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Sunday, December 10, 2023

Saz Vora Explores British-Gujarati Milieu & Parenthood in New Novels

Saz Vora is the Short Film Co-ordinator for the UK Asian Film Festival.

Prior to her journey into writing, she held successful jobs in Television Production and later as a teacher of Film and Media Production at secondary schools.

Her books are based in the UK and tell the trials and tribulation of a young British Gujarati couple as they experience life’s challenges.

My Heart Sings Your Song and Where Have We Come are available as eBook on all digital platforms.

My Heart chronicles on a couple Reena and Nikesh – whose paths cross frequently, and they fall in love.

But the road to their Bollywood romance is fraught and full of obstacles. Eventually, they get their happy ever after, but will the Guru’s prediction come true?

The second novel, Where Have We Come is based on the birth of their first-born, the couple discover that their baby is very sick and their family and friends rally around to help.

Will the chasm created by their differences in dealing with the stresses and strains of looking after a poorly child pull them apart?

Vora talks to Filme Shilmy about penning her latest works.

You’ve come to writing late in your life can you to tell me why you wanted to write?

I’ve wanted to write this story for a long time; it will be twenty-eight years since it began.

The story is divided into two novels that I’ve called University Series – Reena and Nikesh.

My Heart Sings Your Song, is a romance with references to music, Bollywood films and a coming of age story with trails and tribulation of a British Asian couple who meet at University.

My second novel Where Have We Come, is a family drama, about the same couple and their experience of having a disabled child. That is available from March 8th, 2020 on all eBook platforms.

Where Have You Come, is the story I’ve wanted to tell, it is semi-autobiographical.

It is a tale of how parents dealt with the birth and subsequent diagnosis of their baby.

The support we received from friends and family. The prejudices and superstitions that came with the territory in the community.

It is a story of two people, from different background and who sought help the only way they knew how.

Why did you indie publish instead of finding a publishing company?

I did a lot of research before I started writing about my experience.

I sent a couple of chapters and an outline to people and received favourable comments encouraging me to write it, but it was a niche market. My journey isn’t typical.

I decided I would self-publish while I waited for my readers to get back to me with comments and alterations.

I learnt the business of publishing, the drafting, the formatting, the editing, publishing and distribution. I chose to have all the processes in my hand; after all, it is my story.

My only aim is to tell people that they are not alone, and that other people have gone through, what they are going through.

Topics, such as suicide, post-natal depression, mental health are ignored in the South Asian Community. I believe it’s time we speak up.

The digital publishing revolution has enabled many minority voices to tell their stories.

It wasn’t easy, and I’m not J K Rowling, I want people like myself to read stories that are relatable to them.

What’s next for you?

I have more stories that I want to tell, stories about multicultural Britain, about friendships that grow regardless of background.

When I was researching what type of books I should write, I found stories about women who were being subjected to the same superstitions and customs in Britain today.

Women my age, telling daughters and female relatives that their child is disabled because of what they had or hadn’t done.

The University Series that I’m planning are six books in total, dealing with issues, such as grief, depression, disability, cancer, infertility, caste, interfaith relationships, infidelity, divorce, homosexuality, sex before marriage, topics that are still taboo in the community.

I want to open up discussion in the community and beyond to discuss these topics honestly without repercussion, to allow everyone to express their voice. 

Saz was born in East Africa and migrated with her family to England in the 60s to the Midlands where she grew up straddling British and Gujarati Indian culture.

Before she started writing South Asian romance, she held down successful jobs in Television Production and Teaching.

But her need to write stories about the trial and tribulations of life has led to what she is doing now – writing.

For more information on Saz, check out her website here.

My Heart Sings Your Song and Where Have We come are available as eBook on all digital platforms.

Anuj Radia
Journalist and film enthusiast.

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