Todays interview is with author Hardit Singh who was born in Bristol. He studied Information Technology and quickly realised he wanted to write after starting to read more and more. He has been writing for several year now and is currently working on his third novel called Safe Have.
Books & Writing: Do you remember the first story you wrote?
Hardit Singh: Unfortunately I don’t remember the first story. I do however remember enjoying writing stories in English class, when we were given the task to.
Books & Writing: Who inspired your writing?
Hardit Singh: The biggest influence of my writing and a large part to why I’m writing now is American Crime Author Michael Connelly.
Books & Writing: What do you love about writing a story?
Hardit Singh: Just creating a new exciting world and watching how characters react and make decisions and take actions you didn’t see coming. Most of all I love creating escapism for the reader and myself.
Books & Writing: Can you tell us something about your book “Traffic” and the main character Melanie Swift?
Hardit Singh: Traffic is a story about the world of sex trafficking. It follows the ordeal of a young girl who is forced into this world.
Books & Writing: Is Melanie Swift based on someone you know?
Hardit Singh: Not really. She’s probably came from a whole host of people that I’ve come into contact with, read about or seen on TV.
Books & Writing: How did you come up with the story for the book?
Hardit Singh: I came across an article about the alarming statistics of trafficking and how this was not particularly highlighted in the media. I really wanted to create some sort of awareness.
Books & Writing: I understand you also wrote a few short stories. What attracts you in those?
Hardit Singh: Short stories gives you lots of freedom, as you can experiment and write freely knowing that there won’t be a lot invested in it. Before I begin a novel I have to be very careful in the story I decide to write, to ensure there is enough there for a novel to be written. I see short stories as a speeding bullet and I love the compact format and challenge.
Books & Writing: Can you also tell us a bit about the book Driver?
Hardit Singh: Driver is about a young man who gets tempted back into the criminal world and joins a crew, that take down scores. However, he soon realises that this lifestyle has now changed and things aren’t what they used to be.
Books & Writing: Are you working on something new?
Hardit Singh: I am working on my third novel called Safe Haven. This story is more of a drama, that follows the journey of a young man who leaves home in the pursuit of becoming a writer.
Books & Writing: Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
Hardit Singh: Find a story your passionate about writing, as it can take up to a year to complete. Ensure that you read and write everyday.
Books & Writing: Which author inspires you?
Hardit Singh: Michael Connelly, Georege Pelecanos, Richard Price, Thomas Harris, Robert Crais.
Books & Writing: Where can people go and read your work and find you?
Hardit Singh: My blog: http://hardit-singh.blogspot.co.uk/
My facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/HarditSinghAuthor
My Goodreads author page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5325808.Hardit_Singh
Below is an excerpt from his book Traffic!
Melanie Swift analysed her face in the mirror of the ladies toilets. She could see a partial red handprint on her cheek, where her last client got slaphappy. Her hand quivered as she touched the sore spot.
She closed her eyes and squeezed out tears, quickly wiping them away in anger. She had cried enough today, and not only that, she stole a bottle of vodka from the storage room and managed to get blind drunk. Now she was tired of feeling sorry for herself, and she couldn’t take any more self-pity.
“Just get through today,” she said. “Just a few more hours and you’ll be ok.” Her eyes betrayed her words. They were fatigued and her gaze was long. She balled her hand into a fist and held it tight.
Her mind drifted to the last evening she spent with her family. After tucking in her younger sisters, she joined her parents for dinner. She imagined for a moment that she was there. She found a way out of this slavery and was now in the only place she wanted to be: home. An inner voice told her that this would soon be a reality, and before she could continue with her fantasy, a protruding thought pulled her out of it.
A couple weeks after Melanie met Diego, her boyfriend up until the day she was taken, she remembered how he brought her a designer coat.
She never mentioned her love for fashion to him, which only a few close people knew. At the time the gift overwhelmed her, and it immediately slipped out of her mind. But even in a drunken haze, she had clarity on this odd circumstance.
The door suddenly swung open – which interrupted her thoughts. A girl walked in and stood beside Melanie, as she peered into the mirror. She was here for the same purpose — she placed her makeup bag on the counter and then unzipped. It was a welcomed distraction, as she didn’t want to even spend another moment thinking about Diego. The thought of him now made her sick. Melanie quickly applied her foundation, mascara, eyeliner, and lipstick. When she was done, she stared back at herself in the mirror. Her face was now relaxed and her hands were steady. Her eyes were no longer filled with sorrow; they were wide and alert, but vacant. She played with her blonde bangs until she liked how they framed her face.
Melanie glanced at the girl next to her and immediately knew that she hadn’t been trafficked for long. She wasn’t using waterproof mascara, which was essential here, in case you gagged on the client’s penis or your own spit ran into your eyes.
“What’s your name?” asked Melanie.
“Take this.” She handed her a bottle of mascara from her own bag and told her she could keep it before walking out.