Hey folks! How are you doing? Recently we got into an interesting conversation with Zeba Ahmed, the author of ‘Black in the woods’. It’s been an enriching and fun filled conversation! Here we are, sharing some bits of it with you!
When was the first time that you realized you wanted to become a writer?
Zeba: The first time I ever thought of publishing was in 2006. I was in sixth grade and I wanted to publish a poem as my zeal for writing increased.
Tell us about your writing journey!
Zeba: I have been writing for a very long time. As a part of school assignments or maybe just random epiphany in form of an article, I wrote poems and imagined stories that I never got to finish as I wasn’t confident enough. But then with my friend’s encouragement, I finally finished a book and there’s no looking back!
What according to you is the most important part of your writings?
Zeba: The important part I feel is quality and how much of a connection I can make with the reader. I being a bookworm, knew what it felt like reading a novel with an interesting or a gripping tale. Making an emotional connection with the reader be it in the form of happiness, love or even to get them excited to finish the book and read some more, is important.
Tell us about your current book!
Zeba: The story began as a random scene running in my mind. It is only when I started writing it down that I could create this world of fictional characters and find a climax and an ending. My love for thriller and my intense reading experience in that genre helped me finish the book. Ending a chapter with a cliffhanger is what I noticed, hooks a reader wanting them to read more. Writing this book has been a wonderful journey and I hope to write more!
What is a message that you’d like to give to the writers out there?
Zeba: Any task requires an initiation. Once we begin we can learn from our experience. I might have made some mistakes while writing this book but I know now I can avoid them in the future and improve the quality. So maybe not hesitate and just let your thoughts flow. Just keep writing!
What does your family think of your writing?
Zeba: They were surprised at first as I kept my intention of publishing a book, a secret. The few who have finished reading thoroughly enjoyed it and were overwhelmed. They are happy!
What is the next project you are working on?
Zeba: I will be working on the sequel of the book. I will try to make it more exciting than the first one!
Do you have any suggestions to help become a better writer? If so, what are they?
Zeba: Writing is just the flow of thoughts or imagination put on paper. We can just let it out and there will be many drafts before you can finally be satisfied with your work but it is worth the try. To become better at anything we must just keep trying!
What does literary success look like to you?
Zeba: Growing up reading books, I’m happy that I can finally write for someone else to read. What is more important for me is for the reader to enjoy what I write and that itself is success to me!!
How did publishing your book change your process of writing?
Zeba: Gaining some experience did help me look at what I might be doing wrong. I’m just going to make notes and see to it that I don’t repeat such mistakes. The process of writing may have slight changes but overall it’s going to be the same.
What did you edit out of this book?”
Zeba: A lot!! So many changes before sending it to the publisher! I had to make sure I’m not dragging the story and making it cumbersome or illogical. I had to try and keep it simple yet thrilling. In the process, I might have deleted and rewrite an entire chapter!
Do you Google yourself?
Zeba: Yes! And I think everybody does!! It is exciting to see our name for good reasons!
How often do you face writer’s block and how do you bring yourself out of it?
Zeba: I face it often! Sometimes I have a start of the story and know how it is going to end but I might not get the flow to write it. I just take a break and maybe watch a series or a movie until I get a thought and my flow is unclogged!!
What are your hobbies apart from writing?
Zeba: Apart from writing and reading, I binge watch series and I love painting. Doing art is relaxing and helps me a lot to calm down from a stressful routine.
What does a day in your life look like and when do you find time for writing?
Zeba: I am presently getting trained as a Clinical Psychologist and have a 12-hour busy schedule! But I try to write whenever I get time maybe during the weekends. Or I just wait for a long vacation where I have no other work to distract me from my writing process.
What inspires you to write?
Zeba: Just the writer in me!! My imagination runs wild sometimes and when I put it on paper it turns into a good story worthy of turning into a novel.
If you were a reader, what would you ask yourself being an author?
Zeba: This is a tough one! I think as a reader I’m happy with this book. For a debut writer who has no experience of writing a novel, I sure did a good job!
You can buy a copy of ‘Black in the woods’ by Zeba Ahmed here https://amzn.to/3iTt2zV