Tuesday, 23 December 2014

In Conversation with Jaideep Khanduja.

She is not a writer by profession but writing to her is more like a passion. Being a writer has always been a dream; in fact, it's a passion that resides deep inside her heart and soul. Having written in many fan fiction forums; her interest grew and her writing skills improved. She has finished working on her first book, Undying Affinity. Insha Allah, the book is published recently and is available on Amazon.com. She earnestly hopes people appreciate her writing; an asset, she most deeply covets.

Welcome Sara.
Your real name and pen name?
My real and pen name is Sara Naveed. 

Please share some of the best memories of your childhood
The first 12 years of my childhood have been spent in Sharjah, U.A.E. After I turned 12, my family moved to Pakistan because my father wanted to establish business here. Childhood has been well spent, I must say that. Childhood is a phase of your life when you are completely unaware of major issues pertaining to life. You live a carefree life when all you to have to worry about chocolates, toys, watching movies and attending birthday parties. 

About your education
After completing my matriculation degree, I opted for pre-medical. I must admit during that time, I paid less attention toward being a doctor and hence scored less in the final examination. My interest diverted and I stumbled into the business line. I did Bachelors in Commerce followed by Masters in Banking and Finance. Education is something that has no end. I intend to take MPhil and then go for PhD.

What career did you plan during your education days
I had originally planned to become a doctor but I guess fate had some other plans for me. 

What languages you can speak and write?
I can speak and write English and Urdu quite easily. Hey, I can speak Hindi too. (Winks)

What is your biggest source of inspiration in life
My biggest source of inspiration comes from the fear of losing. Failure scares the hell out of me. If I want to achieve something then I'd go for it; no matter how hard it is. 

What hurts you most in this world
Family separations and heartbreak hurt the most, I guess. 

What is the biggest challenge you have faced? How did you overcome it?
My biggest challenge was to go out of the city to complete my Masters degree and stay away from my family in a girls hostel. I guess at that time I found it really challenging for myself and I'm glad I made that decision. Living alone and far away from family taught me to live an independent life. I felt myself more confident than before. 

What is your favorite genre and why?
My favorite genre is Romance because I've been grown up watching Bollywood romantic movies (Laughs). Jokes apart, romance is the only genre that intrigues me and that is why I've decided to write romantic novels whenever I intend to write because I feel I am good at it. 

When did you start writing? What is the purpose of your writing?
I've been writing fan fictions since my teenage years in various celebrity fan clubs and forums. From there my interest grew for writing . There were a couple of readers who enjoyed reading my fan fictions back then. I still remember my friend once told me to write a story and become a published author but I never took her advice seriously. I am amazed how I finally took the initiative and started writing. The purpose of writing is to express your innermost ideas and desires and share it with the audience. Writing gives me peace and another reason to live. 

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

My first fiction book – Undying Affinity has just been released. Here is the synopsis;

Twenty two year old, Zarish Munawwar, has everything she could ever ask for in life; an elite family, a high profile status, a bunch of good friends and a childhood friend. Being childish, stubborn, imperious, extravagant and a bit impulsive at making important decisions pertaining to her life is what perfectly describes her personality. She takes life easily and can get anything she desires. To her, life is a bed of roses.

It is only when she meets, Ahmar Muraad her mentor and finance professor at university, her perspective of life completely changes. He looks quite young for his age as every girl at the university thinks he is attractive, seductive, intellectual and rather intimidating. This charming man is every girl’s fantasy and she also finds it hard to resist him.  But is he fascinated by her?

Little did she know how one little interaction could bring about so many twists and turns in her life.

Do not miss this romantic tragedy as it will encapsulate you totally and will stay in your heart forever.

What are your forthcoming writings?
I have my first book which has recently come out. Then I am working on another book which is also an intense romantic tragedy. 

What keeps you motivating towards writing?
When I come across a good book, I always think why this idea did not occur in my mind. Why I couldn't write such a terrific story? So yeah, I guess every well written book with engrossing story is the only factor that motivates me toward writing. 

