28
Jan

“Romance Will Always Be My Favourite Genre.”

A writer who’s also a soft skills trainer, creative writer, all rolled into one. That’s Faraaz Kazi. He’s a very perceptive writer; almost seems as if he had each of his readers in mind while he wrote his Truly Madly Deeply. Kind of shy at first, he’s a great talker once he gets going. Go on, check out what he has to say about the success of his debut novel, books, social media, and of course, love!

– Shana Susan Ninan

Shana: Your debut novel has gone into reprint in 45 days of its launch. That’s something of a record for you. What went through your mind when you first heard this news?

Faraaz: I was expecting the second edition would take at least five more months or maybe even four (if it were to be a best-seller). And then I received the call from the publisher, which had a surprise in store for me. I was happy and pleased that the book is doing so well. Flipkart is reportedly selling around twenty copies per week on an average and the book has already climbed into the top new releases shelves of many bookstores.

Your book is like your baby and it does please any parent to watch their child doing great in the world. I am no exception.

Has the book’s reception met your expectations?

I was confident about my work to begin with and I had complete faith in the story. I was expecting the book to do well in the market. How well? I cannot exactly say but I think so far it has exceeded my expectations. Let’s just hope it continues to do so. Store sales and readers’ love, both are equally important.

Did you have a target audience in mind when you started writing the book?

I don’t think one should write keeping an audience in mind, it obstructs your flow. Over time the story starts defining its readership by itself. Like God’s creation, our creation too assumes myriad shades and changes into something beyond our belief.

As the novel was going to be contemporary romance, I assumed most of the readers would be female. Then again as it had teenage characters, I could safely put it under the young adult tag. But on a broader note, I guess the story should strike a chord with anyone who has fallen in love and has a memorable teenage life.

Inspiration for the book’s cover?

The book’s cover has received admiration from one and all. It has been voted as one of the best covers of the year in book lists on Goodreads. The inspiration was nothing but the story itself.

The protagonist, Rahul Kapoor basks in his loneliness while he is studying at a school in Philadelphia and trying to forget his troublesome past. Rahul is someone who likes to be left alone, doesn’t like any company but is soft inside and the perfect boy, girls around him dream of. To run away from memories of his past, Rahul seeks a variety of ways and one such way is spending time in a desolate park in the dead of the night. This is where he spends his nights and looks up at the sky where the stars have gathered to mock him and remind him of the same past, he is trying to escape from. The park is supposed to be haunted by the ghost of a jilted lover but this does not scare him. He sits on the only park bench that is still standing in a corner and visits his thoughts.

Right from the word ‘go’, I knew I had to use this setting on the cover. The girl’s face in the moon stands for the fact that she still resides within him and if you look closely, you will notice that he is not looking at the moon. That stands for the fact that he is trying to run away from his past but his heart is so preoccupied with her that he simply can’t bring himself to, however strong he may seem outside.

You give a lot of importance to emotions and memories. Does being perceptive to emotions make you a better writer?

When I used to record songs for a studio, my music director always told me to cut out the emotions in my voice. He said that they sound pleasant to my ears but I am missing the beats by being obsessed with emotions in the words. Human beings are sensitive people and emotions form the crux of any relationship. Be it anger, hatred, fury or love; emotions always define a relationship. And when it comes to writing romance, what else can make the story but emotions again!

A writer draws a lot from himself in his writings and memories are one such tool to aid his occupation. At the end of the day, it depends on how well a reader can connect to it.

Large parts of the book are things and events that you went through in your school life. Did that make writing this book easier?

In fact, it made it more difficult. Every writer’s first book has autobiographical shades and so does mine. It was difficult sifting through memories and choosing which ones to write about and which ones to avoid. It was difficult defining characters which were closer to reality than they seemed. And more than all that, it was difficult because I was the one writing it all. For creative people, it is easier to write about their imagination but difficult to ‘invent’ reality.

What’s at the core of this novel? Love, loneliness, rejection, healing…?

As I have maintained earlier, Truly Madly Deeply deals with a love that grew beyond itself. I may have used the word ‘obsession’ earlier which describes Rahul’s state in the latter half of the story but it is not the right word. The feeling of love can’t be portrayed with words and that’s why it remains just a feeling! I don’t wish to be a moral preacher to anyone. Let people gather from the story what they feel can benefit them. It is a work of art and will appeal differently to different people as other art forms.

How easy/difficult is it for an author to distance himself from the narrator’s voice, especially in one’s first novel?

Quite difficult again because personal portions keep dropping in and with not much of experience, you end up putting things which you would not even have thought of telling anyone. But I did revise and cut out portions or added sentences, wherever I felt that I had done a poor job.

Did you have difficulty picturising any character? Which one?

Rahul Kapoor. My protagonist is an enigmatic character and to maintain that mystery around him and clear the picture for the readers in the subsequent chapters purely through his mannerisms was quite some task.

How have social media platforms helped publicise your book and your work? Do you think they’re changing the way readers read and writers write?

I think in the next decade we are going to witness a tremendous surge in e-book readership and social media is going to be one of the factors contributing towards that growth. Facebook and Twitter have helped me connect with my readers a lot better than I would have done otherwise. Viral promo trailers of the book that rocked the social media circuit were well received by my network and then of course, for the first time ever a promo ringtone for a novel was created. Again, it was made available for free for the online world. Creating events, posting reviews, searching and comparing books in the same genre have made the jobs of both readers and writers a lot easier.

Do you plan to write novels in other genres?

I do plan to explore fantasy/horror if and when I am able to do justice to the story. But primarily, romance will always be my favourite genre.

Four things you value most in life.

My parents, my principles, my home and of course my humungous collection of books.

Heard that you used to sing earlier, and was passionate about sports. If not an author, what would you have liked to be?

Being an author was not what I had expected but it was a result of my hobbies rather than something I would like to do throughout my life. Same was the case with singing and cricket. Trust me, Indian authors don’t make it big, both fame and money wise unless you end up drawing five points on someone during a night in the call centre and then going on to commit three mistakes of your life in two different states.

My ambition is still to make it big in the corporate world of marketing.

Faraaz means ascent, and Kazi means work. May God bless your work to reach great heights. Last word for your readers?

Believe in love, believe in destiny and most importantly, believe in yourself 🙂

You can buy author-signed copies of Truly Madly Deeply from (http://www.indiaplaza.in/truly-madly-deeply-faraaz-kazi/books/9788122311648.htm)

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This entry was posted on Friday, January 28th, 2011 at 8:26 am and is filed under Authors, Interview, Romance. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

comments

3
  1. February 24th, 2011 | Tribhuvan Chatterji says:

    Amazing interview. I like his brutal honesty just the way I enjoyed reading this cute love story called Truly Madly Deeply.

  2. March 19th, 2011 | Preeti Bose says:

    Great interview. Straight forward and pleasant.

  3. March 26th, 2011 | Ayesha F Shapurji says:

    I like what the author portrays…. in simple words the phrase i believe in… ” Write what you mean… mean what you write :)” Cheers!

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