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INTERVIEW: Mahtab Rohan, author of ‘Your Heart After Dark’

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MAHTAB ROHAN is a Canadian writer of South Asian & Himalayan descent. Rohan was born in Ontario and currently resides in the relentlessly cold Canadian Prairies. When she’s not writing stories that keep her up at night, she’s busy perfecting her square rotis and tutoring English.YOUR HEART AFTER DARK (SEPTEMBER 2020) is her debut novel.



Tell us about your latest book “Your Heart After Dark”.

YHAD follows desi Canadian teen Maria Chaudhry as she deals with a dysfunctional family and the loss of a friend. Meanwhile, her crush is hiding that he’s a werewolf involved in the death of her friend.
 Is there any story behind the title? 
I was inspired by Drake’s line “Your heart is hard to carry after dark”. For me, it speaks to how it’s hard to maintain a relationship during difficult times, and that’s why I chose it as a title. Ehmet and Maria struggle to maintain their connection not only to each other but to themselves.

What actually got you into the field of writing?

I’ve been writing for a long time, but I got into it professionally after realizing I couldn’t do it as a side hustle. I had to focus on it completely and prioritize it if I wanted to succeed in it, and that meant sacrificing the pursuit of other traditional careers.
 As an author, I’m sure your book is very close to your heart but I would like to hear from you about how much this work of yours matters to you. 
 A book matters to me most when I’m writing it and getting creative fulfillment from it. After it’s complete, I’m not very precious about it. I try to detach myself from it and let it out into the wild (just imagine Spongebob telling that seahorse to go away).
 Beyond a certain point, clinging to your work emotionally isn’t healthy, especially considering it will be open for criticism and hateful feedback, and people will say what they want about it. If you don’t distance yourself from it, you’ll take a direct hit from all that negativity.

Any advice for budding authors from South Asian countries?

 You face a unique layer of challenges as a POC writer, especially if you live in a non-Western country. Be aware of what those challenges are but also be aware of the flip side, which is that you have a unique voice and perspective that no white writer can replicate.
Know your value and don’t let anyone treat you like a second class writer. If you have a solid grip on your craft and knowledge of the business, you will find a way to succeed.


Want to know more about the book? Then check out my review here




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