If Writing a Book is taken as a project, What are the key essentials you take care of in Project Management?
I did not follow any rules and regulations while penning down my first book. It just came out naturally. 

How do you plan, schedule and monitor your writing commitments?
I always plan to write on daily basis. If I do not write daily, then I lose the temperament and eventually the story or any particular scene that I'd imagined, skips out of my mind. So whenever an idea strikes my mind, I plan to write it down as soon as possible. 

What is generally your preference in reading – a paper book or ebook? And why?
I will always prefer a paperback to an e-book. I believe when you're reading via an e-book, the impact of reading is lost somewhere. The feel you get when reading through a paperback is incomparable. I love reading paperbacks because I love the smell of the books. The idea of turning pages and then listen to the sound of turning a page drives me crazy. 

How much real life goes into a fiction writing?
I believe fiction is interlinked with non-fiction. The only difference between the two is that the former has to make sense. Writers write what they've experienced or seen in their real life. Therefore, real life experiences is what creates fiction. 

Is high level of imagination important to have for an Author?
Yes. Absolutely. A writer is not a writer if he/she is not imaginative at all. Fiction is a pool of imaginations. You cannot write unless you imagine or draw a picture in your mind. 

Your dream destination on Earth?
I'd like to go on a world tour and visit all the exotic locales. 

Your zodiac/ sunsign?

Your favorite color and why?
My favorite color is white because it indicates peace and tranquility. 

What is the last book you finished reading? What is the current book you are reading?
The last book I finished reading was Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. Pride and the Prejudice by Jane Austen is the one I am reading nowadays. It's a cult classic. 

Your favorite book and why?
I don't have one. It's a never ending list. I fall in love with every good book I read. So, the favorite keeps changing. 
Your favorite movie and why?
Again, it is a never ending list. 

Your favorite celebrity and why?
Fawad Khan because he is the protagonist of my book. The main character of my book is highly inspired by his personality. 

Your favorite food?
Chicken Biryaani made by my mother. 

Your favorite sports?

What is the force that drives you?
The passion of becoming a successful person one day. 

What comes to your mind when you think of India?
Beautiful historical places and fortes based in India. Taj Mahal for instance. I love India and I cannot wait to explore it one day. 

Some quickies: 
Sun or Moon- Moon
Laughter or Smile- Smile
Morning or Evening- Morning
Coffee or Tea- Tea
Mountain or Sea- Sea
Long Drive or Short Drive- Long Drive
Silence or Conversation- Conversation
Water or Fire- Water
Air or Earth- Air
Mars or Jupiter- Mars
Tulip or Rose- Rose
Red or Blue- Red
Left or Right- Right
Glance or Stare- Stare
Fame or Money- Money
Boy or Girl- Girl
Day or Night- Day
Tree or Plant- Tree
Love or Passion- Love
What three words come to your mind for each – 
Technology- Necessity, intelligence, Next Generation
Life- Unpredictable, blessing, dream
God- Generous, Merciful, Beneficent
Humanity- Kind, helpful, supportive
Terrorism- brutal, inhumane, terror
Racism- injustice, cruelty, discrimination
Childhood Abuse- cruelty, injustice, discrimination
Love- blessing, best feeling, life
Parenting- blessing, love, life
Old age- inevitable, unavoidable, mercy

First thing you do in the morning after waking up?
I drink a glass of water. 

Last thing to do before sleep?
Pray to Allah. 

If one fine morning you wake up and find your sex changed to opposite, what will be your first reaction?
I would plead God to change my sex as soon as possible because I am blessed to be a woman. 

State your signature line/ tagline/ best quote
Love me for a reason and let the reason to be love. 

The title of your autobiography would be…
Pakistani Fiction Writer 

Links & other relevant details:

Official Website: www.saranaveed.com
Twitter handle: @SaraNaveed

Monday, 22 December 2014

My latest Interview at Pakreaders

Sara Naveed is a talented Pakistani writer, Author of the book “Undying Affinity” a love story of a girl “Zarish” belongs to a very rich family. It is really an amazing book covering the chemistry of rich people’s love stories. We are going to talk with Sara Naveed about it. It is a short interview with her to talk about herself and her book.

