Andaleeb Wajid is a prolific writer, and wraps up about three books a year. Now she is moving into self-publishing in a serious way in what can be called a bold move. With her work becoming more popular or as she says, “I now have a reader base” she is confident of taking a chance with self-publishing. SheThePeople.TV conducted a Facebook live discussion with her on topics such as her own creative writing sources, her journey as a writer, tips for young and aspiring authors and her upcoming work. Here are the highlights of the discussion between Andaleeb and Shaili Chopra, Founder, SheThePeople.TV
Andaleeb as a writer
She is a compulsive writer. “For me, writing is like breathing,” says Andaleeb. She writes for her own happiness, “it’s a process of self- discovery” for her. Being a prolific writer, she treats writing as a job. Considering Stephen King as her inspiration, she aspires to write as much as she wants, without any limitations.
Further talking about the pros and cons of traditional publishing and self-publishing she said, “Traditional publishing can provide you with an opportunity to create your own audience base. Now after having a considerate amount of audience I can self-publish my books. You should have a mixture of both. Don’t entirely depend upon self-publishing as it still does not have that legitimacy which traditional publishing offers.”
Writing tips for aspiring authors
Before being a writer you have to be an avid reader first, suggested Andaleeb. Young authors have to develop a love for reading, without considering it as a burden. “You have to develop a love for it and not just do it as a chore,” said Andaleeb. Further adding to this, she suggested, “learn to observe the world around you,” as observing your surrounding can give you innovative ideas later. For upcoming writers, she suggests drawing a rough sketch of what you want to do before you actually sit down to write. How the story will pan out, it’ll help you if you get stuck in between your story. “Having a routine is important, it gets your work done,” said Andaleeb. You can have a book at the end of a month (depending on the genre) if you can devote two hours daily for your writing.
Romance novels and feminist protagonists
Romance as a genre is popular amongst masses, but it is often looked down upon in the authors’ circle. But this perception doesn’t bother her too much. Talking about how romance as a genre has evolved in the due course of time and is still evolving, she highlights the fact that how today more and more romance novels carry sexually explicit content, which is readers demand. Also today, the subject of the romance novels is bit corny. The men in the romance novels are particularly problematic. Romanticising alpha men in the books show how important it is to have more and more women writers who can carve out “feminist heroes. “Looking back to these romantic novel heroes in the whole context of #metoo seems very problematic now and admiring a stalking hero is wrong.”
Need for women writers
“Women as writers are more empathetic and aware of their surroundings, which we all need right now,” said Andaleeb. Women are naturally taught to be observant. So, we should have more and more women writers on the blog, who can empathise with the content. As for writing tips for the young writers, she suggests having a note pad or ‘Google keep’, so that you can write any idea which pops up in your mind and use it later.
Andaleeb’s first book, Kite Strings was published in 2009; it took her two years to publish this book. Now her latest romance novel One Way To Love, which is a three series book, is based on the life of three Muslim sisters and each book has one sister’s story, a pretty old school romance. The chemistry between the lead characters and sizzling story are something that readers can watch out for. It’s available on Amazon at a very reasonable price; all Andaleeb fans or fans of romance novels can check it out.
Watch whole live Facebook session here:
Divya Tripathi is an intern with SheThePeople.TV