Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Interview of Onaiza Khan - Author of Caged

Three weeks back we reviewed an interesting book Caged by Onaiza Khan on our blog. In current time where many young guys and girls are coming up with their self-publishing book, this 25 year old girl won the best story and got it published by competition publisher. Today we are got chance to talk to author Onaiza about her book and about her writing career. 

Welcome to our blog Onaiza. Congratulations for your debut novel. Can you tell our reader about your educational background.
I have a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management and some certificates in the French Language, Creative writing etc. I’m currently pursuing my second Master’s in Education and have plans to study a million more things. Enrolling in a new course is like a hobby for me. I’ve also completed many online courses in cultural and historical areas.

That's really surprising. You look like a girl in her teenage. Do you have any work experience?
I have a little but very rich experience in the Human Resources area and I’m usually pretty good at anything I do.
What were you like at school/college apart from studies?
I was a really naughty kid. Really really naughty.
Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors. Which author inspires you the most?
I’ve been reading a lot in the last couple years but before that I rarely ever read. There are many authors and many books that have inspired, touched and moved me, I’ll mention a few here. I love Jane Eyre for its content. It is so powerful and moving. I love Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier for the writing. It’s like flowing water, so beautiful and refreshing that you don’t want to stop reading for a split second. And Wild by Cheryl Strayed that changed my perspective of life.
So tell us, when did you start writing?
I've been writing since forever I'd say. I used to write passages, poems, and even songs sometimes whenever I felt like. In fact, I've written quite some poems. I remember when I was in the 5th grade, I had written a song and now when I look back, especially at that song, it's pretty embarrassing. I started writing stories 2 years ago. Caged is my first completed novel. I have written first chapters for several others.
That's interesting. And when did you decide to become a writer?
Two years ago. I didn't get a revelation from God or a dream or anything. I don't think anything led to this decision. I just woke up one day wanting to be a writer and wanting to share my words and thoughts with the world.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
I don't really know how to answer this as I don't see myself signing bestseller copies of my books and chatting with fans in book readings. (Although I can handle that really well) I just want to connect with people on a whole different level. I want to make people laugh and cry and forget their problems, learn life lessons through my writings.
Is this your debut work? Or have you tried your writing skill with some other work as well?
This is my first book. I've written a few short stories that I've published on Inkitt and are available for free at https://www.inkitt.com/onaiza123
What genre are your books?
Mostly supernatural. Because I don’t like limiting myself within the realms of logic. 
Can you describe your current book in few lines? What’s it about?
Caged is the story of a woman who has been kidnapped by her own husband. After 3 months in isolation things start to change and with the help of an unexpected ally, she discovers an inner strength and powers previously unknown; changing her perspective and realigning her past, present and future.
Give us an insight into your main character(s)
Noor is a strong woman. She can love even when she's in her worst state. She trusts blindly. She's innocent but she doesn't forgive those who try to hurt her beloved people. And she wouldn't hesitate in avenging herself.
Where do your ideas come from?
From a strange and unknown place called Onaiza's secret fantasy island. It's not the map.
How much research did you do for this book?
I researched only for the places I used in the book.
What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
Obsession. My obsession was the toughest thing. When I was writing this book, I lived like a jungle animal. I was so obsessed with the story, I forgot to brush my teeth sometimes. Sometimes, I'd go for a bath and forget to shampoo. Even when I woke up in the middle of the night to pee, I'd think about CAGED. So I was totally crazy. But I still loved those 8 days. I'm just glad my mother didn't throw me out.

Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book?
Nope. Not yet.
Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
I would love to see Liam Hemsworth playing Daniel and Nathaniel Buzolic as Christian.
What are you working on at the minute?
I've written a short story recently introducing a new character to the Caged series. It is available on Inkitt for free here, https://www.inkitt.com/stories/horror/83845?ref=a_7cb817d9-55be-49c2-ae25-02098021b1ac
What are your thoughts on writing a book series?
It's the coolest thing to do.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Write what you strongly feel about. Sometimes people try to write what the readers want to read. But what if you can't be good at writing what the reader wants. But you'll be great at what you want to write and what you strongly feel about. And readers are of various kinds. There will definitely be a bunch of them who will like your work for what it is. It should just come from within you. As deep down as possible.
Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?
Oh I think you've got it all covered. I just want to add that if anyone has questions for me anytime, or wants to connect with me, they're always welcome. I love to hear from readers and writers and anything human. So please feel free to say Hi or drop in a message
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