Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
Many thanks to Awais Khan for agreeing to answer my questions and share information about his book, In the Company of Strangers.
Read on to discover more about this author and this book:
Where did you get the inspiration for the book/series?
A: I found that the literary landscape was inundated with books that portrayed Pakistan in a very negative light. It’s not that all of that stuff isn’t true, it’s the fact that life still goes on despite that. I wrote this book to show that life in Pakistan’s high society is full of secrets and intrigues and any security threat doesn’t hamper it.
What is your writing process?
A: I’m not a very organized writer. There will be days when I’m locked inside my room, typing with great speed, while there can be weeks when I don’t write a single word.
Do you write using pen and paper or on a computer?
A: I used to write using pen and paper, but ever since I got a laptop, I find it difficult to write long passages on paper as my hand isn’t used to that kind of exercise anymore. I do keep notebooks, though, where I pen plot details and general thoughts.
Who is your favourite character out of your stories and why?
I think I really like Nighat. Yes, she is very loud and opinionated, but beneath all that noise is a very sensitive person who understand far more than she lets on. I really like the role she plays in my novel.
If you were a character in your story, which would you like to be?
A: I’m not sure I’d like to be any of those characters. I admire them, but I also dislike them for several reasons. In the end, nobody is perfect, but if I absolutely had to choose, then I’d like to be the male version of Meera. She is self-made, successful and confident, qualities that any person would like to have.
How and why did you choose the names for your main characters?
A: The funny thing is that it wasn’t a conscious decision. Yes, I had always known that my main character would be called Ali, but apart from that the characters drove me to their names, if you know what I mean. It was a bit like that moment from Harry Potter when Mr. Ollivander says, ‘The wand chooses the wizard, Mr. Potter.’ Similarly, I think the names chose their characters.
Now here is information about his book, In The Company Of Strangers….
Mona has almost everything: money, friends, social status… everything except for freedom. Languishing in her golden cage, she craves a sense of belonging…
Desperate for emotional release, she turns to a friend who introduces her to a world of glitter, glamour, covert affairs and drugs. There she meets Ali, a physically and emotionally wounded man, years younger than her.
Heady with love, she begins a delicate game of deceit that spirals out of control and threatens to shatter the deceptive facade of conservatism erected by Lahori society, and potentially destroy everything that Mona has ever held dear.
AMAZON UK: https://amzn.to/2HkyWHn
Author Bio –
Awais Khan is a graduate of Western University and Durham University. Having been an avid reader and writer all his life, he decided to take the plunge and study Novel Writing and Editing at Faber Academy in London. His work has appeared in the Missing Slate Magazine, Daily Times and MODE, and he has been interviewed by leading television channels like PTV, Voice of America, Samaa TV and City 42, to name a few. He is also the Founder of The Writing Institute, one of the largest institutions for Creative Writing in Pakistan. He lives in Lahore and frequently visits London for business.
Many thanks to Awais Khan for answering my questions and to Rachel’s Random Resources for providing materials for this post and organising the tour it is part of.