Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Q&A with Farah Naz Rishi




Farah Naz Rishi is the author of the new memoir Sorry for the Inconvenience. Her other books include the young adult novel It All Comes Back to You. Also a voice actor, she lives in Philadelphia.


Q: What inspired you to write Sorry for the Inconvenience?


A: Initially, I wrote Sorry for the Inconvenience to help process the events of my life, once the dust had settled. I was feeling reflective; I think the only way we grow as people is to look back at our lives with intention and reflect on the choices we’ve made–to learn from those choices.


Around the same time, I had made a TikTok telling the story about how I met my husband, and I received several sweet comments from viewers telling me that I had to write this story. So I did, not thinking it would go anywhere.


The other reason I wanted to write Sorry for the Inconvenience was to celebrate the incredible people in my life. I’m grateful for the friends I’ve had, the ones who kept me afloat during the hard times–I wanted other people to know what they’d done for me. It was my way of saying “I love you.”


Q: How was the book’s title chosen, and what does it signify for you?


A: Perhaps it’s the anxiety and depression talking, but a fear that’s always haunted me is being seen as an inconvenience, especially to the ones I care about.


It’s that same feeling as standing in a group of people at a party and saying something, and wondering if what you just said sounded stupid to everyone else and now you’ve made everything awkward. That feeling of having to flag a busy waiter because you dropped your spoon and now you need a new one. Or that feeling of being in a very dark place in your life, and needing to reach out for help–and wondering if you’ll bother people with your feelings.


In my mind, I am often apologizing for my existence. This book is about that feeling, and more importantly, the feeling of finding the people who respond with, “You’re never an inconvenience.”

Q: What do you think the book says about love and about relationships?


A: I don’t believe that love is just a feeling; to me, love is a muscle, an action–and as such, it requires practice and dedication and thoughtful intention. This goes for both romantic relationships and friendships. If you don’t practice your love, I fear you may lose it.


Q: What impact did it have on you to write the book, and what do you hope readers take away from it?


A: To be honest, writing the memoir was one of the hardest things I’ve done. It required me to hollow out my soul, to face my flaws and decisions in all their raw truth.


I hope that it helps readers reflect on their own life, and better appreciate the love in their life: both the love they create and the love they receive. If you’ve gone through difficult times, know that you are still alive. You’re still here, despite it all. That is a victory.


Q: What are you working on now?


A: I’m currently working on a new young adult novel with a touch of magic. I’m excited to play around with the fantastical!


Q: Anything else we should know?


A: I’m so honored by all my readers. Having people read your words is truly the most humbling, magical thing–thank you for this gift.


--Interview with Deborah Kalb

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