Q. First of all tell us about your educational background.
A. I have completed my MS. in Banking and Finance from UMT Lahore. Being a finance student, literature always lingered in my thoughts. I’d always wanted to do something in linguistics or literature but couldn’t pursue my education into these departments. I always wanted to be a writer; whether it was about writing fan fictions or novels, writing was embedded into my soul. That’s the reason I wanted to pursue my career in writing.

Q. What is your profession?
A. Apart from writing, I’m working as a Business Analyst and HR Manager in an American consulting group based in Lahore.

Q. Why your book character Zarish belongs to a rich family? Mostly in Urdu novels, we read that writers try to depict the stories of middle-class or poor families. So, why did you choose a rich family?
A. The decision of picking a royal family for Zarish’s character was to highlight the weakness and negative traits of the elite society. The rich is getting richer and the poor is getting poorer. That is the current scenario of the world right now. We do not realize the difference between the two classes unless we are exposed to the truth. Ahmar Muraad, the male protagonist in my book is a person who makes Zarish see the other side of the coin. To understand the difference, you need to belong to an opposite class. Ahmar explains her depth of the vicious circle of poverty in such a way that she is able to see that difference.

Q. There are lots of books about love stories in market then why not on other topics?
A. That’s true. These days, every other writer is writing romance and love stories. I did not choose to write on any other topic because I was not simply interested. I think I’m good at writing romance. You should always opt for something you think you can do justice with and think I can do justice with romance.

Q. To be honest I thought after reading short introduction of your book Undying Affinity that you got this idea of professor and student love story from “Raja Gidh” by Bano Qudsiya.
A. Really? (Laughs). Trust me, I haven’t read “Raja Gidh” by Bano Qudsiya till date and I cannot comment on something I haven’t read.

Q. Being a writer, is it really difficult to play with characters?
A. Not at all. When you fully understand the depth of a character, it becomes easy to write about him/her.

Q. Ever you feel that it is hard to manage the characters while book writing?
A. Sometimes, it does get complicated when you’re writing about multi characters but then again, understanding them deeply makes everything easy. You need to live your character to make them look genuine.

Q. Why book lovers should read your book? I mean what is unique in your book?
A. The most important element of this book is the romantic chemistry between the lead characters. That I think is the USP of this book.

Q. Which writers are your favorites?
A. Each writer is my favorite. I become a fan of every writer whose work appeals me. So my preferences keep changing with every good book that I read.

Q. Are you writing more? I mean what is next?
A. Yes. I’m working on my second novel which has a more challenging subject. It revolves around a dark yet intense romantic story.
Contact to Sara Naveed

Read the original article here: Pakreaders

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Undying Affinity is OUT. Book your copy now!

Meet Zarish Munawwar and Ahmar Muraad and come to know how their life unfolds at every step. If you want to experience a gush of romance, emotions and tragedy, then Undying Affinity is a must read for you all. 

The book is available on all the Amazon stores and Barnes&Noble. Following links will re-direct you to their respective stores:

Undying Affinity will be out in Pakistan's local bookstores in February. You can also get a SIGNED copy from me if you want to. To pre-order your signed copy, contact me on my official Facebook pages:

I'd request you all to hurry with reserving a copy because the stock is limited in Pakistan.

Thanks a lot.

Love and regards,

Sara Naveed. 

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Pre-order copy of 'Undying Affinity.'

Hey friends! Soon Undying Affinity will be out in Pakistan. Here is a chance for you to PRE-ORDER your copy. All you have to do is, INBOX me your contact details (Email, Postal Address and Contact Number) on my facebook page. (www.facebook.com/saranaveedwriter). 
I shall inform you whenever the book is available and then dispatch the copy accordingly.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

My Review on 'The Book Thief' by Markus Zusak

The Book ThiefThe Book Thief by Markus Zusak
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Book Thief is a truly captivating book. I've become dumbfounded and amazed after reading this book. I've never read a book of the historical fiction genre before and I must say, the first experience has really served good.

