I recently had the pleasure of reading She Loves Me, He Loves Me Not by Zeenat Mahal (see my review here.) It is a modern day re-telling of Beauty and the Beast, set in Pakistan and is an absolutely lovely book. If you're a reader of romance novels, I highly recommend you pick this one up. And today I'm pleased to welcome Zeenat to my blog and introduce her to my readers.
What books influenced you?
Everything I have ever read is an influence I think. But I cannot say that this or that book/author has any particular influence on me as far as my writing goes. Then again every time some reviewer says about my books that it is 'written in the classic style,' or 'reminded me of classics,' or 'Jane Austen,' I am thrilled to the core.
What is your writing space like?
When I have the desire to write I do it wherever I am, on any scrap of paper I have. But that is rare of course. Sometimes I try and sit on my writing table that is placed in one corner of my living room upstairs and hope to write. I have shelves of the most wonderful books facing me and inspiring me or taunting me, as the case may be. At times I will sit in my bed and edit my work repeatedly.
Do you have a writing schedule?
I wish! I'm at the mercy of my 'other' self. She is much more self assured than I am and will say NO to everything. She forgets about the world around her when she has to write. She visits...occasionally.
Which author have you recently discovered that you think we should all read?
I love Reet Singh, Shuchi Singh Kalra, Falguni Kothari, Adite Banerjie, Jazz Singh and Shobhan Bantral. These are all South Asian writers more people should know about!
If you could use only one social networking site which would it be?
Oh Twitter for sure. I love tweeting. I'm a very 140 character conversation kinda person. (Zeenat tweets as @zeemahal)
Which actors/actresses would you cast in the movie of your book?
Ooh! Interesting and challenging question! Hmm. For Fardeen, I think it has to be Fawad Khan, the heart throb of Pakistan and for Zoella, who else but Mahira Khan?
You can only watch 2 television channels for the rest of your life, which would they be?
HBO and Cartoon Network.
Zeenat Mahal is an avid reader and has been writing for as long as she can remember. She has an MPhil in English literature from Government College Lahore and is currently doing an MFA in creative writing from Kingston University, London. She won a BBC short story competition in 2001 and has been a regular contributor to newspapers. Zeenat has eclectic tastes and an insatiable desire to learn. Her romances are a heady mix of the traditional and the contemporary, old world values face the challenges of a shrinking globe that impinge upon and help shape South Asian sensibilities.
Haveli and The Contract are Zeenat’s first two published novellas. Her latest novel, She Loves Me, He Loves Me Not, has just come out and is number 2 on Amazon Asia list.
She can be contacted through: