Today, I’m happy to have my dear friend Yasmin Radwan on the blog. She’s talking to us all the way from Cairo, Egypt.
Tell us how you got into writing.
I learnt how to hold a pen and write when I was only two and a half. It started when I decided to copy my older siblings. At the age of six I decided to be a writer. At the age of 10, my best friend really liked my stories and at some point I was writing for her. She was my only audience.
Describe for our readers the genre(s) you write in and why they appeal to you as a writer.
Honestly I don’t know what sort of genre I write in. I’m interested in human problems, history and art. I like writing short stories, sticking to past tense to move the story along quickly. I think it’s brilliant to present an idea in just a few pages.
What inspires you to write?
A lot of things like people’s experiences and the simplest things too like facial expressions. I can get inspired by a smile or a frown and build a story on this.
Do you have time to read? If so, what are you reading at the moment? Do you have a favourite all-time read?
I love reading and even if I don’t have time I squeeze it into my schedule. I learn a lot from reading as writer as well as a person. I just finished ‘The Museum of Innocence’ by Orhan Pamuk. It’s very long but I love it. Now I’m reading Mark Haddon’s novel ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’.
Which author(s) would you say have most influenced your writing?
When I first started reading I read books written by Egyptian writers like Ehsan Abdel Kodous and Naguib Mahfouz; later on I was highly influenced by Russian literature like Dostoevsky and Chekhov.
Are you working on anything new at the moment?
I’m writing a short story, which is longer compared to the ones I wrote before. It’s about a murderer. I also finished writing my first children’s’ book ‘Zoya’s Trip’.
What are your hopes for the future?
I’m hoping to finish my first collection of short stories and work on my first novel. I have been trying to dedicate time for this.
What do you most like about writing? What do you dislike?
What I like: it makes you heard and seen by the world. Writing gives you the chance to show everything inside you and inside others that people may ignore.
What I don’t like: block. When I get blocked or fail to express the thoughts in my mind.
What are your strengths and weaknesses as a writer?
I’m not good at talking about my strengths but I think my imagination. I daydream a lot and make stories. My weakness is the fact that I translate every thought in mind from Arabic to English; sometimes it’s difficult although when I succeed in translation I feel it was worth the effort.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
I think they should read and write a lot. Also having a notepad and pen with you most of the time can help a lot. Never give up; writing is a difficult job and it needs patience.
Thanks again to Yasmin for taking the time to talk to us today.