Today we are chatting with Syed M.Masood, author of
Sway With Me!
Read on for more about Syed, his book, and a giveaway!
Meet Syed M.Masood!
Syed M. Masood is the author of More Than Just a Pretty Face, The Bad Muslim Discount, and Sway With Me. He grew up in Karachi, Pakistan, and now lives with his wife and children in Sacramento, California, where he is a practicing attorney. He invites you to visit him online at syed-masood.com and @syedmmasood.
About Sway With Me:
She’s All That goes desi in this hilarious, affecting, and sweetly romantic comedy by the author of More Than Just a Pretty Face.
Arsalan has learned everything he knows from Nana, his 100-year-old great-grandfather. This includes the fact that when Nana dies, Arsalan will be completely alone in the world, except for his estranged and abusive father. So he turns to Beenish, the step-daughter of a prominent matchmaker, to find him a future life partner. Beenish’s request in return? That Arsalan help her ruin her older sister’s wedding with a spectacular dance she’s been forbidden to perform.
Despite knowing as little about dancing as he does about girls, Arsalan wades into Beenish’s chaotic world to discover friends and family he never expected. And though Arsalan’s old-school manners and Beenish’s take-no-prisoners attitude clash every minute, they find themselves getting closer and closer—literally. All that’s left to realize is that the thing they both really want is each other, if only they can get in step.
At turns laugh-out-loud funny, poignant, and sincerely heartfelt, Sway With Me is a coming-of-age story for anyone trying to find their place in the world.
YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?
The book features ‘Nana’, who is the protagonist’s grumpy, reclusive, snarky great grandfather. I loved writing him. He’s a lot of fun. Plus, every scene he was in, he elevated. As a writer you have to appreciate a character who does that for you.
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
For me, the novel always comes first. I suppose for people who plan out their books, coming up with titles up front is easy. But I usually have no idea what is going to happen in my stories, so titles get finalized last.
YABC: What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
At the beginning of the book Arsalan goes to the cemetery and falls asleep there. He then dreams/remembers the death of someone close to him. I wrote a variation of that scene nineteen years ago, when I was in college, for a manuscript that went nowhere. But I knew the scene was good. I was in tears when I wrote it. It stayed with me. I was finally able to rewrite it and find it a home after all this time. That was awesome.
YABC: Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
That the muse is a lie. That the magic of the craft is in the work itself.
There is this destructive romanticization of the creative process that some people fall for—that I fell for when I was a young writer—which is the idea you must wait to be inspired. Just sit around and hope that a mystical spark will make you brilliant you’ll suddenly produce a masterpiece.
That’s not how it works. Or, at least, that is not how it works for me. Inspiration is real. Serendipity is real. But you have to seek them out by actually being a writer—which means reading a ton and putting as many words on as many pages as you can manage.
YABC: What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2021?
Karen McManus has YOU’LL BE THE DEATH OF ME coming out, and I’m a huge fan of hers, so I’m definitely looking forward to that. Erin Hahn’s NEVER SAW YOU COMING is next on my reading list. Can’t wait!
YABC: What was your favorite book in 2020?
Well, the two of mine that came out that year were excellent! But seriously, I read a couple of Katie Henry books that year. LET’S CALL IT A DOOMSDAY and THIS WILL BE FUNNY SOMEDAY. Those were excellent and I recommend people check her work out.
YABC: Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?
Drafting is more fun. Everything is new. You’re solving a puzzle and hoping that it will come together. It can be frustrating, but there is a definite feeling of accomplishment when you’re done.
Sure, revising is great because it lets you polish things up and improve your execution, but you aren’t ever really done with it. You just stop, because you have to, otherwise you’d keep going forever. Didn’t someone once say “a book is never finished, only abandoned”? I think abandoned is a little harsh, but if we could change that to ‘published’, I’d agree with the sentiment.
YABC: What would you say is your superpower?
Four years ago, when I entered publishing, I was able to go long periods without much sleep. For weeks at a time, I’d sleep for maybe three hours a day, wake, go to work and then come back and write late into the night. That was my superpower. But I’ve lost that ability as I’ve gotten older. Now I’m just a guy who is very tired. Time, it turns out, is kryptonite.
Author: Syed M. Masood
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: November 9, 2021
Three winners will win a copy of Sway With Me (Syed M. Masood) ~US Only
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*