Meet Maha Gargash: Author of the newly released book “That Other Me”!
She is a fascinating woman and author. This is an interview not to be missed.
Comment below to win one of two copies of “That Other Me”
Q: When did you realize you were a novelist?
When I got my first novel published! That’s when I could introduce myself with confidence as an author.
Q: As you geared up for your Books being released, what was the most exciting part(s) for you?
I’m usually geared up even before I finish a book. The most exciting parts are when the editor says we are ready to go to print and when I receive the advance author copies.
Q: You have written two novels so far; what is that your favorite topic to explore?
I love to put my protagonists in tricky situations or push them to the edge of desperation. I have an idea of what they will do and then, it’s a question of writing it all down. But we all know how characters can get. They take a life of their own and surprise you with all sorts of possibilities—and before I know it, they are the ones pulling me along.
Q: Is there an author that you feel resonates with you and your writing style?
I think this should come from the reader because, quite simply, like most writers, I get so engrossed in the whole process of writing a book that it’s near to impossible to provide an objective comparison.
Q: When do you typically write? Where do you write? Set this up for us…
Think of exercise: it always gets easier once the effort has been made with the feet snug in socks and sneakers. For me, it’s the same with writing: the mind alert yet lazy, sifting through all manner of trivial distractions and chores. Should I wash that mug or watch a bit of news on television or play a quick round of solitaire on my Iphone?
I have to jump up and hurry to my desk, shake the mouse to wake up the screen and start. My desk is modern and broad. I chose this shape so that I have hand and elbow space whenever I feel the urge to slide my arms about (a quirky habit). That means I can’t write unless it’s organized. And even then, concentration is not something that occurs magically.
I have to keep telling myself to just sit and do it. And that’s when it comes. Ideas form and flow. Then, the hard part becomes pulling myself away from the story.
Q: May I ask who your favorite authors are? Books?
Oh, so many!
All time favorites include: Rohinton Mistry and his ‘A Fine Balance’; Arundhati Roy, and her ‘The God of Small Things’; Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and her ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’; and more recently, Adam Johnson and his mind blowing ‘The Orphan Master’s Son’.
Q: What is your favorite part of being an author?
There are days (and weeks) when the writing goes smooth as butter. The words and sentences don’t thin no matter how much you spread them. These are rare time spans where everything falls into place, and I find myself thinking, I love being an author.
Q: Any hobbies you’d like to share with us?
Reading, of course, and photography. I enjoy watching BBC documentaries and television dramas. Years ago, I used to collect tiny perfume bottles. But the interest waned when I realized that the fragrances were not going to stay bottled up forever and that the tiny things might as well be filled with water.
Q: When can we expect your next book? Do you want to tell us a little bit about it?
Nothing concrete yet. I’m dabbling with many ideas at the moment, flinging a hook with the hope that something will soon bite.
Lastly, Book or eBook??
I feel more grounded when reading a hardback or paperback copy. It’s to do with the texture of the paper, the solidity of the book, and seeing a page number (as opposed to being told on a monitor) that makes it more real, if that makes sense. Having said that, an eBook brings the convenience of instant delivery (and that wonderful built-in light) and the choice of many books at the same time: very handy when traveling.