British Asian novelist Yazarah is my guest today. She is the author of the fantasy novel “The Sickness.” and we have a lot to learn from her today.
EBUBE: PLEASE TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF?
YAZARAH: I started writing when i was 12 but didn’t aim for writing a full novel until i was 14.
I am a psychology graduate and trainee counsellor, which is probably why I love exploring the darker places of the mind and human behaviour.
EBUBE: DOES WRITING ENERGIZE OR EXHAUST YOU?
YAZARAH: Definitely energise, i don’t force myself to write. It’s like a therapy for me.
EBUBE: CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR NOVEL “THE SICKNESS”? WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE IT?
YAZARAH: The Sickness is a YA fantasy in a world with Jinns, vampires and magic. Hiro is possessed by a vampire spirit and is in charge of cleaning up the messes left by the creatures of the secret world so as to keep it hidden from humans. But now there is a mysterious sickness that is infecting the creatures and turning them insane, causing them to go on a killing spree.
Many things inspired me to write, my past experiences, my mum, my religion, other writers like Darren Shan and J.K.Rowling.
EBUBE: ARE THERE CERTAIN ISSUES YOU FEEL INCLINED TO WRITE ABOUT?
YAZARAH: Definitely mental health and abuse, that’s because of I have helped many people (some close friends and family) overcome these issues themselves.
EBUBE: COOL. SO YOU WRITE FANTASY AND TO SOME THAT GENRE IS UNNECESSARY AND UNREASONABLE. WHAT WOULD YOU SAY THE WORLD STANDS TO BENEFIT FROM FANTASY FICTIONS?
YAZARAH: Imagination and escapism, it expands the mind and lets us dream of the impossible. I know it’s not for everyone but from a psychology stand point we need fantasy, it’s why children are so engrossed in their own worlds and have imaginary friends. It has so many benefits I could write a paper on it!
EBUBE: WHAT IS YOUR WRITING PROCESS LIKE?
YAZARAH: I wish i could say i have some kind of smart or elaborate system but actually its quite chaotic probably because my mind is a mess!
I just write and write to quieten my mind. A lot of what i get down is complete rubbish so i keep that in what I’ve dubbed my ‘trash’ story.
But for my actual novel most of the time I feel like my characters have control and i’m just trying to tell their story (wow does that sound crazy?!) When they’re done showing me their story I tear it to pieces in the editing! I often re-write the whole story or at least whole sections at least 10 times until it becomes comprehensible to an audience that’s not in my head.
EBUBE: WHAT IS THE MOST UNETHICAL PRACTICE YOU CAN FIND IN THE INDUSTRY?
YAZARAH: Authors Not getting paid enough 😂
EBUBE: WHAT ARE THE PITFALLS YOU FELL INTO WHILE TRYING TO GET PUBLISHED? WHAT WOULD YOU DO DIFFERENTLY IF YOU COULD?
YAZARAH: Ah OK 100% regret not having beta readers to proof read my drafts. Feedback from readers is invaluable, especially for your first book!
EBUBE: WHAT ARE YOUR TOP 5 FAVOURITE BOOKS?
YAZARAH: Ooh this is hard!
1- A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sara J Maas
2- Graceling by Kristin Cashore
3- Wicked Lovely by Malissa Marr
4- Dark Artificies by Cassandra Clare
5- Demons Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennon
EBUBE: DO YOU BELIEVE IN WRITER’S BLOCK?
YAZARAH: Haha yes! It’s the bane of my existence.
EBUBE: DO YOU GOOGLE YOURSELF?
YAZARAH: No! I stay away from these things, I can’t stand it.
EBUBE: WHAT DOES SUCCESS AS A WRITER MEAN TO YOU?
YAZARAH: Just that my readers enjoy my book, they get strength from it and are encouraged to follow their dreams no matter their situation.
EBUBE: IS THERE ANYTHING YOU WANT TO SAY THAT MY QUESTIONS DIDN’T GIVE YOU AN OPPORTUNITY TO SAY? ANYTHING AT ALL.
YAZARAH: Never let anyone say you can’t do something or you’re not good enough. If your passionate about something keep strong and don’t give up. But something everyone should always keep in mind is why they are writing- don’t let it be for sales or other people, do it for yourself.
EBUBE: Alright. Yazarah thank you so much for being my guest today.
You can reach her on social media via
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