Author’s Background: The Author, Hema Matalia is a post-graduate in English Literature from Calcutta University. She holds a degree in creative writing from the University of Michigan and has a certificate in Forensic Psychology and Criminal Profiling. She is proficient in a number of languages and finds creative expression in writing and painting. Born into a family of readers, she has never known of a time when she wasn’t reading something. This is her first novel, an attempt to be on the other side of the book. When she is not reading or writing, she spends her time catching up on crime shows and going for long walks. For more information about her, please visit:


Neel: Firstly, Big Congratulations on your book, “The Familiar Stranger” Well, can you please share your experience about making your work come into the form of book!

Hema Matalia: It was exhilarating to be able to see my story in the form of a book.

Neel: What inspired you to write this book? What was the impetus behind this work of yours?

Hema Matalia: I am an avid reader of crime thrillers and suspense stories. I aspired to write one myself and that is how this book came about.

Neel: Your book title, ‘The Familiar Stranger’ is very catchy! So, can you please explain the reason for going with this book title to the readers?

Hema Matalia: Having written the book, I was looking for a suitable title that would do justice to the story and at the same time intrigue the readers who would want to know more about the story.

Neel: While writing the book what was your mind-set? What are some of the learnings that you gained from this work of yours?

Hema Matalia: While writing this novel I learnt many things. A lot of hard work goes into making a book ready for publishing right from the first draft to the endless revisions and editing. Also, the entire publishing journey was new to me and I learnt along the way.

Neel: Apart from mystery thriller & suspense, in which other genre would you like to contribute?

Hema Matalia: As of now, I am focussed on mystery thrillers and suspense.

Neel: Reading the storyline of this book, I’m greatly impressed & I want you to explain us that which segment of readers are you targeting with the book of yours?

Hema Matalia: My book will appeal to everyone, who enjoys suspense stories be it students, homemakers, officegoers, retired people everyone.

Neel: You were very straightforward with your writings in your book, which I really appreciate. So next, I want you to tell us about some of those writers, who had inspired you!

Hema Matalia: There are many writers whose works I like to admire Agatha Christie, James Patterson, Harlan Coben, etc. and among the new ones Alex Michaelides is good.

Neel: Is there any message that you would like to convey to your readers? Or any piece of advice, which you would like to give to the readers out there!

Hema Matalia: Yes, I want my readers to share their opinions on my book. It would be motivating and help me improve.

Neel: Are there any other books being worked by you? Please let us know about your future projects.

Hema Matalia: Yes I am working on my next book. It is a suspense thriller again and I hope to finish it in a few months from now.

Neel: Thank you so much for answering all my questions. All the very best to you for future and your book too!

Hema Matalia: Thank you so much for your good wishes.

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