Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Authors Not-So-Anonymous Week #16

Welcome everyone to the sixteenth Authors Not-So-Anonymous weekly meeting!! This weekly series is about authors from Twitter and Facebook!  This week, I would like to introduce Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali into Authors Not-So-Anonymous!

Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali is the author of An Unproductive Woman and a certified breast oncology nurse in Texas.  "I don’t ever recall not writing, however, in the beginning I don’t think I considered writing as a serious lifetime goal until I was in my late twenties...Writing was a neat intellectual and artistic exercise.  A hobby, nothing more."

What began as a hobby, turned into a career but not one without trial and error - "Looking back though, I think I wrote AUW was an act of catharsis.  Writing the story, developing love and hate for the characters, living and commiserating with them, was my way of buffering myself from the things that were troublesome in my life at the time.  I’m not sure it was the healthiest thing for me to do, but I do think it was a blessing of sorts.  I was buoyed by the strength of my main character Asabe.

After writing AUW, I shopped it out to several different publishers.  There was some interest, but nothing ever panned out.  So, AUW spent several years in a box in a closet or garage virtually forgotten.  Then I stopped writing altogether.  Life got busy and I forgot this great gift that sort of completed my identity.  An opportunity arose to self-publish AUW and I’ve been writing seriously every since then."  Her writing career is much like her character's life, Asabe struggled but also had the strength to keep going and try again.

Khaalidah's biggest inspirations are her children, herself and breaking the mold of typical literature.  "My children open my eyes to possibilities and they make me hopeful.  My three children ages 20, 19, and 10 are foremost in my mind when I write, because I always want to write something that they will be proud of and will want to read.  Believe me when I say however that this is no easy task.  They are a discerning group with an intuitive understanding for what make s a story work.  They are heavy hitters when it comes to critiquing, especially my eldest."  

"I am a woman of color and a Muslim.  These are traits that I believe broaden my scope as opposed to restrict it.  This inspires me to write the kinds of stories that I would want to read, the kinds of stories where I can see myself reflected.  I’m pretty sick and tired of the status quo as regards contemporary literature and film.  Both industries, I think, are built in great part, on shock value.  How much leg and cleavage can we show?  How many sex scenes can we justify in the midst of a zombie outbreak?  Let’s pepper this dialogue with “f” words.  It’s lazy and insulting.  In my opinion, these are tactics meant to divert us from what we were really searching for when we sat down to read or watch or listen, that we want to be moved.  We want to think and feel and see something of our own strength in the conflict."  I couldn't agree with her more!  As an avid reader, I too am tired of all the *typical* stuff that happens in novels - which is why I branched out and read more Indie authors now than I have ever read in my life.  Plus, aren't we always trying to please ourselves when we read?  Why not write something you would read.

Khaalidah is currently working on two project - The Hinterlands and a graphic novel Honor&Truth.  She is also working with the Grim5next Express - a collaborative project that include musicians, artists and writers!  I recently read and reviewed her book An Unproductive WomanClick here to go to the review.  Khaalidah can be found on her website, Goodreads, Facebook, Google+, Amazon, and SmashwordsShe has graciously given me a code to pass along that allows everyone to get a free copy of An Unproductive Woman from Smashwords!  The code is CX79A (code ends on May 7, 2012).

Have an author to nominate?  Send me a message via Twitter or leave a comment with the author(s) name and Twitter name and the tag #ANSA.  I'd love to add new members!  Happy Reading!

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