The Booktopia Book Guru asks
Ten Terrifying Questions
1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?
I was born, raised and schooled in Holland, Michigan, USA.
2. What did you want to be when you were twelve, eighteen and thirty? And why?
Twelve: I wanted to be a singer – I love music but I sang like a toad.
Eighteen: Due to my lack of singing skills I tried to be a band director but again I failed. I can’t keep a beat.
Thirty: I wanted to be in criminal justice. I went to work as a prison guard, not such a good idea. At age 31 I went back to the family business, the beauty shop.
3. What strongly held belief did you have at eighteen that you do not have now?
That I needed to have a husband to be happy.
4. What were three works of art – book or painting or piece of music, etc – you can now say, had a great effect on you and influenced your own development as a writer?
I am more inspired by the artist than the art. I will love a style of music or painting or the way a writer weaves a tale in a book but it is the artist that gives me the greatest joy and the most inspiration.
I love Frida Kahlo – you can feel her pain in her paintings.
Laurel Burch’s whimsical designs were a great inspiration for my coffee house in Kabul Afghanistan and therefore an inspiration for my newest book.
Simon Silva – through his work you can feel the Latin heart and culture.
5. Considering the innumerable artistic avenues open to you, why did you choose to write a novel?
I consider myself a storyteller first and a writer second. I am a hairdresser at heart, and born with the gift of gab and story telling. The writing was a bi-product of my story telling.
6. Please tell us about your latest novel…
This novel is about a remarkable coffee shop in the heart of Afghanistan, and the men and women who meet there—thrown together by circumstance, bonded by secrets, and united in an extraordinary friendship.
As this group of men and women discover that there’s more to one another than meets the eye, they’ll form an unlikely friendship that will change not only their own lives but the lives of an entire country.
7. What do you hope people take away with them after reading your work?
Educating and entertaining is my goal. The war in Afghanistan is real, so I want to make the people both Afghan and foreigner as real as possible. I hope to bring more understanding to this complicated area.
8. Whom do you most admire in the realm of writing and why?
I really enjoy Lisa See. She has educated me about Chinese culture, traditions, and religion. She opened a world to me that I may have ever known. I was able to learn and be entertained at the same time. I hope my books have the same impact.
9. Many artists set themselves very ambitious goals. What are yours?
I would love to keep telling stories, writing books, and educating the public about different cultures. I always hope my books will help empower women, and raise awareness to women’s issues around the world.
10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?
Everyone has a book in them. Write from your heart and not your head. Write everyday even if you have nothing to say. Just write….