How did you get started as an author?
It was more like an inspiration when I started writing. If I go five years back, I could never imagine myself as a published author. I never thought I’d write something that could win so many accolades.
I had story in my mind for quite a long time and I believe each one of us has a story but very few people give their thoughts a voice—and that’s how a writer comes into existence. For my first work, A Prayer Series, the inspiration has been taken from Holy Quran where the concept of paranormal creatures is beautifully described.
With all the things you do besides writing, how do you manage your time?
It all depends on your priorities and managing them skillfully. I have a full day job, two young children who need my help in their school work everyday and of course a husband and in this busy schedule, writing actually comes after all these activities. When the whole house is sleeping, I get my me time to read and write. Friday nights are usually the perfect hours of writing.
What was the inspiration of your latest book, Once Upon A [Stolen] Time?
I had a magical dream a few months ago, which gave me the whole idea of the story. I know it sounds quite whimsical but that’s the truth. There are also some elements of Disney fairytales in this book for those who still like to read fantasy stories.
What can you tell us about your plans for the Stolen Series?
It’s a tough question. A lot of my readers have asked about how many books this series would have and honestly I have no answer. I’m just writing it. The second book of the series is almost complete and nowhere the story seems to end. I guess it may go up to three or four books or maybe more. It all depends on my characters, wherever they take me, I’d go with them.
Tell me a funny story about getting started as an Independent author / publishing your books.
I have two daughters, Rania and Myra, age 9 and 6. My first series has two books, A Silent Prayer and A Prayer Heeded in which the female character’s name is Rania. My elder one got very excited when she came to know that mommy took her name in both the books. After the first series was published (two years ago), she told the entire school that her name was used in the book, which left the younger sister complaining. Every time she looked at the book, she used to find her name like her elder sister. So when I started writing Stolen Series, I told my younger daughter, who is only six now that her name Myra has been used as a female lead character.
Now, I have been warned by elder daughter Rania that this series should not extend more than two books because she doesn’t want her baby sister to win. And if I ever wrote more than two in Stolen Series then I would have to write equally for A Prayer Series. I find it quite funny because they still think they are the ones in the story and not their names. I’m sure when they’d grow up, they’d find it funny too.
What is the hardest part about finishing a book for you?
Saying goodbye to your characters is the hardest part. I’m one of those people who fall in love easily with the fictional characters, especially if I have created them myself. You live in their world for such a long time, talking to them, feeling their emotions, playing with their emotions—they become part of your everyday life. You feel empty when you have to let them go.
What is the uniqueness about your new book?
Once Upon A [Stolen] Time is set in both Medieval and Contemporary England. The reader will have the time travel experience from 2015 to 1415, back to back.
Are there other stories in your mind?
Yes, many. I just need to find time and write them.
How do you react on negative reviews?
I have learned that you cannot make everyone happy. It is not necessary whatever you write should be loved by everyone. For negative reviews: everyone has his/her opinion. Just ignore them and celebrate your other good reviews.
You have multiple awards on your first series. What was the best part about winning them?
When I took my children in Readers’ Favorite Awards in Miami in 2014, they met real authors for the very first time and were gifted lots of children’s book, personally signed by those award-winning authors. My children still show those books to their friends and the moment I was called on stage, the spark and pride they had in their eyes—it was all worth the effort. It is a very exhilarating feeling when your own children are proud of your achievements.
Any advice you’d like to give to aspiring authors?
Read, read and read. You cannot be a good writer if you’re not a good reader. Never give up. Keep writing. There are still many stories to be told.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
History, art and literature are my passions. I love digging out information about prophecies, divine miracles and paranormal events that are mentioned in history and holy books, that don’t sound possible in today’s modern world.
Since childhood, I have been into reading and writing—and yes, it can’t happen without imagination, which luckily has no boundaries. Dance and music are also pastimes I enjoy, as well as reading romance fiction. I love to travel and explore historical cities.
Judge of 2015 World’s Best Story
“A Prayer Series” is my first story about paranormal events based on Islamic concepts.
Once Upon A [Stolen] Time is available on Amazon.
ABOUT ONCE UPON A [STOLEN] TIME
All her life, Myra Farrow has been obsessed with medieval castles—and the kings and princes who once inhabited them. Now, wealthy videogame designer Steve Bernard wants her to model for a princess character in his new game. Myra can’t resist his offer, especially when she learns that Steve plans to film inside the mysterious Hue Castle—a cursed, barren, colorless place forbidden to visitors for centuries. But unknown to Myra, her soul is bound to Hue Castle by blood and sorcery. When she enters its doors, she awakens dark powers that will reach through time—stealing her past, torturing her present, and rewriting her future.
Edward Hue, the last of the Hue royal bloodline, has never stood in the sunshine or held a living flower. Cursed from birth to live in darkness and bring death to all he touches, he is at the mercy of his cruel, tyrannical father, who will not rest until he shatters Edward’s soul and makes his son into a diabolical copy of himself. Edward’s one hope is the mysterious woman who haunts his dreams—who will either break his curse and bring him out of the darkness, or destroy him utterly.
For Myra and Edward, past and future collide in a tale of love, obsession, betrayal, and the hope for redemption.