Meet the SHEROES - Annie Zaidi
ANNIE ZAIDI is the author of ‘Gulab’, and 'Love Stories # 1 to 14'. She is also the co-author of 'The Good Indian Girl' and a book of illustrated poems 'Crush'. Her first collection of essays, 'Known Turf: Bantering with Bandits and Other True Tales' was shortlisted for the Vodafone Crossword book awards (non-fiction).
Her work has appeared in anthologies like ‘Eat the Sky; Drink the Ocean’; 'Mumbai Noir'; 'Dharavi'; 'Women Changing India'; 'India Shining, India Changing; '21 Under 40'. She also writes scripts and her plays ‘Jaal’, ‘So Many Socks’ and ‘Compartment’ have been performed in various venues in Mumbai.
Apart from all this she has also written for several magazines and newspapers including Mint, Caravan, Tehelka, Frontline, DNA, Elle, and Conde Nast Traveller. She tells SHEROES about her latest book Gulab and writing-
Tell us more about yourself.
I write. And I read. Essentially, I’m a reader. I have read almost constantly since I was 8 years old and able to read without help. Most of my teenage years were spent with books, and to a limited extent, television and films. I suppose that sort of prepared me for a life in words and ideas and images.
I read across all genres. I watch across all genres. And that has motivated me to write across various genres. I began working as a journalist and have written mainly non-fiction for several years. But I kept working on fiction and poetry on the side. In recent years, I have focused more heavily on fiction and scripts for the stage and screen, and even the page. I’m still learning as I go along, signing up for workshops wherever I can, and trying out different forms of writing in various media.
What is Gulab about?
Gulab is a novella. It is the story of a man’s discovering the strange life his beloved has led, and the mystery behind her death and burial.
What led you to write a book in this(horror) genre?
Gulab is not really ‘horror’. It is sort of between genres. It is about death, but it is also about love and relationships and our inevitable arching towards happiness and contentment. It does involve what you might call ‘paranormal’ experiences. But it doesn’t involve gore.
Any tips you will give to someone writing fiction?
Read. Read a lot and read beyond your own current preferences. If you want to create, learn the shape of your tools first. You cannot know the worth of what you're offering to readers until you have absorbed enough material that has been produced before. And don’t be in a rush to publish. Getting published doesn’t mean that much, especially in our internet-enabled times. To become worthy of being read and to be remembered – that is something else!