A Day in the Life of Author Vaseem Khan
5am and my mobile phone wake-up alarm detonates with a rousing rendition of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy. A bleary stumble to the bathroom to splash water on my face, then downstairs with laptop in hand. Ensconced on the sofa, The Beatles playing in the background, I bash out a thousand words on the current novel in my Baby Ganesh detective agency series, a light-hearted crime series in the Alexander McCall Smith mould, set in India and published by Hodder. (The first book, The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra, was published in August 2015, marking my debut as an author.)
Around 7am my eyelids begin to droop; I slump into semi-consciousness and awake around 8. Shower, quick brekkie, followed by mad dash to Stratford tube station. Hellish journey on the Central line cattle crush during which I tweak final draft of previous novel in the series whilst attempting to ignore the elbow wedged in my face. Arrive at work 10-ish, roll up sleeves and get to it.
For the past ten years I have served as the Business Development Director for University College London’s Department of Security and Crime Science. How lucky am I? If I need to add authenticity to anything I am working on I simply collar one of my colleagues – forensic scientists, boffins working on labour trafficking, gun crime, drug crime; you name it, someone’s got the inside scoop.
My office day usually begins with meetings to discuss developments on research projects I am managing – and by managing I mean herding those very intelligent cats around that we call academics. For instance, my current priority is the £3m ‘What Works in Crime Reduction’ project. (If you want to know the answer to this all important question our results are available on this website hosted by the UK College of Policing: http://whatworks.college.police.uk/toolkit/Pages/Toolkit.aspx )
Later in the day, my Aussie boss suggests a barbeque in our back yard (the first thing he did when taking over the department was to install a six burner BBQ stove), as we congratulate some of our graduating doctoral researchers. The working day finishes with a meeting with senior practitioners from the Home Office Centre for Applied Science and Technology to discuss the programme for our annual conference on crime science.
Evening, and it’s cricket practice with my team Redbridge Cricket Club. Inevitable argument ensues when I am wrongly given out lbw by my friend. No way was I out. Never in a million years.
Back home for dinner with the wife with Masterchef or Bake Off on the TV (whilst listening to cricket commentary via hidden earplug – aargh! are England ever going to win a series on the subcontinent!)
Into bed around 11. Time to read a few pages of advance copy of the new Rebus novel Even Dogs in the Wild or a quick scan of my favourite book: Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children for literary inspiration.
Blindfold, pillow over face, sleep the sleep of the righteous until the alarm drags me back to another day of living the dream.