The Matchmaker by Saman Shad was our romance book pick for our subscription book box, Mystery booxies for March 2023. And to make it even better, Saman was kind enough to sign few copies for us so all our romance subscribers could receive a special signed copy.
The Matchmaker is a fun romcom that takes part within the Pakistani community in Sydney which is pretty cool since we haven't read many romance books that highlight some of our Australian diverse and rich cultures.
We had the privilege to have a quick converstaion with Saman Shad to learn more about the book and few fun things about Saman.
The Matchmaker can make a great gift for any occassion. It perfectly pair with Chai Latte from our friends at Cuvee and of course it is always great to add delicisou hand made chocolate to enjoy with the book - who can say no to that!
- Can you describe your new book The Matchmaker (your elevator pitch)?
SS: It’s a fun romcom about Saima who is a matchmaker in Sydney’s desi community. For various reasons her business is failing till a wealthy couple approach her with a request that’s too good to refuse. What Saima doesn’t expect is that taking part in this scheme will change her life forever.
- Do you come up with Characters first or plot first?
SS: It depends on the book. In this instance I came up with the concept first and then the characters came to me.
- Which character was most fun to build? And was it inspired by a real person in your life?
SS: People always assume that characters in fiction novels are somehow based on real life people, I can say in my instance that’s definitely not the case. Maybe the characters are based on a combination of people I have met or known. They were all fun to build in their own way.
- Was it fun or challenging to write about your own culture in a novel? Did you have to be careful to represent it well since it hasn’t been represented often enough in novels here in Australia? Were you worried about offending anyone?
SS: Since my book is a romantic comedy I wasn’t looking at topics within my community from a hard, dramatic stance. I wanted to approach the issues I did bring up with a lightness and from a place of fun. But I’m also careful to protect my community, nothing I bring up in my novel is an attack, rather these are the experiences I’ve come across and I hope people take it in good faith.
Now let's move to more fun and personal questions:
- What’s your favourite writing/reading snack or drink?
SS: Chai always. I love my tea. I love samosas and look I’ll never say no to cake.
- What is your favourite Pakistani meal? Can you tell us about it?
SS: My mum makes an incredible lamb pilau that’s not only my favourite dish but that of my children too. They always request it when we are going to my parents place for a meal. The rice in the dish is cooked in the stock from the lamb along with a special mix of herbs and spices. It’s delicious!
- Hand to heart, which one is more fun? A Pakistani or Aussie wedding?
SS: They’re both different and fun in their own ways but of course I’d have to say a Pakistani wedding, especially one in Pakistan. We take celebrations to the next level in Pakistan which means our weddings can take place over a number of days.
- If you could invite a celebrity to dinner, who would that be? And why?
SS: That’s a hard one! But maybe Dev Patel because I want him to be in the film adaptation of my book!
We have a limited number of signed copies of The Matchmaker. all available online and would be perfect with Chai Latte Dark Milk Hot Chocolate from Cuvee especially as we are heading to colder months. This can be the perfect box for some me time or a great gift idea to any of your book lover friends.
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If you would like to know what else was included in March Mystery Booxies, check out our last blog post
About The Author:
Saman Shad is a writer, editor, journalist and teller of stories. Much of her work is inspired by her experiences as a third culture kid, growing up and living in Pakistan, the Middle East, the UK and Australia. Her writing credits span mediums, including radio scriptwriting for the BBC in the UK and the ABC in Australia, and playwriting, with works commissioned by theatres across London and Sydney. She is a regular writer for several publications, including the Guardian, Sydney Morning Herald and SBS. She has also worked on screen projects, including developing the feature film One of Us with funding from Screen Australia. She is currently working as a screenwriter on a number of upcoming projects. Saman is a proud mum of three children and lives with them and her husband in Sydney.