Friday, July 15, 2016

Author Khaled Talib Talks About Why He Writes

Today we welcome author Khaled Talib who stopped by the My Book Tour website for a chat. Khaled has some interesting things to say about his books, his life and why he writes!

Khaled Talib Author
Why I Write… Even if Nobody Reads by Khaled Talib

I live in Singapore, a society where most people don’t read. Excuses abound, including the lack of time and interest.

I’m not a social theorist, but I can’t imagine other people around the world being less busy than someone living on the island. I wonder how Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg find time to read despite their busy schedule or why would they even bother with all that wealth they’ve made.

There’s an assortment of genres on the bookshelves: romance, suspense, horror, young adults … the list goes on. So who’s reading all these books? How do the readers of these books find the time to read?  Why are they so interested in reading? Is the rest of the world biologically different from most people in Singapore?

I like to assume most citizens on the island haven’t found the right book. A good place to start is the library, since we don’t have many bookstores left. But guess what? There’s about twenty-seven libraries on this small island. Imagine that. White elephant?

It’s no secret that the lack of reading will eventually damage a society. As it is, the cracks are already showing.  

Despite the cloud of dullness hovering over the sky here, I choose to write. I started out as a magazine journalist, and today I find myself writing works of fiction. My debut Smokescreen was published in 2014. I’ve signed up with a literary agent keen to represent the novel’s foreign translation rights. I have also published a collection of aphorisms for writers, and two flash fiction: a collection of general stories based on my experiences, and the other is a horror. Some of these books have already been translated into Spanish and Italian.  

So who am I writing for? For myself, people around the world, and the minority few on this island who actually read. Obviously, not everyone enjoys reading the type of books I write, but I’m always pleased to see anyone holding a book, be it literary or commercial fiction.

It’s a bit of a struggle dealing with people who don’t read. The conversation is usually stunted. You reach a point you can even predict what they’re going to say the moment they open their mouth. When you suggest a book, they say they’ll “just wait for the movie.”  

And how do I survive in a place where reading is non-existent? By walking my own path.  People will not understand what inspires me to write daily. Maybe it’s a calling… maybe it’s hereditary. Who knows? But I like telling stories— and I like being part of my own imagination, especially if my real-life experiences can be converted into fiction.

It doesn’t matter where I am, I’ll still write. If I am marooned on an uncharted island, I’ll try to find a bottle, put my writing inside it, and throw it out to sea. If paper isn’t available, I’ll rely on banana leaves.  
Whether there’s a reader or not, I’m going to go on… I must tell my story.

I don’t have a parochial mentality, so that helps. It’s a big world. Anybody who enjoys reading is a friend. It doesn’t matter who you are, what passport you carry, or if you live in prison. If you like to read, I’ll give you a ginormous smile. It’s like me sharing my lunch with you. Reading, after all, is the food of the mind. Want a bite?     


Khaled Talib is a former magazine journalist with local and international exposure. His articles have been published and syndicated to newspapers worldwide, and his short stories have appeared in literary journals and magazines. 

His novel Smokescreen was listed "Thriller of the Month" on's September 2014 issue. Talib is also the author of The Little Book of Muses, a book of aphorisms for writers, and two flash fiction books. Khaled resides in Singapore and is a member of the UK Crime Writers Association.



  1. Well I always try to learn something new everyday and I just did! I never would have imagined and entire society of non-readers. That is sad and disappointing. Well for all us readers out there, keep it up!

  2. Thanks for the encouragement, Theresa. :-)

  3. Soul felt smiles. A writer. A reader. A friend.

  4. I could never do without books: there is so much to learn and dream and imagine new and old scenarios. And so many subtleties behind communication, and cultural diversity to grasp and understand. Keep it going, I will too!