Monday, June 18, 2012

Interview with Zeinab Alayan

Good Morning Everyone! (At least here in Southern California, where it's only 7:35), so if you're somewhere else around the world: Good Afternoon, Good Evening! :)

Today I'm really excited to have another fabulous Independent author on The Romance Bookie!  This author contacted me a couple of months ago, and because I was such a klutz, and had WAY too much on my mind with school and life, I completely forgot to get back to her! Well Zeinab, THANK YOU for emailing me back!!
Anyway, Zeinab Alayan's new novel REALLY caught my eye, when she introduced it to me those many weeks ago.  It was unique, and something that I believe a lot of people may enjoy because it doesn't seem to have anything like it out there in the world!

Read on, to find out more about Zeinab, her novel Puppet Parade, what music she likes to listen to while writing, and more! :)
Puppet Parade
Isn't the cover pretty?? It really reminds me of Phantom Of the Opera!! :)

The Romance Bookie: Describe Puppet Parade in 2-3 sentences for us, please.
Zeinab: Puppet Parade tells the story of Oliver Deere and Sophie Perkins, each isolated from the world for an extended period of times, as they break down the walls that held them back from the rest of the world and go in search of Oliver’s puppets that came to life. But they get more than what they bargained for when they board a special train that carries them off to a mysterious place called the Parade, where each town houses a unique group of people.

TRB:  What do you think makes Puppet Parade unique?
Z: Well, every book is unique on its own. But I like to think that Puppet Parade touches upon a concept that hasn’t been introduced yet... as far as I know, that is. Aside from Pinocchio, I don’t know of any book/movie that has incorporated talking puppets. It’s not just the puppets though; there are also the towns where different people live. For example, scholars live in one town, entertainers live in another... and every town is drastically different from the next. I’m especially proud of that.

TRB: What was your inspiration for Puppet Parade?
Z: You know, I actually have no idea, haha. What I first had in mind when I started writing the book is completely different from the end project. I knew I wanted to include Sophie, who is afraid to see her own face, and I knew she was going to escape and explore the world, and that’s how the novel starts. But gradually all the other characters butted in out of nowhere, and I ended up writing something I didn’t even plan for.

TRB: What made you write about puppeteers?
Z: No particular reason! As I said before, all the other characters, Oliver included, came to me out of nowhere and demanded to be included in the book. I’m not even sure why I chose puppeteers. Thinking about it now I could’ve written about a doctor, a writer or even a thief! Makes it sound less special than it is, doesn’t it?

TRB:  What was your writing process like? Did you listen to music, was it quiet, etc? And if you listened to music, what did you listen to? :)
Z: I often wrote with my now-fiancé. We would time ourselves and write for 30-minute intervals; that really helped with my productivity. At the time I wrote this book, I was living with my family, and the house was always incredibly noisy. To tune out everything, I would stick on my earphones and listen to music. I prefer to listen to instrumental music while writing because the lyrics end up distracting me. I would listen to movie soundtracks (including Sherlock Holmes, Lord of the Rings, Tangled and Prince of Persia) and Immediate Music tracks. Though my favourite things to listen to where tracks by Vanessa Mae and string quartet Bond.

TRB:  Did you suffer from any Writer’s Block? How did you overcome it?
Z: I was often plagued by Writer’s Block, yes. I prefer to write without a definite plan, and more than once I would reach a part in the story where I didn’t know where I was going. At those times I would stop and re-read the last parts I’ve written, or else I would draw up flowcharts with many possible outcomes and choose the one I liked best. It also helped that I had my fiancĂ© to brainstorm with me!

TRB:  How long did it take you to finish the book?
Z: I wrote the first 50 thousand words of the book during NaNoWriMo. After that was over, I abandoned the book for nearly two months in favour of exams and projects. Then I picked it up later and churned out at least a thousand words every other day for nearly five months. I actually finished writing the book the same day my final exams were over.

On a side Note: If you don't know what NaNoWriMo is (like me, and decided to look it up), it is National Novel Writing Month! :)

TRB:  Are you working on a new book? If so, what is it about?
Z: Yep! I’m working on something titled The Muse Bunny. In this book, all muses are in the shape of a bunny (taking form from the term “plot bunny”); they are invisible, cute creatures that cling to artists and try to provide them with inspiration. However, the bunny in my book is one bad egg. Instead of trying to help the writer he’s latched himself onto, he’s trying to bring about her doom through endless Writer’s Block and bad choices. TMB chronicles the things that happens along the way. I’m actually nearly done writing it, and you can expect to see it soon! ...after all the editing is done, of course.
TRB:  Have you always wanted to be an author and make a career out of writing books?
Z: Well, I always liked to write, but as a kid, when people asked me what I wanted to be when I grow up, I would tell them that I wanted to be a doctor or a teacher or even a detective. In the back of my mind I knew I wanted to be a writer, but my childish logic would tell me that writers don’t earn a lot of money, so I should look for something else, haha. I still wouldn’t consider writing to be my career, but hopefully within a few years it will be.
TRB:  What do you do when you’re not writing?
Z: Mostly I juggle between two jobs – translating and editing. But when I have some free time, I like to watch TV and movies, blog, look around the internet and excessively devour books. Oh, and chocolate. I’m always eating chocolate.
TRB:  Have you read any interesting books recently? Anything you might recommend?
Z: I recently finish reading Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. While it’s something I might’ve not normally picked up, it still held my interest from the beginning to its end. It’s highly captivating and keeps you guessing about what may happen next. It gets five stars and high praise from me.

I really must say that Zeinab's novel sounds AWESOME! I am definitely looking forward to, in the future, picking it up! If you're interested in checking it out, you can find it on Barnes and Noble and Amazon!

Thank you to Zeinab for joining me today! And CONGRATULATIONS on your engagement!! :)

The Romance Bookie :)