Episode 317: Be True to the Character and Tell Your Truth — Interview with Syed M. Masood

by Gabriela Pereira
published in Podcast

Hey there word nerds!

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Syed M. Masood.

Syed M. Masood grew up in Karachi, Pakistan, and now lives with his wife and children in Sacramento, California, where he is a practicing attorney. He wrote a few couplets in Urdu when he was a teenager, and his family still tells everyone he is an Urdu poet. He is not. More Than Just a Pretty Face is his young adult debut novel.

In this episode Syed and I discuss:

  • Why you need to listen to what your characters want as you write
  • How honoring universal experiences allows readers to understand your reality
  • Ways to keep the romance trope interesting, but also staying within the form

Plus, his #1 tip for writers.

About the Author

Syed M. Masood grew up in Karachi, Pakistan, and now lives with his wife and children in Sacramento, California, where he is a practicing attorney. He wrote a few couplets in Urdu when he was a teenager, and his family still tells everyone he is an Urdu poet. He is not. More Than Just a Pretty Face is his young adult debut novel. You can find Syed on his website and on Twitter.

More Than Just a Pretty Face 

Syed M Masood

For fans of Becky Albertalli and Jenny Han, a sweetly funny YA rom-com debut about arranged marriage, falling in love, familial expectations, and being a Renaissance Man.

Danyal Jilani has no lack of confidence. He may not be the smartest guy in the room, but he’s funny, gorgeous, and going to make a great chef one day. His father doesn’t approve of his career choice, but that hardly matters. What does matter is the opinion of Danyal’s longtime crush, the perfect-in-all-ways Kaval, and her family, who consider him a less than ideal arranged-marriage prospect.

Then Danyal gets selected for the Renaissance Man, a school-wide academic championship and the perfect opportunity to show everyone he’s smarter than they think. He recruits the brilliant, totally-uninterested-in-him Bisma to help with the competition, but the more time Danyal spends with her…the more he learns from her…the more he cooks for her…the more he realizes that happiness may be staring him right in his pretty face.

If you decide to check out the book, we hope you’ll do so via this Amazon affiliate link, where if you choose to purchase via the link DIY MFA gets a referral fee at no cost to you. As always, thank you for supporting DIY MFA!

Link to Episode 317

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Until next week, keep writing and keep being awesome!

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