Blogger | Columnist | Writer | Avid Reader | Book Reviewer
Q: Can you tell us something about yourself that not many people know about? Like your hobbies?
A. I am from a village-turned-town in South India, was raised in Dubai, and been in Abu Dhabi since marriage. I love reading, writing, learning, connecting with people, and traveling.
Q: When did you write your first story and how old were you?
A: The earliest memory I have of writing a story was when I was in 3rd grade. I remember sitting at my dad's office, bored by the adult world around me. Usually I would draw the obligatory landscape with the sun rising between the mountains overlooking a field with a stream of water, a house, and couple of trees. But on this particular day, I ended up writing a story. I don't remember what I wrote but I remember the feeling I had when I finished the story, and knew I wanted to write more stories.
Q: As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
A: I knew from a very young age that I wanted to serve people. And as The Almighty Willed, I now serve people by being an author, a life coach-cum-counselor, and a graphic designer.
Umm Afraz is an Indian mother-of-3 settled in the United Arab Emirates with her dentist husband. After graduating in Psychology, and a Higher Diploma in Islamic Studies, she is pursuing Master of Arts in Islamic Studies since September 2017.
She’s had experiences in Islamic Counseling since 2012 and has recently launched her online venture Redefined Muslimah Coaching, where she assists Muslim women as a coach, in bringing clarity into their lives while maintaining the teachings of Islam. Apart from coaching, she’s been designing graphics since 2014, and as an avid reader, she reviews books on her blog.
Her debut book, Here With You, is a realistic Islamic fiction that tackles the mother-in-law/daughter-in-law issue, launched on April 2019.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
EXCLUSIVE: INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR UMM AFRAZ
Q: What is your favorite book from your childhood?
A: Ooh this is a tough one! At the top of my head, I would say Goosebumps - Reader, Beware, You Choose the Scare series. I grew to be a huge R. L. Stine fan from Enid Blyton's books. I would read almost any genre that I could lay my hands on, and I still do. As long as I liked the writing style, plot, theme, and font size (oh yes, they matter to me) I'd be good to go.
Q: How were you as a student?
A: I was a good student. Very studious, sometimes with the textbook hiding my then current read *laughs*.
Q: What do you like doing when you're not reading?
A: When I am not reading, I love catching up with family and friends, spending time with my kids, and of course, writing and learning.
Q: Where do you get your writing ideas from?
A: From life and people around me. I love to write what people can relate to. Family. Friends. Relationship. Issues that challenge a person on a day-to-day basis. Issues that affect people to which they have no control of. Basically, life in general.
Q: Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination
A: My characters are all imaginary people based on people that are real in their own way. Confusing much? *winks and laughs* What I mean is, thought the characters aren't real, every reader would be able to relate to at least one character because of the realistic nature of them. If it is still confusing, I'd suggest to read the book and get back to me. I would love to know your thoughts.
Q: If you could have been the author of any book ever written, which book would you choose?
A: Mine. I believe every author has their own way of portraying the stories, and no one can relate the stories better than the author.
Q: Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with your readers about?
A: Yes, I am working on another fiction - one with a darker theme this time. It would still be related to family matters, but this would have the darker side of life to it.