Heya everyone. So I'm back playing hide and seek with you all. I'm so sorry! Life has been hectic with everything on my plate and finally, I squeezed some free time in my schedule to bless you with an author interview of one of our beloved authors.
Ever since I joined Wattpad, I heard her name in people's fav authors list. She has an amazing sense of portrayal of spirituality in her stories. Authentic and correct knowledge of Islam, and whatnot. Her Instagram page can give you a beautiful insight into religion.
Her book Door to Jannah has won the 2016 Crystal Awards. I'm sure now you know about whom I'm talking about!
1. Firstly tell us a little about yourself. What are you doing? What are your goals?
Samra: Assalamu Alaikum. I am just another Muslimah striving hard for the sake of Allah. I am currently pursuing Higher Diploma in Islamic studies from Islamic online university and looking forward to do masters in the same field. We have small goals which lead us to the bigger ones and my biggest goal is to achieve jannah and calling people towards Islam.
2. From when you started writing? Your first book and what pushed you to write it?
Samra: I started writing when I was pursuing graduation and my first book is 'DOOR TO JANNAH'. As I said that my goal is to call people towards Islam, it is the same reason which pushed me to write this book. When I started reading books on Wattpad, I felt something was missing from the spiritual genre, there were plenty of books in this genre but rarely which were raw, solely for taking people closer to Allah. I highly think that spiritual genre is mostly hyped up with Romance while real spiritual lessons are lost somewhere in it. And so I decided to write a book which had lessons, which would teach and bring people closer to Allah.
3. What has influenced you the most as a writer? Source of your Islamic knowledge?
Samra: I guess there is a lot of thing that influences a writer, not just one and for me the most influential thing was people's ignorance, people being ignorant regarding the thing which they should be the most concerned about. ISLAM. Some people are ignorant not because they want to but because they never had someone in their life who would guide them. Guidance comes in ways and I aimed to guide people through my book, who had no one for guidance.
Islamic knowledge should only be gained through authentic sources. Read that twice. I read books written by authentic scholars (Darussalam and IIPH are authentic publications), listening to authentic scholars and taking up few courses.
4. How did you get the idea for Door to Jannah and Road to Jannah?
Samra: Okay that's a tough one. Ideas are in multitude and so we loose track of their sources, let alone their initial stage. I will just track back to the basic idea I tried to convey in my two books.
Door to Jannah- I saw some people around me indulging in haram relationship, so this gave me the idea to convey how haram relationships aren't perfect, to make my readers realise that perfect relationships comes from Allah, when we love Allah, he would send a perfect spouse for us and the love before marriage is not at all love but infatuation. The real love starts after nikah.
Road to Jannah- Same concept but with a little twisted plot. Although the basic thing which made me write Road to Jannah is not haram love but Societies judgemental behaviour and also forgiveness. Observing people around me who judge people by their own accord and people holding grudges made me write this story.
5. Who are your favourite authors and why?
6. How do you develop your books? Is there any prior outlining? How do you decide what topic/subject to write on?
Samra: There are no outlines but just a rough idea in my brain. The story just goes on in my mind and then directly into the chapter through my mobile. The only thing I decide early is what I have to convey and then plot is just another thing which automatically comes in line when I start writing. When you decide what you need to convey, you blend your character the same way from the beginning and you construct the scenes as per the lessons. I never sit ideally with a rough paper and pen to think what I should plot or what should I write. My surrounding and Islamic knowledge blends together to give me the subject to write.
7. How do you balance writing with your personal and work life?
Samra: Ahh that's the hardest thing for me. Taking out time from my busy schedule to write. My readers would be so happy if I wasn't busy that much. Lol. I live my busy life happily until I realise that it's been days since I updated or until my readers ping me. I somehow schedule my one day activities to other day or sometimes I write ⅓ chapter and then resume with my work and then do this again another day. This way within 2-3 days, my chapter completes and then I update. Sometimes I see authors leaving their story incomplete and I always tell this to myself to never imitate them in this. I think writing a story, when you have sincere readers is such a blessing and it is the authors responsibility to be sincere equally and complete it. I am a reader too and I know how it feels so when you start something, you should know how to finish it, quitting is not an option.
8. What do you like to write about the most? Any scene in which you cried while writing?
Samra: Umm I really like conveying Qur'anic verses and ahadith. The chapter which does not include much of these makes me sad and then I plan more on how to put them in between.
Hehe no I may have made my readers cry but I did not cry on any of the scenes. May be I am not good at writing sad emotional scenes.
9. What does literary success look like to you? Have you thought writing as your future career?
Samra: Literary success would obviously make us feel incredible but I don't think I would pursue writing as my future career. I find writing as a piece of thing which would educate others, a piece of solace and I don't want it to be included in my career.
10. Fav time and season to write.
Samra: There's niether a favourite time nor season to write. For me writing just needs a free time and space with a good mood.
11. Does writing helps you or exhaust you as a person? How many incomplete drafts do you have?
Samra: To be honest writing does sometimes exhaust me when either I am in no mood or when I am literally busy.
I have all the incomplete drafts stored in my brain, which often gets deleted because I don't get time to pen it.
12. Your Wattpad experience. One of the memorable experiences?
Samra: Wattpad is just an amazing app (that doesn't mean I am okay with its bugs), I think it is only Wattpad which brought my writings skills into limelight or else I would be a full time reader. From the journey of being a reader to a writer was amazingly beautiful.
There are a lot of beautiful experiences, and I cannot opt one to narrate. But when people tell me they changed a lot after reading my book, it does make me happy Alhamdulillah because that was the sole aim of the book.
13. What is your favourite genre to read, and why? What is the first book that made you hooked to reading?
Samra: My favourite genre is non fiction. There's nothing more stranger than real life experiences. Fiction keeps us in delusion but non fiction shows us the reality. My first book on Wattpad was 'CRIMINAL'S LOVE' and I was amazed with the plot.
14. What life experiences have shaped your writing most?
Samra: The journey of my life 'without Allah' to 'with Allah' shaped most of my writing.
15. Hardest scene for you to write?
Samra: He he he. I am such a forgetful soul. I don't remember if any scene was hard for me, it automatically flows.
16. Shout out to your writing buddies or fellow authors.
These are not all but those who I could recall being the most active one in persuading me. Sorry I missed to mention a lot people here and that doesn't mean I prefer these people over anyone. I absolutely love everyone even if the person is just a reader and not even a voter. Even if you aren't mentioned here, you are equal among these, I love y'all. P. S. The serial number doesn't define anything, it's just random mention as per my brain capacity.
Check out her works on Wattpad: @Umm_Hurairah
Or her Instagram Page: @um_hurairah
That's all for today guys. I hope you enjoyed this interview. Do tell me in the comments below or ask questions if you have any! Until next time, Keep Writing :D