What do kids do in their school break? Learn some martial arts; visit some new place or some paint and most just freak out. Fourteen year old Maryam Ahmed ended up writing a novel, a crime thriller at that! A class nine student, her first novel His First Case chases story of young detective Sahil and his very first assignment with a man named John. What follows is series of threats, and a murder. Would Sahil be able to solve his ‘first’ ever case keeps one engrossed as in a typical detective story format Sahil’s cousin joins the investigation — Sherlock Holmes and Mr Watson?
We talk to Maryam on her feat….
What/ who inspired you to writing?
Before becoming a writer I was first a reader. I am a voracious reader and devour novels. This reading habit of mine eventually led to the love for writing. During, my reading journey which will never cease, I came upon a book by Agatha Christie known as Murder on the Orient Express. The book inspired me to write the book His First Case.
Your first book…..share with us its beginning, journey and response.
The idea of the book struck me at the end of my class eighth winter vacations. I felt as if there was a force in my mind which was constantly urging me to pen the story down. This journey was filled with vivacity, ecstasy and obviously hard work. It was also a great learning experience for me. I experienced something I hadn’t before. My parents came to know about the book when I had finished the whole manuscript. They were astonished. My teachers, friends whoever came to know about it was surprised too.
Who have been your favorite authors?
The list of my favorite authors is endless. To name a few, it will be JK Rowling, Agatha Christie, Brontë sisters and Dickens. I love the Harry Potter series and I believe that JK Rowling has a great ingenuity. Her books are just par excellence.
What made you write a crime thriller for your first?
5. There is no specific reason why I chose this genre. The idea of the story just came to my mind and without giving any second thoughts I wrote it.
Was it difficult to balance academics with writing?
Yes, it was difficult to balance out academics with writing as my final exams were quite near. But, I managed to devote my time to both. And I think it was my drive for passion that helped me make it till here.
What next for you?
Currently, I’m just celebrating the moment. I will continue writing. I would love to explore the other genres also in future.
How easy/difficult was it to find a publisher?
In the whole game, the publishing process is the most difficult. And also it becomes more difficult when it’s your first time. I knew nothing about the publishing world. I knew that it would be difficult but I had to do it. I chose Partridge as my publisher which is a part of Penguin. I committed few mistakes on the way but more than anything I learnt a lot.
What remains your favorite book to date?
There are so many wonderful books but I think I would chose Wuthering Heights as my most favorite. The book is and will always remain a classic.