Also today lovelies, I have another Meet the Author interview for you! I’m talking to Shervin Jamali about writing a local play, how his 9 year old describes him, whether he’d give up writing if he could and about his most recent book, Insaniam….
I’m a genre jumper. My first two were supernatural thrillers, my third a unique love story, and my fourth a twisty horror/thriller. My current work is a fictional memoir.
Tell us a bit about yourself:
I always struggle with this question; it’s difficult to self-assess. I’m an unorthodox author, a pantser who never outlines. If I get stuck, I’ve been known to jump ahead to write the ending, even writing chapters backwards from the end. I lack the discipline to write daily, and only write when inspired. Sometimes that means weeks without writing a single sentence. I’ve been told my strengths are: strong, engaging openings, dialogue, and unexpected twists. Anything else you want to know, just ask.
What inspired you to start writing and where do you get your ideas?
I’ve been writing for most of my life, starting with a play called “Barstruck” I wrote at the age of nineteen. It ran at a local theatre for six months. But it wasn’t until my mid-forties that I felt my writing was worth publishing. Thus, “The Devil’s Lieutenant” was born; the first draft was complete in just 2 months. Apparently, the story had been in me for years, itching to get out.
How many books have you written and published?
Written five, published four; my sixth is a couple of chapters shy of completion.
Which book, out of all the books you have written, is your favourite and why?
“Remember.” It took a year to complete, and was an emotional roller coaster to write. It’s also been the most successful, reaching #13 in one category on Amazon UK. Many readers have said they shed a few tears, which makes me happy. Is that wrong to be happy about making readers cry?
Which of your characters would you want to be stranded on an island with, and why?
Michael, my protagonist in the first two books, who has made a guest appearance in the others, and will continue to do so. He’s so cool. Plus, he could get us off the island.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
Play professional soccer for Manchester United.
Other than writing, what else do you enjoy doing?
Watching films, listening to music, playing video games with my son, and building jigsaw puzzles, to name a few.
If you could give your younger writing self any advice what would it be?
Don’t use so many dialogue tags. Your readers are smart enough to know who is speaking without you reminding them all the time.
What’s your favourite film of all time and why?
Man on Fire. All my protagonists are flawed characters, whether haunted by demons or addiction, seeking redemption. I believe that’s what makes a character interesting or relatable. Denzel Washington was brilliant in portraying such a character in the film.
Do you believe in love at first sight?
Sadly no, but I wrote about it in “Remember.”
Describe yourself using three words only…….
According to my nine year old son, I’m creative, funny and unique in every way. 😊 I would add loyal to the mix. Sorry, that’s four words.
If you could give up writing, would you and why?
Yes, in a heartbeat. It’s been both a blessing and a curse. I believe writers should write for themselves first and foremost. I was able to do that with my first two books, but it’s been a struggle since. Sometimes it takes a toll. I feel pressured to give my loyal readers the next tale they’ll love. I don’t think I can give it up though, which should make my readers happy. I’ll just suffer through it. LOL
And finally, tell us about your most recent book and where we can find it?
“Insaniam,” a dark horror/thriller that has been described as “Stephen King on acid.” Not for the faint of heart.
Social media links (whichever are applicable to you):
final words from chelle…
Thanks Shervin for this lovely interview. I find it fascinating that you would give up writing if you could, although I’m glad your readers are happy that you won’t! Insaniam sounds great and right up my street! I love a horror/thriller! I also love how your son describes you – he sounds wonderful!
Have a wonderful day everyone, and if you have any questions/comments for Shervin then make sure you get in touch or leave a comment below.