I was bored. It was summer. The days were long. One afternoon, I saw an image of a thin gangly man with a straw hat standing, confused, on the shore of his island. And I went with it. That was the conception of Tart Morning, the lead character in this book. Cypress, on the other hand, came as a fresh surprise. She was supposed to be a woman who would challenge Tart but suddenly I saw her as a self-satisfied ten-year-old girl and I laughed. That was where the fun began!
Tart because I’m an introvert (I’m not grumpy though). And Sari.
Be yourself but be nice!!!
I’ve always wanted Morwen’s talking cats. The witch in the “Enchanted Forest” series by Patricia Wrede. They’re smart and very companionable. Unlike real cats.
The Map of Salt and Stars, by Zeyn Joukhadar.
Mmmm VERY hard question. Charles Dickens. J.K.Rowling. Definitely Elizabeth Gilbert.
Yes I have. The books that I’ve read by Saudis were morose. The books I’ve read by westerners tend to have an orientalist lens, which is contemptible.
English. I speak Arabic and English and a little bit of French. Nope. I’ve never translated any of my books. I wouldn’t do it myself though if I were to have them translated.
Mmmmm…REAALLY hard question. They are two different experiences entirely. But if I absolutely had to do only one, I would write books.
Yes. Books and films have different essences. I can usually tell if something is begging to be a book or a screenplay. And very often it doesn’t work when I try the story in a different medium. For me, since I had a hunch about the medium, it rarely works when I change it.
Anne Shirley. Or I’d want to be one of the Ingleside clan. (L.M.Montgomery universe)
YES! I’m planning a sequel.
YES. All the time. Istanbul has inspired a large part of the Fantasy novel that I’m currently working on. Malaysia may have inspired the Cerulean Universe a little bit. I’m adamant about visiting places. A producer was once wanted me to write a script that took place in Ethiopia and I insisted on visiting it. He asked “Why don’t you just hop on Google?”. No comment!
Yes. Definitely. It’s one of the most fun phases of writing a book. I had to research hot air balloons for Weathernose, for example.
My bed. I usually get the most writing done on my bed. It does change though. I can be a bit nomadic, fixating on different spots at different times.
YES! I’m a big believer that music is a part of the process. Before I write each piece, I look for the musical tracks that express the world that I’m going to be spending time in. And then I listen to that soundtrack every time I sit to write and it instantly takes me there. It’s a bit Pavlovian!
Maybe my cousin? Definitely my best friend at school.
A Series of Unfortunate Events. I watched it this summer. I was so enamored by it because it was so well-done. It was fresh and funny and bold. It was better than the film in my opinion. Yes, I was sad that it ended…especially since, unfortunately, I didn’t like the ending.
YA and children’s fantasy. There’s still a child in me that is reveling inside a chrysalis of old-fashioned magic.
ABSO-EFFING-LUTELY. I was one of those kids who had to wait for two years on edge between the fourth and fifth book (remember that period? Ugh!). Favorite character would have to be Dumbledore. I love old people in Fantasy books.
Phillip Pullman’s “The Amber Spyglass”.
Sometimes. The image of a writer writing into the night is often romanticized. I don’t like to write until burnout. I find that it disturbs my creative balance. I often get up for water breaks or coffee breaks. There were times when I’ve written into the night but I generally honor my sleep.
Elizabeth Gilbert or J.K.Rowling.
Well my previous novella “The Road to Elephants” was published in 2015. It’s about two children in 1920’s Saudi Arabia who run away from their abusive nanny to join the circus. Many readers found the ending in the book pretty jarring. Looking back at it now, I’m wondering if I built up the ending in a way that makes it justifiable. Also, I would probably go in and break up the linearity of the narrative.
Yes haha! I look for excuses to get up and snack. I also drink a lot: Coffee. Tea. Water.
I’m still waiting for my Hogwarts letter.