Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Blog Tour: Whispers From the East by @amietheauthor #interview

Historical Fiction / Literary Fiction
Date Published: 7/1/2015

Ammi, a pregnant 24-year-old, flees New Delhi with millions of Muslim migrants in the early hours of the 1947 Partition of India, clawing her way through a controversial caste system and into the heart of Lahori society.

A family broken by betrayal.
Two of Ammi's beloved sons immigrate to the United States and secretly marry dazzling, contemporary American brides. One bride converts to Islam. The other commits apostasy, the sin of all sins.

Three women who stand to lose everything.
The collision of two belief systems—two worlds—come to a head as Ammi, Carolyn, and Ivy fight to keep their own marriages, families, and futures secure. 



Is There a Message in Your Novel That You Want Readers to Grasp?

I want a reader to see what interfaith marriages are really like. A lot of people wonder why a Western non-Muslim woman would marry a Muslim man. The answer is almost universal: for love.

I want a reader who is in an interfaith marriage to see how normal her struggles (and her joys) are. There are many voices and I am proud to be among them.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

The truth is, it's all really hard! But, if I'm to pick one thing, the hardest part for me about writing a novel is letting it go. After all the research, all the drafts, all the editing, all the redrafts—when all is said and done—the hardest part is handing it over and saying, “I'm finished. Here it is, world.”

How many books have you written and which is your favorite?

 I've only written this one, but am well underway with my second. I think Whispers from the East will always have the favorite slot.

If You had the chance to cast your main character from Hollywood today, who would you pick and why?
 I have THREE main characters and I'd give them to: Mahira Khan (young Ammi), Amanda Seyfried (Carolyn), and Anna Kendrick (Ivy).

When did you begin writing?
 I started seriously in 1993 when I took a journalism class and, after two hard years as a reporter for the school paper, became the sports editor. I've been writing ever since.

How long did it take to complete your first book?

I've actually never been asked this before and even I find the answer to be quite shocking. I wrote Whispers from the East in under 90 days. It just poured out of my soul.                  

Did you have an author who inspired you to become a writer?

I always sort of just had it in me. I have certainly read a great deal of books that touched me and made me want to do better (and, frankly, made me question whether or not I could). However, my biggest encouragement has come from my (unnamed) mentor; an established author with the grit, drive, and enough belief in me to help me set weekly goals and make sure I follow through. She has been my rock.

What is your favorite part of the writing process?

 The very beginning, when an idea is just a seed. All you can do is try to breathe a little life into it and hope it grows into something beautiful.

Describe your latest book in 4 words.

Love has many faces.

Can you share a little bit about your current work or what is in the future for your writing?

The next (unnamed) book will be a tie-in to Whispers from the East, although it is a stand-alone and is not written as a series. It will introduce Carolyn's daughter Mimi as an adult and bring us into a modern setting. Readers will meet some new, fabulous American ladies and a fresh batch of wonderful (and some not-so-great) men. I'm excited!

Amie Ali's stories focus on the lives of Western women who find love among the cultural breadth of Middle Eastern, North African, and South Asian countries. Weaving western expectations of love and family with extensive cultural and religious differences, she enjoys writing stories that bridge divides and offer a peek into these diverse, often controversial relationships.

Contact Information
Twitter: @amietheauthor

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