#Interview with authors of Twice upon a Time – Jazz Singh and Zeenat Mahal

Today I have with me not one but two authors. So let us get to know Jazz Singh and Zeenat Mahal. They have recently brought out romance novel with the intriguing title, Twice upon a Time. Let’s get to know first Jazz Singh and then Zeenat Mahal through this question and answer session.

Hello Jazz, great to have you here. Here’s my first question:

How did you become a writer, by chance or by choice?

By chance.  Adiana Ray (Rapid Fall),  introduced me to Naheed at Indireads, who was looking for romance writers from the subcontinent. I thought it would be good fun. And it is. Once I started writing I couldn’t seem to stop.

Are you a genre writer? Why (or why not)? Which genre appeals to you the most?

I have only written romance so far. I can’t predict if I will switch genres in the future. Right now I enjoy going through the love stories of my characters with them.

What makes this book special to you?

Twice upon a Time is two novellas in one book. Zeenat  made the suggestion and as we both had stories ready, we polished them, thought of a title, decided on a cover, et voila, we had a book. The stories are completely different as our  writing and sensibility are both poles apart. But I think they sit well together. Would love to have your opinion.

TUAT is special because it’s the first time we’ve done something like this. From being friends, we’ve become collaborators in what we both enjoy immensely.

A brief description of the book (your story) and its main characters.

Sunshine Girl is the story of an orphan whose circumstances are dismal but who has a never-say-die attitude.  Aanya is the eternal optimist who doesn’t let anything get her down. She is sweet and innocent but with a streak of surprising maturity that catches Gaurav’s attention.  From wanting to strike a business deal with her he ends up wanting something quite different altogether.

What are your writing fads or quirks?

Can’t think of any. Need a prompt. Perhaps I’m the model writer who has zero quirks 😉

What’s your take on these writing dilemmas? (Please specify the reason for your choice)

Plotter or pantser

Panster, most certainly. And that’s the way I am – without too much planning. I guess that spills over to the way I work as well.

Self publish or traditional

Self publish any day. It’s your work and you are entitled to do with it as you please. In other words, it’s your baby, you look after it.

Polished first draft or sloppy one?

Sloppy L in terms of plot and structure.  I’m in a hurry to get a first opinion from certain people about whether the idea is workable or not.

Deadline or family/friends time

Deadlines are for my place of work. Writing romance is what I do in my free time. So it has to be family and friends, otherwise an activity that gives me pleasure would turn into a chore. I would have no life left. Another advantage of going indie.

Writing a certain target everyday or in floods and droughts

I write as the muse strikes or if I’m in the mood. I don’t stress about routine, etc. As I said, after a day at work, I go with the flow of the mood at home.

Thank you, Jazz! This was a most interesting chat. Sunshine Girl sounds quite fascinating. I have enjoyed reading your work so far and can’t wait to read this one. In fact, it’s on top of my pile right now 🙂

Twicw Upon a Time cover

Now let’s share some coffee and cake with Zeenat Mahal.

Hello Zeenat, welcome to my blog. Let’s put you under the microscope 😉

Here goes:

How did you become a writer, by chance or by choice?

Definitely by choice. Writing is something I have to do in order to be a tolerable person. I’m quite cranky if I’m not writing.
Are you a genre writer? Why (or why not)? Which genre appeals to you the most?
I am sometimes. I write romance. I find it a relaxing exercise where I can do what I like doing best, i.e. Writing, without agonising the way I do over my other books because they have serious issues and serious story lines, often tragic.
What makes this book special to you?
This book is special because first, it’s a two- in-one novel with my friend Jazz Singh. Secondly, it’s our first self-pub venture together.
A brief description of the book and its main characters.
It’s a love story. The main characters are pathans.It’s about growing up, changing relatinships and friendship. Sheru is a typical Pathan, honourable, brave and Zoya is a well educated but constrained by circumstance kinda girl.
What are your writing fads or quirks?
I want silence when I’m working. If I’m disturbed I cant write. My mind just shuts down.
What’s your take on these writing dilemmas? (Please specify the reason for your choice)
1) plotter or pantser

Should be plotter. Having a clear line of work makes it easier, makes the book better. I usually have a very rough plot in my head and I start writing. I should spend more time on the mechanics.

2) self publish or traditional

Both. In today’s world, self-publishing is unavoidable. One should experience it. Traditional publishing has perks like editors, a must-have in my rulebook of publishing! Without an editor, your book is unpolished and therefore unpublishable.

3) Polished first draft or sloppy one?

Hail to the sloppy first draft. Just write it down. Don’t worry about the beauty treatments till you have a first draft or you may never have one at all!

4) Deadline or family/friends time

Deadlines. Though I have to admit, I will ignore them many times. But having them kinda motivates me.

5) Writing a certain target everyday or in floods and droughts

Should be a certain target—but isn’t with me. I’m more of a floods and droughts person for now (thank you for this coinage. I can name ‘it’ now) It has its own charm, but it’s frustrating and not at all professional. I feel one should have a specific amount of time dedicated to writing every day rather than word limit. It is something I am going to try now.


You’re welcome, Zeenat, I too write in ‘floods and droughts’ and the droughts make me really hard to live with! Thank you for the interview. You’ve given us fascinating answers along with some good advice for aspiring writers about the first draft.

Here are Zeenat’s links:


Twice Upon A Time is available at :



Two novellas in one. Sunshine Girl by Jazz Singh is about a young orphan girl Aanya, and Gaurav, the hardened businessman. It’s a story of idealism and materialism locking horns. Guess who wins?
Yours Truly by Zeenat Mahal is a story of two people growing up together. Zoya and Sheru, have loved each other all their lives, but now their love is tested in new ways and they must choose their paths.


7 thoughts on “#Interview with authors of Twice upon a Time – Jazz Singh and Zeenat Mahal

  1. What would it take to be interviewed by you, or be on your blog? I’m afraid I’m well past your granny’s years and I don’t have a pretty face. But I have good stories to tell, even if there are no takers.
    Cheers and God bless.


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