Author Hamid Baig speaks on writing a romance novel. His debut work, Little Maryam revolves around heartbreak.
Author Hamid Baig speaks on writing a romance novel. His debut work, Little Maryam revolves around heartbreak.

Author Hamid Baig: Everyone is trying to write 50 Shades of Grey

Delhi-based author Hamid Baig, speaks on his debut novel, Little Maryam, his unusual way of building his characters, and more.
Hindustan Times | By Naina Arora, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2018 11:36 AM IST

Debutant author Hamid Baig’s novel Little Maryam is a riveting journey of pain and love lost. The protagonist, Saadiq Haiden, a renowned gene therapist, travels back in time to a past that refuses to be suppressed by alcohol and drugs during the course of an International flight. One’s debut work often draws upon personal experiences; just like Baig, Haiden, too, is afraid of flying. He shares, “That’s why I based the story in the US. As they are flying and he’s nervous, he starts telling his story (laughs).”

Baig, who is inspired by author John Grisham’s ability of making stories “easy to understand”, says that he comes up with characters in an unusual way. He builds his characters from real people, asking them how would they react in a particular situation. “This is the reason I handpick people to be a part of my novel. I need real people and real experiences. [Hence] I kind of do a screen test, asking people if they are interested to be a part of my story. I, then, take their characteristics and see how they react to situations,” says the 41-year-old author.

On the narrative, He shares that he based it on the question ‘what if?’

“We all have failed love stories and this question of, ‘what if I was still with my ex-girlfriend’. And if one gets a chance to be with their estranged love now, how would you cope with it?” he says.

Baig admits it was “challenging” to choose the romance genre. “Before I wrote the novel, I made sure I read some popular romantic novels. I realized that the romance we grew up on is missing in today’s literary world. Everyone is trying to write Fifty Shades of Grey,” he says, referring to a popular erotic book by author EL James.

Author Hamid Baig’s book.
Author Hamid Baig’s book.

Born and brought up in Dehradun, the author’s tryst with storytelling began at a nascent stage. “Every since I was in school, I have been good at storytelling. I started coming up with stories, and telling short stories to my friends. After my school, I was a part of a theatre group. It was then, that I got the motivation to start writing. I also sent my screen plays to the play directors that time, but they thrashed it (laughs). [Now] when I’m writing, I do not take the burden of a huge audience,” says Baig, whose next novel is lined up for September.

“My next couple of stories, will draw upon characteristics of cities, [I will touch upon] positive and negative, they will play a major role in all my stories. Delhi will play an important role in all my stories,” he adds.

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