Amir Shaheen is a writer and comedian – and one of the co-creators of Netflix’s Norwegian series Home for Christmas, which we loved. The writing and comedy in the series was right up our street, so when we heard he had written a book, we got in touch to find out more about it…
Congratulations on your new book ‘F*** Ta Hjernen Min’ (F*** My Brain) what can you tell us about it?
F*** My Brain! is a collection of absurd and surreal stories that explore the world without getting too serious. As a writer, I wanted to capture my journey of growing up as a Muslim in a Western country to become a non-believing Muslim. How it feels to hang in “limbo” between two cultures where you do not quite find your place.
I take these everyday characters that you hear about or see them on tv, and I try to put them in these funny situations. It’s a humour book where I use comedy to talk about race, religion, status and life itself.
This is your first book you’ve written are there plans to write more?
I’m already writing my second book. I started writing on my second book, when I finished F*** My Brain! While I was working with my editor, I was also writing an outline for my second book. My second book is a collection of four novels that are set in the same universe and it’s a humor book..
What were some your inspirations for writing the book?
One of my biggest inspirations for writing this book comes from the American author Simon Rich. I read all of his books and they are the funniest books I ever read. Other authors that inspired me to write my own short novels were B. J. Novak, Chuck Klosterman, Aziz Ansari, Mindy Kaling and Douglas Adams.
Some people love to listen to music when writing – did you have any particular artists or albums you listened to during the process of writing it?
I love listening to movie soundtracks and opera while writing. I don’t want to hear any voice in my head except my own voice. Composers like – Joe Hisaishi, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Eric Serra, A.R. Rahman and Thomas Newman.
I never get tired of the Thomas Newman soundtrack that he made for the movie “Meet Joe Black”. I love women opera singers too; my favorites are Yoshikazu Mera, Maria Callas and of course Andrea Bocelli.
What is coming next for you?
I will try to finish the first draft of my second book, soon as possible. In 2020 I signed with IVA Management in L.A. USA. They are helping me pitch some projects that they liked. I’m also excited to see what’s next for me.
As a writer and a comedian, I always have several projects that I’m working on simultaneously. I never plan what’s next for me, I just put in the work and let the universe guide me.
You can buy a copy of the book here, but it’s currently only available in Norwegian.
Interview by Alex Minnis
Read our interview with the other co-creator of Home for Christmas, Kristian Andersen.