Tag Archive > interview

Q&A with Omar Shahid Hamid

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online

Omar Shahid HamidFrom the former head of Karachi’s CID comes a bone chilling debut crime fiction about Karachi’s criminal underground, The Prisoner. This interview was conducted by email specially for Curious Book Fans.

CBF: What made you decide to write this novel?

Omar Shahid Hamid: My wife. Some years ago, I was reading a book and complaining about the way it was written, and my wife, tired by my ranting, said, “if you think you have more interesting stories to tell, why don’t you get off your ass and write a book?” and so I ended up doing so. I always thought the police department had amazing stories, that were buried beneath the surface, but no one from within the police was ever likely to tell those stories and no outsider would ever be privy into that world.

,

Continue reading

Q&A with Shaheen Ashraf-Ahmed

Buy book online

Buy book online

Shaheen Ashraf-AhmedCurious Book Fans member koshkha loved Shaheen Ashraf-Ahmed’s two short stories The Dust Beneath her Feet and A Change in the Weather and wanted to know more. She spoke with the author of these stories and her latest novel, ‘A Deconstructed Heart’ to find out more about the author’s inspiration and influences.

CBF: The Dust Beneath her Feet and A Change in the Weather are both part of the ‘Purana Qila’ series of short stories. I couldn’t see how the two stories were linked – did I miss something or will it take more stories for a pattern to become clearer?

Shaheen Ashraf-Ahmed: I wanted each story to be complete in itself, but draw upon some of the same characters. The two stories are connected by physical location: they both revolve around Purana Qila, which means old fort.

,

Continue reading

Q&A with Will Schwalbe

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online

Will SchwalbeThere’s a corny old saying ‘When life gives you lemons, make lemonade’ and equally, when life throws a terminal disease at someone you love, there’s a lot to be gained by turning the experience into a very personal and heart-felt book about the power and positivity that can be found in the last years and months of life. When Will Schwalbe’s mother drew the evil ‘joker’ in life’s pack of cards and was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer, he and his mother took solace in reading and used books to help them express feelings that were sometimes too raw to approach head on. That book is The End of Your Life Book Club – a club that none of us will want to join but from which all of us can learn a lot about the power of the human spirit. Curiousbookfans spoke to Will to find out more.

,

Continue reading

Q&A with Timeri N. Murari

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online

Timeri N. Murari, author of The Taliban Cricket ClubFew things can be more exciting than finding a great new writer and then realising that he’s not new at all and there are nearly a score of other books for you to track down and read. Timeri N. Murari is an Indian-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada, USA and UK as a journalist, novelist, film producer, playwright and stage director. He’s written for children, young adults, and adults tapping into genres across the spectrum of fiction, fantasy and non-fiction. So how come most of us have never heard of him? Read our Q&A to find out more about Murari and his latest book – The Taliban Cricket Club – then head over to the forum to find out how you can win a copy.

CBF:How did you learn about the Taliban’s interest in using cricket for propaganda purpose and could you tell us about how the seed of an idea grew into The Taliban Cricket Club?

,

Continue reading

Q&A with Charley Boorman

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online Buy book online

Charley BoormanCharley Boorman is an actor, traveller and biker. In 2004 he travelled round the world on motorbikes with best friend Ewan McGregor. He entered the most dangerous race on earth, the Dakar Rally, in 2006, and reunited with Ewan in 2007 for Long Way Down, riding through Africa. Charley then went on to travel from Ireland to Sydney in By Any Means, and from Sydney to Tokyo in Right to the Edge. Now he’s back with a brand new adventure – this time all in one country, in Extreme Frontiers: Racing Across Canada. Extreme Frontiers: Racing Across Canada From Newfoundland to the Rockies is now available on book and DVD at Amazon.

CBF: Charley, thank you very much for taking the time to talk to Curious Book Fans, we’re big fans of yours. Tell us a little bit about Extreme Frontiers – how did the idea come about and why did you choose Canada?

Charley Boorman: Ewan and I had gone through many different countries together including Canada. We travelled through the Rockies but there was a big fire so we didn’t actually get to see them due to the smoke!

,

Continue reading

Q&A with Sonia Faleiro

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online Buy book online

Sonia FaleiroWhen Indian journalist Sonia Faleiro first met Mumbai dance bar girl Leela she couldn’t have imagined that five years later their experiences would lead to the creation of a critically acclaimed account of the young dancer’s life on the wrong side of the tracks. Curiousbookfans loved her book, Beautiful Thing – Inside the Secret World of Bombay’s Dance Bars and wanted to know more about Faleiro and her book. And if you’d like to know more too, we have three copies of Beautiful Thing to give away this month – check out the Forum for more details.

CBF:It seems like the world in which you researched your book is very different from the world you grew up in. How did you make your first contact with Mumbai dance bar culture and gain the trust of people from such a very different world?

Sonia Faleiro: If you’re a reporter in India reporting on marginalized communities for the English media it’s almost certain that your social and economic background, and therefore your life experiences, will be very different from those you write about.

