Faraaz Kazi made a scintillating entry into the world of writing with his excellent debut novel ‘Truly, Madly, Deeply’. A national best seller, TMD had gone into several re-prints in just one year. The recipient of the Goodreads Best Debut (Romance) at the international Goodreads Choice Awards, also being one for the YCOF National Excellence award in creative writing and the recent winner of the National Debut Youth Fiction Award for the same title, Faraaz won several hearts with this simple yet excellent debut novel.
Here we present Faraaz Kazi in an illuminating conversation with Susmita Bose.
Thank you. The last one-year has been hectic and instrumental in setting up my promotional agency, Digi Imprint Solutions. The schedule and tasks mostly have been related to the same and in between, I grabbed a few moments to work on my forthcoming writing projects. Finding the time to write is getting increasingly difficult these days.
How much life has changed after the success of the book? Do you believe that you are one of the most successful authors in India?
Not really. There’s a long way to go and the journey has just started but I hope to be there one day.
How it feels when people call you ‘Nicholas Sparks of India’?
Nicholas Sparks is someone I have grown reading as my adolescent self started realizing what love is.. May be our writing styles are similar as I ended up drawing a lot of inspiration from his books. One of my favourite authors and one figure I truly admire, Sparks has been monumental in making me a fan of romance, so it feels honored to be equated with him.
Do you think that ‘tragic love stories’ sell more?Did you have any readership in mind while framing this particular book?
No, I don’t write for the market. I write for the story I have in me, for what I want to express. May be stories that are a little sad and at the same time contemporary in nature, have good sales figures because they have a practical look at life. I mean, in reality, how many people can claim to have ended up with the person whom they loved truly, madly, deeply? Very few lucky ones, right? Hence such books or movies tend to find the perfect chord with the larger mass of readers who identify with the characters, seeing their own pain reflected through them.
As you rightly said TMD could have been your story or it could have been mine – so how much it has influence from your life? How much Rahul is Faraaz?
May be, a bit. Some teeny-weeny nagging part of Rahul Kapoor is drawn from the good old past of FaraazKazi. Most writers tend to draw heavily from their real life experiences, especially when they are writing their first major work. You can’t avoid it; it often creeps up in your writing, no matter how cautious you try to be! So the best thing is to face the character and make it your best presentable self. Overall, Truly Madly Deeply is inspired from my glorious school days and talks about several people and incidents that I would have experienced. However, at the end of the day, it’s a mix of fact and fiction meant to take the reader on a nostalgic trip of their first love.
“One either won or lost in love; there was no bridge in between and he decided he had lost, lost to himself, if not to her” – Do you think losing love means losing yourself?
Yes, love tends to make you a better human being. You end up discovering a lot about yourself alongwith the person you love over a period of time. It changes you- for the good or the bad, depending on how you take to love. If you surrender to it, trust it, then you will have difficulties but I believe, you will get over them as love’s ride is such but if you don’t trust in it, then love shows you the exit door in no time.
One eventually ends up losing oneself in the process and transforming into a more mature and wise individual.
What is ‘moving on’? Do you think anyone canever‘move on’ from love?
One can’t move on from the memories that love holds in our lives but yes, one can move on with respect to the person one loved. Time as they say, is the best healer and with appropriate care and attention to oneself, an individual can overcome heartbreak. The moral of the story is not giving up on love even when love is testing you. Love never changes, the person might.
The book has a potential plot to become a Bollywood movie. Did anyone approach you so far?
We are in talks with a couple of production houses for a big budget Bollywood blockbuster. Let’s see how it goes from here.
What is the best way to deal with success?
To accept it and not let it get to your mind and transform you into something that you weren’t before it knocked on your door.
When can we expect to see anotherFaraazKazi book in the stall? Are we going to see the next phase of Rahul?
At present, a sequel to Truly Madly Deeply is not on my mind. My next book is lying with my agent, who is buy negotiating offers from publishers and we might close down on one bid soon. At the same time, I am slowly working on my third, an intense emotional and slightly more serious plot in nature.
Not really. As I said, I write for the self-satisfaction of it and that too, only if I have trust in my abilities to pull off the story. Once the book is released, apart from undertaking the right kind of promotions, I leave it into the hands of the Almighty and the reader to decide the fate.
If you had been given a chance to re-write a love story then what would it be and why?
That’s a tough one. But I don’t think I would have rewritten any but yes, I wish I had penned down ‘The Notebook’ by Nicholas Sparks, word to word, as it is.
Any tips to the aspiring authors?
Get into writing only if you don’t have any monetary expectations from the craft. Do it for the passion, do it for yourself rather than following the ‘me-too’ trend.
Any message to the readers…
If you have read Truly Madly Deeply, I would love to hear your feedback as it helps us turn into better writers, so that I can give you an even better work in the future. Apart from that, even if you haven’t read it, I would love to hear from you- your experiences, your take on the subject. Feel free to reach me at email@example.com
And remember, love conquers all!
Thank you Faraaz! We shall meet again. Wishing you all the best for your future endeavours.