I have an additional interview today, this time with Imran Omer, author of Entangled Lives.
1) What is your author name and in what state do you live (or country if not in the US)?
My author name is the same as my real name, which is Imran Omer. I live in Homewood, a suburb of Chicago, IL.
2) What is the title of your newest book and what is the genre?
The title of my novel is Entangled Lives, published by Roundfire, UK. The genre is literary/historical (recent) fiction
3) What is the book about?
Entangled Lives depicts lives of madrassha students in Pakistan who were first recruited to fight against Russians, and then became part of the Taliban. These young men were exploited at home and then used by Taliban as a frontline of their aggression against the liberal stronghold of Afghanistan in the northern part of the country.
4) Where did you come up with the idea?
Over the years, whenever I heard about terrorists and the West’s conviction of going after them to the end of the word, I always thought about the lives they lived that led them to commit all those acts of violence. Were they the only ones who as individuals were responsible? Or did those societies have something to contribute to the outcome we have seen on the world stage? I didn’t have to go very far to see the facets of the society in general, and the politics, both domestic and international, contributing to the violence they were committing.
5) How long did it take you to write it?
It took me around three years to complete the book.
I researched extensively for Entangled Lives to present the historical events in the same way they were depicted in the media. I also wanted to keep intact the timeline of the real events and therefore there were times I had to, sort of, wrap the events of my plot around the actual events. The Taliban’s occupation of Kabul, their attacks on Mazar-e-Sharif, the death of Babrak Karmal, and the rest of the events have been depicted the way they were reported at the time in the media, and in the same order in which they took place.
6) Did you learn anything from the project?
I have learned a lot about craft. In the process of writing I researched not only the historical facts but also the ways to write my story in the best possible manner.
7) Do you have an author website and/or blog?
Yes, my sites are:
8) Do you have any success tips to pass on to fellow authors? How about any great editors/cover artists?
Be authentic. Write what you know about, and if you don’t know about what you are writing then research, research, research.
My publisher did all the editing and the cover.
9) What genres do you like to read? Are you open to reading new authors and reviewing their work?
I prefer to read literary and historical fiction. Yes, I am willing to review new authors.
10) What is your favorite book of all time and why?
It is impossible for me to ever forget Poisonwood Bible.
J.M Coetzee, Margaret Atwood, and Barabra Kingsolver are my favorites. They are the masters of depicting the depth of human emotions.
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