Zulfikar Chamdawala – An Exclusive Interview with the Author of “Friends? Always”

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Yesterday, we did an exclusive interview with our Author Zulfikar Chamdawala, where he talked about his journey so far and shared insights about his life and interests. We asked him a few general questions and he politely answered all of the questions and won our hearts. Zulfikar has an incredible positive personality.

The interview was amazing and we learnt a lot about Zulfikar.

Through this interview, we came to learn so much about this amazing person. We hope to explore more about him in our coming interviews.

Here are the excerpts from the interview:

What motivated you to become an author?

A solitary motivation or name is not adequate to express what or who inspired me to become an author. There is a list which kept me going and landed me to the place where I am now.

A list of things that I think make me write are the things that I perceive around me, emotions that I sense at every part of the day, new people that I get a chance to meet every now and then. There are plenty of different things that I learn every day, which touch my heart and soul and I take this as an opportunity and a responsibility to make sure that I share this learning and the contentment with the society around me.

I unmistakably recall the day I inscribed my first post and started blogging, the material was raw, faulty, and poorly written. But despite that, people around me, friends, readers, and the followers, encouraged me and inspired me to write more. They facilitated me with the areas of improvement, their notions, and their learnings. After a voyage of 3 years of blogging, I felt poised for writing a book and I went for it.

The journey of being an author was not as relaxed as I had prophesied. There were numerous ups and downs, honestly speaking mostly downs. But then I had my friends by my side nevertheless I have limited and selective friends. They were there for me, supporting me and heartening me every time I was on the verge of giving up or quit writing. Their influence in this book is not less than mine.

Last but not least, the praises for the amateur novelist in me has also to be given to the rigorous reader that I have been lately. I started reading just a few years back and since then I have never stopped.

Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?

Well according to me, anyone can be a writer regardless of them feeling the emotions strongly or not.  Anyone can be a writer, just a writer. But to be a virtuous writer, you certainly need to feel the emotions and should have the knack to keep yourself in the place of the character and you as a writer need to be present in the story.

If we talk about fiction work, feelings play a significant role. Writing without emotions would be like eating without being hungry. To epitomize any character, the way you would like it to be, it’s prerequisite is to write at an emotional level. So that the story reaches the reader’s heart.

Whereas talking about the nonfiction/academic/corporate work, sentiments play a trifling role. There we would entail actualities, statistics, terminologies and good control on the language. In this scenario, the reader is not required to be touched at an emotional level. Just the facts and the language will suffice and your book would work out great.

What else do you like to do other than writing?

I have been a bibliophile in the past and I always will be. My day literally starts with a book and ends with it. It’s a convention that I can’t get rid of. Like I have cited earlier that I started to read only a few years back and since then I have cultivated this routine of reading as and when I get time.

Apart from reading, you could find me crafting, researching books, watching web series, admiring book cover, watch movies, purchasing books, cooking, sniffing books, traveling, visiting a book store.

How did you come to know about the Blue Hill Publications and how was your experience with it?

The first and foremost thing that held me back was to choose between a traditional and a self-publishing house. I was conscious that being a budding author, it was difficult for me to get through the traditional publishing but still, I tried. There would scarcely be any traditional publisher whom I might have not sent my application for publishing my book with them. After a year of exasperated waiting for an affirmative response, I recognized that it was not worth waiting for an opportunity, instead create my own.

I took help of the internet to get the list of self-publishing houses and the services they provide. After researching and talking to friends and people related to this field, I chose Blue House publications. I must confess that until now, I don’t regret my decision. They have been a great help. 

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

I don’t think I would be able to answer you a particular profession, because as a kid I was very easily influenced. So if I was in school, I would want to be a teacher. If I had visited a hospital, I thought of becoming a doctor. Scientist, astronaut, cricketer, actor and a few more fields that held my interest. As I was pretty good in academics, I had plenty of options. When I grew up, I completed a Masters in Information technology as I had a little soft corner for computers and technology.

Ever since I started to read, without a doubt I desired to be a writer and I have been working tremendously hard to triumph that.  If you ask me now, I definitely want to be a full-time author and contribute my best to this industry.

Did you come across any specific challenge in writing? What would you do differently the next time?

The writing was enjoyable actually, it was an abrupt decision that left my family, friends and even myself amazed. I used to write poems, quotes, and blogs but a novel was a huge decision.

Forget me, ask any writer- any prominent writer, everyone faces challenges while writing. And truth to be told, challenges are what makes writing fun. The day I decided to write a book, my skills were very raw, there were limited words in my vocabulary, also I required to use google for constructing complex sentences and I had to re-read every paragraph that I had written at least 10 times before moving to other.

I took my time, capitalized more time on the internet, learning, reading new words, I started to read a book from a different perception. Previously, while reading any book, I used to relish the story and skip the not-so-interesting part but now I make sure that I don’t gambol a word and try to comprehend how the writer must have alleged about a certain plot, how did he describe particular scenarios and how differently I can do it. What was going in the author’s mind while writing this?

My writing got better with time and with knowledge, boosted my confidence finishing my first book and after two months of complete perseverance and hard work, I did it.

If you are planning to be a writer or you already are one then you must be aware of the most problematic phase of publishing a book – finding an appropriate publisher. Without a second thought, I can publicize that the prevalent challenge while publishing this book was to find a suitable publisher. To write a book from scratch to end, it took me not more than 2 months but to find a perfect publisher, it took more than 2 years. Regardless of the number of challenges that I have encountered during this process, I must say, I have relished every bit of it.

What advice do you have for writers?

Any art form is actually a vent to the emotions and hence involves different genres. As the saying goes- “to each his own”, different writers perceive and display in a different manner.

But a piece of honest advice that I would like to give them is, while writing, as important is to fantasize and deport the reader to your world, so important is to stay close to the facts. As each reader tries to relate with the content a balance between the desired utopia and the real world is important.

If you think writing is your thing- passion, hobby or habit, do not stop. There will be a time when there would be no one to read your opinions, your views, your story. Never be disheartened, there will always be one person to read that with a smile and pride- Yourself. Write every day, be it pages, paragraphs, sentences or even words. It doesn’t matter, just write.

Where is your favorite place to write?

To write anything all I need is peace and my laptop. Sometimes I find that in my bedroom, our building terrace, our balcony, garden. I don’t mind writing in the middle of the road, as long as it’s serene. Usually, the best time for me to write is around night. I start when everyone dozes off and finish my desired target well before everyone is up.

Who are your favorite authors? What do you like about their work?

I have read and followed many authors, there is no favorite in specific. Every author has something or the other great about their work. Some are good in a thriller, while some in romance. So it’s difficult to name a few. 

What are you trying to achieve with it?

I have always been a fan of stories and also loved narrating them. This is one of the efforts to narrate a great story to a grander crowd.

A story is great when it is recognized by the readers, when they start living as the characters from the book, when they share the emotions from the story and when it ends, it takes away a part of them.

This book has that potential and I am sure readers will love every bit of it.

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