Many of his age would love indulging in sports, extra-curricular activities or sometimes even get into romantic relationship but Bilal Siddiqi stands different. He is just 20 years old and has authored a fiction thriller titled, ‘The Bard of Blood,’ “Writing is something that I was always passionate about. When I was a kid, I always told myself that I’d write at least one book before I die. And here we are” he says excitedly.
The novel he has written is about the entire idea of Jihadism and how it is understood or even misunderstood in today’s time. Bilal brings about a strong protagonist like that of James Bond or Jason Bourne as India lacks such an introduction. So in The Bard of Blood he has tried to fill that void and used a hard-hitting concept as a backdrop. Basically the book is set in Balochistan and loosely deals with the situation there.
Bilal has dealt with themes like Revenge, Patriotism, the spy world and the Good versus Bad and made it a tale that is most appealing.
As always no author can totally detach himself from what he or she writes, Bilal too finds his personality leaked into the Indian strong protagonist Kabir Anand and he says, “He is in many ways the man I want to be.”
Excerpts from an interview:
The novel you have written is fiction thriller, something different from the present trend, how do you explain your selection of this genre to write your first novel and what other genre will you explore in the near future given a chance?
I am a huge fan of the genre and internationally you get hundreds of these books. In India, however there is a dearth of fiction thrillers that can play at an international level. So far now, I want to stick to that. I also want to write a true-blue noir novel soon and I’m toying with that idea.
How did you handle your studies, simultaneously researching and writing this novel?
Well, it was crazy. I would wake up at 6:30, head to college, then work and then finally write in the nights, when everyone was asleep. I thank coffee and Coca Cola for keeping me up.
Who are your favorite authors?
S. Hussain Zaidi, Daniel Silva, Khaled Hosseini
Are you working on a new book or a novel?
Yes, I am. It’s not something I can speak about just yet.
Finally he wishes his readers to read The Bard of Blood as a piece of fiction that is meant to entertain more than inform. He advises his fellow contemporary writers and novelists to keep writing and not let anything stop one from expressing what your mind wants to speak of.