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  • Writer's pictureRaviteja

Interview With Tabassum Faheem, The Author of Oblivion

Tabassum is a writer by her profession, and she writes poems when she is not reading. She knows how to talk to people, and that’s how it feels to be a part of the conversation with her. She’s funny and she will make anyone laugh with her Hyderabadi and it’s just a great time to talk to her.

Ravi: What’s your favorite short story?

Tabassum: It’s a fun one, actually! Akbar and Birbal. Anything with Akbar and Birbal was my favorite, like the one with Khichdi, or the one with drawing a line... Those stories made me smile all my childhood, and I carry most of those lessons with me.

Ravi: The Best piece of writing advice?

Tabassum: Experience the stories before you write them. If you’re writing a story, feel it. Put some of you in the story and you will love it.

Ravi: Where do you write?

Tabassum: I write poems mostly on my Instagram. I have written some poems here and there but other than that, my biggest achievement is the book that I wrote

Ravi: Where do you get your ideas?

Tabassum: Life, generally. I just love focusing on the things that almost everyone will ignore, like some little gesture by a little girl to crouch and smell the flower, it’s beautiful and it’s inspiring.

Ravi: Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Tabassum: When I write for work? Surely! Everyone's work exhausts them. But when it does, I just read and start writing random poems.

Ravi: How long on average does it take you to write a book?

Tabassum: I wrote my first book in a week, the book I published- I wrote it in two weeks. And there is a book that I wanted to write and I wrote the first two pages, it’s been two years since and I haven’t written about it.

Ravi: If you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do?

Tabassum: I would take up literature as my graduation course. I would read as much as I could and I would read for a degree because I love reading and I believe the more I read, the better I become as a writer.

Ravi: What is your favorite childhood book?

Tabassum: Sherlock Holmes. I have loved reading his stories since I was little. Still love him

Ravi: What are your favorite literary journals?

Tabassum: I honestly do not read a lot of them. I would rather read books by themselves but if I had to pick one- The New Yorker

Ravi: What one thing would you give up to become a better writer?

Tabassum: My ADHD! I am sure I’d do so much better without it

Ravi: What was your hardest scene to write?

Tabassum: In the book that I just published- Oblivion, I had to write a scene where a mother has to pick between herself and her child. It killed me. I hated writing it but I knew I needed to.

Ravi: Do you Google yourself?

Tabassum: I never did. Not until today

Ravi: Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

Tabassum: Of course! I am a Taylor Swift fan. I have some easter eggs for the people who know me.

Ravi: Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

Tabassum: Honestly??

I take it with a grain of Salt. I cannot write something that everyone will love. So, I take it as constructive criticism.

Ravi: Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction?

Tabassum: Nope. Every book I have ever read made me fall in love with fiction even more. It makes me fall in love with the idea of writing about Love.

Ravi: What did you edit out of this book?

Tabassum: I edited so much of Tabassum which was initially in the first draft. I made it more Saba and less Tabassum

Ravi: How many hours a day do you write?

Tabassum: I can’t tell you that, but I read at least 2 hours every day. Some books but a minimum of two hours.

Ravi: How long were you a part-time writer before you became a full-time one?

Tabassum: I was a closeted writer. I used to write full-fledged novels since I was 16 and keep them but never let anyone know about it until Oblivion.

Ravi: What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

Tabassum: I write fiction so honestly, I wrote it all from the figments of my imagination. Less research and more dreaming went into it.

Ravi: What’s the best way to market your books?

Tabassum: I’d say Instagram is the best way right now. With things like Bookstagram and things, it is an amazing place to market it.

Ravi: How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

Tabassum: 3 right now!

Ravi: How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

Tabassum: I’m thinking more on the terms of “Will it work? Does this make sense?” Instead of “I just hope I get to publish it” now that I know that I can publish it, I’m trying to be refined in my work.

Ravi: What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

Tabassum: The only author friends I know are You and Raj, you guys are not from my genre so no.

Ravi: Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

Tabassum: The book is absolutely original. Maybe that’s why it didn’t sell but the book is absolutely original.

Ravi: What are the most important magazines for writers to subscribe to?

Tabassum: I honestly cannot tell you! Read anything you can get your hands on, especially if you’re into fiction. Read as much as you can.

Ravi: Tell me about your recent book to our Ravi Reads Blog Readers.

Tabassum: My book Oblivion is about a girl finding love and finding the missing pieces of her childhood. It’s heartbreaking but it also can make you smile. So, the book is also close to my heart because it talks about a girl from Hyderabad, just like me. Growing up, I didn’t read stories about girls like me from my city, so I wrote one.

To Know more about Tabassum's Oblivion check out this link.

Thanks to Tabassum for agreeing to this interview! If you know of an author who’d like to be featured in an interview (or you are an author who would like to be featured), feel free to email me at the address on my contact page.

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