Today, we are honoured to have an interview with author Hassan Siddiqui. Hassan is a wonderful person, who regularly posts uplifting messages on social media, and has recently published Twenty Bright Paths: Stories of Growth and Learning.
Over the last year or so, I have got to know Hassan through the online writing community. Recently, he kindly agreed to an interview following the release of his book.
Where do you come from and how did this place influence your writings?
I live in Pakistan and this is the country where I was born. I don’t know how this place influenced my writing. Personally, I think places don’t influence my writing, but imagination does, especially when I write fiction.
I believe if we can imagine something we can write about it, so to me, it doesn’t matter where I live as long as I can keep my mind wandering, observing and imagining.
This blogger: Fair enough. I think you have made a really good point about imagination being more important than places. I like it a lot.
What was the spark that made you write your debut book, Twenty Bright Paths: Stories of Growth and Learning?
I believe the spark behind my book is my fascination and love for writing stories that inspire and enlighten ourselves. Also, I think my vision was a great spark for this book. I envision a kind world where we all understand each other’s importance, feel worthy and valuable, and see ourselves as a beautiful part of humanity.
My book is a collection of fictional stories and all of them represent ideas that can help us to move towards the world I imagine.
What genre is the book in and who is the target audience?
The genre is inspirational fiction, and the target audience is young people between the ages of 18 to 30.
However, I believe people older than 30 can also read this book as it will help them reflect on their own journeys.
Why do you think readers will enjoy your book?
Firstly, I think people will enjoy this book because its stories enlighten the mind and the heart, and give us all a sense of hope.
Secondly, the type of fiction in it allows readers to see and find themselves. I believe this fascinates us and makes us feel delighted.
And, finally, the situations that different characters represent in the book remind us about our own lives, and that’s the thing I think that makes this book very engaging.
This blogger: Those are three very good reasons for why people will enjoy your book, for sure!
What two things would you like readers to take away from Twenty Bright Paths: Stories of Growth and Learning?
This is a great question. First of all, I want readers to learn that different situations in life require different and unique strategies to deal with them. There’s no one or ultimate formula for dealing with challenges and problems.
Moreover, I think encouraging and strengthening each other with things that matter is what I would like my readers to take away from my book.
If you could go back in time and speak with your younger self, what advice would you give him about the writing process?
I remember that I started writing my first book when I was 17 years old, but I gave up after a month because I thought I am unable to do it and it’s a very lengthy process. The topic of that book was the positive use of the internet for young people.
If I could go back in time, I would tell myself to finish what I started because I think completion is an important thing in writing. I believe if we can complete something, we can polish it and make it better than it was before. So yeah, that’s what I would tell my younger self.
This blogger: You are absolutely right and that’s really good advice.
What is your writing kryptonite?
My writing kryptonite is that, sometimes, I think about writing rather than sitting down and actually writing. I believe I should immediately start writing when I think about it.
What, in your opinion, is the hardest part of the writing process?
Ah, this is a tough question. For me, the hardest part I think is editing. As I write flash fiction stories and there is a one thousand word limit in it. I am not good at finding which part of the story should be cut or changed after completion. I also don’t count words when I write, I count them only after ending the work.
How has writing changed you as a person?
To be honest, it has changed my perspective of the world and the way I interact with people. Writing taught me the power and effect of written words and how they impact and influence our lives. And writing made me a more compassionate, heartfelt person than I was before.
It helped me understand how we can heal each other, just with words. I am truly grateful for my ability to write and I love it.
This blogger: That is wonderful to hear. Please God, you will use your gift to heal many (more) people in the years to come.
Are you writing another book at present? If so, could you tell us a bit about it please?
No, I am not writing a new book at present. But I have some ideas and I will definitely write another book soon. I don’t think I can reveal well in advance, but something new will definitely come for sure.
This blogger: We look forward to your next book when you are ready to share it with us. Whenever that may be.
Outside of writing, what do you like to do?
I love to spend time alone with myself, as it helps me observe and think about many important things. At night, I like to go on a walk as it refreshes my mind and gives me the opportunity to observe things. Plus, it generates different ideas in my mind.
In addition, I spend time talking with some of my closest friends. Sometimes I cook too. And, yes, I feel really nice when I visit a library and find myself surrounded by books.
Lastly, is there anything else you’d like to say that you haven’t already in this interview?
Yes, of course. I would like to say we all should accept ourselves for who we are, and accept the people who are different from us. We must understand that we all are unique in our own way and none of us is superior or inferior to one another.
Furthermore, I believe we should work hard to understand ourselves and know about ourselves before we try to understand others. When we know who we are, it becomes easier and much simpler for us to live our lives.
Lastly, I would like to say is that I think each and every one of us should find the work that makes us feel alive, so that we can do it and feel the joy that comes from working on something that gives us peace.
End of Interview
Alas, that brings our interview with author Hassan Siddiqui to a close. I would like to thank Hassan for his time, and to say that it has been delightful getting to know him. I wish him all the best in his future endeavours and writings.
You can purchase Hassan’s book, Twenty Bright Paths: Stories of Growth and Learning, on Amazon. If you are looking inspirational fiction with short stories that will brighten your day and give you new perspectives, then check out Hassan’s book NOW!
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