“I just want to tell stories that India must know!”: In Conversation With Fawaz Jaleel
As he prepares for his upcoming releases, the sequel to "Nobody Likes An Outsider" and another murder mystery set in Calcutta between the 1960s and 2023, we caught up with Fawaz Jaleel for a casual conversation about writing, his blend of contemporary history and politics, new age marketing, and the finances behind becoming a full-time author.
Q1: Did you write the two upcoming books simultaneously?
Fawaz: No, no. The story for Yohan 2 was already in my mind while I was writing the first part. I had researched it along with the first part and created a framework. When I started writing it, it flowed easily.
Honestly, I spend more time researching than writing because I believe that every claim must be backed by data. As for the other book, it took nearly two years of research, numerous visits across India, and meeting people who lived during the periods included in the story. It was challenging, but I loved the entire process.
Q2: Your books have a strong connection to contemporary history. Why did you choose that route?
Fawaz: I have always been fascinated by history, especially Indian history. I believe there are many unexplored aspects of our history that never find space in our textbooks and daily conversations.
It's important that people get a comprehensive overview of such instances, and I try to weave them into my narrative so they blend with the entire story. And honestly, nothing motivates me more than India, which is home to more than a billion stories of hope, love, spirit, kindness, and benevolence.
Q3: Your book's marketing strategy was strategic. Any tips for aspiring writers?
Fawaz: Every book has a unique journey. I was fortunate to have a supportive publisher like Kalamos who stood by me throughout.
The only traditional aspect was publishing itself, as the marketing techniques were quite innovative. I developed a multi-channel marketing strategy and spent judiciously to ensure a good return on investment.
Of course, securing a film deal also helped in that regard. I am grateful to my family and friends who supported me and expanded the book's reach.
As for tips, I assist writers who reach out to me because I strongly believe that we should all help each other for the collective good of the industry.
Q4: How would you describe Fawaz Jaleel?
Fawaz: I am an Outsider who never gives up, no matter how strong the obstacles are.
Q5: Is there nepotism in the industry?
Fawaz: That's a tough question! Of course, some people have easier access than us Outsiders but that doesn’t stop one from trying. There are many bold publishers and agents who are willing to back new and young authors
Q6: Last question, why should people read your stories?
Fawaz: Because, I write stories that India and Indians must know. We all owe it to the readers and citizens to bring out information that our beloved countrymen must know.
Fawaz Jaleel is one of the top Indian thriller authors and his book, Nobody Likes An Outsider is currently being converted into a motion picture