Sunday, May 15, 2011

Author Interview: Mariam Maarouf

Please welcome the sweet Mariam Maarouf, young Egyptian debut author!
Um, Hi! I’m Mariam Maarouf, and I’m an Egyptian author and editor. Rosie is my debut novel.

3LB: Who or what inspired you to write? Do you have any role models?
I’ve started writing regularly during the 8th grade. I had an amazing English teacher who gave us a new writing task every day and used to critique every single story/poem thoroughly. She showed me the wonders of writing – of creating worlds and characters and telling their stories, of showing people a certain emotion or a certain scene.
My favorite/role model authors include the first Egyptian author to write a novel in English, Marwa Ayad and of course, my all-time favorite author Agatha Christie.

3LB: Do you share personality characteristics with any of your characters? Did you put part of yourself in them as you they were being created on paper and ink?
I mostly try to create completely unique characters. Sometimes the character is a shadow of me, given other circumstances, but that usually changes by the third draft. But yes, as I created them, especially Alessandra, I put some of myself in there. She ended up completely different, though.

3LB: Was there any scene or part in Rosie that was difficult to write? If so, how did you get through writing it?
I think the most difficult scene to write was the one when Damien was knocked out unconscious and was dreaming; it was hard to blend reality with dream, show a different side of other characters (Carlo and Damien when he was younger) and at the same time, actually make sense. I re-wrote it more than once, but what really shaped it were the final edits/revisions. It turned out to be my favorite of all. 

3LB: What’s next for you? What other books have you written?
I’m currently working on a YA Dystopian book entitled Skyquake. All I can say is that it’s set in Egypt, in the future and that it rocks, haha. I’m planning to seek literary representation (since I don’t currently have an agent, because there aren’t any in Egypt) in the US when I’m done with this project, God willing.

3LB: Do you have any tips or advice for aspiring writers?
Just one piece of advice: Please, for the love of all what’s sweet and fluffy, do not write just for the sake of getting published. Write because you feel like it. Write because you enjoy the world you’ve created. Write for yourself. That’s when you’re going to get the best of your abilities on paper.

3LB: What do you like to read when you're not working on your own stuff?
I like to read anything I like the sound of – Adult or YA, chick lit or hardcore Sci-Fi – anything.  But whenever I’m feeling nostalgic or in need of a really great, but light read, I definitely go for anything Agatha Christie, especially any of the Poirot novels.

3LB: What three people/characters would you love to meet? (They can be fictional, dead, or real and very much alive!)
Hmm… I would say Prophet Muhammed, Einstein (you gotta love brilliant crazy!) and Hercule Poirot (He. Is. GENIUS).

3LB: If you could have any supernatural ability, what would it be, and why?
Mind-reading because I’ve always been fascinated by people’s minds and thoughts (part of the reason I like writing in first person).

3LB: Biggest pet peeves?
While reading? Awkward sentences and “your” instead of “you’re” (or vice versa). I’m a fast reader and they sometimes slow me down (I know I make them a lot though, ugh).

3LB: Tell us five interesting things about yourself.
Ahem. Okay, so I’m not sure if those qualify as ‘interesting’ but you’re the judge of that, haha. One, I’m not at all afraid of lions/tigers but I can’t stand being near a cat. Two, my desk is usually used for clothing purposes, never for studying/working. Three, I am obsessed with shoes but hate shopping. Four, I always like to watch horror movies with a friend who gets afraid easily – seriously better than comedies. And, five, I could watch F.R.I.E.N.D.S a gazillion times and never ever get bored.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I don’t think so, but thank you so much for having me (: I really enjoyed answering those questions.
Thank you so much, Mariam! It was great having you. For more information about Mariam, visit:



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