Razi Imam - A Captivating Adventure, Story of Love and Display of Human Ingenuity and Bravery
Razi Imam's debut novel MASTERS OF THE BROKEN WATCHES has won the 2021 IAN Book of the Year Award, 2021 Readers' Favorite Bronze Medal Award, and the 2020 American Fiction Book Award. In addition, his book is also listed as a finalist in The Wishing Shelf Book Award. As our Author of the Day, he tells us all about his book, Masters of the Broken Watches.
Please give us a short introduction to what Masters of the Broken Watches is about.
Masters of the Broken Watches is the first in the series of five books. Each book stands on its own and they are also interconnected in addressing a set of larger humanitarian goals. They sit at the cross-section of global cultures, mysterious science, hard-packed action-adventure, and human ingenuity. My goal is to use the art of storytelling to inspire readers to get involved with global challenges faced by humanity such as hunger, poverty, disease, illiteracy, inequality, injustice, and racism.
The first book Master of the Broken Watches introduces readers to the team of leading characters and their opening adventure. It is an ensemble cast of misfit humanitarian scientists, and researchers who have been shunned by leading academic institutions for their belief that living among us in this world are five hidden animals capable of lifting humanity and evolving mankind. They believe for our world to survive mankind has to evolve to a higher plane of existence and these five hidden animals are the key.
What inspired you to write a science/action-adventure featuring a team of marine biologists?
Our world is 70% covered by oceans. We haven't even begun to understand the complexity of marine life living in our parallel ecosystem. There are over 91% species living in our oceans that have not been classified and over 80% of our oceans have not been mapped and or explored. And most importantly water pulls me, every time I am on a deck of a ship or looking over a large body of water I feel as if it is calling me. There is an unexplained high level of attraction to water.
Tell us more about Sebastian Miles. What makes him tick?
Sebastian Miles is a mixed-race Belgium Congo American citizen. Scientist, adventure lover, single-minded focused almost to a flaw. He has a PhD from Scripps Institute of Oceanography based in San Diego. He has a mystery about him that he himself is not aware of and would be revealed over the course of the series. He has a strong moral compass however unafraid to break the laws to achieve his goals. He ignores his logical mind and operates on gut instinct.
Readers say the book is fast-paced. How did you pull this off?
I believe that is how I am wired. I feel the situation while writing it. For me my heartbeat has to race when writing an action scene. And I think I see it as a movie and all I am doing is penning it down.
What did you have the most fun with when writing this story?
I love observing characters that come into my daily life. I enjoy understanding their thinking. What gives them pride, focusing on how they rise up from adversity. What gives them pause. What drives them to make good and bad decisions. Why do they procrastinate or have a sense of urgency? I also love the research of actual places, restaurants, cities, villages, coffee shops where my readers could visit. Plus science is my addiction, I cannot get enough of it.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
I am not sure if this is true or how accurate, it appears I am able to see patterns in discrete unrelated events and connect the dots. This gives me the ability to get to the root causes of most positive or even negative situations.
The book contains a couple of interesting twists, according to readers. Did you plan it all out before you started writing, or did some of it just "happen" along the way?
The big events were planned however my characters create most situations and I write them out. The twists, turns, and surprises in the book were surprises to me too. They were all led by characters in the book.
The story paints a unique perspective about the nature of time. Why did you decide to write about it this way?
I have been researching on the subject of time for many years and apart from time travel and alternate timelines, there wasn't any new thinking in this area. I decided to use the mysterious occurrences we all experience and created a new definition of time.
Does the book contain an underlying message? What do you hope readers will take away from this?
Yes, all my books will have a deeper message, they will introduce the readers to different cultures, diversity, and inclusion. It will help them see that citizens of the world have to get engaged in the bigger challenges facing the mere existence of humanity. We have to take care of our world and all the living beings with whom we share this world.
Do you have any interesting writing habits? What is an average writing day like for you?
I have my own AI research firm and that takes over my entire week. I only get to write in the evening for two hours and then on weekend mornings for four hours. Or when we go on vacations.
What are you working on right now?
My next book in the series is "Masters of the Vanishing Walls."