The narrator of this book is death. Yes, that's right. Death. The eternal truth we all fear. In this book, death narrates the story and when death tells a story, you really have to listen.
The book revolves around Liesel Meminger (the book thief), Hans Hubermann (an accordian), Rudy Steiner ( the one who likes being called as Jesse Owens) and Max Vanderburg (a fist fighter). As the book title is concerned, the story mainly revolves around Liesel.

The backdrop of this book is set around Nazi Germany in 1939. Liesel has lost her younger brother and her mother decides to move her to a foster family. Hans and Rosa Hubermann adopt Liesel as their daughter. With the help of her accordian foster father, she learns to read. Liesel picks up a book accidentally by her brother's graveside. Since then, she's been in love with words and books. Whenever she gets a chance, she picks up a book. Whether it is from the burning ashes of Nazi Germany or mayor's library.

Everything goes smooth until a Jewish fist fighter, Max Vanderburg turns up at their gate. Hans is inclined to let Max stay in their house. They hid him in the basement. That's where Liesel develops a beautiful relationship with Max but at the same time, her world turns upside down.

You get to learn a lot from this book. Particularly a couple of German words. Saumensch and Saukerl were my two most favorites. I love when Rosa utters these words. Despite of exposing hatred, she's the most loving and caring wife/mother from the inside.
The part where Liesel kisses Rudy really touched my soul. I was moved. Spell-bounded.

Markus Zusak has really written a compelling yet unique story. With every turning page, the book unfolds a new story. As a reader, I was glued to this book and couldn't help reading the entire of it within a week.

I haven't seen the movie adaption of this book yet but I've heard it's the same as the book. Nevertheless, in my opinion, the film cannot be as good as the book because the latter showcases emotions in a very descriptive way.

For me, this is a wonderful book, therefore I'm not reluctant to give it straight 5 stars.

Happy Reading!
Sara Naveed. :)

View all my reviews

Thursday, 13 November 2014

What is 'Undying Affinity' to me?

Undying AffinityUndying Affinity by Sara Naveed
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Undying Affinity is my debut book.
For me, it is not a book but more like a baby.
I started writing this book in January 2013 and completed in mid 2014. The idea of writing this book struck my mind back in Nov 2012. At that point of time, I had no serious plans of writing it down and getting it published though I always desired to write a book one day.
However, with passage of time, my mind changed and I started taking the book seriously.

The process of writing this book has been really exciting. Every time I wrote it, I experienced the emotions driven out of the characters myself. Though the story has not been inspired from any real incident, it looks completely real to me. I was in love with the characters while writing this book.

One thing that I have to mention here is that this book could not be possible without the meticulous support of my younger sister, Ayesha. She was there throughout the entire process of writing this book. When I'd finished writing a sequence or a chapter, she would read it and point out the flaws. She has helped me to improve the plot of Undying Affinity. I could not have written it alone.

After completing the first draft, I felt relieved. After continuous re-reading and re-editing, the book came into a proper shape.
Even now when I read this book, I always tend to come up with new ideas and think ways of improving the story-line but everything has a time.
If I continued making changes in the book, it would never have got completed.

The story of Undying Affinity revolves around Zarish Munawwar. At 22, she has everything in life she could ever ask for; an elite family, a high profile status, a bunch of good friends and a childhood sweetheart. Being childish, stubborn, imperious, extravagant and a bit impulsive at making important decisions pertaining to her life, is what perfectly describes her overall personality. She takes life easily and can get anything she desires. To her, life is a bed of roses. It is only when she meets, Ahmar Muraad, her mentor and finance professor at university, her perspective towards life completely changes. He looks quite young for his age as every girl at the university thinks he is attractive, seductive, intellectual and rather intimidating. This charming man is every girl’s fantasy and Zarish also finds it hard to resist him. But is he fascinated by her? Little did Zarish know how one little interaction could bring about so many twists and turns in her life. You have to read the book to know what happens next.

