Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I was born and raised in Tunisia, North Africa, surrounded by several languages. I grew up loving to travel and to learn as many idioms as my brain could fit.
Even though I have always had a huge interest in science, and majored in scientific fields for both my bachelor and my masters, I always wrote.
Writing was a very personal activity for me. It was a way for me to express myself, to deal with several situations, to unburden my uncomfortable self from any emotional overflow I couldn't express verbally. No one really knew I wrote, except for a couple of friends.
I wrote poems, essays, short stories… And as much as I wanted to maybe, one day, publish something, I never dared to.
One day, a couple of years ago, one of my friends asked me to help him and his new band in their first musical project. They needed song lyrics to practice and eventually to choose a few songs for their EP. Even though I was scared, I accepted right away.
That was the first time I gave some of my writings to people and hear my words being sang by others. It felt surreal, and I love it.
After that, I started a blog where I shared some of my writings, but quickly after I decided to write a book.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
The name of my latest book is "The Orchid".
As much as I wouldn't want to state this loudly, the story was inspired from my own life. It has an important psychological component, and a less important romantic story-line; but even though the whole story is fictional, the main idea came from me gathering a few writings of mine (about experiences I went through) and creating a bigger fiction around it.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I don't know if I have any unusual writing habits, mainly because I am not sure what are the "usual" ones. Honestly, I just write whenever I feel the need to say something, or feel inspired. I might need complete silence, as it get too loud already in my head to the extent that my thoughts become faster than my writing speed, and I can't allow any section of my brain to be distracted by anything, but apart from that, I don't think I have unusual habits.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
The author that has influenced my style of writing is my favorite author, and that is "Amélie Nothomb". I didn't plan for my style of writing to be influenced by her, but I guess I read her books so many times that it just happened automatically.
What are you working on now?
Right now, I am working on song lyrics for a few musical projects.
I have one or two book ideas, but I am not sure when (or if) I will get to them.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I am still very new at this, but what I am trying to do now to promote my book is to try and get as much SNS publicity as possible (instagram, facebook, twitter,…), but also try to spread the word through reader communities (like Goodreads) and review websites.
I am not sure if what I am doing is the right thing, but I guess I will figure it out with time. That's the fun in this whole adventure ^^
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Again, I am very new to this, so I should be getting advice too. But if I had to give on tip, it would be: don't be ashamed to promote yourself. I mean, don't overdo it, it might feel like you're spamming, and it would give a very unwanted response from others, but you are accomplishing something big, so give yourself some credit, and be proud to spread the word!"
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
"Your writing style is weird sometimes. But don't change a thing, it really reflects who you are!"
What are you reading now?
Right now I am (re)reading "Hygiène de l'assassin/Hygiene and the assassin" by Amélie Nothomb.
What’s next for you as a writer?
As I mentioned above, I have a few song lyrics to write, and maybe a second book? I am not sure if it would be a continuity to the first one or of it would be completely unrelated, but hopefully there will be more books to come!
What is your favorite book of all time?
Surprisingly, my favorite book of all time is not one of my favorite writer. It's "Autobiography of a schizophrenic girl" by M.A. Sechehaye.
I love psychology books and I love diaries and journals. And this one was a beautiful mix of both!
Author Websites and Profiles
Sahar Ayachi Amazon Profile