Exclusive Interview with Author Shadab Ahmed

Q.1 What has the experience of writing and publishing 4 poetry books been for you? How has your Author journey been so far?

I started writing when I was young, and my writings often reflected my obiter dictums. To any well-educated individual, writing should and will come naturally. Writing is an essential component of the human personality, it is conditioned and groomed over ages and years. I love to write. What you write is often what you observe, perceive, discern and interject. To write is to express yourself, to metamorphose yourself from the conditioned taciturnity, and to transmogrify gutsily. To write is to dare, intrepidly, and be determined. Apart from being a poet, I am also an adept translator, transliterator, editor and compiler. I translate texts and verses from various canonical poetry along with the interpretation of the “Pre-Text” in History and “Con-Text” in contemporary times.
The journey so far has been congenially gratifying, the experience has been enriching and vitaminizing. This concept has been brilliantly put forth by the great author Mr. Salman Rushdie, and I will paraphrase him – “Books choose their authors, the act of creation is not entirely a rational and conscious one”. Writing keeps your literary senses subconsciously honed and refined, it gives you a purpose. You attain a new cognizance, new postulation, new perspicacity, new perception, new insight and it distills your attitude in general to life and life elements.

Q.2 When and how did you become interested in writing poetries? Tell us a bit about your books.

Since my adolescent years, I developed a profound and maniac passion for reading trans-continental literature. Narrowing it down over the years and comprehensing that no one can attain complete knowledge in the limited life span we have as human beings, I narrowed it down to Poetry. Since then, composing Poetry has been both my recreation and diversion from this insane chaotic world we live in. So much so, my perception & outlook has adapted over it. I find explicit words in arbitrary observations which most people will attribute to inexplicit randomness.

My first book is titled “A Quatrain of Moods” – it is a collection of quatrains drafted by myself. These quatrains represent the various human moods and desires, be it ecstatic or tragic. My second book is titled “Bebakhshid” – which translates as “Excuse Me” in Persian. It is a collection of translated verses from prominent and acclaimed Persian authors, poets, polymaths, Qalandars and nomads who spearheaded the Persian Literature and Poetic Movement, trailblazing it into a major reckoning force in World Literature and Poetry as a whole. If English and Irish poetry has a succulent sweeping glacial charm to it, the Persian poetry has the distinct mystical aura blustering through them. My third book is titled “La Siesta” – and it is a compendium of translated poems from the Iberian Peninsula, covering the Spanish, Portuguese, Castilian, Galician and Catalan poetry. Again, the Iberian Peninsula has traditionally been ruled by distinct Christian and Islamic empires, and it is sheer literatim beauty to see the poetical forms getting integrated and amalgamated within each other through the last 1000 years in Iberian history.

Q.3 What are the challenges you faced while writing poetry books and how did you overcome them? From where do you get the ideas and inspiration for writing?

The major challenge I faced when writing was the general discouragement and apathy from all near and dear corners. A “person” wants you to succeed/fail, to accomplish your goals in life. Replace the person with “people”, and you invoke a tribal lunacy and a societal force de majeure which collectively prevents you to conclude your goals. Criticism came when there was no critical base for it. Disapproval came when you never even asked for approval. The “people” judged you without any base of judgement. Reflecting back, those
days were very cliché and chimerical. Many times, I wanted to stop, the society wanted me to stop, their invisible zomboid arms pulling me back into the orthodox and traditionalist folds of the universe. A verse I read once somewhere was instrumental in overcoming the constricted and confined dimension in my life. To paraphrase the great Welsh poet and author, Dylan Thomas – “Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of the day, Rage Rage against the dying of the light”. Designing and designating a book is an intricate process. It sounds very fundamental and effortless but is seldom so. Your book conveys your concept, your substance and abstraction. The title of the book conveys your disposition, preconception, forethought, and intent. I took my intellectualizing time and chose the titles of my books from the assorted and variegated ideas that came subconsciously on reasoning and ratiocinating. The inspiration to write and publish Poetry came from none other than my Father, who proudly declared that I would never be able to compose random poems into something significant and expressive. I took up the challenge and have never looked back since. Today, am the author of 4 non-pedagogical books and several others under publication.

Book Marketing Agency in India - The Book Inspectors

Q.4 When choosing a book marketer, what factors are most important to you? Any 3 practices that according to you are a must while marketing a book.

As a first time writer/poet, you have spent almost a year perfecting the literature which you deem will propel you among the radiating stars in the “Akaash-Ganga” galaxy. There is a Shakespeare inside you, and it is wanting to be detected, to be apparent. Gradually, the galaxical bubble will rupture in some insignificant “quiet bang”, and you will understand that the literary pioneering eras have changed. Now you have about 20000 fellow human beings on any average day clawing alongside you to their intellectual moment of fame, each ready to pluck your eyes out of your socket by any means available. Once the petrifying chills are over, you select a publisher who will publish and market your literary piece of magnificence, and the survival of your work is totally dependent on the reputation, proficiency and slickness of the publishing team. As such, the factors most important are your comfort factor with the publishing team, their dedication and resourcefulness, their outreach and digital media presence, their marketing strategies and Public Relations. You have to find and walk your path with the least amount of pebbles duressing your feet. It is important for both you and your publisher to envision and foresee the short-term and long-term strategic plans. You develop this insight and crawl forward day by day, one elbow at a time. Equally important is the allocation of resources, in this case – primarily money, to sustain your writing career.