,

Continue reading

Q&A with Patrick Bishop

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online Buy book online

PATRICK BISHOP PHOTO IAN JONESAt Curious Book Fans we’re always impressed at how far writers will go to research a book but going to war to gather material shows an extreme devotion to both duty and the creative process. Patrick Bishop’s long career as a journalist embedded with the army gives him a unique insight into conflict and has led to his book “Follow Me Home” being hailed as the first great novel of the Afghanistan war. Curious Book Fans, not surprising, wanted to know more.

CBF: Journalism can be a dangerous profession and I can imagine a soldier has lots of useful skills for dealing with the cut and thrust of reporting. What special skills does a journalist bring to life in a war zone?

Patrick Bishop: Nowadays you have to be pretty fit to survive an embed in Afghanistan.

,

Continue reading

Q&A with Essie Fox

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online Buy book online

Essie Fox, author (The Somnambulist)Essie’s Fox novel set in Victorian London, The Somnambulist, published in May 2011, was quite a treat for fans of historical mysteries.  She started her career as an illustrator and an editorial assistant but now she is becoming a master of Victorian gothic mystery novel. Dividing her time between Windsor and London, she is working on the second novel. After reviewing The Somnambulist we were curious to know more about research and story behind Essie’s literary debut.

CBF: What attracted you to the setting of Victorian England? What do you think is most interesting about that period?

Essie Fox: Oddly enough, when I first started to write I was planning on something contemporary. But every time I began, a character or some ‘item’ from the past would crop up and intrude on the novel’s plot – a letter found under some floorboards, or an antique ornament which had some past significance. Finally, I realised that these were the parts of the story that gave me most ‘excitement’ – and as I’ve always enjoyed reading Victorian novels, whether the old classics or modern day versions, I decided to take the bull by the horns and see if I could do it too.

,

Continue reading

Q&A with Abbas Kazerooni

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online

Abbas KazerooniOne of the great pleasures of writing for Curious Book Fans is getting the opportunity to indulge your curiosity by carrying out a Q&A with the author of a book you’ve loved or admired. In the case of Abbas Kaazerooni’s book ‘On Two Feet and Wings‘ I knew within the first few pages that when I got to the end I would want to know more. It’s a fascinating and largely autobiographical account of leaving his homeland of Iran when he was just nine years old and having to make his own way in the world, first in Istanbul and later in the UK. As someone who has visited Iran and is fiercely interested in its history and culture, the placing of his story during the Iran-Iraq war meant this was always going to be right up my street. What I didn’t expect was how attached I would become to the young Abbas and how much I’d want to know about the man he has become and the lessons he hopes that people – young and older – will take from his book.

,

Continue reading

Q&A with Christie Watson

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online Buy book online

Christie Watson, interviewIn her debut novel, Tiny Sunbirds Far Away, Christie Watson writes about Nigeria, oil industry, violence. The story is of twelve year old Blessing and survival of family through challenges people face in that corner of the world. The innocence which child’s narration brings into such serious issues makes it an amazing book.
Christie Watson worked as a nurse for over ten years before joining UEA for her MA in Creative Writing, where she won the Malcolm Bradbury Bursary. We were curious to ask her few questions about her first book.

CBF: Firstly, as an introduction to this interview, can you tell us a bit about your own experience with Nigeria, particularly the Niger Delta where Tiny Sunbirds Far Away is mainly set?

Christie Watson: I first travelled to Nigeria over ten years ago after I met my Nigerian partner. I’d travelled to various other African countries before, and parts of West Africa, but nothing quite prepared me for how amazing a place Nigeria is.

,

Continue reading

Five Minutes with Oliver Burkeman

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online Buy book online

Oliver Burkeman writes for the Guardian and is best known for his column which claims that it will not change your life. He won the Foreign Press Association’s Young Journalist of the Year award, and has been shortlisted for the Orwell Prize. Oliver recently published a book Help!: How to Become Slightly Happier and Get a Bit More Done.  He doesn’t claim that he will find who moved your cheese or how to get out of the box during brainstorm. He is on his quest to make us just slightly happier with the help of a simple kitchen timer. Obviously, we were curious to know more.

CBF: You’ve obviously read a mountain of self-help books in your research for this book – can you recommend one or two you consider worth the paper they’re written on and maybe (if it’s not too unprofessional) a couple you’d advise everyone to avoid.

,

Continue reading

Q&A with Martin Pevsner

Buy book online

Buy book online Buy book online Buy book online

Martin PevsnerMartin Pevsner recently published his first novel, Divinity Road. Our reviewer praised him as “a writer to put on your watch list if this multi-dimensional tour de force is anything to go by”. koshkha was curious to learn more about stories and thoughts behind the book.
Martin lives and works in Oxford but has spent time in Cameroon, Zimbabwe and Namibia.

CBF: I chose the book because I recognised the reference to the road where part of the story is set. I’d guess that’s not why you chose it though. What was the thinking behind the name?

Martin Pevsner: I had a different name for the novel originally – Companions of the Garden – a reference to the Qur’an. An agent told me people browsing in a bookshop would presume it was a gardening book.

,

Continue reading

prev posts