Having been featured as a part of Khaleejesque’s bi-monthly subscription service, we sat down with author Mahmod Shaker to talk more about his recent Arabic novel – Cloud 9
How did you start writing? What inspired you?
I had always loved reading, I started writing however when I was around six. I practiced writing and reading throughout primary, middle, and secondary school (with help from my mother of course). I get inspired easily; everything around me inspires me
Explain the concept behind Cloud 9. Why did you write the book?
Cloud 9 is my third novel that was published in late 2013. I would describe it as a romantic-drama about long distance relationship.
When I start to think about my a novel I always look for it as a new challenge, so Cloud 9 was my challenge to create a love story but in a very unique way.
What does Cloud 9's story reflect about you and your life?
Well, to be honest, I don't involve my life or even parts of my life in my work, I like to create something new and fresh which has nothing to do with anything about me.
Walk us through your process of writing a novel.
Well, it’s like undertaking a research project, a big one. I start with a tiny idea and then look for more ideas that may relate to the original concept as a pre-writing exercise. When writing, I might spend a solid three to six hours writing. After that I work on the cover. I take care of each inch of the book because I look at it as an artwork.
Have you faced any challenges writing this book? If so, what were they?
After each book I publish I always have that fear for the next one, the fear of doing something below the average, in Cloud 9 I tried to focus on the emotions, I was very picky while picking the perfect words to describe the moments, I think that was the hardest part. This novel was also banned in Kuwait. But thankfully now it's available in every bookstore in Kuwait.
What does the future hold? What are your plans?
I'm working on other projects for the big screen right now, its a new challenge I’m willing to do it, also I’m also working on other projects for television advertisements and sitcoms.