Welcome to the eighth week of our Inkitt Icons Interview Series. This Saturday, we interviewed Beenish Shaheen, a trainee doctor and author of dark romances Mafia Indebted and Mafia Collateral. Her novels explore what happens when good and evil are entangled by love. She’s an advocate of digital writing platforms, drawing inspiration from personal challenges, and exploring uncharted territory in her fusion of genres.
Hi Beenish Shaheen, thank you for interviewing with us! To get us started, what is your ideal writing set up?
I can write anywhere as long as I have the drive to write. Long ago, I was only comfortable writing on my laptop, but it was very limiting. I would often end up writing dialogues and scenes on paper and lose them. That’s when I switched to writing on my phone, and I’ve been writing this way for almost two years now.
Digital writing platforms really do enable you to write anytime, anywhere – it’s great! What inspired you to write your current book Mafia Collateral?
I was going through some tough times personally. But I was also medical doing research, so I ended up incorporating my research into my fiction.
That must have been really empowering; we’re glad to hear that you turned your personal struggles into fictional success, and managed to blend in your academic interests as well. What is it that attracts you to your chosen genre of ‘Crime Romance’?
I think it’s the power to explore new territories. I challenge my readers’ expectations and push them out of their comfort zone through my disagreeable characters. I want to show the flaws in human nature.
That must make for an exhilarating reading experience! What problems do you face when writing a novel and how do you overcome them?
I always face the problem of coming up with scenes and dialogue. It always takes me time to formulate the right ones and put them in the correct order. But eventually, I think it through and manage to resolve it.
Interestingly, dialogue and structure are key topics that Bryan Thomas Schmidt talks about in Inkitt’s Novel Writing Bootcamp. You should check out his expert advice! What is more important to you, characterisation or plot?
Characterisation, because it’s the characters that define the plot.
As a successful Inkitt Icon, what are your top tips for authors who are just starting out?
Be true and write authentically; be unique and non-cliche.
Nicely put. What has been the most important aspect of Inkitt for you?
Dealing with new readers who I’ve interacted with exclusively through inkitt.
That’s wonderful to hear. The sense of community between authors and readers is really special. And to finish off, where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
As a practising doctor publishing my books!
Wow, it sounds like you have a busy and successful future ahead. Best of luck and thank you for talking to us!