Writing update

Belated Selamat Hari Raya and Eid Mubarak!

Wooooo alhamdulilah, I’ve more or less finished my first draft! Truly, it goes to show that consistency does pay off. Sikit sikit, lama-lama jadi bukit! If I can write 60,000 words with while pregnant, with a 4 year old, 1.5 year old – YOU CAN TOO! I couldn’t have gotten this far without the hands-on support from my husband and mother-in-law – thank you for all the help!

My first draft is with my trusty beta readers now, and I hope to get some super helpful feedback within the next few weeks.

I’ve also sent my manuscript to be edited by Michele Sagan, who has been nothing but incredibly supportive from the get-go. Thank you, Michele! The fact that she is an editor, an agented and published author, and a mother of FOUR CHILDREN gives me so many warm, fuzzy feelings. My manuscript is in good hands ❤

So what’s next for me, writerly-wise? Some ideas:

  1. Not to look at my manuscript because I’m at the stage where I’m like…WHO’LL EVEN READ THIS?!!!
  2. Start writing my second novel! Or at least, start outlining it.
  3. Research agents for my first book.
  4. Start drafting query letters to agents.
  5. Keep lurking on @pitchwars and prepping for the December #pitmad.

In other news, I am 37 weeks pregnant. I AM LITERALLY GOING TO GIVE BIRTH SOON. To an actual baby. Not a book baby! A baby baby! This is both exciting and terrifying. Please pray for me and baby. My 4 year old and 1.5 year old can sense a big change is coming, and are clinging to me for dear life…..so let’s just say it’s a good thing I’m no longer worried about hitting my word count :p Now I can just (try to) rest, listen to birth affirmations, and enjoy the last few weeks of being a mama of two ❤

Finding Jamilah and The Story of Yusuf is up on Amazon Kindle!

Finding Jamilah and The Story of Yusuf is online and available for purchase on the Amazon Kindle store 🙂 If you like coming-of-age YA (Young Adult) fiction featuring Muslim teens of colour, please read it, share it with your loved ones, and leave a review! Thank you for welcoming my stories into your life ❤ May they leave your heart a little warmer.

Hanna Alkaf’s Q&A tomorrow! @yesitshanna

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I’m SO excited about attending tomorrow’s talk. Hanna Alkaf is my hero because she:

1)  got published through Salaam Reads, my dream imprint.

2) has TWO KIDS UNDER FOUR!

3) has TWO KIDS UNDER FOUR!!!!

4) is incredibly humble, supportive, and very “if I did it, then so can you!”

I’m just sayin’. Wow. Can’t wait to hold her book in my haaaands next year.

Hanna’s Q&A will be my baby Husna’s first earthside literary event haha. See you all tomorrow at Kino inshaAllah ❤

My novel: Finding Jamilah & The Story of Yusuf

my bookHere it is, ladies and gentlemen! In the flesh! I’m so thrilled to see my book in my Sydney family home. So exciting!

It’s been one incredible journey, and I’d like to thank everyone who’s supported me through it: my amazing family, my awesome friends, near and far, and my publisher, MyLegacy Publications, for bringing my story into print. Alhamdulilah, it’s wonderful to see my dream of being a published author come true. Truly, Allah is Most Generous.

The number one question I’ve been hearing is: “How do I buy your book?” Good question. For now, I’m planning to sell copies of my book at my book launch in Sydney. I’m currently in KL, Malaysia, and plan to be in Sydney between March 23-April 6.

Stay tuned for updates on my Sydney book launch, and I hope to see you there!

What makes a good book cover?

 

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What makes a good YA book cover? That’s as subjective as asking anyone what their favourite book is. Still, there are some trends across the board, and I’ve listed a few great websites about YA book covers:

Trends in Young Adult Book Covers: A funny and succinct snapshot of trends in YA book covers, with lots of pretty pictures. Lots.

Goodreads Best YA Book Covers: The best YA book covers, voted by Goodreaders.

How To Judge A YA Book By Its Cover: Here’s a clever and oh-so-snarky analysis of what to do (and what not to do) when deciding on a YA cover.

Uncovering YA Covers: 2011: My favourite YA book cover analysis. Fascinating! And alarming. There aren’t enough protagonists of colour, and there seems to be an awful lot of emphasis on dead girls -__-

If you ask me, a good YA book cover leaves room for the imagination, has great typography, atypical main characters, and stands out from the rest.

 

 

Review of New Year’s Biking Adventure

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I’m happy to report that Irfan and I had our first cycling adventure in the morning!

We left at about 9:30 am and there were barely any cars on the quieter roads. I’ve never cycled on the roads before, and I prefer easing my way into riding. Cycling on the quiet roads was a great confidence booster – and then I encountered my first uphill climb. OH MY QUADS.

That was a great way to figure out how to use the 6-speed Shimano gears.I was clicking frantically down to the lower gears when struggling uphill, and clicking back up to the higher gears when whizzing downhill. Am I glad my bike has great front and and back brakes. I actually flew off my seat when I jammed my front brake too hard. lol.

After the quiet roads, we rode down the cycle paths along the Pacific Highway and went up 2.2 km up to Artamon. We sat down in one of the parks in Artamon to cool off before we cycled back to Lane Cove. A  cyclist whizzed by, looked at my bike, then smiled at me. Hee! I guess she liked my bike. It’s so cool to now be part of a cycling community, and I’m looking forward to attending events like Try2Wheels 🙂 Free bike servicing, woo!

Overall, I’m really happy with the 5 km that I cycled today. There’s a freedom and independence to cycling that I’m really enjoying. I recommend it to anyone looking for a healthy workout, and an alternative way of travelling. Here’s hoping I’ll be able to cycle longer distances over time.

For the cycling enthusiasts out there, thanks for stopping by my blog 🙂 I’d love to hear from you.

On another note, I’ve realised the importance of stretching after (not before!) my bike ride. I made sure to do some stretches when I got home, to help loosen up the muscles of my legs, lower back and shoulders.

On a writing note, I’m working on designing my book cover with my publisher. Stay tuned!