Everyone has a love story; yes, irrelevant of the time in which we are born, irrespective of the socio-economic or cultural backgrounds we come from, each one of us has a love story, one that takes us hostage and slowly begins to regulate our lives. Leaning on this thought and to discover a bit more, My Little Magazine brings to you a tete-a-tete with Faraaz Kazi, author of Truly Madly Deeply…
MLM: How did Truly Madly Deeply happen?
Faraaz: The inspiration behind the tale was my school life. I knew I had to write about them, there was so much to write, so many events to capture on paper and I had to keep out a lot of things lest the book ended up looking like the Britannica encyclopaedia the protagonist in my novel drops on his leg in the library. Honestly speaking, the book stems from a short story I had written for a national story-writing competition of a popular newspaper, seven years back. Once it won there, I knew it had potential and six years and a creative writing course later, an idea came into my head that it could be expanded into a novel. People advised me against it, saying it will lose the flavour of brevity. But I believe if your heart says so, then there’s no use delaying it. I had the plot, I just changed the surroundings a bit and did all the things that fiction writers do, to make it more appealing and more pleasurable to the reader.
MLM: Is it everyone's story or your own?
Faraaz: Like most first novels TMD has some autobiographical shades but they have been amalgamated well enough to make it difficult for the reader to segregate fact from fiction. The story deals with obsessive love at an age where the same emotion is described by prefixing a ‘puppy’ to it. As each one of us has passed through that turbulent phase, TMD automatically becomes a tale that everyone can connect with. I have had many people, even grownups who told me that the tale takes them back to their own days of fun and glory.The primary target though has been young readers as the tale involves them.
Faraaz: The most common thing I get to hear from people is that the book takes them back to their own school days when there was no fear of tomorrow, no complaints against bosses and of course just careless fun with no responsibilities. All these things kept aside the best compliment for any author is when the readers connect to their work, feel the emotions of the character as theirs and laugh and cry with the protagonist. That way, I have been blessed to see many readers connecting to TMD and telling me such was their tale too. Many readers have reviewed it on their blogs and online bookstores, praising it no end. It feels good to see that and does make you feel proud.Of course, expectations go up then and I often encounter the question now ‘What’s next?’ and ‘When do we get to read it?’
MLM: What is the worst criticism about Truly Madly Deeply that you have faced so far?
Faraaz: I respect all my readers, irrespective of the fact that they liked my work or not. Critics are good as long as criticism is healthy but criticism done to malign someone, to push them down the ladder or just to avenge a personal grudge is immature and shows the critic’s unbalanced state of mind. I have had people (read ‘writers’) who have portrayed themselves like true friends while talking to me and behind my back; they posted a common template on most online sites advising people against buying the book. Next I have seen readers from the West who have gone through the error ridden draft copy of the book (read ‘The Kindle Edition’) through Amazon, thanks to a major irresponsibility on my publisher’s part and such people came down heavy on me through Online forums and the like. Some blamed it on their age saying that they are no longer that young to connect to this work, some said the writing style is a little self-indulgent and it went on.
MLM: What’s next?
Faraaz: Haha, I still dread the writer’s block and have been at the receiving end of it but these days it’s quite the opposite with me, I have a lot to write but I am not finding the time to sit and pen it down. I am working on a college romance, quite contemporary again and a book of short-stories with a little twist of fantasy. Then again there’s a literary story of a female protagonist that I have been working on since quite a while but have stalled it for the moment as my current focus is on the other two. I don’t keep deadlines in mind, so I have no idea when I will manage to complete them.