Complementing my interviews, today’s Author Spotlight, the three hundred and fiftieth, is of non-fiction author Shahla Khan. If you would like to take part in an author spotlight, take a look at author-spotlights.
Shahla Khan is the author of I Want Back my SPARKLE- breaking the chains of gender slavery, released on 26th August 2013. This is her first published book although she writes regularly for local magazines when she is not busy with her PhD studies.
Born and brought up in Saudi Arabia in an Indian family, Shahla Khan is a multi cultural Indian woman. When kids her age used to idolize Madonna, she was fascinated by Mother Teresa and since then, she desired to be a Social Activist. Growing up, in a family where education was prized, she did great in school and won scholarships and medals for her love of Economics. She decided to travel to her dream country- Switzerland to pursue a degree (MBA) where she lived for one year. She describes her year as charismatic because she lived in the heart of the Swiss Alps. Graduating as a Valedictorian, she realized her affair with economics was not over yet.
She then got the idea of doing a PhD in Economics, which keeps her engaged till date. She is in her final year now and living in the UK. Her passion to create social change took various forms all through these years. She participated actively at Model United Nations, won the elections (seat for Chair of Southern Region) at the United Nations Youth Students Association, UK in 2010 and became the founder President of the UNYSA at her own university. Her book is an attempt to further her passion for social change.
In a society where women are only expected to be wives and mothers, she followed her passion and enjoys a humble life doing that. While most of her friends are married, few married twice, others with kids, she struggles to confine to the social norms of her native community. She has a strong belief in women empowerment and is proud to be able to create her own path, rather than walking with the crowds. She enjoys romantic comedies but believes in reciprocating love rather than being a door mat in her personal life. She also loves babies but plans to have at home when she is satisfied being the best daughter she can be.
Books, baking and fashion are her interests when she is not busy learning and writing. She writes regularly at her blog and can be contacted on email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org Her Facebook page is I Want Back my SPARKLE where she answers questions on relationships and life.
And now from the author herself:
I write because if I don’t let it out of my system, I will die with guilt. When something fascinates me, my brain wouldn’t let go and ideas would flow unstoppably. I need to pen them down otherwise I lose them. At the weirdest of times; while in the bath, on the bus, speaking with my supervisor, having food with friends, in the classroom while other kids are having fun, while walking down the street to buy potatoes or simply while travelling on an aircraft leaving loved ones behind, an idea bursts like a tiny shoot from a seed and cries like an infant who needs to be laid down on paper. Sometimes I have to yell at myself to sleep when the ideas would not stop and in the middle of the night and I turn the lamp on just to scribble few words on an old bill or my doctor’s prescription next to me. My diaries are usually forgotten in shopping handbags and in the cars, so!
What I am trying to say is that when you write, you do it because you can’t help but write. There is nothing in the world that touches you most and keeps you up at night. To write is a blessing and a duty if this is what happens with you. Trainings and workshops for writers certainly help to learn the craft but it is your heart that knows if you are a writer or not. You cannot force writing just for the sake of it. Your desire to put words down in black and white is the living soul of your work without which any combination of words is just words.
Your writing is a passion which needs you. Ignoring the writer in you means killing your passion. I know there are times in every writer’s life, where you get rejected, where over looming bills make you sick and friends and family call you nuts. Trust me, every writer has been there. Pick up a copy of Chicken Soup for the Writers Soul and you will realize I am not lying. Often it becomes really hard to feed your soul to the writer in you and believe that guy who keeps saying ‘write- cause you are sent down for it’.
Whether or not you chose to write is absolutely up to your circumstances and your desire to fight against all odds. But an interesting irony is, when all this ends; the struggles of life, the race to become the most successful, the stuffing of bank accounts and the arrival of your last hour, you die but the writer in you doesn’t! Yes, the writer soul then transitions into pages and continues to live in through centuries far when your bones turn to dust. Only if you gave that writer a chance.
Confucius, Plato, Socrates… these great philosophers lived hundreds of years ago, but they are alive today because we talk about them. How many other people do you think were alive that time, the people who were busy paying bills (making ‘normal’ livelihood without following their passion by milking cows or whatever professions were in trend those times) and laughing at these philosophers? Survival is necessary and money for sure is a delight. But there is a difference between cost and worth. Mona Lisa by Da Vinci is in the museum because it is priceless. If you write with only the ‘salability’ of your words in mind, you limit yourself largely. But when you write for the mere pleasure of writing, like I do, you will enjoy it. And for sure one day, money will follow. But don’t ignore the writer in you if you think you are priceless.
You can find more about Shahla and her writing via…
- Shahla’s book can be purchased on Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Want-Back-My-Sparkle-Breaking/dp/1482052040 or her website on discount http://www.shahla-khan.com/apps/webstore.
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Morgen’s Online Non-Fiction Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Novel Writing Group
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Morgen’s Online Script Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Short Story Writing Group
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