Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Naz Kutub Interview - The Loophole


Photo Content from Naz Kutub

Naz Kutub was born and raised in Singapore, and currently lives in Los Angeles with his partner Benson, and his two furry garbage collectors – Alex and Raffe. He will forever be grateful to fried chicken for being a primary motivator in his early years, and also for preventing him from becoming a fitness model, because writing is much more fulfilling.

        
  

Greatest thing you learned at school.
This may be a controversial opinion, but school taught me to challenge authority, that a child should be allowed to learn what they wanted, instead of being forcefed information on subjects they weren’t interested in.

When/how did you realize you had a creative dream or calling to fulfill?
I was an IT professional for almost two decades and realized it was slowly consuming my soul. The money was good but it wasn’t fulfilling. I needed to find joy somehow, and discovered that writing was a great outlet for it.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
I got to meet teachers at a conference in Las Vegas and could not believe how excited they were to meet authors like me. It was pretty eye-opening to be able to chat with them, and hear about their experiences while teaching.

What was the single worst distraction that kept you from writing this book?
Food. Food’s always the worst distraction!

Why is storytelling so important for all of us?
I think it’s the most effective way of instilling empathy, because when someone reads, they’re imagining themselves in the shoes of the character, going through something they’ve never experienced before.

Can you tell us when you started THE LOOPHOLE, how that came about?
I wanted to write a journey book that’s inspired by my own lived experiences, and THE LOOPHOLE was what came out of that desire.

What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating your characters?
That I could have my own truth in every character I create. That they could be different sides of myself, instead of fully fictional people I’ve never met.

Meet the Characters
I’ve always thought of Sy and Reggie as two different sides of myself.

Sy is the teenage me, the one who was always afraid of everything. Who thought the world was the scariest place, and was unwilling to ever part with what he’d always known to be safe. He’d never want to try different foods, or leave the comforts of home, because he knew one wrong step could upend his entire life.

Whereas Reggie…Reggie is the fun side of me. The one who came alive after shedding all my fears after living homeless on the streets of New York. The one who realized that different foods and drinks from all over the world can teach you so much. Meeting people doesn’t have to be scary, and that dogs are perfectly acceptable animals.

What is the first job you have had?
I was a waiter at 14 for a major hotel chain in Singapore. It was the first time I earned money on my own and I even bought a game console with it.

What is the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning?
Fried chicken.

What is your most memorable travel experience?
Istanbul. Always Istanbul.

What's your most missed memory?
Hanging out with my family in Singapore.

Which incident in your life that totally changed the way you think today?
Losing my fear of dogs.

What do you usually think about right before falling asleep?
Will I wake up?

If you had to go back in time and change one thing, if you HAD to, even if you had “no regrets” what would it be?
Speak up more for myself in the face of authority.

Most horrifying dream you have ever had?
Being chased by Freddie Krueger. Pretty scary.


Your wish is granted! This YA debut is equal parts broken-hearted love story, epic myth retelling, and a world-journey romp to find home.

Sy is a timid seventeen-year-old queer Indian-Muslim boy who placed all his bets at happiness on his boyfriend Farouk...who then left him to try and "fix the world." Sy was too chicken to take the plunge and travel with him and is now stuck in a dead-end coffee shop job. All Sy can do is wish for another chance.... Although he never expects his wish to be granted.

When a mysterious girl slams into (and slides down, streaks of make-up in her wake) the front entrance of the coffee shop, Sy helps her up and on her way. But then the girl offers him three wishes in exchange for his help, and after proving she can grant at least one wish with a funds transfer of a million dollars into Sy's pitifully struggling bank account, a whole new world of possibility opens up. Is she magic? Or just rich? And when his father kicks him out after he is outed, does Sy have the courage to make his way from L. A., across the Atlantic Ocean, to lands he'd never even dreamed he could ever visit? Led by his potentially otherworldly new friend, can he track down his missing Farouk for one last, desperate chance at rebuilding his life and re-finding love?

You can purchase The Loophole at the following Retailers:
        

1 Winner will receive The Loophole Storytellers BOX.
1 Winner will receive a $20 Amazon Gift Card
jbnpastinterviews

13 comments:

  1. Really nice cover and excerpt, looking forward to reading this!

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  2. Forgot to add that I'd choose to live in Iceland for the year.

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  3. I would live in Montana. I love wilderness and wild animals.

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  4. japan or s.korea for the cute stuff!

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  5. I'd love to live in Hawaii for a year.

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  6. I would want to live in Utah, looks like a beautiful state

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  7. I would want to live in Hawaii for a year.

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  8. I would love to live in Paris, France

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  9. I'd like to live in New Zealand for a year.
    Thanks for the contest.

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