‘Writing Does Not Pay Enough To Pay The Bills’ : In Conversation With Author Andaleeb Wajid

by Dikhyaa Mohanty

Andaleeb Wajid, a well-known author from Bengaluru has conquered the minds of young adults’ readers with her unique storytelling that connects with each other. Her previously books like Asmara’s Summer, My Brother’s Wedding and No Time for Goodbyes are some of the bestseller books. With an assemblage of publishers which include Duckbill, Rupa, Speaking Tiger, Penguin Random House, and Juggernaut; she has traversed genres varying from romance to horror.

Andaleeb Wajid has written on assorted topics like food, relationships and marriages in a Muslim context. Her is an exclusive interview where Andaleeb bestows her expertise with the fast-changing city, her writing method and how she manages to capture the young mind.

 Tell us something about yourself – regarding schooling and your education.

Hi. I was brought up in Bangalore. Studied at Baldwin Girl’s High School and later did my college education at Jyoti Nivas College. I also did an MA in English Literature from Madurai Kamaraj University.

When did you think that you want to become a writer? How did that happen?

I’ve always enjoyed telling stories. Whenever a group of people got together, I would love to tell them stories, either imaginary or based on something I’d seen or read. Becoming a writer seemed to be a natural progression from that.


Andaleeb Wajid


To get new ideas many writers adopt different methods for themselves, so how do you get your ideas for writing?

My method of writing is straightforward. When I get an idea, I just sit down at my desk and start making notes and plans about it. When I’m confident enough that I have a story, I start writing. As for ideas, they are there, everywhere.

How did your first book or publishing your first book change your process of writing?

I became more serious about writing as a career. I realized that I had been doing this all wrong, treating writing as a hobby when I wanted to do it all the time. When I published my first book, I had been working as a content writer. I quit the job and decided to focus only on writing for a while.

Tell us about your favourite writers, favourite book or favourite genre. Any genre you want to work on?

Favourite writers are far too many to fit here just like a favourite book. Favourite genre is definitely romance, crime and mystery.



 There are so many young writers who want to adopt this career but often get confused and lost. Any word of advice for them?

I would advise them not to give up their jobs because writing does not pay enough to pay the bills. Apart from that, I would advise them to read as much as they can. Your writing can improve only when you read.

 How did this whole scenario of pandemics change your life? Did any changes happen professionally and personally?

Professionally, I published two novels with Penguin this year, All Drama No Queen and Mirror Mirror in 2021. I also self-published three novels on Amazon KDP. Personally, it has been a devastating year as I lost my husband and mother-in-law to the second wave in May.

Do you want your books to be onscreen, let say in a Bollywood movie? If yes then which book do you want to see on screen and which actors do you want to be cast?

Yes, I’d love to see them on screen, but I have no aspirations about who would be cast in them. This is anyway never up to us to decide. I haven’t thought that far ahead.


Tell us about your family.

I have two sons and I live with them in Bangalore.

Well, you are married and in one of the interviews, you have mentioned that you got married at the age of 19 and it was liberating. So how did it change your life and as a writer?

Early marriage is not something I would recommend to anyone but mine did change my life positively. I got a head start of sorts in life and I had my kids earlier so now they’re grown up which makes it relatively easy for me to pursue my career.

 Your next project …. Tell us about that… 

My next project is a romance novel that I am self-publishing on Amazon KDP. It’s called A Taste of Midnight and is part of a 5 book series that I am writing. Apart from this, I also have a young adult horror novel out with Harper Collins India next year.


Interview By Dikhya Mohanty 



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