Naseha was born in a town encapsulated by two rivers, inhabited by people who celebrate on the face of natural calamities. It is a one-millennium old city, Cuttack which breathes of tales if only one can listen. Silent starry nights, noisy cracking dawn, lazy afternoon loaded with champak odor, giggling evening and early retreat of the day, all planted seeds of stories in her. After Masters Degree, she moved to the hustling metropolis of Gurgaon where she crunched numbers and provides realistic strategies to corporates for a living. Once out of office, she quickly became the dreamer that she is and starts writing while watching the foggy, slumberlike morning of the metropolis that she fell in love the moment she stepped in Gurgaon. After 14 years, life gave her an opportunity to move to a new city. She parted with Gurgaon as friends and has moved to the city of Pearls, Hyderabad to make the city her own and her a part of the city. –This text refers to the paperback edition.
Criticspace: How would you best describe your debut book in your own terms, Naseha? People across the nation as well as abroad are praising your book for various reasons. However, readers would surely be interested in knowing what the author herself thinks about her work.
Naseha Sameen: Thankfully, the thoughts with which I wrote Heir – End of Innocence is well resonated among the readers. Many in their reviews and correspondence did echo similar thoughts about Heir – EOI.
I think my novel is different from the popular genre in Erotic novels, which are billionaires, alpha males, vampires, werewolves, cavemen, Amish, Asian, or revolving around submissive partners (BDSM). I wanted to make Heir – End of Innocence to have a freshness of varied erotic situations interweaved in a saga that runs for four generations and involves two kingdoms.
One thing that I was careful about was not making Padmakishori a damsel in distress or someone who is loved or wanted by everyone or somebody who is extraordinary and out of the world. I find my characters very real to the real world. Every reader can find a character that defines their own self.
I have incorporated different erotic portrayals which range from a sensual seduction of mind to uninhibited moments of love and lust to slave auction to the passionate nights in a harem.
I do hope that it appeals readers, especially those who like a story set in ancient times, with elements of drama, continuity of the story through time, deception, and strong characters with their flaws leading them.
Criticspace: When did you first think of a book? For how long you have been working on Heir: End of Innocence?
Naseha Sameen Spoiler Alert – Sometime back, my friend and I were discussing why sexual escapades are increasing. In course of the discussion, he said, can there be any justifiable reason for which a person sleeps with more than one partner without being coerced into it. That was when the climax of the novel Heir came into being. Then it was spinning the story around it.
It took 1 year to do all the research and almost a year to write it. I know it is too long, but in my defense, I write mostly on weekends and offs from my day-job. Yes, my day job involves, Strategies for Biz improvement and Analytics and mentoring about which I am equally passionate.
Criticspace: Besides being an author and all the fame around it, how is your personal life? What are the things you like to do? And what are the causes that you like to be associated with? People will certainly like to know where Naseha is after 3-4 years from now!
Naseha Sameen: My personal life is a mix of various things. I like doing so many things that 24 hours seem less. Thankfully, being child-free by choice gives me a little more time to do things that I like.
I love planting trees especially medicinal plants, maintaining the aquatic ecosystem, watching TV, chatting with close friends, playing with my cat, Kissi, and talking endlessly with my partner Alok. Most of these activities are with my partner Alok. We both are passionate about our careers and support each other in that, so we have a lesser quantity of time, but it is very qualitative.
The cause of mental health is very close to my heart. Have been trying to bring it to the forefront in my small way since 2015 with my book “Ruby Drops – an anthology of poems” (smarturl.it/RubyDrops). This book is a true account of my struggle with depression, the support, and moving from this darkness to light of Hope. I would like to add, even kids do suffer from depression that is shrugged off by elders. Be watchful about this. Not everybody is fortunate to get a partner and support to come out.
Ruby Drops was published in 2015 when rarely people spoke about mental health. In the pandemic of 2020, suddenly it has become a best-seller, with people talking about it as inspirational and helpful. A lot of people have said that they found it different. The poems in Ruby Drops gave a voice to their emotions. They were able to relate to it and look towards the next day with hope.
Heir going on to win not one but two awards in Author Page for Best Woman Writer and Debut Fiction 2020 was something I never anticipated. That’s why I find future uncertain, but I do hope that in 3-4 years, I would hope to be a regular in New York Times Bestseller list and be executive producer of 2-3 very successful series in media streaming channels, and my books being advance booked for months.
Criticspace: Would you like to further add chapters to this book and come up with a sequel to it after some years?
Naseha Sameen: Yes, I already have a contract with Invincible Publication for the sequel – Heir – Dawn of Deception. It is completed and will hit the stands once we are a little safer from this COVID-19
Criticspace: Your book seems like a first-hand guide to knowing the feeling of a girl growing up. What else makes your book useful in different ways? Readers might ask so.
Naseha Sameen: My books often push people, especially the girls and women not to be a victim to the societal norms. It subtly pushes a girl or female to think about her needs, her happiness, which often is brushed aside. It inspires the mind to get what s/he wants while entertaining the readers with the story and characters.
Criticspace: After the success of Heir: End of Innocence and Ruby Drops, what are your further plans in writing? And how do you take out time for your creative activities in spite of being on certain posts of importance?
Naseha Sameen: Heir – Dawn of Deception is ready. Currently, I am working on a YA (Young Adult) Murder Thriller”
Hopefully will finish it before our Independence Day – August 15th.
In the pipeline are two more projects,
· Perplex-city – Anthology of Horror and Erotic Stories based in the city of Gurgaon
· The Curse of Fate (WT) – Pure Fantasy Novel
You always make time for things that matter to you. My office takes around 12-14 hours a day. Still, I make sure that I spend at least 30-40 mins on something creative. It helps balance the right-left brain and be more effective in Corporate and Creative World.
Plus, I have weekends. On weekends, I spend 1 day out of 2 on creative pursuits.
Criticspace: What marketing strategies do you find most helpful? Any resources you would recommend to other authors or aspiring authors?
Naseha Sameen: LitFest and Social media are helpful.
The best resource is your publisher, if you have chosen a good publisher, half of the war is won.
Criticspace: Many thanks from the team of Criticspace Journals for your time and all the best for your future endeavors in the field of poetry!
Naseha Sameen: Thank you so much.
I have had the opportunity to follow your work and I am really impressed by your endeavors. Wish you a roaring success in your endeavors.
This is VOC for Aashi – The professionalism and the follow-through that you have is amazing. Keep it up.