Muhammad Khan

View Reviews of books by Muhammad Khan

Countdown with ...

Muhammad Khan

Muhammad Khan was born and bred in south London to Pakistani immigrant parents. His dad was a professor of linguistics who eventually retrained as a social worker. Muhammad attended a wonderful school in Balham then ended up at a less diverse school in Surrey where he was relentlessly bullied. He soon discovered that the only way to get his peers to see past his ‘otherness’ was to read his horror-comedy-detective stories out in class.

He graduated from King’s College London with a degree in engineering before immediately retraining as a maths teacher. If he couldn’t write for teenagers, he reasoned, then at least he could teach them.

Over the proceeding years, he realised his students worked harder if he made up short stories for them as treats. “You need to be an author!” they proclaimed. Encouraged by their generous words he composed a novel and submitted it to publishers.

Muhammad is now the author of two young adult novels: I am Thunder and Kick the Moon (Macmillan). His mind is still blown. All Muhammad’s books are inspired by the witty, smart and talented teens he teaches. In 2019 he graduated with a distinction in MA Creative Writing from St Mary’s University.


Interviewed 29 June 2019

Ten words to sum up your working life to date ...

Rewarding, exciting, exhausting, exhilarating, frustrating, insane, uplifting, motivational, vacillating, unexpected.

Nine things you can see from where you're sitting ...

Books, perfumes, aroma diffuser, PS4, whiteboard covered in copious plot details, Paddington Bear (don’t ask!), GCSE Maths exam papers, hologram reward stickers and an expired World Book Day book token (boo hoo!)

Eight minutes to prepare a meal. What's it going to be ?

Definitely a chicken wrap, but with a spicy desi twist!

Seven people you'd like to go for a drink with ...

I don’t drink but I’d love to hang out with Jordan Peele, Imran Khan, Dame Diana Rigg, Patrice Lawrence, Jennifer Saunders, Minfong Ho and Imam Mohammed Mahmoud.

Six things you can't live without ...

I think I’ve got to a stage in my life where I can live without most things. Eat your heart out Bear Grylls! Or a wild boar’s, if you prefer. Ahem! My mum is just about the only thing I can’t live without.

Five favourite words ...

Serendipity, cornucopia, menagerie, magnanimous and chocolate! Mmm, chocolate…

Four places you'd run away to ...

Local library, Tayyabs restaurant in Whitechapel, Disney World in Florida, Thailand (literally anywhere – the people are mind-blowingly lovely!)

Three books you've bought recently ...

The Skylarks’ War by Hilary McKay, The Curious Tale of the Lady Caraboo by Catherine Johnson and On the Come Up by Angie Thomas.

Two things that make you rant ...

I do my best not to get triggered but racism has me spitting teeth. I also frown upon the suggestion that a teenager self-harming is somehow less serious than an adult self-harming. Like, what?

One thing you'd tell your teenage self ...

Stop playing it so safe; go pursue your own dreams instead of trying to make everybody else happy.