Your Ad Spot

Interview with Ejaz Ahamed

He is deeply passionate about writing. He specifically enjoys writing about human emotions, social injustice, and the ways of the world. He's a very friendly but shy, introverted person who enjoys spending most of his time with animals, especially dogs. His biggest recent project has been writing Dancers in The Dark, and he is currently working on a new novel.

Q.1 Tell us something about yourself that not many people know?
I am an avid gamer, and I love games, movies, anime, and anything produced in Japan.

Q.2 When should we expect your next book? What will it be about?
The next book is already in the works. It will be similar to Dancers in The Dark, with characters' lives intertwining at pivotal moments and fate playing its part. It will differ from my first book because it will not be set in India but in the Middle East, and the central theme will explore the sense of belonging.

Q.3 When did you decide to write Dancers in the Dark?
I decided to write Dancers in The Dark many years ago when I really wanted to explore the detrimental effects of societal pressure placed on achieving fair skin in Asian and Southeast Asian cultures. I found that there wasn't a lot of media discussing this overlooked issue, even though it plays such a huge role in everyday life.

Q.4 What draws you to this particular genre or style, and how do you put your unique spin on it?
Being a person of color, I have often felt a lot of the setbacks and discrimination on my own skin that the main characters in my book have had to battle. Although the characters are fictional, their stories and emotional journeys are completely authentic. 

I wanted to convey the extreme pressure one can feel growing up in a society that places so much importance on being fair - whether it is deliberate or not. A society where it is so ingrained that the fairer your skin, the better the job, marriage, and life prospects one can attain. I drew from my own life experience and from people around me and tried to empathize as much as I could to authentically capture their emotions.

Q.5 In today's fast-paced world, how do you think literature can continue to engage and impact readers effectively?
In today's world, where one's attention span is constantly dwindling, it is important for stories to hook you in straight away and not to indulge in verbose language. A little bit is okay, just enough to set the scene, sights, and smells.

Q.6 Which character(s) in this book spoke to you the most and why?
A. Kalki
, the main protagonist, definitely. She is me. She is you. She is like every other person in this world who has gone through heartaches and has been ridiculed because she didn't fit into the mold created by society.

Q.7 What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing this book?
I learned that I don't have to follow any rules and I can create my own voice and style.

Q.8 What challenges did you face while writing this book, and how did you overcome them?
My inner voice was a detriment, which kept saying that I was not good enough and nobody would like my work. Overcoming that hurdle was an immense challenge, and learning to ignore it’s criticisms was definitely the hardest. Basically, overcoming oneself.

Q.9 Beyond writing, are there any other creative pursuits or interests that you’re passionate about?
I am interested in the social welfare of animals, especially dogs and cats.

Q.10 What is the best piece of advice anyone has ever given you?
A. Lady Gaga
when she sings the chorus in the song Born This Way:

I'm beautiful in my way 'cause God makes no mistakes,
I'm on the right track, baby; I was born this way.
Don't hide yourself in regret, just love yourself, and you're set,
I'm on the right track, baby; I was born this way.

Q.11 Who would you most like to thank for their involvement in your writing career?
A. My mother
for always believing in me, a few select friends and relatives who kept pushing me to write, and my pet pooch for always being beside me as I wrote this book.

Q.12 How do you select the names of your characters?
I conceptualize the characters in my mind, and I call out to them with different names, and I stick to the one they respond to and that which suits their personality type.

Q.13 Tell us about your writing process while you’re working?
There is a lot of rewriting involved because I am very hard on myself. I keep going back again and again till every word and feeling is correctly captured in that sentence. I wish I could just write and think about editing later, but thoughts gnaw my mind, and I am compelled to go back and rewrite till I get it right.

Q.14 Do you have any unique and quirky writing habits?
I tell my pet pooch, Cookie, about the ideas I want to write about, and if she blinks, the idea is good. If she doesn’t, I scrap it. Between you and me, she prefers to snooze.

Q.15 How do your family/friends feel about your book or writing venture in general?
Most of my friends and relatives were supportive, but like every other social circle, there was always a bit of dissent, which I learned to just ignore and keep going.

Q.16 Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with good and bad ones?
Yes, I do read them all, both good and bad. If it's a good one, I am over the moon. As for the bad ones, I actively take in the criticisms and think of ways to remedy them. After all, once your work is out there, one has to be ready to take the good with the bad. Not everybody is going to like your work. That reminds me of a quote I read somewhere - if you don't want to be criticized, don't do or produce anything, and that's just not me.

Q.17 Who designed your book covers? How do you select him/her?
I designed the book cover. I wanted to portray the pain of Kalki as directly as possible. So, I sketched her face, her color, and her stare, which burrows deep into one's mind, and hopefully, it stays with the reader as she guides them through her story. It was important for me that the readers were able to put an immediate face to her name. I asked someone online to digitally draw it, but the idea and concepts were all mine.

Q.18 Are there any authors or books that have had a significant influence on your writing style or the themes you explore in your work?
The works of Arundathi Roy, Khaled Hosseini, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Tolkien were my biggest influences. I always aspired to write a story like them. Other than authors, Beyonce's song Brown Skin Girl was my constant influence for this book. The song was on repeat as I wrote the book to amplify the pain, the struggle, and the hurdles people of color or people who are different face just to be accepted in today's society.

Q.19 What role do you believe literature plays in society, and what do you hope readers take away from your work?
Literature will be and was always been a cornerstone in human civilization. Ideas, hopes, desires, dreams, passion, and life itself spring from books. I cannot imagine a world with no books. I sincerely hope that my work is currently influencing someone to do their best in life and also for people to see the world through kinder eyes.

Q.20 Share the experience of your journey so far?
The journey has been a difficult one with ups and downs. Happiness, laughter, sadness, and tears. It wasn’t easy, but now that my book is out there for everyone to read it, I feel like I have contributed something to this world, even though it's a small piece. It will always be my piece, and no one can take that away from me.

Share your social account links -
Facebook -
Instagram -

No comments:

Post a Comment