We were completely elated when we found out that Nada Faris, a bonafide bazaarite whose articles in bazaar speak miles of her inimitable talent, has officially launched her website and is giving away a free poetry ebook to mark this special endeavor.
With a BA in English Literature, Nada Faris is also finalizing an MA in Comparative Literature from Kuwait University. She won a number of poetry awards and continues to publish fiction and nonfiction in local magazines and newspapers. She had previously worked as an English teacher, a translator, and an editor at both New Horizon and Expression and still writes for En.V Magazine. When ambition meets a talented writer with a plan, Nada Faris sets a remarkable example for her peers.
How and when did you first become interested in writing?
I began writing as soon as I learned English. I wrote plays for my aunts and uncles, recited poetry in school, and told convoluted horror tales on long car rides. It wasn’t until I was 17 years old, however, that I decided to make it my mission. I transferred to the College of Arts, read an average of 100 books a year, and wrote poetry, plays, and short stories.
You’re a writer with a plan. Do you believe this should be the case for other authors in the making?
It depends on the kind of writers they want to be. In the West, publishers expect an author to satify a specific target audience. If publishers risked their big bucks on a fantasy writer, they assume that this writer would continue to publish in the same field in order to satisfy his/her target audience. It’s not impossible to write other things, but it is very risky, and very difficult to alternate between genres if it involved a change of readers. Since I know this, I’m biding my time. Before I contact an agent for my paranormal novel, I’m hoping to hip-hop and cirss-cross over all kinds of writing opportunities. Authors in the making should keep their preferred publishers in mind.
We read on your website that getting published in Arabic is part of your long term goals, what is the most challenging part of this endeavour?
Definitely my lack of knowledge. It wasn’t until I joined the Master’s Program in Comparative Literature that I started reading Arabic books. I’ve begun reading a lot, taking a number of workshops and courses, and experimenting with fiction and nonfiction. I still throw many baddliyat. My friends always tease me when I translate “Did you wear makeup?” into “Lebastay mekyaj?”
Do you feel like we are losing touch with our Arab roots as more writers of the younger generation move towards publishing in English?
We don’t ask resturant enterpreneurs who launch burger boutiques and cupcake stores if they’re losing touch with their roots. Writers are also businessmen and women who want a bigger platform of readers. In today’s world, English offers this expansion. I’ve made it part of my mission to excel in Arabic but I see nothing wrong in writers who chose to write solely in English. It’s a purely practical business decision.
You experiment with various forms of writing, which genre appeals to you the most?
The genre I love the most, paranormal fiction, is the genre I will embark upon at the end of my experimentation. In the meantime, everything is fascinating to a certain degree. Just to name a few, I’ve written slam poetry, short fiction, articles, interviews, and reviews. I’m also working on my academic thesis, a TV Show, and some Arabic short stories.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, do you have some tips you could share with other aspiring writers?
Writer’s block only occurs to people who do not know what to write next. When I plan in advance I never suffer from writer’s block. I’m the ultimate planner. I love planning things (anything!) as much as I love pizza. But sometimes I am rushed and an editor would ask me to “hand something in,” so I write without a plan. I hate those days. They make me feel incompetent.
A collection of Slam Poems performed live at the event, Taste of Jamaica’s 3-in-1 Extravaganza, “Artemis” And Other Moems is a work of fiction. All narrators, themes, and subjects are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. If you missed out on her performance, make sure you visit nadafaris.com to listen to all of these poems for free! After all, they were written to be performed, not only to be read.
“Artemis” And Other Moems is now available for free on smashwords.com in a number of versions: Kindle, Apple iPad/iBooks, Nook, Sony Reader, Kobo, and most e-reading apps including Stanza, Aldiko, Adobe Digital Editions,PCs, Old Sony models, and Palm reading devices.
Photograph courtesy of Dalal Al-Doub.