WS: What genre do you write in? Why?
WS: What is your favorite book or writing craft book? Why?
MK: Peter Turchi's Maps of the Imagination is a unique take on thinking about story as a narrative map. When one imagines translating a physical space onto a map, one makes a multitude of decisions about what to depict and how, compressing distances and details until the most relevant, the most important and most enlightening remain. Turchi teaches us to think of story the same way. A mind-shifting reading, especially for novelists.
WS: What fears do you have about your writing?
MK: I worry endlessly that I might not have made the time to do full justice to a piece of work, slowed down enough to polish every single facet of it that could have been. I also know that one has to let go of the story at some point. I just want to make sure I don't let go too soon. One's brain works incredibly hard in the background, and I'm sometimes shocked about what I catch after returning to a work weeks or months later.
WS: What are your tips for submitting writing?
MK: Submit often, but not in a hurry. That is, send only your most polished work. But send it out a lot!
WS: What inspires your writing?
MK: Art in every form. Engaging with visual art, performance, music, creativity in forms other than my own enriches and complicates my work.
WS: Where are you from and does that place ever enter into your writing?
MK: I was born in Pakistan and raised in the United Arab Emirates. These places and people have been formative for me and a lot of my writing includes not only characters from these backgrounds, but also, a sensibility of the cultures, the sounds of the languages I grew up with permeate my work.
WS: Drop any links or promos for your recent work, include your social media links
MK: I’m on Twitter: @mayakanwal; I have stories forthcoming in the next few months in Witness, Meridian, The Margins, and a couple of other journals. I'll be linking them up to my website at http://mayakanwal.com.