens to her, the funny moments like when her nani gives her a head massage with Navratan Oil, and definitely the moments with Asmara and Farzaan. It’s lovely to write about young love.

Which particular character did you feel most close to? Why?

Definitely Asmara. She is nothing like the way I am. I think if I was her age, I’d have aspired to be like her but wouldn’t have been able to measure up. I’m not saying she’s perfect, but she’s spunky and not afraid of doing something, especially if it’s to help someone else.

When will you next book be out?

November, 2016. It’s a contemporary romance that is being published by Hachette and it’s called ‘The Crunch Factor’.
Which book are you currently reading?

I’m re-reading ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’ because it’s one of the Harry Potter books that I’ve read just once. Just felt like catching up with it, especially after reading ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’.

What else do you do, when you are not writing a book?

Reading mostly. Watching cooking shows on TV (I’ve no idea why, because I don’t cook that often). 

You can  Read the Review, right here and Buy the Book, here too.

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