What book(s) have you written?
- Eid Empanadas: A Latino Muslim Ramadan and Eid-ul-fitr
- The Secret of My Hijab
- Why Do Muslims...? 25 Questions for Curious Kids
- From Puerto Rico to Islam With Love
- The First Day of Ramadan
- The Adventures of Suleiman
When did you first realize you wanted to be an author?
I always loved writing poetry and prose, but I realized I wanted to be an author when my first child was born. After searching for Islamic books in our language, Spanish, and not finding any, I decided I needed to bridge the gap between the Latino and Muslim community through literature.
How long did it take you to write your book(s)?
Esch book has its own story and timeline. For example, my poetry book is a collection of poems from 2000 - 2020. My children's books have taken anywhere from a few months to a year each.
What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
My work schedule is always hectic because I am a busy mother of six. I have to make time to write amidst the chaos of parenting!
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I write bilingual books and poetry, in English and Spanish. I consider myself a very artistic and creative individual even as a child. Alhamdulillah, I think it's a gift from Allah.
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
My inspiration is my family 100%. This includes my family back home in Puerto Rico, as well as my immediate family, especially my children. I also enjoy reading and that helps keep my creative juices flowing.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I love spending time with my family and reading.
What does your family think of your writing?
I hope they appreciate and enjoy it, because it is a huge part of who I am. My writing will outlive me insha'Allah, and I pray that my loved ones find comfort in it after I am gone.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
I am still learning as I go. I always knew that becoming an author was difficult, but I have realized that it is much harder than I even imagined! Just like anything else that is worth it, it takes a lot of hard work and discipline.
Do you have any suggestions to help people become a better writer? If so, what are they?
Becoming a better writer does not happen overnight. So, I advise the following: 1. Patience, prayer, good intentions 2. Reading as much as you can 3. Perfecting your grammar 4. Journaling regularly 5. Lots of practice (volunteer writing, blogging, writing for fun, etc.)
What do you think makes a good story?
Aside from having a great plot, relatable characters, and awesome writing skills, a great story is genuine. It is not forced.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
An astronaut (which is ridiculous because I'm afraid of heights and I'm into fine arts way more than science) 😄
What is your favorite book?
The Quran and The Autobiography of Malcolm X
Where do you live?
Please share 10 Random facts about yourself for your readers!
- I was born in Puerto Rico
- my favorite food is Puerto Rican pasteles
- I'm afraid of heights
- I lived in Alaska for two years
- my favorite color is green
- I'm an Army brat
- I converted to Islam in 2000
- I'm a mom of six
- I wanted to become a singer/actress before I converted to Islam
- my favorite show of all time is Dirilis Ertugrul