11 weird questions answered… who to tag next?

One of my favorite bloggers had tagged me with 11 questions. I loved the idea since most of the questions I had were more or less serious. So it is refreshing to have weird and unfamiliar questions you may ask a friend with. So I hope you’ll enjoy learning more about my personality. But first, I’d like to thank Margaret for tagging me, and I wish her great success in her new novel, Shadows Of Penumbra. I have it already but I’m still catching up with my reading… can’t wait to start your series.

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Here are the questions and here’s what I have to say for each:-

1. What is the strangest thing you have ever eaten in public?

Sheep’s brain . I was on vacation and I felt very adventurous.

How did it taste, you say? Well, you are going to have your own adventures to find out.

2. If you had to go on an adventure, with elves, dwarves, or hobbits, who would you take and why?

Elves… Because I need everyone to be able to keep up with me. 🙂

3. You are at a rural retreat lodge somewhere deep in Wisconsin or Canada. You are approached by a taxidermist who hands you a stuffed badger and asks you to put it in your lap. What do you do next?

I stay still until (somehow) he becomes convinced that I’m a stuffed human being. But I’m afraid that if he likes what he sees he’ll upgrade from animal to humans.

4. If you were given biscotti, would you prefer it with coffee, tea, or hot chocolate?

I would prefer tea. Ever since I was aware of the world I have it with tea.

5. In your opinion, who is the funniest man or woman alive today (comedian)

As a comedian actor, I say Will Ferrell. But as a standup comedy I will easily say Russell Peters. Here’s one of his bits where he talks about Arabian stereotype stories.

6. If you were given thirty seconds on television to say something, what would it be?

Attention earth. This is lord Laminar from Mars. Our death ray have been shot from the moon and it will take 30 seconds before it reaches planet earth. If I were you, I would find something to say within these 30 seconds.

Live short and decline

7. What is your idea of the most romantic date setting ever?

Two travelers who meet, talk and decides to spend their times together… Hopefully forever comes later.

beforeSunset

Before Sunset (2004)

8. If you could go on one date with a movie or television star, who would it be and why?

My favorite actress who I would be honored to have a Cinderella night with her would be Audrey Tautou. She portrayed two memorable characters and was in my favorite movie of all time… A very long engagement.

She is elegant with a smile that can force ice to melt… Her being very beautiful didn’t affect my decision… (Cough, cough, clear throat).

Audrey Tautou

Audrey Tautou

9. What is the worst song you have ever heard?

I don’t know the name nor the language, but I heard it on my way to the airport. Nothing rhymes, the guy was talking and not singing, they used a horse in the music, it was too long to bear and the driver couldn’t turn it off because the car radio was busted. I didn’t want to let him lose a customer so I kept listening. The world didn’t mean anything to me until I got out.

10. If you could live anywhere else, where would it be?

Anywhere near the beach. I sometimes imagine myself retiring and moving to Malaysia.

11. Who- in your opinion- was the greatest person to ever live?

My oldest brother. I have read about all the prophets and the saints. But to know someone in person who is in that league is something else. I feel blessed to have known him.

Now here are the 11 readers who I’d like to see how well they’ll do with these questions.

Jim L. Wright, Alice Brook, Esenga’s Voice, Kelsey Ketch, Le Bohemian Writer, Steven Truong, Cytrek, Keli, Sacha Black, Shannon Thompson, Jasmine Kyle

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My ongoing journey as a writer…

My works are not the results of the last 5 years, they are the result of my entire life, starting from my childhood. I attended with my body every day in our world, but my mind was suspended in its place between many. Starting school exactly after the Iraqi war with Kuwait was over made me one of the most unpopular kids in my classes. The sure result was isolation. I created my own corner, and it grew bigger, opening the doors for many other fantasies and new characters, personas that shaped me within time. The only person who made my life easier was my older brother who never stopped being there for me when things get rough, which is why I created the main character in his honor.

My isolation and imagination was the conditioner for the fragment of the art’s soul lying within me, it made me become what I am right now, that fragment was bound to grow in the direction it did right now because it had me as the catalyst. My first time to unleash it was in my university years in Emirates (which is one of the locations in my novel). I met my best friends over there who introduced me to their own fragments, we connected those pieces together and ended up with an idea for a movie.

I started finally when I was on my own after I changed my major and decided to change my university. During that time, I took the liberty to share and place my ideas on paper instead of just having them pass by on my mind. The first idea was ‘Psychs’, it grew too much until eventually it possessed me and made me talk about her. Two days later, my friend called me, asking about my idea while he was inside a DVD store, he thought it was a movie. And thus the path was clearer in my journey, and I didn’t waste anytime walking through it.

My publishing experience had a disastrous start which will lead me eventually to experience. I thought that all you needed was a print house and that’s it… right?… Wrong. I found one and ended up with a thousand copy of my book but, and here’s the kicker, with no real ISBN number. So imagine how hard it was to convince bookstores to place my book in them. I succeeded eventually in Kuwait, they were really nice with me and thanks to them, my novel became a bestseller over there. It was a small victory but it felt big. I started with a new publishing house now, AuthorHouse (Parent company is Penguin) and I have never felt more comfortable. They are really professionals and thanks to them, my book can be obtained worldwide. And the latest news was the Kirkus review, but I will share that later in the near future.

