Thursday, October 9, 2014

Hadi M Nor & Family Values

On last Wednesday, theSun published an interview I did with the writer  Hadi M Nor who has just churned out his second fiction work, an English novel called Family Values.  Hadi is also the son of the famous Malaysian cartoonist Datuk Mohammd Nor Khalid, better known as Lat. Below is the full interview

Headline: All for telling tales
By Bissme S

“Sometimes your family is your curse,” says young published writer Hadi M Nor.
“You are stuck with them. You can’t choose your family. You have to love them, no matter what.”
This family theme forms the basis for Hadi’s latest work fiction, appropriately titled family values, published under Fixi Novo. This is the 23- year –old second published book but his first English novel. 
Family Values tells a story of a young married man Aizat who sells land that he inherited from his late father. But sicnce then he is beset by weird voice and is tortured emotionally, physically and mentally.
Suddenly his rich uncle Tan Sri Aliyas gets touch with him even though they have not been in contact for many years. Uncle Aliyas finally reveals the family dark secret – a legacy that involves black magic and racial elements. Though a dark tale, Hadi has given it a touch of humour, making the story more intriguing and compelling. During a one to one interview with theSun, Hadi displays that sense of humour we find in his book in the questions posed to him.
“I like stories about family,” says the freelance translator who is currently pursuing a two year degree in journalism in the United Kingdom.
“I believe in my story, I am always exploring situations where you cannot get out easily.”
As for the lead character Aizat in Family Values, he admits not liking him at all
“I would not hang out with him if he were real person. He is a trust-fund baby. He is a spoilt-brat. I hate him and it’s easy to torture him,” he says with a big laugh.
Asked about the message he wants to impart in his novel, Hadi says: “If I tell you the messages in my novel, then I am just  spoiling your fun in reading the novel.
“When you get to the end of my story, you will know what is it that I am trying to tell you. Half way through the novel, the readers will notice that my story takes on a totally different direction.”
For someone who already has two published works in his name – his first  work of fiction is a collection of short  stories entitled Sepucuk Pistol Di Dalam  Laci which was published by Sang Freud  Press two years – Hadi says he still does  not know what he wants to do in life.
“But I love writing. I think writing is the tool I use to communicate with people. I love telling stories. I see myself more as a storyteller than a writer. I believe calling yourself a storyteller is more profound.”
Hadi started his own blog called Frust Tapi Malas at the age of 15, where he wrote about life and the people around him. Later, he started writing short stories. It was his sense of humour that attracted people to his blog.
“Whatever happened to me, just happened,” says Hadi.
“I never planned anything. My father always told me that I should not rush into being a published writer ... You must be older and have experienced life before becoming a published writer.”
Hadi’s father is speaking from experience. He is none other than Malaysia’s well-known cartoonist Datuk Mohammd Nor Khalid or better known as Lat. Hadi is the youngest of four siblings.
The young author professes:  “Professionally, I do not like to be linked to my father. People always jump to the conclusion that whatever success I have achieved is a result of being his son. Some even believe that doors were opened to me because I am Lat’s son.
“In fact, my siblings and I have always tried to work hard in whatever we do. We do not use his name to get favours. But personally, I am so lucky to have him as my father. He is a cool dad.
“He inspired me to be a storyteller. He encouraged me to read. He even taught me swimming by giving me a book on swimming!”
Hadi does not hide the fact that Lat didn’t like his first novel and that he would probably hate his second one, too.
“My dad likes stories that are positive and culturally-inclined but my books are dark. But I don’t mind that he dislikes my books. Everyone has different tastes and preferences.”
Hadi believes that all writers should be open to any kind of criticism. He says: “People are spending money to buy your book and taking time to read it, therefore they have the right to make comments. You have to respect their opinions.”
At the young age 23, Hadi has two books published

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