Pakistan News & Features Services
Saad Shafqat, a neurologist by profession who is also known in the cricket circles for his brilliant writing, has made a spectacular start into the world of fiction with his book titled ‘Breath of Death’ which was launched recently in Karachi.
The medical fiction thriller, set in a private hospital in Karachi, has received wide acclaim from the readers and the first batch of books was reportedly sold out in just 24 hours after their arrival at the Liberty Books.
The author revealed that the main idea behind the book was to entertain the reader and he chose to keep an ambiguous writing style just to keep the reader engaged. There was ample indication in the book launch that he succeeded in his plans.
“Being an avid fan of Robin Cook’s thrillers, I aspired to adopt a style similar to Cook which would keep the reader’s attention at every page,” he remarked.
When inquired about his busy schedule, Saad Shafqat modestly stated that the only reason which kept him from writing before was his shy nature. Initially he had figured that getting his work published would be a daunting task. “But if you feel strongly about something, you automatically find the time to do it,” he stressed.
Saad Shafqat desired to relate a physician’s life, which according to him, is full of drama through his book. He started writing the book around the year 2004 and he finalised his manuscript in 2009. During that time, he followed his impulse to write whenever he could and often wrote only one page at a time.
“I have kept my writing style relatively reader friendly with most medical terms expressed in such a way that the reader would not have difficulty in understanding their context. Writing neurology in an accessible way is a challenge,” he revealed.
“Finding a credible publisher was a challenge. Being an amateur writer, I depended on the advice of peers and finally managed to find a suitable publisher in India. English fiction by a Pakistani author is a relatively new concept. There have been wonderful thrillers written in Urdu, but this is the first example of a fiction thriller in English by a Pakistani author,” he felt, hoping that the coming years would prove to be better for the genre.
He has dedicated the book to his wife, who he says, has been a steadfast support through his journey as an author. He hoped the book will be a success and would like to see it adapted into a television series some day.
Speaking about his future plans, Saad Shafqat expressed his desire to write more fictional pieces in a medical setting. He hinted that his next book might be a dark comedy. He also has an ambition to write a book on cricket, particularly on the relationship of Javed Miandad and Imran Khan in what was known as the golden era of Pakistani cricket.