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6 questions with Samir Asran Rahman

  • Published at 08:25 pm November 17th, 2016
6 questions with Samir Asran Rahman
Samir Asran Rahman’s debut novel, Zak & Zara: The Monster Murder Mystery, a young-adult fantasy, will be launched at the Dhaka Lit Fest 2016. Brought out by Bengal Lights Books, the book tells the story of Zak and Zara, aged 10 and 8 respectively, who break into a haunted house to find it inhabited by a bunch of monsters. In this interview with Dhaka Tribune, he talks about the book which is perhaps the first of its kind written in English. What are you reading at the moment? I’m reading Starting Point by Hayao Miyazaki. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline and The Magicians by Lev Grossman are two other books on my bedside table right now. What are you writing at the moment? A few different things, actually. I’m developing some more Zak & Zara stories. At the same time I’m trying to write the next episodes of Shabash and Lathial, which are two of the comic book series I bring out from Mighty Punch Studios. There are some other things I’m playing around with but those ideas seem more suited for short stories than an actual novel. Which fiction writer has influenced you the most? It’s hard to single out just one. CS Lewis, Roald Dahl, Stephen King and Douglas Adams are a few of the fiction writers who have influenced me over the years. I also read a lot of comics, and writers like Neil Gaiman, Mike Carey, Brian K Vaughn have also had an impact on me. Your debut novel, Zak & Zara-- is it the first such novel written in English in Bangladesh? I don’t think any English book has been written for middle-grade or young-adult audiences in Bangladesh before but I could be wrong. I would like people of all ages to try out the book though. If you’re old enough to get the humour in Calvin and Hobbes, The Simpsons and South Park, there’s a chance you may like this book. Tell us something about Zak & Zara. The Monster Murder Mystery is one of the books in a planned series about two kids who get into all sorts of weird adventures with the help of a magic lamp. I want every book to have a different setting -- a video game setting, a pirate adventure setting, etc. The first series happens to be loosely inspired by the parlour mystery genre popularized by writers like Agatha Christie. I like to think the book is funny and unpredictable but we’ll just have to wait and see what everyone else thinks. How are you feeling about your book being launched at the DLF 2016? I feel great! I launched one of my comics – The Legend of Zooey – there in 2013. A few of my friends from my writing group (Writer’s Block) have also had their books published during the festival. I’ve always had a great time there. The atmosphere is wonderful and the panels are stimulating. I can’t think of a better place to launch the book.