Aliya Ali-Afzal has a degree in Russian and German from UCL and worked as an Executive MBA Career Coach in London. While helping her clients to pursue their dream lives and careers, she decided to take her own advice and become a writer. She is studying for an MA in Creative Writing at Royal Holloway, is an alum of Curtis Brown Creative, and has had her writing longlisted for the Bath Novel Award, the Mslexia Novel Competition, the Mo Siewcharran Prize, and the Primadonna Prize. Aliya has lived in London all her life since moving there from Pakistan as a young child.
Hello and welcome! I’m the author of Would I Lie To You?, published in July 2021 in the U.K. and in 2022 in the US.
Would I Lie To You? is a cross between Big Little Lies and Such A Fun Age and was inspired by my own experience, of my husband and I having completely opposite approaches to money (spender vs saver!). I was also fascinated by how we are all so reluctant to talk about money even though these days, we are happy to talk about almost anything else! It seems like the last taboo and I wanted to explore why. Although Faiza thinks that she’s only telling little white lies, things spiral out of control.
I was lucky enough to be signed up by top literary agent Juliet Mushens of Mushens Entertainment, within days of sending her my book, and the novel was sold at a multiple publisher auction, where it was pitched as Real-Housewives-meets-Thriller. The novel is set in a glamorous, leafy suburb of London called Wimbledon Village, which is also where I grew up, and in The City, the financial district in London, where I used to work.
I have always been fascinated by what makes people tick. My books explore relationships, moral dilemmas, and themes that can sometimes cause hot debates amongst friends and in book clubs! I want readers to escape into my novels and forget their own problems for a while.
I came to writing late in life and the novel was completed as I did an MA in Creative Writing in my 40s. However all the things I have done in my life have been a great preparation for my literary career.
As an Executive MBA career and life coach for business schools in London, I loved helping people to pursue their dream career and life goals. People also opened up about their hopes and fears and it gave a great insight into human nature. I studied Russian and German at the University of London and that also gave me great insight into different people and how we communicate.
I am an Alum of the Curtis Brown Creative novel writing course and my writing has been longlisted for several writing award. I am now writing my second novel.
Please come and say hello on Twitter @AAAiswriting and on Instagram @aliyaaliafzalauthor to find out more about my life/ family/ writing juggle and my adventures in the beautiful city of London, where I’ve lived all my life since moving here as a young child from Pakistan. You can also follow me on Amazon to get latest updates and offers.
I hope you enjoy reading Would I Lie To You? and it helps you to escape into another world for a while!
From fresh new voice Aliya Ali-Afzfal, Would I Lie to You? is a page-turning, warm and funny debut about what happens when you have your dream life - and are about to lose it. At the school gates, Faiza fits in. It took a few years, but now the snobbish mothers who mistook her for the nanny treat her as one of their own. She's learned to crack their subtle codes, speak their language of handbags and haircuts and discreet silver watches. You'd never guess, at the glamorous kids' parties and the leisurely coffee mornings, that Faiza's childhood was spent following her parents round the Tooting Cash'n'Carry. When her husband Tom loses his job in finance, he stays calm. Something will come along, and in the meantime, they can live off their savings. But Faiza starts to unravel. Raising the perfect family comes at a cost - and the money Tom put aside has gone. When Tom's redundancy package ends, Faiza will have to tell him she's spent it all. Unless she doesn't... It only takes a second to lie to Tom. Now Faiza has six weeks to find GBP75,000 before her lie spirals out of control. If anyone can do it, Faiza can: she's had to fight for what she has, and she'll fight to keep it. But as the clock ticks down, and Faiza desperately tries to put things right, she has to ask herself: how much more should she sacrifice to protect her family?
Amusing yet poignant, uplifting yet sharply pointed, this is a very contemporary look at a woman spiralling out of control in an effort to keep up appearances. When Tom is made redundant and says the family will have to live off of their savings until he gets a new job, Faiza panics, she has secretly spent all of their money and is determined that Tom won’t find out. Faiza is warm and engaging, I felt as though I was sitting by her side and she was telling me her story. While there were times I winced and was frustrated by her actions, I also cheered her on and if I could, would have given her the hugest of huge hugs. A truly exquisite balance is maintained throughout this novel, Aliya Alif-Afzal writes with wit, perception, and emotional integrity. While sitting as a wonderfully readable and entertaining novel, this is a smart take on some of the problems faced in our society. Would I Lie To You is an engaging and moving debut, it’s also a little bit feisty, I loved it! The LoveReading LitFest invited Aliya to the festival to talk about this fabulous debut. The digitally native, all year round, online literature and books festival, with new content released every week is a free-for-all-users festival. What are you waiting for? Check out a preview of the event and sign up to become a member.