Secaucus resident Summer Nawaz, a junior at Montclair State University, didn’t always know she could write. But once she found out, she couldn’t stop.
This has led to publication of a highly successful first novel, “Bound,” an adult romance about two people in their twenties and their coming to terms with some of the issues in their lives.
Nawaz, who has lived in Secaucus since moving here from Karachi, Pakistan, when she was 11, says she always loved reading. She admired other writers and their art, but didn’t think she had the gift to do what they did.
Inspired to read by her studies at school, Nawaz threw herself into reading with a passion, managing to finish all seven Harry Potter books in less than two days
In Secaucus Middle School in 2012, the writing bug hit her hard. “Now I write all the time,” she says.
“Writing is a form of escape, and I hope that someday the stories I create in my books can become an escape for the people reading them.” — Summer Nawaz
Inspired by life
In 2012, Nawaz joined Wattpad, a social network platform for writers; she’s been inspired to write ever since. Inspiration comes from songs she hears, stories she reads, movies she sees, and people she meets.
“Writing is a form of escape, and I hope that someday the stories I create in my books can become an escape for the people reading them,” she says.
Though she reads a remarkable range of genres on Wattpad, Nawaz likes to write romance. “It’s how I feel,” she says.
Posting early drafts of her novel on Wattpad drew a wide array of readers. In fact, she logged more than 19 million for a novel with 56 chapters.
“I’ve cut that down since then for the published edition,” she says.
She soon graduated to Typeriter.Pub, which promotes young writers.
Believing in yourself
“Everyone, it is safe to say, has a talent,” she says, in promoting her book. “Some can artistically draw reality on a piece of paper, while others can produce music from the tips of their fingers once they pick up an instrument. For the longest time, I had come to believe I did not possess a talent to compare myself to when I encountered gifted strangers or friends.”
She doesn’t recall exactly how she began writing.
“All I remember is opening up a Microsoft Word document, building a character, coming up with a plot, and simply going along with it,” she says. “I was 13 at the time, and I know for a fact that whatever stories I had made up, most likely did not have the correct punctuation or grammar etiquette a proper book requires, but I remember not caring. When I wrote, I wrote freely without any dread of someone reading it and chiding me on my immature plot lines or dialog. I wrote because I had finally found something I knew I could excel at.”
She sees writing as a wonderful gift that allows her to write what she feels.
An English major at Montclair, she hasn’t told her professors about her not-so secret literary life, but she credits Doug DePice, an art teacher at Secaucus High School, with helping inspire her.
While she isn’t currently working on a followup, she’s trying to expand her skills.
“This novel was written in first person,” she says. “I’m working in a third person voice. It has more freedom.”
But she’ll likely remain in the romance genre.
“Bound” is available on Amazon.com for $13.
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