Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Arab Daily News

I would like to share an article that was written about me and Shadows of Damascus in The Arab Daily News today. Check out the Link:

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Dread of an Interview

One marketing tool for newly published authors is to send out press releases to as many newspaper outlets and publications out there as possible to spread the word about the new release. If a writer hired a publicist, this process is taken care of, and if the book is fortunate enough to grab some reporter’s attention, all the writer has to do is show up for interviews and answer questions. Problem is, most writers are introverts, I believe. And I am one of them.

I tend to hide behind my written word. Doing an interview, live and in person, is something really scary for me. To add to that, my book was inspired by very volatile current events in war-torn Syria and Iraq and their spill over to the United States. So trying to stay true to the story and not get caught in the political upheaval is something very tricky to talk about.

Today, an interview I had with a local reporter was published in the newspaper (see link at the end of the post). I conducted the interview a week ago, and have not had a full night's sleep since then. I’ve had online interviews on websites and blogs, I’ve done open lectures and spoken in public forums in my line of work, and I’ve conducted one-on-one pitch sessions with agents and acquirers in conferences, but doing a live interview with a seasoned reporter for a newspaper, albeit a local one, is a whole different monster.

Seeing that voice recorder in my face, pinning down every word I said, every pause and breath I took, catching the tremor in my voice, the mispronunciations in my dialect, or the hesitation in revealing too much was nerve wrecking for me. This was different because the interview was about my dearest, too close to my heart, almost secret undertaking. My book, my dream, my hidden toy under my blanket.

Proud parents love to talk about their children. And a lot of people say writing a book is like giving birth to a baby. Getting it published is seeing that baby to adulthood. Being a parent, I identify with that analogy. But I can’t see the parallel when it comes to singing the child’s praises. Writers always have doubts about their work. That unflinching, unwavering support parents have toward their children is lessoned to a great degree with a grounded writer, I think.

So, No. I wasn’t prepared at all for my interview, although the reporter for the Sugar Land Sun newspaper, Zack Haverkamp was. I stuttered, stumbled on my words, fidgeted in my seat, and kept looking at my watch the entire forty minutes. And to my horror, I had a horrible haircut in humid weather. Perfect!

Seeing the article published, I realized how sometimes, as writers, we tend to focus on the words and miss the big picture. I think my interview gave me the two things I needed the most: exposure and some confidence. Maybe I would do it again, if I were lucky enough to get approached by another reporter. I know what to do now.

Here’s the link to my interview: 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Wonderful Review of Shadows of Damascus

I just received this wonderful review from Our Families Adventure website about Shadows of Damascus. I thought I would share it with you here since the reviewer did not post it on Amazon.

"Truly lovely story with a great hero that is believable and full of life. I am always a little cautious when the hero of a book is a war vet simply because they are normally way overdone to keep up with the "hero" perception, but Adam was wonderfully wrote, well rounded, likable man with a lot of integrity that struggles to overcome his violent and abusive childhood. This book really captured the essence of what war does to people in different capacities and how it impacts lives for generations to come. I enjoyed reading about all the complexities of war and love in this heartfelt story by Lilas."