Interview with Imran Siddiq

Here is an interview with my favorite David Tennant look-alike…at least I think he is a look-alike…

I’ve been in denial from a young age that there was more to me than just working hard and following the rules. The applause I would receive as a young child, in Leicester,UK was never truly grasped by myself. Sure, i could blame the route of eduction that was forced upon me, but I never tried to rekindle it until 5 years ago. Now, every flutter of spare time is thrust into creating, drawing and writing. Not yet published, but I have a museum of tales I hope to extract and tell. My first novel, The Last Strider, though inspired by my two cats is a daring tale of reincarnation and destiny that demands. Currently in its final round of editing, and my second, Disconnect is almost complete. Details of my progression can be found on http://www.imranwrites.com, and you can follow me on Twitter: @flickimp.

1)   What genre(s) do you write? And why?

Young Adult works well for me, as I will never pretend to be an expert in hitting the mark that adults of epic novels would expect. However, in narrowing the YA area into a specific genre, I would have to break the mould and state that I am a SFFR. No, that isn’t a text version of writing ‘Suffer’, but a space-time mashing of Science-Fiction, Fantasy and Romance.

 Fantasy and Sci-Fi are the pillars of my childhood. In 1983, I say Star Wars, aged 5, and by the age of 8, I’d read The Hobbit. Suddenly, the world was not a network of roads and buildings, but an endless arena of possibility. Some would class Fantasy and Sci-Fi writers as being the chosen paths of those that aren’t very good at writing novels set in the real world. I would hesitate to agree. I prefer to step out into the unknown, because that is what dreams are made of. It is where we want and can escape to.

 The romance part of my genres is a new step of writing evolution… see question 2.

 2)   Tell us about your latest project. This is your chance to crow about being published, agented, or winning a contest.

I am mega-passionate about my first novel, The Last Strider and hope to see it happen, but equally, I have been working hard on for the last 8 weeks on a novel that sprung into my head on a long drive back from York, UK at the end of March 2011.

 Disconnect is a YA Romantic-Sci-Fi novel that will not aim to be a cliche-drive tale of happiness. Romance scares me, but I have taken this self-imposed challenge, and who knows, I may mess it up, but until then, I want to break out of my comfort-zone and have a go.

 Writing in a one chapter = male POV, next chapter = female POV, following chapter = male POV, etc, has been exciting and liberating. From the moment I started this novel, my take on a gritty romance in an off-world setting has maintained its full-throttle momentum and is full of the same plot-twists and turns that I would inject into a Fantasy or Sci-Fi novel.

 I am 2 weeks from completion and am excitedly looking forward to redrafting it.

 Disconnect’s tagline: Even in endless space, love has boundaries.

3)   Other than writing, how do you like to spend your time?

I am a work-a-holic in the National Health Service and bringing work home is part and parcel of me. When that moment comes to write, I seize it. So when I’m not, I’ll usually be drawing digital art with my Wacom Cintiq 12wx which is an amazing drawing tablet for Photoshop. And if I’m not doing that, then I might watch a little TV. Though, without question, I love spending time with my cats whether I’m busy or not. They keep me sane.

4)   Do you have any tattoo’s, if so where? If not, do you want any?

I don’t have any tattoos because I’m not a fan of needles and would need a strong dose of something-magical to calm, and knock me out. If I had to, I wouldn’t mind one of those elvish tattoos that the cast of the Fellowship of the Ring had. I adore the Lord of the Rings, and an ambiguous symbol rather than a dolphin would be uber-cool.

5)   What is the last book you read? Did you like it?

The last book I read was Florence and Giles by John Harding. A tale set in 1981 about the sinister governess who comes to look after two orphaned children. A gothic novel that chilled me and has opened my eyes to the grand possibility that I may write in first person soon (my preferred style is 3rd person).

6)   What is your advice to those who want to be authors? (I know, it’s a crummy one, but needs to be asked)

Believe in yourself and stop listening to the pretenders of knowledge. I always have to bear the criticism that I have too much time on my hands to write, or why am I not published yet because it can’t be that difficult, and that all grates me. Joining writing forums and mingling around real-live or virtual writers strengthened my belief and has made me a better writer. Don’t just think that your qualifications as a teenager are enough. Remind yourself of grammatical rules, preposition usage, thrilling dialogue, physical and emotional conflict and improving your voice with words.

Never give up on an idea until you have rinsed it of all possibility.

 I strongly recommend that you do set up a website, lavish or free, it doesn’t matter. Just as long as you use it to stage your blog, writing and random craziness, it will be your aid to becoming an online presence.

7)   Tell us one thing no one knows about you

Ooh, now this would be telling.

 Aged 7, I was on top of the world; excelling in maths and english and being mr-all-nice with the teachers. Though that was how everyone viewed me. Inside I was dogged by a desire to tell one girl, in my class, that I fancied the socks off her. Hang on, I was 7, what did I know about fancying? Movies of that time were all about action and love stories on the television were filled with doom and gloom – take Angie and Den of Eastenders.

 Christmas time, school party, in the hall, music, children dancing. There she was… sitting alone. I used the force to pluck my courage and approached her.

 “Would you like to dance?”

 My request lit up her eyes and her nod, though slow, didn’t matter because she’d already stood up. Holding her hand, I escorted her, and we danced to some cheesy 1980’s tune that must have been all the craze then. I remember my heart pounding like a flux-capacitor in overdrive. The night ended with us going our separate ways. We were 7, and it’s difficult to sneak a kiss when your parents arrive to hand you your coats.

 The next day, the playground parted like Moses and The Red Sea she approached me. Her smile lingered and in an ecstatic manner she said,

 “That was the sweetest thing anyone has ever done. I’ve always wanted a brother like you.”

 For the next eight years, I nursed that broken-heart and struggled to not think of ‘what-if’. It was made worse that we shared classes with one another all the way up until I was 16.

 Even in a classroom, love is a subject experienced, not taught.

As you can see, my darling friend is a deep soul and an amazing individual! Thanks @flickimp! Love ya! Can I please take a ride on the Tardis? 1776 America would be nice…

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12 Comments

Filed under author, character traits, characters, conflict, crazy, critiquing, editing, growing, ideas, inspiration, interview, learning, love, story, thinking process, voice, writing, writing process

12 responses to “Interview with Imran Siddiq

  1. I am in awe that Dawn took the courage to invite me in for an interview. Thank you so much 🙂

  2. And there I was thinking that I knew him well. He has been working hard on those books, in fact I remember telling him to at least one chapter done before the end of January 2009. Seems like it worked.

  3. A tragic tale of the 7 year old. Alas.

  4. Awwww, the 7 year old heartbreak! Schmew! Great interview.

  5. Great interview. I loved your seven-year-old romance. So sweet. You had me laughing out loud with the “I always wanted a brother like you.” It brought back memories of my first love/heartbreak in the 80’s, lol.

  6. There is some fear that lingers in the back of my cerebral-cortex, and that is to do with the content of The Last Strider. Some have informed me that the nature of the main characters being cats can sway opinion of the novel onto the middle-reader 8-10 bracket.

    I on the other hand will disagree. The fact that they are cats is irrelevant, because their actions could easily be cast into that of a human teenager.

    Here’s hoping hey.

    Though, how can one forget that Harry Potter was originally written for the 8-10 market, and that never harmed it from reaching adult readers.

    Keep the faith.

    Anyone else out there who is writing a YA novel with talking animals?

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