Omair Tarique was born on Feb.5, 1997. He is the writer and co-founder at “The Scribbled Stories”, a page which gives opportunity to writers to write small stories of every kind! Omair also wrote a book called “Stranger” which was officially released on May. 10, 2017. The book promises to be a rollercoaster ride for you all. The book is a collection of nine stories which includes romance, heart breaks, making choices and many more life changing experiences. His work on short stories is so deep and touching that whoever has gone through it once, would never miss the book!
In conversation with the author himself:
Q.When did you decide to write the book “STRANGER”?
I started working on the short stories in early 2016 with no definite plans to publish it. By October of 2016, I had around seven stories with me and I started sending out manuscripts to various publishing houses. I was turned down by five publishers, and finally I let go of this for the time being. But then, my publisher, who used to follow all my write-ups, heard about my plans and was interested in publishing me. Mohit, the editor and my very close buddy, told me that I should have a single theme for all the stories. And that is when STRANGER came into picture. I edited the stories accordingly to fit the theme of the book — ‘strangers we meet in our lives’.
Q. Tell us about your passion for writing. How did it all start?
Back in 2014, I used to admin a small page named The Lonely Tomato, and I used to write random thoughts. I got admired and I moved into longer stories (200-300 words). This, to be honest, was always for appreciation. Writing, for me, started just to fetch appreciation from people. Ironically, now, I seldom read comments on my published stories or respond to texts.
My passion for writing took a U-turn when things got haywire in life. A lot happened and that made writing my escape — my second identity.
Q.Why do you think people should read the book? What’s so different about it that sets the book apart?
I think STRANGER has a story for everyone. If you sit and read all the nine stories, I am sure at least one story will be completely about your life. There are three genres in the book — Romance, Inspiration, and Homicide. So, it’s a rollercoaster ride. And about it being different from other short stories, I think it is mainly the truth that all the genres are tied down to one theme. And this, sets apart all the stories.
Q.Who is your role model in the field of writing, someone you look upto?
I have always looked up to Lars Kepler for the thrillers they have written. They have always had an effect on me. I have often sat down, re-writing what they have written just to be able to think the way they do. They have inspired me in many ways. I say “they” because Lars Kepler is a pseudonym for the writer couple: Alexander Ahndoril and Alexandra Coelho.
Q.Tell us about your educational background, which school did you go to?
I studied in Ling Liang High School, a school in Kolkata — my city. Right now, I am pursuing literature under Calcutta University, and I am in second year.
Q.Please give us an insight into your book Stranger.
There are 9 stories in total attached to a single theme. There is romance, there is erotica, heartbreak, making choices, strangers who affect your life, how a series of events can mess other strangers, and then there is murder and conspiracy. And yes, in the end, there is betrayal of love. I believe, each story has a message to convey about the society we are living in.
Q.What are your future goals? Where do you see yourself in the coming five years?
Well, I have a lot of plans. The Scribbled Stories is on the top. We have plans for it. Apart from that, I already have a full-length novel in my mind. I am processing it, and hopefully, I will start working on it by the end of July.
Q.What all problems did you face in your journey so far and how did you tackle them?
The biggest struggle I faced was when I was writing the story Dreams. It has too many things happening. Too many layers and subtlety. Many read-between-the-lines moment. If you don’t read with your full attention, you will definitely feel lost. And eventually, lose interest in the story.
Another story that was a challenge was Peekaboo. The main character that is portrayed in the story was much of a challenge to portray. Took me quite too many edits to stand him out amidst the faces. And I do hope that I was able to.
Q.Who supported you and encouraged you the most in your journey as a writer?
Mohit. He and I started The Scribbled Stories together. But being honest, Mohit wasn’t completely on board with the idea of short stories. He wanted my debut to be a complete novel, but I wanted this, although I was very nervous. I considered dropping the plans altogether, even after signing the deal with my publisher, but I read a quote from How I Met Your Mother: “If you’re not scared, you’re not taking a chance. And if you’re not taking a chance, then what the hell are you doing?”
So, I took my chance. And it has inspired me, honestly. I am yet to receive a complete response from all the fans, but so far, I have received quite a good feedback from everyone.
Q.What piece of advice would you give to young students who have just started out in the field of writing?
Write. Write bad stories. Write terrible stories. Write bad art. But write. You don’t get to become Kafka in a day. You write. You review. You learn. You grow. But never let your writing come above you, because then, you think there is nothing to learn which is not true. There is always something to learn in the field of art. So, write. Get your feedback from those who genuinely want to offer you an advice. If you throw stuff at people for feedback, most of them will lie just to shut you up. I have been there. Remember, if not today, then tomorrow. It has to happen.
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