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The Next Big Thing

Thanks to Eric Shapiro,  here’s me doing THE NEXT BIG THING, an interview  that’s being passed around the world among authors. Each author who participates answers the questions below, then spurs five of his or her fellow authors to do the same, etc., etc. So here it is. Enjoy!

1. What is the working title of your next book?
It’s a novel set in 19th century England called Lascar. It was published in the UK in June 2012.

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?
One of Lascar means sailor from Eastern India. Lascars were recruited for work aboard British ships dating back to the 17th century on Merchant ships trading with Britain. They helped ferry back cargo containing tea, coffee, sugar, spices and cotton to Britain. Lascars have largely been forgotten in history. I wrote this novel to highlight the plight of Lascars and revive the story of the forgotten seamen.

3. What genre does your book fall under?
Historical fiction.

4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
Shahrukh Khan, a very popular Bollywood actor. It’s not a Bollywood story by the way. I don’t even watch Bollywood films!

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
The epic story of one man’s journey to fulfil his destiny.

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
It was published in June 2012 in paperback by Indigo Dreams Publishing in the UK.  It is now available on Kindle.  It’s also available in the US, Australia and Canada as well as Europe.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
About a year.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
There are two books that I know of that mention Lascars; Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh and Sherlock Holmes: the Lascars fate. (Kindle book.)

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I was inspired by the family history aspect of it. My paternal ancestor was a Lascar. Stories were passed down orally through generations.

10. What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
It’s an adventure story set in the 1860s in Eastern India and London. The main character is Ayan who becomes a Lascar. Work on a trading ship leaves him fearing for his life. Ayan escapes the ship  to the bitter cold streets of London, where he experiences  love, loss, prejudice and extreme injustice.

It’s over to my friends, who will be posting next Wednesday! Good luck: Jan Andersen Gail Lorimer Emdad Rahman Aukash Zahid.

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