Author Interview – Atia Abawi
My seventh The Author Speaks interview is with Atia Abawi, a multi-award winning journalist and foreign correspondent, and the author of the powerful “A Land Of Permanent Goodbyes”. This book is set in war-torn Syria, and follows the harrowing refugee journey of a teenager and his sister.
Atia worked in the Middle East for CNN and later NBC, and was based in Kabul, Afghanistan for five years! She is the author of two books, one of which I’ve reviewed. Be careful – Atia has no fixed writing space, so you may look over your shoulder in your local coffee shop to see her scribbling away!
Book: A Land Of Permanent Goodbyes
Published: Jan 23, 2018
Why did you begin writing?
I wanted to give the reader a better glimpse into parts of the world and humanity that I’ve witnessed as a journalist. Unfortunately as a journalist we are restricted by time and word counts to give a fuller picture.
How do you form the ideas for your book?
My ideas are formed on reality, on the people I meet and the humanity and sometimes lack thereof that I have encountered.
Is there a particular genre you like writing in, or do you see yourself writing in several genres?
I have mainly written in realistic fiction but I would like to one day dabble in different genres.
Describe your writing space.
I have different spaces. Sometimes I enjoy going into a loud café – the noise and chaos oddly enough on some days makes me focus more on getting words down. Other days I go into the quite room in our apartment and focus with silence. It really depends on my mood.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with them?
I do read them. I try and take them with a grain of salt. Everyone will always base their judgements on their own insights and life. So far the books I have written about are based on situations and in countries most people who are reviewing my books haven’t been to or understand clearly. I appreciate the reviewers who acknowledge this but are still open to something new and possibly different from what they are used to.
What is it like, to have your book published and out there?
It’s a relief when it is finally published. But then the pressure comes from what the readers will think. Or if they will even read it. Publishing is not an easy industry, it is quite humbling.
What did you learn when writing the book, that was surprising to you?
I learned just how sensitive I still am. After years of covering wars and tragedy for the news channels I thought that maybe I had grown strong and was able to control my emotions better. But while researching my latest book, I was surprised at just how much emotions and tears I released in the process.
What do you read to relax?
What words of advice would you give aspiring authors?
Don’t give up. As cliché as this may sound, it’s true. If you keep persisting, you will accomplish what you have always dreamed of and more.
In “A Land Of Permanent Goodbyes”, what would you like readers to get the most from?
My hope is that they empathise with the struggle of refugees not just find sympathy for them.
What are your upcoming projects (if you can talk about them!!)?
Still working on that 😀
What are you currently reading?
The Kremlin’s Candidate and Your Republic is Calling You (in a Spy Novel mood recently)
Any last thoughts?
Thank you for taking the time to read more about me and my books 😀
Tell us how we can discover more about you and your books:
Please check me out on social media and through my website:
Thank you Atia for taking the time to talk to me!!