Monday, February 1, 2016


An interview with Nihar Suthar, author of The Corridor of Uncertainty.

Hi! Welcome to Zigzag Timeline. Can you tell us about your background as an author?

Hi! Thank you so much for inviting me onto Zigzag Timeline. I’m excited and honored to be here. I am a pretty young author - 20 years old and just graduated from Cornell University in New York. I majored in Applied Economics and Management. As you can imagine, I don’t exactly have any formal training in writing.

However, anybody can uniquely and creatively express themselves through writing. That is exactly what I have done. I make it a point to express my positivity through my writing. All of my work has to do with some sort of true, motivational story.

I’ve written two books so far. My first book was Win No Matter What, released in May 2013. It’s a compilation of short, inspirational stories with messages on how we can improve our mood, attitude, and perception of others.

The second book, which I’m most excited about, is titled The Corridor of Uncertainty. It actually just came out today (February 1)! That book is about the miraculous rise of the Afghan cricket team against the Taliban.

What got you into writing?

Strangely enough, I never envisioned myself being a writer. When I was going through high school, I hated both writing and reading! The story for me becoming a writer has to do with a few experiences I had, though. I originally come from a very small town in Pennsylvania. As a result, when I went to New York for my first year of college, I was SHOCKED. Culturally, emotionally, and just about any other type of shock one could have. It was a huge change for me, coming from a small town to suddenly being in the middle of all the action. In my first year of New York life, there were two observations I ultimately made:

1.     There is a ridiculous amount of negative information in the world! I don’t think I ever heard more than one positive piece of news per day while in my first year of college.
2.     Everybody in New York has a unique way of expressing themselves. I needed to find a unique way to express myself as well.

I have no idea what happened or why I did it, but one day after class, I just sat down at a computer and wrote out a few motivational stories. It was my way of expressing myself and increasing the amount of positive information in the world. Since that point, I’ve fallen in love with writing – and I hope to be an author for quite some time J.

What was the first idea you had for your book, and how did the story grow from there?

The first idea I had for my newly released book, The Corridor of Uncertainty, was just wanting to write something that was different. I wanted to write something inspirational that also broke down countless boundaries. I found the perfect idea one day without even consciously searching for it. In January 2014, when my family was on holiday in Australia, I saw a short article in the local newspaper (I have no idea what the name of it was now) about the Afghan cricket team. My first question (as many other people also now ask me) was, “Afghanistan has a cricket team?!”

I looked more into the story and found out that it was perfect. I could write about religion, politics, cricket, and the Middle East area – all topics that many people in today’s world are not completely comfortable talking about.

Among your characters, who's your favorite? Could you please describe him/her?

My favorite character in The Corridor of Uncertainty is by far Karim Sadiq Khan. He becomes one of the star cricket players on the Afghan cricket team after growing up in a refugee camp. He’s the best though because he always cracks jokes. No matter what the situation is, he’s always lighthearted. He also loves bragging about his muscles. I relate most to him because I like to think that I am also lighthearted and make good jokes (though some people may not agree…haha!).

What's your favorite scene from your novel? Could you please describe it?

My favorite scene from The Corridor of Uncertainty is when the Afghan cricket team finally qualifies for the 2015 Cricket World Cup. It’s just incredible to see the impact that a sport has on the entire country of Afghanistan. When the Afghan cricket players come back home to celebrate their qualification for the World Cup, thousands of fans came to congratulate them. Even members of the Taliban are happy. It is the only day where there is no violence in all of Afghanistan.

It’s as if cricket mended the entire country from all its troubles (hence the “how cricket mended a torn nation” subtitle in my book).

What's your favorite part of writing? Plotting? Describing scenes? Dialogue?

My favorite part of writing is most definitely adding the detailed descriptions of scenes and characters. I just think it requires so much creativity, and it really makes me think out of the box. It’s always nice to do that. I don’t think most people get enough of a chance to do it on a daily basis.

How long does it take you to write a book? Do you have a writing process, or do you wing it?

It depends on the book. I wrote Win No Matter What in less than six months, but writing The Corridor of Uncertainty took me about two years. This is because The Corridor of Uncertainty required a lot of research. I even studied Pashto, a language spoken in Afghanistan, to write that book. Generally, if there is a lot of research required, it will probably take longer to write that book.

I do have a writing process (with just a little bit of winging). In my first pass of writing, I just get all the content down without worrying about grammar or anything. Once I am satisfied with all the content, then I go back for several rounds of editing and revising. Finally, I give my work to a professional editor to read.

What is it about the genre you chose that appeals to you?

As I mentioned, I just don’t think there is enough positive information in the world. What most appeals to me about inspirational books is that I can literally change the lives of people around me. Many readers of my books have told me that I impacted their life in a positive way. That keeps me going J.

Are there any books or writers that have had particular influence on you?

I can’t point to one specific writer – every writer I have run across has been motivational to me in some way!

Did you ever surprise yourself when you were writing your book? Characters who took on lives of their own? Plot elements that took unexpected turns?

Every author surprises himself or herself in some way while writing. I definitely have surprised myself a lot while writing. I dream up scenes and ideas that I never even knew I could dream up. For example, in The Corridor of Uncertainty, I thought it would be vital to include some sort of main female character. I couldn’t think of how to incorporate a female character into a story about an all-male cricket team. However, then it hit me. I could focus on one of the cricket players’s mother and how she inspired him in tough situations! I made Hamid Hassan’s mother a very inspirational character in the book.

Thanks for stopping by!


In 1979, Afghanistan erupted into one of the most brutal civil wars ever. The fighting lasted almost a decade, throwing the country into a period of political instability, harsh leadership, and extreme danger. Hundreds of thousands of civilians died, and millions relocated to refugee camps. The rest of the world began to believe that violence would always define Afghans. 

However, deep in the refugee camps of Pakistan, displaced native Afghan children had a dream to unite their country once again with peace. The solution was disguised in the game of cricket. These children began to learn cricket, and persevered against the danger, criticism, and unrest to create the first-ever Afghan national cricket team. With unrivaled access to the team and players during the 2015 Cricket World Cup, Nihar Suthar tells the story of their inspiring journey to change Afghanistan in one of the most under-told, heart-warming sports stories of all time.


Nihar Suthar is an award-winning writer, covering inspirational stories around the world. Believe it or not, he
stumbled upon writing completely by accident after moving to New York City for the very first time (at the young age of 17). While in the Big Apple, Nihar noticed that there were thousands of people missing out on the greatness of everyday life, due to the very fast paced lifestyles they lived.

As a result of his observations, he had a big idea to inspire people around the globe by writing a book (which was strange, because he always hated reading books. Why would he ever write one?). With the support of his family and friends though, Nihar ended up debuting his first international book, Win No Matter What, with Balboa Press in May 2013. 

Since then, Nihar's work has taken him to both distant parts of the globe and down strange alleyways. For his 2016 release, The Corridor of Uncertainty, Nihar traveled to the United Arab Emirates and received threats from the Taliban, as he sought to chronicle the miraculous story of the Afghan cricket team. To deepen his understanding of the Middle East region, Nihar also studied Pashto, one of the official languages of Afghanistan.
Nihar currently calls Boston home, and is constantly on the prowl for fresh, inspiring stories to document.

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