So many short stories!

I started my writing career with short stories and I didn’t think it I’d ever be able to write a novel because it seemed so long drawn and just difficult. But then, I did it once and I found that it wasn’t so bad and I’ve been writing and writing and here I am, with ten novels and 3 e-books. With that bit of shameless plugging done, let me tell you what I’ve been working on recently.

I’ve been writing these love stories for the Juggernaut app/website. They’re short stories and until I started writing them, I realised I’d forgotten how much fun short stories could be – both for the reader and writer.

My big love will always be the novel because of the chance it gives you to flesh out characters and give them delicious back stories and build your own world. But my first love will be short stories, indeed.

So, here you go!

Read The Nikah here – http://bit.ly/2wjnFDIWhat it's about – A married woman is forced to relive her past when she…

Posted by Andaleeb Wajid on Monday, August 21, 2017

Read My Cousin Sahil here – http://bit.ly/2vYE3aoWhat it's about – A young girl is unhappy because she is engaged to…

Posted by Andaleeb Wajid on Monday, August 21, 2017

Read Khoya Khoya Chand here – http://bit.ly/2wj54rHWhat it's about -Chand is waiting for her husband, Ashraf, to…

Posted by Andaleeb Wajid on Monday, August 21, 2017

Read An Eid to Remember here – http://bit.ly/2immApaWhat it's about – Anaya recalls the last time Eid was truly…

Posted by Andaleeb Wajid on Monday, August 21, 2017

Read The Man who Loved Zara here – http://bit.ly/2vTXAdCWhat it's about – Imran has loved Zara since they were kids….

Posted by Andaleeb Wajid on Monday, August 21, 2017

Read Ammi Always Knows here – http://bit.ly/2vjNwHkWhat it's about – It is Taskeen and Aslam's first proper date. All…

Posted by Andaleeb Wajid on Monday, August 21, 2017

Read The Other Wife here – https://goo.gl/SabE9aWhat it's about – Rashida gets a rude shock when her husband decides…

Posted by Andaleeb Wajid on Monday, August 21, 2017

Read Muskaan here – https://goo.gl/58KHfDWhat it's about – Beautiful and charming, Muskan was always at the centre of…

Posted by Andaleeb Wajid on Monday, August 21, 2017

Read When Shaheen met Kabir here – https://goo.gl/swhZNXWhat it's about – Kabir should have been the perfect husband…

Posted by Andaleeb Wajid on Monday, August 21, 2017

Read The Man Next Door here – https://goo.gl/XyR53YWhat it's about – Sharmina’s mother wants her to marry their…

Posted by Andaleeb Wajid on Monday, August 21, 2017

Read Anything for Apa here – https://goo.gl/vPuecCWhat it's about – Aslam was raised by his elder sister after their…

Posted by Andaleeb Wajid on Monday, August 21, 2017

Read Behind the Burqa here – https://goo.gl/MPDWdzWhat it's about – Ashi was brought up in a conservative household….

Posted by Andaleeb Wajid on Monday, August 21, 2017

 

Like/Subscribe/Share

Ten Questions I was asked

Kanchana Bannerjee, fellow writer and friend whom I interviewed for my blog sometime back, returned the favour and asked me ten questions on her blog. You can read the full interview and visit her amazing website here – http://www.kanchanabanerjee.com.

Meanwhile here are her questions and my answers –

Q1. The series of stories that you are doing with Juggernaut, how did you come up with the idea? What’s the duration and how many stories are you doing?

A. To be honest, the idea was from my editor Trisha actually and I jumped on it. She wanted me to write a set of short stories set in a Muslim milieu, something that was second nature to me when I started my writing career. I hadn’t written short stories in a long time and the entire process has reawakened the joy of writing short fiction for me.

Q 2. Is there an underlying theme you are adhering to?

A. No theme as such. As I mentioned in the above answer, they are just set within a Muslim milieu.

Q 3.Typically, how long do you take to write these stories?

A. It depends on the idea really. Sometimes an afternoon, sometimes a couple of days at the most.

Q 4.When you write, what comes first to you; the plot or the character?

A. In a novel, it’s always the plot. In short stories, an interesting character acts as a trigger to write the story.

Q 5.You started with Young Adult fiction, then moved on to romance. You’ve done a brilliant horror story, and quite a few romances. Any particular reason you moved away from YA?

A. I love writing. Period. I don’t want to be confined to any genre but I realise there may be practical reasons why I cannot choose a certain genre like maybe crime fiction because I wouldn’t be able to do accurate research. Young Adult fiction is my first love. I haven’t moved away from it completely. I am going to return to it soon in fact! I’m so glad you enjoyed the horror story! There’s a series of horror shorts coming out on Juggernaut as well as a horror novel that’s coming out next year.

Q 6. Which genre you enjoyed the most and which did you find the most challenging?

A. I love writing romance. Despite being a very cynical person, I love writing about the chemistry between two people, what makes them tick, that first glance, that unspoken thing that only the two involved know. But then, I’ve realized writing horror is just as fun. So I try and bring a little bit of romance inside the horror as well, as I did in It Waits.

