Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I’m an Iraqi American author, journalist, poet and filmmaker. I have written six books – three novels, one poetry book, and two nonfiction books.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Earlier this year, I started the Iraqi Americans book series. I recently published the second book in the series, called Witnessing a Genocide, which is about Iraqi Americans’ reaction to the Islamic State.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Writing while multitasking.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Gone with the Wind was the first novel I read in Arabic. I was nine years old and living in Amman, Jordan with my family. We were waiting for a Visa to the United States. Margaret Mitchell’s description of the South was my first impression of America. I was expecting to come here and find horse carriages and poofy dresses. Needless to say, I was in for a big surprise.
What are you working on now?
The third of the Iraqi Americans book series, which is called The Lives of Artists.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Research the people and places who would read your books and introduce yourself to them. My books, for instance, would appeal to academics in the Middle Eastern Studies.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
This career requires patience, patience, and more patience.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
You are responsible for your own success.
What are you reading now?
Memoirs of a Babylonian Princess by Maria Theresa Asmar
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelo
What’s next for you as a writer?
I want to continue with the Iraqi Americans book series. I also want to find a home for my first memoir, The Great American Family, which I spent nearly five years writing.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
The Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Joseph Murphy
Daughter of Fire by Irina Tweedie
The Thousand Nights and One Night 4-book series