From a Publisher to Publishing Her First Book [Q&A]

My approach to writing very short prose is varied. Sometimes it’s a matter of distilling a much longer story into one substantially shorter in length than the original, through a process of culling and refinement again and again until I’m satisfied that the story can’t be any further pared away at without consequence. I enjoy that challenge of crystallization, which involves thinking deeply about the reader, imagining what she may fill in with her intelligence, intuition, and empathic imagination and invention.

In-Tune with Poetry [Q&A]

Poetry came in my late teens-first, as a requirement for an amateur writing workshop I was selected to attend at age 15 then a few years later when a friend asked me to edit a poem he wrote for a girl. I became jealous of this use of a powerful but shorter art form and decide to try it.

Using Real Lebanese Society to Fuel Fiction [Q&A]

One of the key elements in Lebanese society is its openness and acceptance of Western cultures and values. It is really at the crossroads between the East and the West – trying to evolve in thought like the West while still holding on to its most deeply-rooted Eastern values. To that end, you can feel the ever-present struggle in every Lebanese’s mind, especially the younger generations being exposed more and more to foreign culture like music and movies and literature while growing up. The characters I use in my works embody this struggle and touch upon the most sensitive issues that are slowly being filtered and applied in Lebanese society while still considered forbidden on the surface.

8 Tips for Unpublished Authors

I’d always dreamt of writing a novel, and an idea had been floating in my head. The story consumed me with an inexplicable force, and the class’s themes compelled me to write the words down. That night after class, I sat down and I started writing, never thinking anyone would ever read the words. Each night when I came back to my story, I chided myself for wasting my precious time. At the end of summer, I shoved the faded green notebook underneath my bed to collect dust. I abandoned the dream, but the story never quite abandoned me. I came back to it the next summer and the next until finally I had a complete manuscript.