• Omar Abed

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    What book(s) have you written?

    • You, Me, and a Tree
    • The Book That Almost Rhymed

    When did you first realize you wanted to be an author?

    In 7th grade. I read so much and imagined having a book on the shelves with my name on it.

    How long did it take you to write your book(s)?

    Usually 3-6 months to write each picture book, but the editing and publishing process takes much longer! 

    What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

    I write whenever inspiration hits, but usually in the evening after the regular workday wraps up.

    What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

    I love looking at books in unique ways, and flipping a book's traditional structure on its head.

    Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

    My ideas come from looking at my everyday experiences with a playful perspective. This opens me up to a wide range of topics - childcare, coding, or even writing about the process of writing!

    What do you like to do when you're not writing?

    I love playing with my two-year-old son, watching movies with my wife, or playing basketball and video games.

    What does your family think of your writing?

    Most of my family can't believe that I'm a published author. It caught us all by surprise! But they're all extremely supportive, and my biggest fans.

    What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

    I was shocked to discover how long it can take to publish a book, and all the hands involved in turning an idea into a physical book. Between editors, art directors, illustrators, marketers, publicists, and many other roles, there are so many people involved in turning these dreams into reality. 

    Do you have any suggestions to help people become a better writer? If so, what are they?

    Write a little every day. Even if it's just 5 minutes, give yourself that space to be creative. If you're not feeling it, then stop, but at least you gave yourself the chance to create. And read the genre you'd like to write. It'll help you realize what's possible and give you ideas. 

    What do you think makes a good story?

    The story just has to engage the reader, and it can do that in any number of ways. Make us empathize with a character. Lead us through an exciting plot. Or just present a silly, whimsical read! As long as one reader has resonated with your words, I'd call that a good story.

    As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

    I wanted to be a professional basketball player, which... didn't quite pan out.

    What is your favorite book?

    Picture book - The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein.  

    Where do you live?

    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S

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    Please share 10 Random facts about yourself for your readers!

    1. I'm Palestinian-American and proud.
    2. I'm a software engineer who builds websites.
    3. I love playing, watching, and coaching basketball.
    4. I offer author events and writing services on my website to help others get published.
    5. I dream of retiring from engineering and becoming a teacher.
    6. I taught myself about personal finance and stock market investing.
    7. I could eat ice cream and popcorn nonstop.
    8. I discovered a love for writing through spoken-word poetry. Many of my books started as personal poems.
    9. I have been writing a YA fiction novel for several years. I hope to break into that genre one day.
    10. The most important things to me are to be a good representation of Islam and to take care of my family.
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