Q 7. What’s your writing schedule?

A. It’s like a proper job. However, I used to write whenever the mood struck me. Now I’m more organized and write only in the morning. The rest of the day I take off for editing and other work that comes up as part of my life of being a ‘jobless’ writer.

Q 8. Do you wait for inspiration to strike? Give us a few examples of how some of the stories you have written have come to you?

A. Fortunately, I’ve never had to wait for inspiration as such because there are multiple ideas crowding in my head and I can give space to only one at a time. But there have been instances when an idea would come in just because of the way I’ve seen something and it gets stuck in my head. Examples, okay. I got the idea for When She Went Away when I saw this man and woman having a very intense conversation while I was at a tailor. I couldn’t help but keep looking at them even though I couldn’t hear what they were saying. I couldn’t forget the expression on that man’s face. That somehow evolved into the story of a girl whose mother leaves her family and goes away with the man she had loved when she was in college. Then, for Asmara’s Summer which is set in Tannery Road in Bangalore came about with a ‘what if’ scenario. What if a girl from an upper middle-class family is forced to stay here for a month. How would she manage? Tannery Road is the very opposite of posh and clean.The main story of It Waits with the bracelet causing the transformation came to me in a dream!

Q 9. You’re one of the most prolific writers, I know of. Have you experienced a block? How do you stay energized to write so much?

A. Thank you. It’s all thanks to Allah that I’ve never experienced a block but I deliberately gave myself a year off from writing in 2014. I had finished writing When She Went Away in December 2013, and it was officially my 10thbook. I felt like I needed a break although to be honest, I couldn’t wait for 2015 to begin so I could start writing again. Also, I’ve decided not to take such breaks in future. I hope I can write as long as Allah wills it. I remember being rather worried when at a book launch, Kamila Shamsie mentioned what her aunt Attia Hossain had said, that writing is a muscle, if you don’t use it, you lose it. I don’t intend to lose my writing muscle!

Q10. What’s next from the pen of Andaleeb Wajid?

A. Okay, where do I begin? The romance short stories on Juggernaut will come to an end in August but there will be horror short stories coming out soon. I don’t know the frequency they will be published though. There’s a somewhat slow paced, old school romance coming out later this year with Amaryllis, which has taken a very long time to publish. It’s called The Sum of All my Parts. Next year, I’ve got a contemporary romance/chick lit type book that Penguin is publishing, and then there’s the horror novel as well. That’s it, I guess.

 

Like/Subscribe/Share

On being prolific

Prolific is a word that I’ve begun to hate. No offense, but everyone exclaims that I’m so prolific when they hear that I’ve written ___ books, I don’t know how to explain it. How do you do it, they ask. Well, I thought I might as well put it down here, once and for all.

This is me trying to look creative although my mum has said it looks like my tummy is hurting.
This is me trying to look creative although my mum has said it looks like my tummy is hurting.

a) I write every day. At least I try to. Immersing myself in the lives of my characters is so much more interesting than the real world any given day, so I don’t see why I can’t do it all the time. The truth is, I’m addicted to writing. It’s my vice and I let it control me. It’s not always a good thing, believe me.

b) I don’t have a job. I used to, but I wanted to write more than I wanted a dependable salary every month and so here I am. Again, this isn’t something I recommend to everyone. I’ve done this before – quitting job and focusing on writing, so I’m used to being broke most of the time. (Although now, thanks to demon(that which shall not be named) everyone around me also seems to be broke, so I don’t mind it so much.)

c) I love writing. I don’t look at it as a job but I treat it like I treat a job. When I’m in the middle of a book (writing one, I mean), I make sure I get at least a chapter written every day. It’s always tough to get started but once I hit around 10k words, the story, characters take life of their own and all I have to do is just show up at the laptop and let them unfold on their own.

Scribbling my name on notebooks in school prepared me for this. Who am I kidding? I *love* signing my books. Is the only time I feel I'm doing something remotely glamorous.
Scribbling my name on notebooks in school prepared me for this. Who am I kidding? I *love* signing my books. Is the only time I feel I’m doing something remotely glamorous.

d) I write in a bubble. Writers are just as insecure as any other creative person. I don’t like being in that place where I’m jealous of another writer because of whatever they have accomplished, shortlists they’re in, awards they’ve won, deals they’ve signed, because none of it is in my control and if they’re getting all of the above, it’s because they deserve it. Since there’s no point in me lamenting about why I don’t get all of the above, I focus on doing what I know best. Writing.

e) ┬áDetermination – Or maybe ambition. I don’t know. Probably a little of both. The truth is, I just have an inner drive that propels me to write. And most of the time, the writing happens without any thought of publication. I don’t stop to think about who will publish it, or will it get published at all. I try to keep my focus on the work and finish it before all those aspects can factor in.

 

That’s it. I’m just a crazy person, a glutton for punishment (I hate weekends) and I love to write. This is why I’m so prolific.

Like/Subscribe/Share