We’re super excited to be interviewing Harjit on the blog today, talking to us all about his current WIP! The book sounds so wonderful, and we know it’s going to be something our readers are going to love (and he likes Taylor Swift, so what a bonus!) Be sure to click read more if you want to see what he has to say!
Hi Harjit! Thank you so much for joining our tea party today! We’re so excited you’re here. For our friends who might be meeting you for the first time, would you mind telling us a little bit about yourself and #BloomWIP?
Hi, I’m so glad to be here! Thanks so much for having me!
So hello everyone, I’m Harjit Singh or H.K. Singh. I’m a 22 year old gay Black/Asian author from the UK. I’ve been writing ever since I was 7 and recently been loving the writing community online.
I officially debuted with my self published book Semiautomagic back in 2019. At the moment, between short stories, I’m currently working on a project I’ve announced as #BloomWIP – it’s a contemporary fantasy based on my MA dissertation.
The WIP is currently slated to follow Ethan Bloom, a 20-something who winds up being sucked through a “rupture in reality”. He ends up in a magical place known as Hearth City – a fantasy-esque megacity based on NYC. There, he encounters elves, orcs and all sorts of supernatural beings.
However, more and more ruptures appear and threaten to bring total calamity when the bridges between the magical world and reality threaten to break, causing untold levels of doom for both worlds. Ethan must work with, and sometimes against the supernatural to stop the ruptures and hopefully save The Many Worlds in the process.
It’s NA (new adult), with coming of age, blue collar warlock and a dash of found family in there.
Could you tell us a little about your drafting process, and what goes into it? I saw that your playlist includes MY TEARS RICOCHET, which instantly has me hooked!
Thanks so much! Yeah I absolutely love me some Folklore or Evermore, Taylor Swift is a legend.
My drafting process is very slow, which has really bogged me down. But I’ve recently started to make playlists and aesthetics for my works, my characters. What I like to do now is take walks around a local park just behind my house and listen to the playlist for my WIP, it really gets me in the zone and thinking of different things, different characters, ideas, details.
It really works wonders and lets me kinda stay in that headspace for my work.
Drafting wise, I’m a very heavy planner. Not so much I know the colour of character’s socks, but I love to map out all these little details for scenes, the clothing characters wear, the way they use their magic and so on. So a lot of my time is spent on plotting before I dive head first into drafting. There, I put on some tunes, try to stay calm and write. I have to kinda push myself to enter this sort of ‘zen’ where I just let the words come to me.
If #BloomWIP was a tea party, what would it be? What kind of tea would be served, and what tea party treat do you think your characters would bring?
Oooh that’s a super good question!
I imagine it as sort of serene. It’s on these long rolling hills of endless emerald grass, all panning out to a sky stuck at sunset. A large sycamore tree is at the back, as the characters bring flasks and teapots and lay them down for a sort of impromptu tea party picnic.
A satyr bring sparkling concoctions that smell of sweet wine and taste sweeter still. Orcs carry big pots with enough calming tea for everybody, it seems like an odd mixture of lavender and green tea, yet it somehow just works. It’d just be really becalming, something opposite from the city that sits in the distance.
As for treats, well there aren’t any Skittles or stuff in Hearth City. So we’ve got the best treats of all, baked goods. I’m talking cakes, macaroons, cookies, the works. Just be careful, I think a mischievous satyr might have enchanted one of their treats to actually be really spicy haha
Let’s do some book recommendations! What are a few 2021 releases you are looking forward to, or read already and loved?
Oooh for 2021? I have so many on my list, but I’ll try to keep it short.
Gearbreakers by Zoe Hana is definitely one. Oh my god, I am in love with the concept ever since I saw it on her Twitter. She’s also super nice and supportive of writers, and I’d love to check it out this June.
Ace of Spades is one I’ve recently come across too, that’s by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé. I’ve heard nothing but good things about it and I love some dark academia.
And finally, I think I’d have to say Counting Down with You by Tashie Bhuiyan – it’s been constantly all up on my timeline but I love the look of it. I’m not even a guy who’s into romance books, but when I saw it’s about a romance where a guy buys the protagonist tons of books? How could I not want to check that out?
So yeah, there are definitely plenty of others I want to read like Our Violent Ends (Chloe Gong), The Chosen and the Beautiful (Nghi Vo) and She Who Became The Sun (Shelley Parker-Chan). It’s reminding me how much money I need to save this year to buy all these books, but yeah 2021 is slating to be a fantastic year especially for YA.
Looking forward to the future a little: what’s your wildest pie-in-the-sky writing dream?
Oh wow, my wildest dream?
Well my wildest dream for most of my life, since I was seven was to just “become an author”. And I did, and I’m so proud of myself for that.
But now that I’ve become an adult and obviously don’t want to stop at just one book, I think something akin to like a huge prize, I think the Booker Prize. That’d be really amazing to win a prize like that. I’ve never won an award for my writing before so just imagining something like that blows my mind away.
Here’s hoping, maybe one day.
Do you have any tips for other writers?
I think the most important thing is cut through the noise. Back in 2020, the pandemic was the last straw among a multitude of things building up for years and I lost my ability to write for months, during my MA for Creative Writing. So you can only imagine the stress there…
But I’ve learned, especially being online, there’s just a lot of bullshit out there. A lot of “write everyday”, “no don’t write everyday”, write like this, write like that, etc.
Of course, like anything, writing is a craft and there’s things you can do right and things you can do wrong. But if you spend too much time consuming all these opinions, all this advice and critique and discourse, you can get overwhelmed, you leave no time for yourself. So take a step back, don’t think about it, just write. Remember, why you started writing, and just write.
You can literally worry about all the other stuff later, but the most important thing is to just get pen on paper, fingers on keyboards, and enjoy yourself. Trust me, there is most assuredly a reason to start writing and whenever you doubt yourself, please remember that the world will always need more and more stories.
Harjit Keanu Singh is a 22 year old SFF author from the UK. Ever since he was seven years old he’d always had a love for literature, and soon a passion for reading stories transformed into creating his own. It was from then that he dreamed of becoming an author, and fulfilled that with his debut SEMIAUTOMAGIC in 2019. Now, as a writer in his twenties, he hopes to further improve his craft and bring fantastical adult stories to the literary world.