Chazzy Patel is a photographer and novelist who was born in Crawley, England, but now lives in Denver, Colorado, USA. In this interview he talks about art, travel, and his upcoming novel High Season: The Learnings of Mohammad Wang.
What comes first? Photography or writing?
Photography comes first. I don’t think my passion for cameras and the way the human eye records the observable world will ever stop fascinating me. Writing is something I’ve been doing for a few years now. I am very excited in exploring this art form more.
Is your writing inspired by your photography or the other way around?
My photography. I have been doing it as a novice and professional most of my life and have literally forgotten many things along the way that pictures can revitalize, but the last few years, writing has become a very helpful friend in healing from many of life’s unexpected experiences. Photography is also an art for storytelling but sometimes, I wasn’t able to express the tales of my life through a lens and free my imagination the way I wanted. The inspiration has always come from how I see and shoot first. With words, I just get to rumble when a photo stops telling the story eats at me inside.
You’ve travelled the world quite a lot. Is this reflected in your work?
Yes and no. I had a personal loss in my life in 2009 that lead me to become a freelance photographer and travel to seven continents. I finished them in 2013 and have been living between Denver, CO and Isla Mujeres, Mexico, the setting for High Season. It’s a very busy year getting my head together and working hard on this novel, so the traveling hasn’t been a focus, but hoping to get back out in the amazing places the world has to offer very soon.
High Season will be my first book in a strange way. I had written two manuscripts while I was traveling the past few years. Last year, I had been attacked and loss a great deal of my memories and the way I processed things around me. This also included forgetting that I had written two manuscripts. Using those manuscripts, photography, the internet, a good therapist, support of friends and family… I slowly pieced myself together again… Somewhat.
High Season: The Learnings of Mohammad Wang was essentially a medical suggestion to continue documenting my thoughts, ideas, and things I remembered. Throwing in my own chaotic past, friends, pirates, a tropical paradise, humorous imagination, and a 500-year-old gold heist, I began writing High Season in May 2016 finishing the first draft in June.
High Season: The Learnings of Mohammad Wang is my first novel and it already has its two sequels. Or would they be prequels. Not sure.
Who is Mohammad Wang?
Mohammad Wang was my friend and well-needed therapy. I can’t reveal more about Mo Wang. I am hoping he is someone my readers can relate to in some way, or at least get a good chuckle reading his journey and discoveries.
What “learnings” will readers be exposed to?
I think the ‘learnings’ will be different for every reader. The learnings that Mo Wang picks up are some of life’s basics most battle. Love, existence, and his purpose in the world. I hope that my readers can connect to those learnings and enjoy Mo as much as I have enjoyed writing him.
What are your writing and publishing plans for the future?
I have been working on a photography/essay book called Lost&Found which is planned to publish in Spring 2018. It’s a collection of work with words from my travels from 2009 to 2015. I am excited to be able to combine these mediums and try something different.
After that, I am planning on some long distance motorcycling around the world, starting solo with hopes of others joining. Then with time, book two and three for High Season will get rewrites/editing attention and after I will publish them as well.
In the meantime, I am just focused on getting High Season in reader’s hands and sharing a few laughs.
Follow Chazzy on Twitter for more updates.