October 23: Who the hell am I and why should you care?

The question is, what does my “voice” sound like? 

Well, I am a woman, so womanly I guess. I come from a conservative background but not oppressively so. Like, the rules for how you are expected to live were well established but there was plenty of wiggle room because, you know, life happens. So I grew up a bit irreverent. I sometimes struggle with the whole “respect for authority” thing both in the abstract and materially. (Is that a word? I hope it’s a word. My spell checker says its a word so I’m gonna go with it.)

Before I go any further let me just remind you all to like and subscribe to my blog. If you haven’t already, follow me on Wattpad, where I will be posting daily all during NaNoWriMo. If you are also participating in NaNoWriMo, feel free to add me as a writing buddy

I’m also a stereotypical Gemini. I am a jack of all trades but a master of maybe one. I am much more interested in learning about things than in mastering them, so I tend to have my fingers in a lot of cakes (That’s the metaphor, right? Because I seriously had a problem sticking my fingers in cakes as a child and well…fat kid problems.)

So my voice is a chubby black woman with a penchant for pushing the boundaries and challenging authority. 

And why should you care?

I write fiction that features characters that I can’t find anywhere else. In fact, that’s WHY I started writing. I wanted to see stories that featured girls and women who bucked convention. Specifically, I wanted to see stories about Muslim women who weren’t tragic heroines or struggling with their Muslim-ness but were struggling with life and their religious identity was just part of who they were. Women with horrible bosses or family members with chronic illnesses, who were relatable.

My writing is romance based. I wouldn’t call it a typical romance because although there is a love story that drives the story, it serves as a catalyst for a larger story about issues like gender equality or racism. I chose romance because I grew up reading romance novels and I noticed that many of the women around me were also romance enthusiasts. It just made sense to blend the two. 

You should care because my writing is a way of taking back the narrative about Muslim women, in America specifically, but in the West generally. It blends humor and romance while delivering a larger message about how we treat each other as human beings, the importance of and limits to tradition, and finding faith in love. My characters are Muslims but they are FLAWED, sometimes DEEPLY so, and I don’t try to sermonize them into becoming idealized characters. And my books aren’t just for Muslim readers although they are my primary target audience. I hope that all people can enjoy my work. 

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