This is an unconventional Love Story that you’re about to read. You might have read hundreds of stories that unite lovers under old oak trees. Oak trees that have survived multiple seasons, from centuries and witnessed love of all sorts. But have you read about a lover who creates two lovers and make you fall in love with them? Rawish Ali Tirmizi is that fine lover. She has defined love for her craft through a candid, un-filtered conversation with Daastan.
Rawish – A Love Story
At Daastan, we come across so many different authors who inspire us everyday. After a long day at work, editing stories, getting the designs approved, shipping books to your door steps – it is the success of our authors that we take our energy from. So we thought why not introduce these wonderful people to you too.
Q. What drove you forward to write and publish your first book?
Writing came to me as an instinct. I have a habit of creating stories from childhood. In a group of friends or family, everyone wanted to listen to what I had next to share. From social issues to personal problems, it always came to me without any effort, which I think many writers can relate to. And that’s what I believe is the beauty of “thinking” all the time about random stuff. You see a couple and think, “Let’s imagine what their story would be!” You hear the talk-of-the-town and imagine, “Wow! It can be successful!” or you observe a social issue and feel to pen down for a social cause. It all comes to me naturally.
Q. How has your experience with publishing been so far?
Well, publishing a novel was something I had never thought of. Though I always aimed to become a writer, I never had guts to make this dream come true. I thought it was difficult as I did not have resources. I called a few publishing houses but their package was as high as the sky, and to be honest, I did not know what else to do. Thanks to my mentor who guided me about Daastan and here I am, holding my dream in my hands.
Q. Tell us a little about the feedback you’ve received on your book?
The feedback on my book has been really overwhelming. I still remember when I accidently sent my friend a chunk of Love Lucknow aur Lahore and she called me saying, “Rawish? I need this full book. Damn! Who is the writer?” Ayishm’s reaction was priceless. Other than my friends and family, I think my biggest achievement was getting appreciated from a City-42’s senior Urdu editor. His words moved me greatly. Right from the day people started reading my book and its excerpts, my inbox is filled with wishes and compliments. A few months before I did not know I would have fans other than those in my home (pun intended). They text me on Instagram and Facebook flooding my DMs with love and respect. I never knew becoming a writer would bring stardom in such a beautiful way.
Q. How has becoming a published writer affected you as a person?
To be honest, its feels like I’m living in another world. At the point where I thought, “would I be able to become something other than what I am doing for living?” becoming a ‘published writer’ happened to me by chance. My family was always proud of me and now more so. My friends always uplifted me, now they do more. Zainab, one of my biggest support systems, always told me there is something in me people need to see, now she winks at me for the credit. In short, life has become more beautiful and welcoming.
What message do you have for budding authors?
Those who know me personally would second my opinion that “supporting” someone for a cause is one of my hobbies. People don’t do it usually, they rant about it but when it comes to actually helping, they run away. So for all the beginners, if you are writing something and thinking of publishing it, I am only one text away.
For now, remember my unpopular opinions: Never let anyone dictate you. What you are writing is what you are. Don’t let anyone tell what you should be. Write whatever you want to. Don’t hesitate that a Love Story would be too cliché or who would read a horror fiction? Just hold the pen and write it down. Do learn from your mistakes. Receive the criticism in a kind way (if you don’t feel it worth your learning then ignore it like a boss that you are).