1. Tell us a little bit about your background and how you became an author.
I always loved writing, but never thought I’d publish a book because I thought of writing as just a hobby. After reading Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich,” I decided to write down my goals, and when it came down to it, I had no idea what I was passionate about, until one day when I was writing I noticed how exhilarated I felt, so my goal became to publish “When Monsters Get Lonely” as well as my website http://www.empowerment-and-kids.com/index.html. They were both launched together.
2. Tell us about your current book. Give a short summary, tell us about your publisher, and also how you got the idea for this book.
“When Monsters Get Lonely” is a picture book about a little girl who is afraid of the dark and of monsters, but she gets over her fear when her grandmother explains how her thoughts really create her life. I decided to take the self publishing route because at my age I can’t afford to wait, and I know that it would take ages to be accepted by a traditional publisher. I went with CreateSpace, and it was a positive experience. I had a great team; they were very helpful and accommodating.
I decided to write about monsters and the dark because I was afraid as a child and I know how debilitating fear can be for a small child. My granddaughter loves monster movies and stories, and when my son told me how she refused to stop watching scary movies even though she had nightmares, the story became about her. I wanted to give her the tools to get over her fear, which is why Grams explains to Hannah that our thoughts create our lives and leaves it to her to deal with her fear on her own terms.
3. What is a typical writing day like for you?
I don’t have a schedule, and it’s easy for me to work at any time because my sons are grown men, so I don’t have to take care of the kids. I’m not an early riser because I’m an insomniac. Besides, I do my best thinking at night, but I write whenever I get an idea. It could be at night or in the middle of the day. My laptop is right next to me and I just open up a word document and start writing. It’s as simple as that. I used to write long hand, and at first I found the transition very difficult. It took me some time to accept it, but when I got used to Word I found that it makes much more sense. I can carry everything on my computer and I don’t have to carry loads of copy books or paper.
4. What do you enjoy most about writing?
I love it when an idea works. It’s so uplifting and empowering; it’s like a meditation to me because I have to go within in order to bring out the next idea to continue the writing process. I love trying different outcomes with an idea and seeing which one works better, so I’ll write something in several different ways and then choose to build up on one of them.
5. What is the most difficult part of writing?
It’s not the writing that’s difficult, it’s the editing and proofing, and I’m not talking about editing the story line. I’m always doing that anyway, but it’s the punctuation and the technical stuff. I leave that to my editor in the end, but I have to do the proofing, which is so tedious. I have my family help with that too because you need more than one pair of eyes to catch typos.
6. Do you make school visits or do speaking/book signing engagements? If so, please describe a typical presentation.
Well this is my first book and I haven’t done any yet, but I am looking to do book signing and book reading engagements.
7. Is there any book that, when you read it, you thought, "I wish I had written that!"?
I’ve read many books that I absolutely loved, but never wished I had written them because they are unique to their authors and I want my books to be unique to me.
8. Do you have a website? If so, please give the URL. If not, where can readers go online to learn more about your book(s) and to order?
Yes, my website is http://www.empowerment-and-kids.com/
9. What are you working on right now?
Mostly, I’m working on my website, but I also have two children’s books in the working. One is a Hannah book, but it’s not about monsters, it’s about whining. The other is about crabs. I’ve had to leave them alone for a while though, because I had to concentrate on “When Monsters Get Lonely” and on my website which was launched at the same time as the book. Now I’m in the process of moving as well, so these three things are taking up most of my time at the present.
10. What is your best tip for aspiring authors?
-Write, write, write. Even if you’re not going to publish it, just write it for yourself. It’s good practice and you never know, you may come to use it one day.
-If you’re going to self publish make sure to get your work professionally edited.
11. What advice would you give children and teens as they prepare for life?
-Choose your friends carefully. Good friends don’t ask you to do stuff you’re not comfortable with.
-Be your own person; don’t let yourself be lead by other people. If you have to follow make sure you’re following good people and good idea.
-Cultivate the confidence to set the trends yourself.
12. Is there anything else you would like to share with our readership?
I would like to thank anyone who has read my book or my website and would love to hear their feedback. They can find my contact on my website http://www.empowerment-and-kids.com/contact-maha.html. I would also like to invite your readers to participate in the playing roles challenge on my website and write about it; http://www.empowerment-and-kids.com/playingroles.html. It’s a fun way to spend the day with the kids playing pretend roles, and participants are invited to create their own page on my website to share with family and friends.
Thank you so much for visiting. Blessings for success on this book and your future projects.