We all want to be next. The next superstar, the next star athlete, the next social media darling, the next intellectual prodigy. There’s this belief that excellence means worth, and that to be special is to be worthwhile.
Shakeil Kanish knows something about excellence. He wrote an excellent book with his co-author, Larissa Mandeville. He also knows something about the ordinary: a self-described ordinary gay boy, horror movie lover, and LGBTQ+ author.
But sometimes, ordinary is exactly what the world needs. Sometimes, ordinary is magic.
(You can read my review of The Sigil here.)
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m just your everyday lover of karaoke and horror movies! An LGBTQ+ member who just wants to write amazing novels for people like me so that I can see myself in books. I work for the AF and am super proud to serve my country while also serving up some amazing novels! And I just hope it can only go uphill from here!
Tell us about your novel, The Sigil.
It’s a story about a gay boy trying to find his place in the world after his brothers mysterious death, and just kind of accepting that you can be just as big a hero being normal. You don’t need fancy powers or magic.
What is your favorite novel, and has it inspired how you write? How?
I really always loved A Wrinkle in Time. I don’t know what it was but something about just it being a normal everyday kind of day and then bam they’re just thrown into this crazy world with a crazy antagonist… it just always got me super hyped and it def inspired me to want to write my own novels.
What are some key takeaways you’re hoping readers get from your book?
I hope they finally get to see an LGBTQ+ character and a POC being the forefront of novels growing up. We didn’t have enough of those so I really wanted to do that for myself and others who wanted that too. I want them to just see themselves in some of the characters and kinda of show that anyone can be a hero.
What is different about your novel?
I think the characters are very unique. Nova is so brash. I think some people will think she’s over the top but she’s based on a real person I know so it’s important to know people of all shapes and sizes exist and not everyone has to be this quiet, like every other girl cliche. I think the twist at the end is pretty out of left field so I hope readers really enjoy that I LOVE twist endings.
What are your plans for future novels?
So The Sigil is a duology so I’m actually working on the sequel as we speak so keep an eye out for that .
What inspires you to write?
Just wanting to tell a story and hoping that even one person wants to listen is more than enough to keep me going.
What do you enjoy about publishing, and what do you struggle with?
Getting to work and collaborate with other people and just making your novel the best it can be is super exciting and fun! As far as struggles just creatively sometimes we are not on the same wavelength so finding that balance is super important .
What has been your greatest struggle writing, and how would you inspire other writers to overcome it?
Probably just writing in general sitting down and actually putting words to paper is SO hard as any writer knows but sometimes you just gotta power through!
How can we purchase your book?
It’ll be available on Amazon and the 3 Furies Press website!