“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”
This. This is why I write stories. I write consistently. I write in all forms. But, stories… turning them into novels, I write them because there are books I want to read and stories that need to exist in this world that have yet to be written. Growing up, I yearned to find a book that I could connect to beyond the surface of the story. I wanted to connect with the characters by seeing myself in those characters.
I am American. I am a Muslim. I am a female. I am of Palestinian/Arab/Middle Eastern decent.
How many novels contain characters with a combination of my background? Growing up? None.
This is why I write. “Why do you write?” is a question I get asked too often. And I love it.
Check out this blog post I wrote last year on why I write.
I have completed the manuscript for my first novel and am currently working on a second novel and memoir. As time passes, I hope to share more about my writing projects.
Told from the alternate viewpoints of Layali and Zechariah, Café Francisco explores the Muslim-American experience and the line between friendship and romance that can become so easily blurred.
[This novel is dedicated to all the Muslim female dreamers, believers, artists and writers who have ever felt that their voices were not represented or heard in young adult and fiction novels.]
The working title for my first manuscript is Café Francisco. Café Francisco was a product of my MFA program. I completed this manuscript for my Final Manuscript/Thesis. As all writing projects, Café Francisco has continued to evolve; however, the essence of the story has stayed the same. I am currently searching for the right agent who will love my baby almost as much I do and will find it the right publishing house so that it can find a place in all of your homes.
[The bound copy of my MFA manuscript.]
For my MFA Graduate reading, I read an excerpt from my novel. I shared the prologue and a chapter that is essential to the story. Click on the picture below & it will send you to my video on YouTube, where you can watch and hear me read an excerpt from Café Francisco. I hope you enjoy my reading!