A prolific fantasy author has had his short stories viewed nearly 200,000 times on Youtube.

Aqib Ali, 29, started writing while he was in secondary school at the age of 14. But he began writing seriously when he started college.

He said: “I was inspired after reading a lot of fantasy books by authors like Raymond E. Feist and Brandon Sanderson, and Christopher Paolini, I was also inspired by movies like The Lord of The Rings. 

“A massive influence on me was the ‘Witcher’ computer game which I played a lot so I was inspired to write my own modern take on monster hunting stories but in a fantasy setting.”

Alongside other writers from Huddersfield, his writing was published as part of an anthology in aid of charity.  

He has self-published two books in the Dark Ranger series. The first episode was published on Amazon and on his website as an e-book in 2016. In 2018 he self published the second episode.

He said: “I had the audio book made for them.  And a paperback version too, and a hard cover version is coming out very soon.

“I had no help from anyone. I did it all completely on my own. I had to research every single thing. I had no one to guide me.

"In the Asian community there aren’t many writers especially fantasy writers. Maybe just a handful in the whole of the UK. I had to work hard to get things done myself. Things would have been easier if I had someone to help me.

“About two years ago I started writing short stories on Reddit. I wrote a few standalone short stories, they received a lot of attention and I decided to create a series based in the same world as my books.

He added: “I found a niche on Youtube for horror stories, I found that horror stories were really popular at the time due to the lockdown and the Covid pandemic as a lot of people were on Youtube listening to them. Many Youtube horror channels began to grow rapidly. I thought I would give it a shot as there was a gap in the market.”

His stories were narrated by Youtuber Dr Creepen. They spoke to each other and within a week he narrated Aqib’s story and uploaded it. Over the last two years it has had 140,000 views.

“In 2021 I started to write again after a brief rest. I released Mission two in the series and it was narrated, resulting in 55,000 views in six months. Presently, I’m working on Mission three.

“What motivates me is that I want to be recognised as a fantasy author, I can’t stop until that goal is achieved as I want to prove the Asian community wrong. I want to prove that we Asians can actually become fantasy writers. And artistic talent shouldn’t be frowned upon."

He has started to work with other Asian fantasy writers and started the Asian Fantasy Alliance. Members of the group plan to work together, help each other and go to events and promote their work and share audiences. But their main objective is to help the next generation of fantasy writers. To support them and make life easier for them.

In his spare time he used to play a lot of video games but now works seven days a week.

He is a big fan of Netflix and his favourite show is the new star wars programme about Obi Wan Kenobi, “Star wars was the first fantasy, sci fi-movie I ever watched at the cinema when I was seven years old. I was hooked.

“We need successful Asian writers to change the community’s views about the arts as opposed to the sciences. We need to help up and coming writers to succeed. In Asian families there is a push to be doctors, engineers, or architects, anything else is frowned upon.”

The Asian Fantasy Alliance plans to have a charity event where they will collaborate by creating an anthology of short stories. All proceeds will go to charity.