The last week was eventful in many regards. I had to prepare for a presentation which was scheduled on Thursday. The notification was provided to me a day back and so I needed to dig deep in the limited time I was granted. Regardless of that, the presentation went well and I was relieved. Along with that a few other commitments sprang up from nowhere, leaving my hands tied till Saturday. As I sit down to write this post, I am not breathing out in relief. I have back to back duties this week and the moments that I receive in between them are the moments that I write. I was apprehensive whether I would be able to come up with the Sunday column of Author Talk this week, but yet, here I am with another refreshing session.
Today, unlike the past two weeks, we have an author interview planned. The author who is joining us today is a person who released his debut work of fiction, a thriller, last year in December. He is a good friend of mine. As this column is aimed at peeping inside an author’s life related to writing, we will have a purely writing oriented interview.
Before any further delay, I would like to invite, Sulaiman Sait, the author of the much talked about book, ‘The Blind Trial’ , published by Story Mirror, to discuss with us his writing process and his love for books.
- Tell us something about your writing process.
Sulaiman Sait: My writing process is slow. I work all possible ways in which I can build a proper and perfect story, before I get into my process of writing.
With Blind Trial, I had to write a few dozen story synopsis before going ahead and starting my chapters. The chapters that I wrote on daily basis were based on synopsis I split into different sections. Despite proper planning, I had to again re write a few chapters to ensure I left no loop holes in my story plot.
I also believe, being calm, patient and focused is the best way to ensure one can transform energy and life to the characters defined in the book.
- How did the idea for ‘The Blind Trial’ begin to germinate in your mind?
Sulaiman Sait: I initially started with an un-named story, and while I was in the final year. During my internship at the hospital, I happened to work on a study titled “Single Blinded Study to study the safety and efficacy of Carbepenems among patients with primary infections following post operative care”
I learnt a whole lot of things about clinical research as I faced challenges while I successfully completed the study I had designed.
At that moment my two arms were writing and clinical research. I decided to use the most challenging thing about clinical research “Blinding” as a topic and progress with my story and build a plot around it. The amalgamation of my desire for writing and research was when the Blind Trial was born.
- A brief note on the characters in the book.
Sulaiman Sait: The protagonist of my story is Dr. Nitin, in short a simple representation of what I had been during my internship at the hospital. The way I used to move along with fellow health care professionals, and patients. The way I always liked getting to the bottom of every clinical case I came across.
Dr. Neha is a character who could be a perfect match for Dr. Nitin.
Dr. Aditi is a character which I brought into my story based on the character of Dr. Susan Lewis from the television series ER. Where the character was played by Sherry Stringfield.
- Any writing tips you would want to share with the readers?
(i) I’d go with the saying “A writer is never on a break, He’s either writing or planning what to write next…” Its always better for a writer to be in a good frame of mind and have a constant thought on his writing process. That will keep him/her motivated to write more.
(ii)Practice is the only easy way to gain perfection. No one can become a good writer over night. Its years of practice and understanding that will make you a better writer.
(iii) When you are not writing/ held up with a writer’s block. The only solution is to read, read and read… I’m sure it would definitely motivate you to lift your pen soon.
(iv) Do listen to your critics and learn to improvise their comments in your writing. That’s the best way you can become better at what you are doing.
- What did you learn about writing or publishing in your journey as a writer?
Sulaiman Sait: During my journey as a writer I learnt one thing, that is – talent always gets rewarded. A good writer with a genuine story would definitely find a way to get his story reach the masses.
I also learnt that, maintaining a good relationship with fellow authors, writers and bloggers would always be beneficial on a long run; for, they are gonna be the initial ones to hold your book.
6. Would you like to share with us your writing journey since childhood?
Sulaiman Sait : My writing journey dates back to have started a decade back. I was in class 8 while my Mom was doing her M.A English Literature. She used to work at a school as well during the day. Back home in the evening, she used to be tired and I decided to step up my responsibility and help her by reading a few chapters. That’s when I developed interest in literature and witting. I learnt the intricate things about English language and grew strong with my basics. I started writing poems in class 9 and have had my poems featured across leading news papers in the city.
I was back to focusing on my studies from class X. The passion didn’t die then.
Once I joined college, I had a chance to give some time for writing. I started my blog in Feb 2011 and I’ve never turned back since then. Having met fellow bloggers with similar passions, I found wings to see myself being able to take off in amidst the field of writers
- Your take on the present publishing/ literature scenario.
Sulaiman Sait: Publication today has become an easy process, with publication houses taking care of all the activities from proof reading, editing, to cover design and marketing. All you got to do as an author is write a proper story and approach the right publication house. It is indeed a time taking process, but definitely worth the wait. Self publishing is another option for many upcoming writers. I would aid them in building their confidence as a writer and build global readership.
- About your favourite book/ writer.
