What book(s) have you written?
- Taz in the City: The Big Move and the Small Charity
When did you first realize you wanted to be an author?
I think I’ve been a writer since my youth, but really went to achieve my dream of becoming an author in 2020, during the pandemic.
How long did it take you to write your book(s)?
Minutes, months or years! Some stories come quickly and others are mere ideas that need time to be fully realized.
What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I usually write when I have time to myself only. Typically that’s anywhere from 1-2 hours a week up to 15 hours a week.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I like traditional story telling that begins with a “once upon a time” and ends pretty completely. Maybe it’s not a quirk but it’s more old-fashioned these days.
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
My life, my children, my faith, and nature.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Reading, and more reading, and enjoying nature in all its forms.
What does your family think of your writing?
They’re so supportive! My children ask me regularly to read my stories to them, Alhamdullilah.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
How something so personal will become so collaborative. I mean, you know you will be working with editors, publishers, and illustrators, but when it really becomes a group effort you have to allow that to happen without sacrificing the beauty of your story.
Do you have any suggestions to help people become a better writer? If so, what are they?
Write as much as you can and read!! Read everything, especially the genre you’re most interested in. Think of who is reading it and what you want them to feel or experience after reading your book.
What do you think makes a good story?
Any story that comes from an authentic voice. Everyone has stories to tell - just believe they’re worth telling and all the editing and refining can come later.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I wanted to be a performer, but I was painfully shy.
What is your favorite book?
Two very different books but it’s a tie between Little Women by Louisa May Alcott and The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
Where do you live?
Please share 10 Random facts about yourself for your readers!
- I have a habit of tearing up when I hear people sing Happy Birthday to anyone.
- One of my first jobs was at a bird rescue.
- I broke my writing hand when I was 17 so I prefer to type if I’m writing a lot.
- I’m a registered nurse by trade but now spend my working time writing and editing anything from medical pieces to children’s literature.
- One of my feet is a half size bigger than the other!
- I have two very cute but unruly cats that follow me everywhere.
- I love funny stories but haven’t found a way to write them quite yet.
- I began learning Arabic at the age of 34 and haven’t stopped yet.
- I grew up in a blended family with 3 sisters and 4 brothers.
- I find motherhood to be one of the hardest things I’ve ever done and my hope is that more women talk about it and bring back the “village.”