Interview with Deeba Salim Irfan – Author of the Book ‘355 Days : Pursuit of Freedom’

Interview with Deeba Salim Irfan – Author of the Book ‘355 Days : Pursuit of Freedom’

About the Author:

Deeba Salim Irfan is an author, an award winning poet and a brand expert based in Dubai. To know more about her, CLICK HERE.


1: Why this genre? If you have to write in some other genre what that would be?

My current novel, ‘355 Days’ falls under Crime Fiction genre. Your question is interesting, however, when I started out to write this story, I didn’t have a certain genre in mind. I have written in different genre and formats before. My first novel, URMA, was historical fiction and second book was a coffee-table book, collection of my poems. My next novel is women fiction.

2: Your favorite part from the book?

I like the whole story because it is a story of hope and grit in the face of challenges and demonstrates miracles that unwavering faith can unfold. If I have to pin one scene, it would be the first meeting of our protagonist, Aadesh with his lawyer in jail.

3: Tell us about the idea behind the book?

The plight of wrongfully incarcerated and the fate of people close to them.

4: How much time it took in the process of writing?

It took me about 3 months to plan the story and write the outline, I spent next eight months to complete research and write my first draft. I took another one year to edit, rewrite, repeat.

5: What did the process of writing this book teach you?

I always enjoy the process of writing. I love to research. I write what I find intriguing and what I want to know more about. Through research, I keep learning and writing. This book is no different. It covers a difficult topic of wrongful incarceration and my research helped me unlock a few myths about crime, criminal, justice and reform. So I am happy with my learning.

Also Read : Author Interview – Mr Rajesh Srivastava, Author of the book The New Rules of Business

6: What inspired you to write this book?

A news piece about a murder and their suspects being arrested lead me to think  – what if the lead suspect, was not involved and was just framed? What would his family be undergoing? Then I researched online and got to know that percentage of people who are wrongly incarcerated is much higher than a common man anticipates. The more I read, the more I wanted write a story around my idea and slowly the story took shape.

7: 5 books one must read in a lifetime

I think one likes what reverberates with one’s ideas or awakens something within. Also, each reader is different. Some read to get entertained, some to learn and some to reflect. Being a voracious reader, I have many favorite books and authors. But if I have to limit it to five, my list would include the following:

Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shfak

Ikigai by Hector & Francesc

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

8: A book that had an impact on you, which helped you in writing this one?

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts.

9: Tell us about your publishing journey in 5 words.

A reward for my perseverance.

10: A quote, para from the book that inspires you?

‘Do not act as it thou wert going to live ten thousand years. Death hangs over thee. While thou livest, while it is in thy power, be good.’ Meditations – Marcus Aurelius

11: Tell us about your future plans? Planning a new book?

Yes, I am toying with a few ideas while working on my next novel.

12: What is a literary success for you?

Each writer has a purpose. Some write to entertain, some to gain sales or for fame.  For me today, literary success is beyond all this. If I am able to heal my reader emotionally through my writing, I will consider myself a success.

13: A message for all the readers.

Keep reading. Hemingway once said,  “there is no friend as loyal as a book.” 

About the Book:

A Murder. An Accused. Three Lives. What is the truth? 355 Days in the life of a British-Indian business tycoon, Aadesh Dixit; his wife, Maya and his lawyer, Nasha Singh. How will 355 Days impact their lives?

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