Saturday, April 26, 2014

Author Interview: Natasha Ahmed: Created Pen Name To Avoid Awkward Questions of Morality And Religion

Natasha Ahmed is a pen name. In real life, Natasha is a graphic designer, a businesswoman and occasionally writes art and book reviews for publications within Pakistan. She created the pen name to avoid awkward questions of morality and religion (since her book advocates social freedom for women) from her close but extremely large family.
She works in a small office at home, not far from Sea View, Karachi. From a tiny window, she can see the Arabian Sea sparkling in the distance, and small fishing boats trawl up and down the water throughout the day. When she’s not writing books, she’s dreaming of setting sail towards the horizon and never looking back. Great adventure, she believes, starts with great daring.

Butterfly Season is her first novella, though not, she hopes, her last.
Welcome onboard Natasha!

Q. Your real name and pen name?

My pen name is Natasha Ahmed. My real name is a secret. J

Q. What career did you plan during your education days?

I started from wanting to be a scientist and inventor to journalist to artist and to graphic designer (which is where I landed up). I would have become a journalist but my father hated the idea. He only marginally accepted me as a graphic designer.

Q. What languages you can speak and write?

Urdu and English, fluent in both.

Q. What is your biggest source of inspiration in life?

My mother, but doesn’t everyone say that? I wish I had a cool story about a predestined meet up with a stranger that turned my life upside down, but alas, I settle for the universal truth.

Q. What is the biggest challenge you have faced? How did you overcome it?

Losing my self-esteem. The story is rather personal, but suffice to say, I withdrew from the world for a while. My husband helped me overcome it. He refused to let me be alone, dragged me out, forced me to overcome it.

Q. What is your favorite genre and why?

Fantasy. Because I think the greatest challenge is writing about what you don’t know. Making it so believable that you want it to be true.

Q. Which of your work has been published so far? Would you like to share a synopsis of your work?

Just Butterfly Season so far:

Giving her a quizzical look, he held the door open for her as he took in her appearance. Her silky hair was pulled back in a chignon, though a few errant strands had escaped to frame her square face. Her full lips were a deep, dark maroon, matching the skirt he could see just below her coat.
“We match.” She pushed back her coat to show him the color of her clothes, gesturing at his shirt.
He looked amused at the coincidence. “In more ways than one, honey.” She had dropped her lashes at that. Even with such clear skin, he realized that she never blushed. She did, however, have several tells triggered by embarrassment, or when she was stumped for an answer. He laughed now, enjoying her reaction.
This past week, he had spent as much time with her as his work would allow. The more he did, the more insatiable his desire for her became. He found himself leaving work early in anticipation of seeing her, and had even brushed off several long-standing engagements to take her out, including Sunday dinner with the family. He recalled Catherine’s advice about getting her out of his system, but he was beginning to wonder if one night with her would stem the fierce attraction that seemed to have him in its grip. They had already been out five times since that first meeting at Faizan’s house. Things had only just begun to heat up.
By their third date, they had found a matching equilibrium in their desire to spend time together. He was surprised at the number of things they had in common, but their disagreements were equally diverse. They fought over movies but both agreed that The Godfather was the definitive movie series. Ahad liked classic rock and metal; Rumi’s taste ran to ghazals and qawwali, but they had to admit that both Eddie Vedder and Iqbal Bano were a cut above the rest. He read non-fiction and science fiction voraciously, while she preferred fantasy, romance and mystery novels; the maestro, though, was definitely Tolkien.
Above all, they both loved cricket—it was in their blood, explained Ahad. South Asia was cursed with an undying love of the game, and no amount of reconditioning among the world of expatriates was going to take that away. Solemnly, Rumi agreed; but, she wanted to know, who did he root for when Pakistan played England?

Q. What are your future plans?

Get rich and move to Greece! But before that, I hope to write several more books and then retire on the royalties.

Q. Your dream destination on Earth?

Greece, Spain, anywhere in China or Russia (for the history, not the politics)

Q. Your origin of birth and other countries you have visited/ stayed. What best things you liked in these countries around the globe?

I was born in Nigeria. I lived in Saudi Arabia, England and Pakistan. Each country had it’s own individual charm, but I loved the fact that I travelled and met so many different, wonderful people.

Q. Your favorite time of the day?

Early morning. My husband is a night owl, so that time is all mine.

Q. Your favorite color and why?

Red, because it denotes passion.

Q. Your favorite book and why?

Too many to count. There is no one favorite.

Q. Some quickies: Sun or Moon, Laughter or Smile, Morning or Evening, Coffee or Tea, Mountain or Sea, Long Drive or Short Drive, Silence or Conversation, Water or Fire, Air or Earth, Mars or Jupiter, Moon or Sun, Tulip or Rose, Red or Blue, Left or Right, Glance or Stare

Moon. Smile. Morning. Tea. Mountain. Long Drive. Silence. Water. Jupiter. Moon. Tulip. Right. Glance.

Links:
Twitter handle: @NatashaA_Author
Goodreads author page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7560530.Natasha_Ahmed

Amazon link: Not yet up.
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