Q.5. What apart from reading and writing poetries interests you? How can your learnings from European Literature and Mandarin Poetry be seen in your work?

Apart from reading and writing, I am passionate about dietary sustenance and subsistence, Dipsomania and Biophilia. I don’t eat for abject desideratum, but rather enjoy the gastronomic enchant. My eating habits and choices are varied as such. I also keep a refined and distilled taste for everything refined and distilled. I am often surprised by the profound richness of Literature in all major continents, be it from any historical era and century, even when fine writing and reading skills were not fully developed. Humans have throughout the centuries evolved and conceptualised observations, extrapolating them in scriptures, bards and lyrics. Another thing that surprised me was the distinct styles of Poetry followed over different kingdoms and empires trans-continentally – from the way the poems & verses are rhymed, aligned, meticulously concised, often sending
sub-toned and cryptographic gists to future generations. It is like the authors of the verses had foresight and fore-ordainment, and did knew that their future generations are going to read their creation and analyse them critically. Equally astounding is how punctiliously and thoroughly the various translators of these verses and poems have put their souls and lives in the translations, selflessly to promote cultural and historical unification and integration.

Q.6 Which are the top 3 books you would highly recommend, and what’s your most favorite genre?

The three of my favourite books are:

  • The Shahnameh: The Book of Kings By Abolqasem Firdowsi.
  • 1001 Arabian Nights – Translated By Sir Richard Francis Burton.
  • All works of Edgar Allan Poe.

I would highly recommend the readers to read these books, these are masterpieces of literature from their respective eras. My favourite genres are Poetry, Magic Realism, Paranormal, Mythology and Philosophy.

Q.7 We’d like to hear from you about your latest book, “A Quatrain of Moods.” Will there be any other genre books in the future besides poetry?

My book “A Quatrain of Moods” is an observation and pronouncement of human psychology and behavior, in response to tender sentiments and discordant destiny. Each quatrain listed in the book conveys a subtle story in itself, the circumstances leading to which are often suppressed and insinuated. The interpretation of these diegeses will be based on the readers’ attitude and orientation. Different individuals will interpret these lines differently.

For some narratives, the plot directed the characters, and for others, the characters ushered in the plot. The plot and characters in conjunction complete the narrative. I am writing another volume in Poetry, titled “Dead Man’s Heart”. It is an anthology of verses symbolizing grief and heartbreak, and the lines will resonate with majority of the readers. The readers will contemplate and rewind in the memories and dreams they once nurtured. For some, it brought tremendous joys, but for some, those memories haunts them to this day and
becomes nightmare of silent nights. Progress is slow and sluggish owing to my busy schedule as a Doctor and the responsibilities that comes with it, but again, one elbow at a time. I will reach there, I emphasize on the “will”.

Shadab Ahmed Books

Q.8 How long does it take you to complete a book?

I write in complete solitude and withdrawal, and frequently people interpret my peculiar behavior as being misanthropic and reclusive. One aspect to understand here is that there is a misconception that writing or composing can be done anytime, anywhere. To write and compose, you need the writer’s temperament and frame of mind, and it is the sine qua non. It is a complex thing to describe succulently in words. For a brief period of time, your subconscious individuality and psyche get altered, and your pneuma is diffused into the
characters you are trying to develop. You blend with them, and they create the narrative which your hand pens down subliminally. For this reason, I prefer writing at odd times and at odd places. It takes almost 5-6 months of dedicated time to finish a project, before the typesetting commences. I usually write in the deadbeat hours, late at night through the early mornings, when I am undisturbed and placid. My submerged mind keeps making climacteric observations all through the commotions by the day, and the panorama of the silent night develops those implicit annotations the mind has made, extrapolating them in words. The
words combine to form sentences. The sentences get rearranged to rhyme versified. The verses together form a narrative.

Q.9 Who are your target readers and why should they read your books?

My target reader is a person who loves the “book”, irrespective of being authorial or critical. The ideal reader comes from diverse socio-economic-political background, nationality and faith. I have got warm and sultry reviews from strangers and friends alike, both nationally and internationally. In their expressed cordial words, my raison d’etre is complete.

As to why they should read my books – words have great power in them, if you know the subtle art of conveying and delivering “those” priceless memories back. Those bygone and buried memories re-surfacing for a fleeting moment, those reminiscences by the lamenting and carousing heart are little treasures in the unseen journey of life, we live for those moments.

Q.10 What do you consider your greatest strength as a writer?

Being an author/writer comes with a certain level of challenge. The challenge to write more and expressively, to stick to your dedicated cognitive deadlines. This stimulates a certain level of self-discipline in your personality. When you improve the quality of your life, your overall quality improves as well. You make an impact around your environment. When people who don’t know me on a personal level come to know that am an author of several published books, they are genuinely surprised and acknowledge the fact with a sudden warm smile. In that tiny fraction of time, I see their own dreams and desires flashing in their eyes,
resolving to be completed. Without a word exchanged, the message is conveyed. That is the beauty of human emotions.

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