This is a picture of my desk… It soothes me whenever I sit there.

So… since I shared my real story of how I became a writer, I would like to share what I wrote with you all.

Psychs is all about fusing reality with fantasy… sound’s familiar? I guess I couldn’t avoid using that clay of my life in the novel. My center was Hassan, my main character and my tribute to my older brother, I thought of him and then the story sprang. He’s someone with eight spirits connected to him by one fateful event. Those spirits will soon become his teachers and give him their knowledge so he can be able to lead another life, where he gets to use his gift and their knowledge for good.

Here’s a pre-publication video of me talking about my novel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bhMMxhb2ZI

And here’s the novel’s cool widget: http://book2look.com/vBook.aspx?id=BYOlb1oXNc

I decided to write this post as my way to share my experience and to raise the curiosity of other authors and avid readers to ask questions. I was always on the lookout for author’s stories, and I loved it when I see how alike we sometimes are.

I would love to answer questions from readers, bloggers and authors. You may end up learning something or better yet, teaching me too. I’m not too proud to not admit that.

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Why did I decide to make a Q & A session this Saturday?

My dear followers and bloggers,

Last week I announced that on the 10th of November (This Saturday) I will be hosting a Q & A session as a way to stretch the knowledge of my novel and works to reach a wider audience.  But the truth is it’s more than that. The idea came to me long ago after I was invited for a book discussion with the Kuwaity Book club. It was a very productive process and you have no idea how fun it was, to be able to know more about the author and about your readers, firing questions about my book, about my life, about my current relationship, and I talked about how I was able to publish the book and what mistakes have I done along the way.

So, today I want to explain the purpose of the upcoming session to all the avid readers, the curios bloggers and to the fans who already read or still reading my book.

Here are the ten reasons why I decided to host a Q & A session:-

1- Get readers to know more about my fiction thriller.

The obvious is the first to be mentioned… readers would like to know what they are getting involved with before they start asking questions. That simple. I will talk about the book and mention more of it with everyone to help generate questions… after all, that is why I am doing the session.

2- To get to know the author by asking about his personal life.

I’m an avid reader myself, and what every reader share is the curiosity of the man or woman behind the work. Every time I read a book I always go through the biography. The more personal information I learn, the closer I feel to that person and his/her work. It’s a very good way to become connected with the readers and the authors, so it’s something I really look forward too in the session.

3- Share my publishing and marketing experiences.

If there is anything I wished for more often it would be to have someone to tell me what to do. You can never have enough routes to take when it comes to dealing with your writing, publication and marketing. And who knows, I may end up learning something new too, after all, we are here to share our experiences, and mine is only 1 year old.

4- What did I do and what obstacles did I encounter.

I mentioned that the paperback copy of my book became a bestseller in Kuwait, but what I didn’t mention was the biggest mistake I did with that old edition published in April, and most importantly,how did I flipped that into something good?

5- How did I start?

Every author had that moment where she/he realized that this is worth the effort. This Saturday I will share the story of what made me become confident enough to know that my art is something worth fighting for.

6- A chance to know my future in writing.

I write more than one genre, and I also believe that there’s no pure genre for a book because they have to be compatible with all readers if it wants to be held more often. I want to share the future works where I will talk about the second book in the series with my fans and readers and discuss my spiritual and inspirational novel which is based on an event that occurred in South  Africa in 1928.

7- A chance to learn what readers want.

An author’s greatest strength is knowing what the audience want. I hope I’d find out directly or indirectly through the questions.

8- Two major events are on the way.

I mentioned that there are two major and crucial reviews are coming on the way, the first is a Kirkus review which as I understand from my publisher would be during this month, the other is from CBC. I’m not sure honestly how well they will work out, but either way, I thought it should be important to make my book familiar before those two reviews are out, so readers would know that the reviews are aimed at the story they heard and asked about.

9- I have been away for too long.

I am in my last term in my university so most of my writing energy is being coursed somewhere else, so it would be nice to talk about the book, especially since I’ll be starting to write the third book in the series which I have not gave a title for… until last month, and you will get to learn the title’s name by Saturday.

10- This is the juicy one…

I plan to place the first 20 readers on my blog on a list, and when the time comes, those lucky 20 will get to be one of the people who own the first edition of ‘The Remnant’, the second book in Psychs series.

So I hope you’ll get excited enough to get involved with my series. We can sit down, have a cup of coffee while we chat in the comment box. You may like what you’ll learn.

To give you a little sip from my novel’s cup here is a pre-publication video of me talking about my thriller, I hope you’ll find it to be your cup of tea:-

Here’s my widget, you’ll find more information and an online sample chapter over there.

Psychs Widget

Thank you everyone and I hope to see you soon on Saturday.

~ A. H. Amin

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Remember Remember the 10th of November… A Q & A session to come

Hello everyone. I have just marked my calender on the 10th of November, it will be a date to look forward to and I hope it would be the same to you all.

I will be hosting a Q & A session on my blog, where I will first write in the post about the novel, then about me and finally about my journey to writing and publishing to give you a chance to warm up before you fire your questions in the comment section.

The post will take place on the date at 6:00 PM GMT. So please synchronize your watches and I hope to see you there.

Best wishes for you and all your beloved ones,

A. H. Amin