Whew, summer is here in Ontario, Canada and it’s getting warm!
I have some great Spotlight Interviews to do in the coming weeks with some awesome authors. If you’re looking for something new to read, hopefully one of these authors will charm you enough to seek out a new book and read it!
The author that I have an interview for you today is from Zagham Shebaz Karim about his novel Town of Dudley Sixth.
1. Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
My name is Zagham Karim. I was born and raised in the United Kingdom, in a town near Birmingham called Dudley. At the moment I am studying my A-Levels, because I am hoping to further my education as an aeronautical/ aerospace engineer.
Writing is one of my hobbies, so I spend my free time putting my ideas on paper.
Another hobby is mechanical technology- mostly timepieces. I am amazed by the hard work watchmakers put into a single creation. But there are also other aspects of mechanical technology- such as the giant gates used by fortresses in the past with complex mechanisms.
I have a passion for reading books in the sci-fi/fantasy and post apocalyptic genres. I was inspired to write by an author called Teddy Jacobs, after reading his book Sword Bearer and contacting him and discussing an idea I had for a book. He suggested I start my own series. Another author on Google+, Theresa Jacobs helped me have it edited and published.
3. What is the genre?
The genre is scifi/fantasy with a post apocalyptic setting.
4. What draws you to this genre?
The main things that draw me to this genre is the imaginative nature of it, there are no boundaries in writing fiction. So the author has to be creative and make his own world. On the other hand, I am drawn to the scifi genre, because it is based a lot on technological advancements such as intergalactic travel. But to me, the best part is aliens. Their existence is questionable, but not too far fetched. It borders reality and fantasy.
5. How did you develop your plot and your characters?
The plot has changed over time, initially I had planned an alien city on a remote planet, attacked by four individuals with supernatural abilities. But later I decided to drop the supernatural element, in favour for a post apocalyptic setting. But the plot was heavily influenced by various short stories I had written in my childhood. Some characters were based on people I had met or how I expected aliens to behave, i.e their personalities. But they were exaggerated, to add effect. An example could be the personality of Sambol, which I based on my interests on mechanical technology, other than that he is a middle brother as I am. But he has a distant family, with friction among the characters that I based on a few families I saw in takeaways like McDonald’s.
6. What inspired your protagonist?
My protagonist is inspired by myself and a few of his traits are influenced by people in general. I sometimes put myself in his shoes and shaped his character how I expected an average person to react in such situations. Because I felt, that just like humans, aliens would also have emotions. So it was more realistic.
7. How did you get in touch with your inner villain?
Well, I do not have much of an ‘inner villain’, but there are a lot of negative aspects of life that one can relate to. Such as a distant family, or a disaster occurring and the heavy casualties as a result of a war. But towards the end, there were some aspects I had to see through the eyes of a villain. So I imagined a person mad on revenge, desperate, uncontrollable and having an ambition for annihilating the opponent.
8. What was the hardest part to write in the book?
The hardest part of writing the book was to make it different. I read a lot of books and they are written in a similar manner. Authors put in dialogue and have a faint back-story running in the background, as they tell another story through the words of the characters. They also do a lot of showing, rather than telling you what is going on. In such cases, not everyone can relate to the things occurring in the story. Also the dialogue can be a little too predictable and boring. So I chose to write a story that does not necessarily emotionally effect the reader. But is concise, with less dialogue- with a hint of mystery. It also has poems in it, written as extra description to the story. They act like a summary and add extra facts. The first poem tells the story of an apocalypse, yet people do not shy away, they live in a beautiful place in a world of death. It is meant to have a hint of irony to it. Other than that, writing my novella how I wanted to write it was also a challenge. I was trying to compress the story of 50000+ words in just under 20000. For people who do not actually enjoy reading, something different, that could perhaps interest them into reading books.
9. What was your favourite part of your book to write?
My favourite part was making Sambol and his friends meet and work together. Slowly unravelling their abilities.
10. Are you a full time or a part time writer? If part time, what do you do besides write?
I am a part time writer, in my free time I love to read other books, do some internet surfing to see any new mechanical advancements. Especially at the annual SIHH and baselworld events.
11. What are you currently reading?
Currently I am reading the ‘Zombie Botnet’ series by AL K Line and ‘Rise of The Dragons’ by Morgan Rice.
12. Who would you say are your favourite authors?
My favourite authors are Lazlo Ferran, Chrissy Peebles, AL K Line, Morgan Rice, Logan Byrne,Teddy Jacobs and Robert J Crane.
13. How about your favourite books? What would be your top 5?
The Commorancy (orientation), Charlotte Tweed and the school for orphaned dragons, Race for the Cure, Consumed and Too bright the Sun in the order listed.
14. What are your future projects, if any?
The way I want to write the Sambol series, is so that each book is written differently. So my future works will be the second book as an RPG game and a second edition which will have three parts that can be read in any order.
15. What is your preferred method for readers to get in touch with you and your books?
Or visit my website
My book is available on Amazon as an ebook and hard copy, but the hard copy is being revised so might go off of Amazon for a few days.
16. Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
My advice to aspiring authors would be to definitely pursue their ambition and bring forth their creative ideas. It is a good experience and well worth the time. The beginning can be a little tough, but once you start writing you get the hang of it. You will then realise it is not that difficult to do. Especially with new publishing options such as self-publishing.
Hope you enjoy and seek out Zagham’s novel Town of Dudley Sixth!
Thank you to Zagham Karim for allowing me the chance to interview him.