Author Mahsuda Snaith talks to us about her short story The Estate, which is part of the Quick Reads relaunch.
How did you become involved with Quick Reads 2020?
I was approached by Fanny Blake who was organising the A Fresh Start collection of short stories. It was brilliant to be asked to be part of the 2020 relaunch of Quick Reads as I remember being so sad to hear they might not be carrying on their work and so delighted to hear they would be continuing with the help and support of Jojo Moyes.
Why was it important for you to take part in the programme?
I’ve loved Quick Reads since I heard about their work over 10 years ago and spotted their books in my local libraries. The fact they make reading fun and accessible for reluctant readers or those who would normally struggle reading a longer novel, is particularly fantastic. Personally, as a dyslexic who loves books but am excruciatingly slow at reading, I have picked up copies of their books and really enjoyed them. It’s particularly exciting to think that someone else might do the same with my short story in the A Fresh Start collection.
What is The Estate about?
The Estate follows Asmi and her mother who are invited to a stately home which we soon learn she has inherited. This countryside estate is miles away from the council estate she lives on. The story explores how she discovers her link between these apparently different worlds and how she ultimately learns that history connects us all.
Did you approach the writing process for this book any differently to how you write your full-length novels?
I had to keep in mind that sentences should be short and easy to read but that content should be just as engaging as any other adult piece of writing. This was actually a really good challenge! It made me assess the word choices I was using and whether I could convey the same ideas in a simpler way. This is a great skill to develop for any writer.
Which other book on this year's Quick Reads list are you most looking forward to reading?
This is really hard because they all look fabulous. I want to read Candice Carty-Williams' Notting Hill Carnival because Queenie was a brilliant read, A A Dhand because I’d like to see how he’s fit a detective led crime novel into a short read. Also, Adam Kay’s This is Going to Hurt because I’ve been meaning to read it for ages and the beautiful thing about the adapted versions of Quick Reads is that this feel more achievable. Clare Mackintosh’s The Donor has a riveting premise and then I’d have to read Milly Johnson’s The Little Dreams of Lara Cliffe so I can have the full set!
The Estate by Mahsuda Snaith features in A Fresh Start: A collection of short stories showcasing ten bestselling authors edited by Fanny Blake, which will be published by Orion on 20th February, and is part of Quick Reads 2020.