The All Inclusive Writing Experience

The All Inclusive Writing Experience

Posted on October 14 by Farzana Doctor in Interview
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Tell us about your book.

All Inclusive is about a father and daughter who’ve never met, finding one another. It’s also about all inclusive resorts, ghosts, the Air India bombing and swingers.  Yes, all those themes somehow link together!


What was the creative process like for you?

I set word count goals and sit at my laptop hoping to achieve them.  I ask my Facebook friends to help me figure out stuff like when the Westdale Tim Hortons opened, or whether Brownie badges get sown to sleeves or sashes. I try to remain still and silent long enough to hear the spirits tell me about my characters.


What was the hardest part of writing your book?

In this story, sex is a metaphor for my protagonist’s growth.  But sex is a topic that is fraught for most people, including me. I wanted to write the swinger scenes in a way that captured how complicated, odd, silly, wonderful, ugly and awkward sex can be. I had to wrestle with my inner critic a lot.


Describe the most memorable response you've received from a reader.

I love it when my work helps readers develop more empathy for themselves and other.  It’s what I enjoy about reading fiction. One woman told me that she was ready to hate Ismail (Six Metres of Pavement’s protagonist) for causing his daughter’s hot car death. But as she read the novel, she grew to understand his humanity and that we are all flawed and fallible.


Has a review or profile ever changed your perspective on your work?

Reviewers and readers have helped me to become conscious about things I’ve written unconsciously, drawing connections that I hadn’t noticed before.  I think I only really understand what my novels are “about” a year after they’ve been published.


Farzana Doctor

Posted by Dundurn Guest on December 6, 2014
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Farzana Doctor

Farzana Doctor is the author of Stealing Nasreen, All Inclusive, and Six Metres of Pavement, which won a Lambda Literary Award and was shortlisted for the Toronto Book Award. She lives in Toronto.