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By Mahsuda, Mar 5 2018 09:19PM

As part of International Women's Day (March 8th) and for the Penguin #LikeAWoman celebrations I was asked to write a piece about women who have inspired me. The more I thought about it the more I realised that the women who have inspired and, what's more, have CHANGED me are rebellious, fearless women who don't care one iota about societal norms. I'm going to keep on trying to be a bit more like them every day. It might be a slow rebellion, but it will be a rebellion nonetheless!

Find the link to my piece below...

By Mahsuda, Jun 14 2017 09:32AM

Last night was the official launch of 'The Things We Thought We Knew' in my home town of Leicester and in the Waterstones I worked in over 15 years ago. Surreal is just one word to sum up the night. Surreal to be back in the same store I fantasised about being a writer in, surreal to have all the people I love in one room and surreal to be signing copies of my published novel for them.

As a writer, you quietly tap away at your keyboard, hoping one day all the words you've carefully strung together will be good enough to entertain and enthral readers in the future. You become attached to each character, knowing their habits and innermost thoughts. You plan their futures and fear for them as though they are real, solid people who live around the corner from you. Then you come to the time when you have to let them go. They stop being yours and become others. It's a scary but wonderful time and that time has now come. I hereby release 'The Things We Thought We Knew' into the world! I hope people will enjoy reading the book as much as I loved writing it and cherish those characters as though they are friends. I hope too that other writers will see that dreams can come true. You don't need lots of money and connections to be a writer but what you do need is determination and passion for writing that you can't quit. If the Asian dyslexic girl from the council estate can do it, so can you.

Thanks to everyone who could come to last night's launch (and Farhana Shaikh for the above photograph) as well as my agent James Wills, editor Lizzy and publicist Tom who made the trip up to see the novel off. Now for publication day which is tomorrow (eek!). Let the surreal days continue.

By Mahsuda, Jan 30 2017 02:24PM

It’s always nice to be featured in a list (depending on the list of course). It’s been particularly nice/pleasantly shocking to be featured in three different lists of books to look out for this year. These come from Nikesh Shukla for The Fader, The Asian Writer and the Observer (links to all below). I’m in amongst some good company so hopefully we can expect 2017 to be an awesome year for reading.

I’ve also discovered that you can pre-order my novel on Amazon so if you really like to be organised with your reading (as I do) click on the link at the bottom.

The Fader

The Asian Writer


Pre-order 'The Things We Thought We Knew'

By Mahsuda, Nov 7 2016 03:00PM

There are no real endings. An odd thing for a writer to say but this is what I’ve learnt since having a baby and getting a book deal with Transworld (not at the same time…though fairly close).

It’s easy to think as a yet-to-be-published writer that getting the book deal will be the happily ever after of your story. So driven are we by our dreams that we rarely look beyond what happens when the dream comes true.

This is also true for the first time mother. When you’re pregnant you are constantly looking forward to after the birth. You’re going to have a baby! You will have a reward for the stretch marks, the waddling and the inability to get out of bed without performing a gymnastic roll. Very rarely are first time mothers/parents prepared for the hard work that comes after the baby arrives. You simply can’t be. No matter what advice or thinly veiled threats people give you nothing will prepare you for the reality of having a baby.

At least getting a novel published has a bit more reliability to it. After the book deal comes edits, edits and more edits. As a published writer friend once said to me: “A book isn’t finished until it’s between two covers and put on the shelf.” Now the real work begins. You can no longer casually give yourself goals and then move them continuously forward when you miss them. There are actual deadlines and it means something if you don’t hit them.

And of course getting a book deal in itself does not mean your book will be successful. Old worries of how to get an agent and will you be rejected by publishers are now replaced with new worries; will readers like the book, will anyone outside your immediate family buy it.

But the real beauty is that, even though there are never any real endings there are still lots of wonderful beginnings and middles. With babies it’s the first smiles, the coos and gurgles and attempts at shoving every little thing in their mouths. With writing it’s working with an editor, knowing that the cover art is being designed, anticipating what reviewers will think the proof copies. It’s all part of the journey.

So maybe getting the book deal was not the end of my writing journey but, just like having a baby, more of a ‘to be continued…’


Winner of the Bristol Short Story Prize,

the SI Leeds Prize and author of

'The Things We Thought We Knew'

mahsuda snaith...