By Aminah Sheikh
Let’s get down to brass tacks. Why do you write?
I guess I am expected to say: “I write because I love to”. But that’s about as true an answer as “I went into politics because I wanted to serve the country” or that “my father is a film-star has nothing to do with my decision to go into films”. The reason I write is to get published, and the reason I want to get published is to be read. So the actual answer to the question is “I write because I want you to read.” There is no greater high than the knowledge that someone invested the most precious resource they have, namely their time, in something you created, and hopefully obtained a satisfactory return on that investment.
Tell us about your most recent book or writing project. What were you trying to say or achieve with it?
My next book The Mahabharata Murders, a serial killer mystery, comes out in 2017 from Juggernaut, and I have done only one round of edits. At the moment, I am writing the next book in the Sultan of Delhi series, Sultan of Delhi: Resurrection, and for that I had to put on the back-burner, another project that I had finished quite a bit of—Shakchunni, a horror novel, set in 1930s Bengal.
Describe your writing aesthetic.
Conflict, characters, ending. The inherent conflict, internal as well as external, must be well-established, the characters must have arcs (no static cardboards please), and the ending must pack a punch. Did I forget something? Oh yes. Conversations. They must be the primary vehicle for moving the story forward.