Interview with Zeenat Mahal

Zeenat Mahal has written 7 books. All of them are available on Amazon. She has an MFA in creative writing and all her books have been in the top ten Amazon bestsellers list. Her book She Loves Me And He Loves Me Not debuted at number 1 on Amazon Asian books category in 2015. Her books have featured in Bookriot lists of must-read books and also in other must-read lists in magazines and online platforms. She has also been featured on Mangobaaz.
zeenat
Tee: When did you begin writing and in what genre?
Zeenat: I began writing seriously in 2012 when I finished my first novella Haveli and it got published with a Canadian e-publishing house. I have written contemporary romance so far. The Historian and the Hunter is my first urban fantasy novel.
Tee: Who are the writers that inspire you?
Zeenat: I enjoy reading Barabara Tayor Bradford, Judith McNaught, Julia Quinn but my favourite is Nora Roberts. She is super savvy and inspiring as a writer and as a business woman.
Tee: How did you come up with the idea of The Historian and the Hunter?
Zeenat: Honestly I can never really recall how I started thinking of any setting or novel but my clearest memory is usually of my main character’s voice. TH&TH is about the relationship of the sisters as well as monster hunting.
Tee: Who are the writers of recent day who you feel stand out amongst the others?
Zeenat: I really enjoy Reet Singh, Falguni Kothari, Sonali Dev, Adore Banerjie, Jazz Singh, Preeti Venugopalia and Sara Naveed.
Tee: What are your previous books about?
Zeenat: Haveli is about a young woman who resists an arranged marriage and a greedy father. It’s a coming of age, what distance does to lovers book. The Contract is a second chance, marriage of convenience plot. She Loves Me and He Loves Me Not is a contemporary take on Beauty and the Beast. The Accidental Fiancee is a short story of what life does to lovers, a pair of university fellows who meet after years. Twice Upon a Time has two stories. One from Jazz Singh and one from me. They’re about young love and growth.
Tee: What books are you working on next?
Zeenat: I am working on a series of wedding and marriage theme based novellas. They will be five books in the series. The first one will come out is September. Their themes will vary from second chances to revenge and marriage of convenience. These are some of my favourite romance tropes.
Tee: How do you describe your writing style?
Zeenat: I think it’s contemporary with a heavy mix of irony and humour. Some books are less so, of course but I really enjoy writing banter between my protagonists.
Tee: How can readers reach you?
Zeenat: Readers can find me on https://m.facebook.com/zeenatmahal.author/
Read the review of The Historian & The Hunter Here
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The Historian & The Hunter by Zeenat Mahal

Title: The Historian and The Hunter

Author: Zeenat Mahal

Publisher: Amazon Asia-Pacific Holdings Private Limited

Date of Publication: 28 February 2018

Rating: 5/5

historian

‘We are the guardians of Good. We are the Paladins. We are the Majlis-e-Shamsheer, the Secret Council, and we guard the world against monsters.’

 

Lahore. The city of Gardens. The marble cupolas of the Lahore Fort and the Badshahi Mosque add to the night time beauty of the city that was once dear to this dark male figure. Destined to live in exile paying the price of the choice that one man made eons ago, he broods over his fate as the last of the blood line.

Shirin, a hunter is on the trail of a nau-guzzah; a giant since the first child had gone missing. With a swish of her sword she chops its head off and Shirin and pehelwan understand that this is a giant people have not seen in many years and that it fed on children. They pack it up and take it with them.

The gruesome incident leads to a council meeting of various members from different religious and ethnic backgrounds regarding the issue of nau-guzzah graves and the discreet events of animal or child sacrifice caused by rampant giants. Laila and Shirin are the only female duo in this profession and it is delightful to see them working their way out of the mysteries with wit, intelligence and grace. These daring sisters are upfront in their task of catching death red handed.

Laila’s thirst for knowledge combined with Shirin’s thirst for thrills lead to a deadly combination of adventures that make up the rest of the plot of the novel. With an unusual education and upbringing, it is revealed that these sisters are also twins who’ve grown up in a brothel. Despite their differences Laila does share a taste for adventure and Shirin is equally knowledgeable too.

The language of the novel is simple and though it is a full length novel, it is a fitting read for young adults too. Through the bed time stories they hear, they learn of several different places and people, the noble men and warriors of the past and these historical events lead them towards the hidden histories within their own city. The book beautifully carves out the various places and sights in and around Lahore. Like in any other city across the world, Lahore has several haunted sights, spooky rooms and narrow alley ways.

The girls carefully and slowly discover all these places and their significance while learning a lot about themselves, their place and the world on the whole. These discoveries make them mature and shape their growth as individuals. Full of allusive ideas, the pace of the narrative is moderate and smooth. There aren’t too many ups and downs or sudden revelations. One chapter flows into the other with several small climaxes that culminate into the epilogue. There is unity in the narrative and the circularity within the story returns to the battle of bloodlines but this time with a male set of twins: Shameer and Rustam Khan. The book also comes with an index of all the Urdu words that have been used in the story alongside their English meanings.

From the the #1 bestselling romance author of She Loves Me He Loves Me Not, Haveli, The Accidental Fiancee, Twice Upon a Time and The Contract comes yet another enthralling story revolving around two dynamic female protagonists.

Intense, valiant and delectable.