1. Before moving to the first question, We are excited to know the meaning of the name “Mehreen”
It means skilled in the Persian Language, I have been told. But I can’t vouch for the meaning’s accuracy as I am not Persian myself and have no idea about the language.
2. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
I don’t do much research. However, when I was writing my historical fiction, The Pacifist, I researched a lot on the gold rush period of NSW as the book is set in that period and on that theme. For fiction writing, I don’t usually research unless I want to find out about a topic I wanted to write. Otherwise, the story emerges from within and not much outer knowledge is necessary.
3. How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
My first book was a short novella. But it had a lot in it. My writing matured since then, in the sense that I learned to deal with the depth of plot and charater. But like the first love, I’ll always be in love with my first book. That will never change.
4. What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
I am friends with many accomplished writers, poets, and novelists. Where do I even start naming them? They are an extremely supportive group. They cheer you on your success and they’re always with you. However, I really don’t think a writer can help another in the writing process as such. That’s individualistic.
5. Social Media affected a lot the originality of writers or content creators, what’s your take on it?
A writer is either original or not original. This is an innate gift with which the writer embarks on the journey of writing. I don’t think social media can affect that as such. But one has to be careful enough to not get swayed by it.
6. What was the best negative review you received till now? How it shaped your transformation?
My negative reviews are too very helpful. They are too weak, lacking an in-depth reading of the book, and flimsy arguments. They only reveal the reviewer’s shallowness and their misinterpretations.
7. Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction?
Every new book has something new to offer that adds to my learning process. I am always amazed how the same human dramas are written in diverse ways as writers explore them uniquely.
8. Share about your upcoming creations
I have two upcoming projects. A short story collection is already in the pipeline, in the final in-house editing stage, and a full-length novel underway. which I have been writing for three years now and up to 80K words, still going, no light yet seen at the end of the tunnel.
9. Who was your mentor, critic, and support system throughout this journey?
I didn’t have any mentors as such, but I have been vastly influenced by my readings of Tagore, Nazrul Islam, Virginia Woolf, James Joyce to name a few. My mother was a voracious reader and often critiqued my works. I found them really useful.
10. If someone wants to be a writer, what will be the first step?
Read, read and read even more before you Penn your first word. However, give yourself time to grow, to be refreshing and original.
11. Any tip for our readers who wants to pursue their passion?
It’s very important to know the topic you are writing about. Your research has to be solid. And your readings wide and deep so much so that when you come to the writing part, your writing must show your lights.
Thank you, Prachetan for this interview.