Today, I am proud to be the author of this book and I hope readers like it. The most important element of this book is the romantic chemistry between the lead characters. That is the USP of this book. :)

View all my reviews

Monday, 10 November 2014

Undying Affinity - Prologue


Washington, D.C., U.S.A.

It was 6 a.m. when his phone started to buzz. He was snoring on the couch next to the single bed in his daughter’s room.  
Having retired quite late, it was impossible for Ahmar to wake up and receive the call. Still groggy from his late night, he almost decided to ignore it, but the buzzing was insistent, demanding.
He checked his cell phone through squinting eyes, unsurprised to see the name of the caller. It was his father, Muraad Hussain calling long-distance from Pakistan.
There was a ten-hour time difference between Washington D.C and Lahore, so it was 4 p.m. back in Lahore, he surmised.
“Hello?” His voice was hoarse, his eyes half-shut.  
“Ahmar,” Muraad whispered over the phone.
“Dad…hey, how are you?” He pushed the duvet off as he sat up and rubbed his eyes. “You’re calling at this time? Is everything okay?”
“No son. I’m afraid not,” Muraad answered.
Ahmar creased his brows in worry.
“Zia Munawwar is no longer among us.” Muraad declared.
A long and disturbing silence ensued. Hearing Zia Munawwar’s name, a chill swept over his entire body. A blurred vision of her face came across his eyes.
“How…how did this…what happened?” Ahmar tried to gather his wits.
“Heart attack. I want you to fly to Pakistan immediately. The funeral is taking place tomorrow evening so you have enough time. There was something Mr. Zia wanted to confess to you,” Muraad told him.
Ahmar was traumatized for a minute; literally shocked. He had no doubt about what his father was talking about.
“But Dad--” Ahmar went on.
“Ahmar.” Muraad interrupted him. “Mrs. Zia is very worried because she hasn’t turned up yet.”
“What? Where is she?” Ahmar asked, surprised.
“Nobody knows. You have to come here. Zia wanted to talk to you but God did not grant him sufficient time. He has left a message for you. Son, come back and resolve everything. I think it’s time.”
Ahmar hung up without any answer. He was not sure what he was going to do. In Lahore, Muraad put down the receiver with satisfaction, unfazed by the abrupt end to the call. He knew his son would do the right thing.  
Ahmar got up from the couch and then crumpled the duvet placed on the bed with restless fingers. The sound woke the young girl lying on the same bed.
“What happened, Papa? Why were you sleeping on the couch?” she whispered.
Ahmar turned his head to glance at his 9-year-old daughter. He stroked her hair gently.
“Nothing, my love. I was tired. Just go back to sleep, okay? There’s still time before school. I’ll wake you up at 8.” He stroked her hair once more. She took a long peaceful sigh and drifted off to sleep again.
He headed to the washroom to take a hot shower.
By the time he woke up his daughter, he was fully dressed. She threw him some tantrums first and in response, he easily scooped her up into his arms and carried her to the washroom. He got her to brush her teeth and helped her in getting dressed. Though she was 9 years old, Ahmar treated her like a toddler. He made breakfast for both of them and then drove her to the school.
On his way to the University, where he worked, Ahmar called his agent to book an immediate flight and arrange a round trip ticket for him.  Then he called her sister, Samira who had been living in U.S for quite a long time. She moved right after her marriage. Ahmar had decided to drop his daughter at Samira’s place because he was not going to take her with him to Pakistan.  
 “You don’t have to go, Ahmar. You’ve already suffered a lot in the past,” Samira told him over the phone.
“I have to. I want to know what is still left for me. Zia Munawwar wanted to confess something to me,” he said.
“But he’s no more,” Samira recalled.
“Yes, but he has left a message for me.”
Samira shook her head in dissatisfaction.
“Please take care of my daughter. I’ll be back soon,” he said.