Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Author Interview: Loyal by Yasmin Shiraz

Virtual Book Tour,  Loyal, a Young Adult Novel

About The Author

Yasmin Shiraz is an author, filmmaker, speaker and activist. She uses her passion for life to fuel her books, documentaries, speaking engagements and social activities. She’s spoken at over 100 colleges, universities, middle schools and high schools as well as non-profit organizations.

She’s an award winning Writer/ Director and enjoys producing work on youth and community issues. By day, she’s the President of Still Eye Rise Media and runs the Yasmin Shiraz website.

About The Book

When a teen girl discovers her brother has been shot, she learns about firsthand about loyalty. Should her brother be more loyal to her or the gang members he's so eager to impress?

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Author Interview

Q. How did your life as a writer begin? 

Y: I started as a hip hop journalist and magazine publisher. After interviewing celebrities for six years, I decided that I wanted to tell my stories in books.

Q. How did you come with the idea for your current story? 

Y. I wrote the book Retaliation first, then I wrote the sequel, Accused. But, I kept thinking that readers would want to know how Khalil ended up in a wheelchair. So I wrote Loyal as a way to tell the readers more about Khalil.

Q. Tell us about your writing process. Do you outline, or are you more of a seat of your pants type of a writer?

Y.  I don't force my writing. I wait for ideas to pop in my head and then I allow the pieces of the puzzle to come together. I just start jotting down ideas. Then the ideas become an outline or a beat sheet and I go from there. I wrote Retaliation without an outline, but I love the structure of outlines. So, I just go where the flow of the story takes me.

Q. What is your favorite scene in the book? Why? 

Y. The opening scene of Loyal is my favorite scene because it's simple and says so much. Khalil who has been shot is bleeding and left for dead at his own front door. A friend drops him at the door and runs away. If no one opens the door, he would have bled to death right there. What kind of person would take a person who was shot to their home instead of the hospital? That scene opens the book and simply shows the gravity of the situation we'll be dealing with throughout the book.

Q. What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone that wants to get into writing?

Y. Aspiring writers should read as much as they can and get started writing as soon as they can. Life is always happening around us and by wasting time, we're wasting the opportunities to put our stories to paper.

Q. How do you spend your free time? Do you have a favorite place to go and unwind?

Y. My favorite way to spend free time is to vacation at the beach. My favorite beach in America is Miami Beach. But, I love Turks and Caicos in the Caribbean. I love to read and write on the beach. I also love to do yoga and meditate on the beach. The beach is my favorite place in the whole world. When I'm meditating, I imagine that I'm sitting on my yoga mat on the beach listening to the waves.

Q. Can you share with us something off your bucket list?

Y. I've always wanted to go to London. And, in 2015, a documentary that I wrote and produced screened at a film festival in London. It was beyond a dream come true. So, I went to London to support the UK premiere of the project. I visited Buckingham Palace, The London Eye, Shakespeare's Globe, Harrods and other tourist spots. It was as good as I imagined.

Thank you Yasmin for taking the time to answer these questions for our readers. Blessings on your release day!

Tour hosted by WNL Book Tours

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