Sulaiman Sait : My favourite book is “The Consequences of Love” by an author who is my namesake – Sulaiman (Addonia). His story revolves around the streets of Jeddah where it is haram (Prohibited) for a guy and a girl to even look at each other. One find day a girl with pink shoes drops a chit on the foot of a guy and proposes him. Their love story builds there on. What happens next, well, you got to read that wonderful story to know more.
- Your favourite genre and about the books (list of five/ten likewise) you have loved reading on the same.
Sulaiman Sait: I enjoy books of various genres.
Off late, I have enjoyed reading Thrillers (Medical) by Robin Cook.
His books, Coma, Host, Year of the Inter, Chromosome 6, Death Benefit, Nano and Seizure have been my all time best reads.
I enjoyed Death Benefit and Nano to such an extent that I had dreams of the character – Pia Grazdani (the protagonist) from the books.
I also enjoy reading poetry (my first love), romance, fiction and adventure.
- Why do you write?
Sulaiman Sait: Why do I write? In fact I question this to myself every time I site to write and I get my answer once I finish writing. It’s the inner peace and sense of fulfillment I see when I have created a document. I see a way in which I can translate my anger, my excitement, my love of anything and everything.
- The things you depend on for inspiration.
Sulaiman Sait: The nature has never failed to inspire me at any instance. But, I definitely look to follow people who have been an inspiration to me. There are many whom I’ve looked upon over the years. My mom is one amongst them. She’s a wonderful poet and a writer herself. My inspiration amongst writers has been Gulzaar Sahab, Vikram Seth, RK Narayan, and my beloved Ruskin Bond (whose books I was busy reading instead of my class X books before my board exams)
I have a group of fellow authors and bloggers who have been an inspiration to me over the years. A couple of names to mention include Saru Singhal (ma’am), and Ganga Bharani (ma’am). They have not only inspired me, but stood by my side over the years.
- Any particular writing habits.
Sulaiman Sait: I have a peculiar habit of carrying a diary/ notepad with me everywhere I go. It helps me transform what I see into words, which I use on my social media platforms. Sometimes, these small things I have noticed have helped me write short stories and poems on my blogs.
Also in another way. This has helped me overcome my writer’s block as well
- 2016 reading round up – Books you loved reading in 2016.
Sulaiman Sait: 2016 was a poor year for my reading. I did definitely buy more books than any other year but failed to read most of them.
I’m sure to not have read more than 9-10 books, for I had been busy with my research work, my book publication and lastly, having bagged a job as a full time researcher has made things tight on my daily schedule.
Nonetheless, I’m still the same avid arm chair reader, who’d enjoy my Sunday evening tea with a book in hand.
Talking about the books I’ve enjoyed reading in 2016, It has to be – The best seller she wrote – Ravi Subramaniam.
- How was the publishing journey of your debut novel like? Your experience on the same?
Sulaiman Sait: My publishing journey for my debut novel was a wonderful experience. I enjoyed the nervousness after having submitted my manuscript. I was overjoyed upon receiving my contract. I learnt to develop patience, waiting for the launch date. I enjoyed interacting with the creative team who worked behind the scenes on my book. I went to the extreme of being over excited that I forgot how to start my speech at the book launch. All I gained overall, was good support and love from people from different back grounds, who trusted upon my work and decided to invest in my book. Now I see the fruits of my hard work and patience with good reviews coming up for my book.
- Anything else related to wiritng you would want to tell us about.
Sulaiman Sait: Writing is a wonderful feeling; you are the master of the world you create. You dictate the terms which you want your readers to enjoy. The fun, pleasure and excitement one gets in writing and seeing his/her name in print is second to nothing that can be matched on this planet. One thing I’d also wanna say about writing. Be original, be creative, your work will stand alone only when your ‘X’ factor from your writing style reflects in your work.
Blurb of ‘The Blind Trial’:
Dr. Nitin from Mumbai makes his way to Live Well Medical College and Research Institute (LWMCRI) at Ooty for his course in clinical and experimental medicine where he is joined by Dr. Neha and Dr Aditi. Just as Dr. Nitin takes up his responsibilities, he encounters a case of unexplained cardiac death and comes across a series of such cases making him suspicious about some reprehensible act happening around there. Building a theme around the same for his research work he decides to investigate the reason behind these deaths and soon finds himself dragged to the centre of this mayhem happening in the name of a Blinded Clinical Trial Study. While he tries to investigate further he is forced to encounter countless challenges that continuously keep pulling him down. Does he succumbs to these challenges or becomes a victim of the master plan? Does he get a way to expose the reality? Will justice be legally served? – Read “The Blind Trial” for more.
Buy the book from Amazon – Amazon
Know more about the author’s books – Goodreads Page
Read the author’s works here at his blog – Blog
That brings us to the end of this week’s Sunday column of Author Talk. Next week, we shall meet again with a guest post written by an author with mulifarious interests. Until then, have a good week ahead!