Hey guys, I’m back with another Author Q&A! Again, I received the author’s reply dua bulan lepas tapi baru sekarang aku nak post interview ni, maybe ada silver lining, sebab dengar kata buku Sempurna dah OOS kat Shopee Buku Fixi, tapi kat kedai buku lain available lagi, baiklah korang beli cepat-cepat sementara stok masih ada. Ok done promote, not sponsored ye.
Okay, let’s get into the interview, but in case you haven’t read my review on Sempurna, click HERE for the full review.
Q: Firstly, why not introduce a little bit about yourself?
A: Hello! My name is Aiman Hazziq, although nobody close to me (friend-wise) calls me that. All my writings are published under Buku Fixi, with PERMAINAN (2016) being my first book. Then, come Buruan (2016) and the latest one is SEMPURNA (2021). I also did two short stories under Buku Fixi ‘Cerpen Hari Jumaat’. I started writing when I was in high school, so my style in PERMAINAN/BURUAN was different with SEMPURNA, in my opinion.
Q: Setelah beberapa tahun senyap dalam dunia penulisan, kini kembali dengan buku terbaru, do you mind to share with us what’s your inspiration behind this story?
A: The big gap between my first two novels and the latest is due to that I got the opportunity to further my studies in New Zealand. Before I went there, I said to myself that this will be a great opportunity to write on my experience there. However, I ended up enjoying myself too much there and had no time dedicated to writing.
But this changed when I finished my studies. While most of my friend went back home, I stay back for a year to work in a minimum wage job. During the first month, I remember that almost every week, I will go to the airport to sent off my friend. It is a weird feeling, seeing all your friends moving on with their lives, while you stay in the city that you study and have fun every day, clinging to the past. At some point, loneliness strike. And this motivates me to write about this story on losing a friend.
If I’m being honest, the original idea actually came up when my friend (who was then the President of Wellington Malaysian Student Association) asked me to write a script for a Malaysian Night. Being a fool back then, I write a story about friendship and losing a friend, which of course got rejected as it does not resemble anything related to Malaysian culture. LOL. So, I revamped the idea a couple months later when I finished my studies, and here we are.
Q: In your opinion, how have you grown as a writer over the years?
When I look back at my first two books, I realize how different it is with my latest one. Although it is just 4 years gap, but during that 4 years, I actually grew more than I thought and experience a lot of things. By no means I’m saying I’m fully matured now, but I realized that me 4 years ago was just a kid who just finished high school and still has a lot to learn. Back then, I really like action and crime genre. However, this past year, I tend to really like stories about life and friendship more. After all, we spend our whole live wondering why the hell God creates us.
Q: Why Sempurna? What’s the significance behind this title?
A: There are two reasons. Author cakap nak tahu kena baca buku ni guys. Oops!
Q: Saya perasan semua watak ada nickname and most of them are very different with their real names. At one point, saya hampir conclude-kan Kurt ialah mat saleh, no jokes. Do you mind to share why that is done?
A: Based on my experience, sometime nickname doesn’t really relate to their original name. It may be due to certain event or things that happen in the past. Even my nickname myself doesn’t have anything to do with my name, and same case like most of my friend. There is no particular reason for this.
Q: This book deals with losing a really close friend. Is this incident somehow happened to you before?
A: In the ‘Penghargaan’ section, I dedicated this book to two of my friends who has passed away. Although I am not close to them, but they are my dear friend and their departure was grieved.
Amir Syazwan was my friend in high school, and he passed away in 2016, only 2 years after finishing high school. It breaks my heart seeing how his close friend deal with the lost. It is heartbreaking but at the same time, I am amaze how close they are that until now, they will always talk about him and visit his grave. Their relationship was full of love, and not a single artificial feeling.
Ehsan Zakaria was my friend in university. We used to study together back in Melaka. He passed away recently on January 2021 in New Zealand. His character was so bright that everyone was impacted by the loss, and I can’t imagine how his close circle cope with the lost, especially during this pandemic and him being away from home.
May both of them rest in peace. I hope I won’t ever need to experience losing a really close friend. Even losing a dear friend was heartbreaking, I’m not sure I can handle losing a really close friend of mine.
Q: You discuss about writing and publishing industry in this book, do you mind to share with us what are your thoughts on the local publishing scene?
A: I am eternally grateful for the presence of Buku Fixi and similar kind of publishing house like I Am Lejen, Dubook, etc. I think in a way, they revolutionize the book industry. The market used to be full of malays 7pm drama, but now reader can choose from variety of genre, easily accessible and at an affordable price too! Although their glorious years seems to be ending (some of this publishing house has already closed operation I think), I believe that there will always be demand on this kind of book.
Ideally, I want it to be better. But some things are out of our control, for instance the population number of our country. Our market is small and with small population, come smaller demand, and smaller money. Eventually, people need to pay bills. Small money means there is author with great potential out there somewhere that put away his craft due to the economic restraint. In addition, although we have minute degree of control to our government, but their actions/injection to the book industry was also disappointing. I kinda wish there is more incentives/promotion to the industry by the government.
Q: Apakah mesej anda kepada pembaca yang akan membaca buku Sempurna?
A: I remember this story that was told to me by an older man. He talks about his best friend who passed away due to cancer few years back. They have been really close friend for 20 years plus. They grew up together essentially. I still remember the story till this day. The part that I want to highlight is, during the funeral, he controls himself so that he didn’t cry. He said that he just lost a friend, while the deceased wife lost a husband, the deceased mother lost a son, the deceased siblings lost a brother. He was just a friend, with no blood relationship. Although he is ‘more family’ than the real family, he knew more about the deceased than his own family, by title, he was still just a friend. That thought destroy him, that you cannot be sadder than the family members.
My message is that, losing a really close friend breaks you and could throw you to the deepest pit in the world. And that’s okay. It’s okay to cry and feel hopeless. It’s a legit feeling. We are all humans with feelings.
So, with that, I conclude the interview. Thank you so much penulis Aiman Hazziq for his time and answers. It has been great talking to him. A person who’s very open to criticisms, I wish to meet more writers like him in future and can’t wait to see his future works!