Zeenat Mahal has published two ebooks with Indireads in 2013 and SLMHLMN is her third novel. The Contract was an Indireads bestseller. Her book Haveli was up to number 17 on amazon kindle and The Contract went up to number 9 on amazonIn.
Zeenat loves reading and writing romance and her favourite writers in the genre are Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Julia Quinn, Nora Roberts and Judith McNaught.
1. I've read and enjoyed romance novels for more years than I care to remember. I've read gothic, classic, historical, Regency, popular, YA and all sorts. Can't get enough of it.
2. I've been writing since I was ten.
3. My first 'aha' moment regarding romance writing, which for some reason I thought I'd never do, because let's face it, being South Asian, one is only 'supposed' to do literary writing. But then one day, I thought, you know what, enough of that. It's time to embrace popular literature, despite post-colonialism.
4. One day I hope to get my mainstream novel about Pakistan published. It's titled This House of Clay and Water and half of it made my MFA creative writing thesis. I got a distinction, and I'm very proud of it.
5. Elif Shafak was my supervisor.
6 .My latest book is called She Loves Me-He Loves Me Not and it is a South Asian take on Beauty and the Beast. It's slightly darker than my other novels but it's a HEA which is what I love about this genre. I mean chocolate and a HEA is all it takes to make many of us happy, right?
7. I'm never sure what motivates my stories. Some small thing that captures my subconscious perhaps.
8. I don't know how it happens but some characters suddenly come together and start living in my head. Some of them are quite annoying. They make me want to write them.
9. Humour is wonderful. I love Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Julia Quinn for their humour even more than for their hunky heroes. Why is it important? I guess, look to Shakespeare? A Fool in most of his plays tells us why. The principles of writing remain the same,no matter what the genre and which category the writer may fall into...master to novice.
10. I write the first draft in spurts of creativity that might last from a month to a year. Then I go back to the re-writing at least a dozen times.
11. Only when I read the MS a-z and feel that it cannot be made better do i send it to my publisher, who then makes me go back to it if she has reservations. She often does.
12. With children, it is very difficult to write in one go. So I have stopped trying to do that. If I need to write something very badly, like a new plot twist, or a re-write, I do it when they're asleep. Otherwise I do sentence here, a paragraph there. It's not easy but I love them all so much. I can't give any of them up. Neither the kids nor the reading, nor the writing.
13. I'm very lucky :)
She Loves Me-He Loves Me Not
Mainstream South Asian Contemporary
Fardeen is Zoella's best friend's oldest brother. He's gorgeous of course and Zee is convinced that one day angels will trumpet their silver bugles and Fardeen's eyes will meet hers.Then the deserts of Cholistan and Thar will burst into bloom (lillies and roses...pink ones).
She's dreamed this dream since she was ten. Sigh
!Zoella hated that she was so wholesome. People like her were the Harriets of Jane Austen worlds. Forgettable. Disposable sub-plots. So was it a surprise that she should be in the wrong fairytale with the right man?
Zoella believed in fairytales. She just happened to find herself in the wrong one.
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