Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Question and Answer With Sufiya Ahmed

It's a huge pleasure to have Sufiya here today, author of Secrets of the Henna Girl, a book I can't wait to read!  Check out more about the book on Goodreads!  Thank you for stopping by, Sufiya, and I hope you all enjoy the interview as much as I have!

Secrets of the Henna GirlWhen did you realise that you wanted to be an author?
When I was about eight years old. I was a bookworm who loved Enid Blyton’s books, as well as Roald Dahl and many others. My favourite hobby was reading and I wanted to grow up to be the next Enid Blyton with her list of hundreds of books.

Of all your characters, who is your favourite?
My favourite character has to be Zeba’s maternal grandmother, Nannyma. She is someone who cares about justice and helping the vulnerable people around her. I think my heroine Zeba would have been quite lost without Nannyma.

Secrets of the Henna Girl is about forced marriages – how did you research for your book?
I worked in the House of Commons over a number of years for a Member of Parliament. It was there that I came across women who were speaking out against forced marriage because they had been through the experience. They were asking politicians for support so that future victims could be helped. They didn’t want other young girls to go through what they did.
I listened a lot, observed and then mixed it all up with my imagination.

A ridiculous question: If a Book Fairy appeared, and said you could be any character – ever – from any book, who would you be?
Oh so many characters I would want to be. Hmm, I think Darryl Rivers, the heroine of the Mallory Towers series probably wins. Midnight feasts galore!

Final question: What advice can you give to all the aspiring authors out there?
I would say make time to write a little every week, even if it’s just a few paragraphs. Show your work to friends and family and get their feedback. Most importantly, keep reading books by other authors.

Quick Fire Round:
Fantasy or real-life books? Real life
Pen&paper or computer? Pen and paper
Describe your main character, Zeba, in one word? Brave
Favourite book of all time? Children’s book? Oh so many , but probably ‘The Magic Faraway Tree’ by Enid Blyton
Adult? ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ by Khalid Husseini

Thank you so much for letting me interview you, Sufiya!  And everyone, I think you should check out Secrets of the Henna Girl: it looks amazing!  :D

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