Today I am hosting an Indie Author Amira Awaad and a special post about her journey to become a published author.
Also I have a blurb of one of her books to whet your appetite.
Born to Spin the Tales Like a Dervish Man
“When a displaced daughter speaks the ancient tongue, the time is near when myth becomes truth, and she shall bear the mark of the land.” Ahmed, the tourist hawker, from REN, The Asha Renu Series (Book 1)
It’s often said that fantasy is not rational, it’s para-rational. That ‘displaced daughter’ in the book, REN, was me. Though I am Egyptian, by way of nationality, I wasn’t born or raised here. I was born in central Africa and raised all over the world.
As a third culture kid (that’s what they called all the diplomat and army brats when I was growing up), I got to see the world before I turned 13. It was the kind of educational experience that you’ll never get out of a textbook.
Since early childhood, I’ve been an avid reader. I read in my room (for hours), I read during my classes (and got it trouble for it), I think my mother once walked into the kitchen and found me sitting inside the sink, reading (it was comfortable and the lighting was perfect).
The first writing journal I ever started was a tiny little thing, but it was inspired by the 80s kids TV show: Jem (Yes, she was truly outrageous!). I loved the songs and wanted to emulate them by writing songs of my own.
A few years later, my 8th Grade teacher assigned our class a creative writing assignment for homeowrk. He wanted a four page short story. Well, I went home, imagined, plotted, and showed up the next day with twenty-seven hand written pages (front to back) and an illustration. It’s not a hyperbole when I say that my hand really did bleed that night (my index finger, anyway). You should have seen the look on my teacher’s face. He was over the moon! But, it wasn’t until he asked me to read it out loud for the class that I turned a pale shade of fluffy snow. I was scared. Of course, I was scared!
When I wrote that story, my intended audience was one man and one man only: my English teacher. It was an educational contract: I do the homework and he helps me make it better. But my class… What if they didn’t like it? What if they made fun of me? What if they fell asleep? That crafted piece of writing was the outpouring of my mind — a very carefully folded piece of my soul — and I was about to let my 9-months roommates hear it. The class clown, the class bully, the class divas, the class wallflowers… all of them. Yup, every Rick, Joe, Bob, Don and Dave in the school would hear about it within a day.
In high school, I found my voice in poetry — not necessarily the ability to rhyme or the narration of my messy mind, but I found my voice in the patterns and rules. I studied and practiced and by the time I’d graduated I’d written countless haikus, villanelles, and sonnets.
In college, I studied Mass Communications because, well, I was going to be the next Murphy Brown. I studied Journalism and Broadcast and spent my college days investigating, reporting, and refining my writing skills.
Life is an interesting thing in that you never know where you’re going to wind up. Me? I moved back home to Egypt — hardly spoke the language, didn’t understand the customs, and it didn’t help that I was a mighty Taurus with all its definitive clichés. I was stubborn and lost.
At 30, I was a working single mother, avidly pursuing a Master’s degree. That meant that I was submitting my homework at 1:00 a.m. and hardly slept for three years. It was during that time that I saw ancient Egyptian queens in what few REM cycles I got. At first, I dismissed them, but then these dreams woke up something in my soul — something that had been dormant through many years of grinding, exhausting work — my voice.
I started writing The Ankhs books between 1:00 am and 3:00 am and within two years, I had finished telling the story that had engrossed me in the dream world. Pressing the ‘publish’ button, though… I might as well have been back in the 8th grade all over again. Only, this time, it wasn’t just my classmates, or the Rick, Joe, Bob, Don, and Daves of the school. The carefully folded piece of my soul would be open for the world to read.
Since then, I’ve realized that this is my passion and my greatest joy (after my son). In my life, saturated with academia, this was what I loved to do. My heart beats for it. I am a storyteller, a writer, an author — we are known by so many names. I’m a child and a mother and an academic and a dreamer — we live so many lives. So, in this rational world of science, history, and mystery, I embrace the para-rational and raise my eyes to the heavens above, and I see the dragons and the seraphs, and speak the prayers of every dreamer swaying in rumination: Let there be more…
Ren, The Asha Renu Series, Book 1: Blurb
When her father’s diplomatic term at the UN came to an end, Nadiah Zahi had to go home – to Egypt. The problem was that Nadiah and Egypt, well they didn’t speak the same language. She was a Big Apple – City girl.
Nadiah tries to plant some roots, so she journeys to Aswan where she meets a tour-guide, Ahmed, who’s rich voice resonates with an allure that is too powerful for her to ignore. Little does she know who he really is and what his presence in her life would reveal about her own identity. Turns out “Egyptian” wasn’t just a word scripted on her passport – not by a long shot.
What magic is it that dwells with the Pharaohs beneath the sands of Egypt? Her Ren, one of the five parts of her incomplete soul.
About the Author
Amira Awaad is an author and academic dean. She enjoys reading crime, mystery, fantasy and sci-fi.
As a product of international upbringing, Awaad’s writing is inspired by the diverse languages and peoples of the world. They intertwine with her ancient soul and pour out in her ebooks, Silently Yours, Lucienne, Living in the Shadows of the Pyramids, and The Ankhs series.
In them, Awaad carefully folds a piece of herself, opened for readers to see.
Today, Awaad lives as a daughter to two loving parents, a wife to a man she calls her “Prince” and a Mom to a young man she fondly describes as “the sunshine of her life”.
I love the looks of these books with such a beautifully designed covers that draw your eyes to the amazing artistry.