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Photo by Kaley Dykstra on Unsplash

I write to give voice to characters who don’t exist in contemporary fiction

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Q&A | 3 minute read
Abda Khan describes what inspired her new novel, Razia, about a modern day slave and a smart female lawyer

Where do you write?

I write mostly in bed because I tend to write late at night and into the early hours of the morning. But I have written in a variety of other places; coffee shops, aeroplanes, trains, hotel rooms – whenever and wherever necessary!

What’s the last really good book you read? And the best film or theatre production?

I haven’t quite finished it yet, but I am reading Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie, which is really good. And recently I really enjoyed the movie Red Joan; great acting and storyline. Sadly, I haven’t had time to go to the theatre for a while!

What book marked you as a child or teenager?

That would definitely be Run for Your Life by David Line. I think I was about ten years old when I read it, and it was my first experience of an unputdownable page-turner. It was fast-paced and thrilling, and I remember thinking about it whilst sat in class, not being able to concentrate on the lesson, as I couldn’t wait to get home and read the next chapter to see what happens next.

What book inspired you to become a writer?  

I can’t really say that any one book inspired me to become a writer. It was more my experiences and the issues that I cared about that led me to start writing. That coupled with the fact that the characters and issues that appear in my writing are largely and hopelessly non-existent in contemporary British fiction.

Pen and paper or laptop?

Laptop for sure – I’m quicker and its legible!

Do you re-read books or is life too short?

Hmmm. On the whole, life is too short, with the rare exception of one or two classics.

Who is the best fictional hero and villain?

I’m going to say heroine and opt for Tess in Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy, and sticking with the same novel I would say the best villain is Alec d’Urberville, but I would also have to nominate Zaheer Mansur from my own novel Razia – Zaheer is a thoroughly nasty piece of work.

When did you last visit your local library?

Around two months ago.

What classic have you lied about reading?

That would be Animal Farm! I’ve not exactly lied; I’ve just not come clean about never having read it and gone along with the conversation whenever it has cropped up!

Finally, what’s the elevator pitch for the book you’re publishing?

Razia is a gripping, emotional, fast-paced thriller about one lawyer’s fight for justice for a modern-day slave.

Razia by Abda Khan is published by Unbound

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