Writer. Blogger (writing, publishing, life). Mum of 1. UCL Psychology graduate. Former investments professional. Published in The Startup.
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Photo by Pexels on Pixabay

If you don’t already know, I’m a British-Bangladeshi Muslim author living in the UK. I grew up in East London and now live just a few minutes away from my childhood home. I write and self-publish fantasy and contemporary romance novels. Half of my protagonists are people of colour (POC) and half are “white”. I will explain why that is — I only figured this out fairly recently! — before discussing the issues that arise when writing characters from an ethnic minority group, even if you’re a part of that community.

My contemporary fiction novels are all multicultural romances. I…


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Original photo by darksouls1, Pixabay (effects by author)

Some rash decisions can change your life forever…

December 1, 2010: Completed first draft of Soulmates Saga #1June 30, 2012: Published Soulmates Saga #1 via SmashwordsAugust 2012: My sister-in-law (my eldest brother's wife, mother of two girls) died from pancreatic cancer. She was the same age as I am now. She'd been diagnosed just over a year prior to her death. Her daughters were 8- and 3-years-old when she passed away.

I wasn't ready to write about this until now…

A few months after I finished writing the first draft of my debut self-published novel — following a…


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Photo by Nietjuh on Pixabay

I’ve noticed that people within the traditional publishing industry — authors, agents, editors — tend to advise authors to refrain from reading negative reviews of their books. I’ve read a lot of articles/interviews with professionals in trad pub that have said this so I am not making it up — and I get it. These authors have book deals. Their books are in Waterstones and Barnes & Noble. They’ve made it. The negative reviews will only taint the good times they’ve worked so hard for. A lot of people in indie publishing may say the same to self-published authors. …


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Image by Nietjuh on Pixabay

We all know that only a small proportion of readers actually post reviews of the books they read (around 1% of readers, they say) and several factors determine the number of reviews a book receives. This includes the size of the author’s readership and platform, their mailing list, their network of bloggers and fellow authors, and of course, the quality of their book(s). In the case of perma-free books — which tend to be self-published works — most people just don’t get around to reading/finishing everything they download.

Then, there’s the fact that the majority of people outside the publishing…


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Photo by author (Twilight by Stephenie Meyer)

I used to love reading the Acknowledgements section at the end of books. I enjoyed how authors paid tribute to the people in their lives, the way they helped them in their writing and publishing journey. I noticed a pattern in the numerous books I read over the years: The authors’ parents were their biggest supporters. The ones that encouraged their reading and creative writing. Believed in them from a young age.

Next came the best friends. They were usually the early readers, the receivers of late night panic calls about plot holes or twists.

Then, friends within the industry…


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Photo by kaboompics on Pixabay

When you meet someone new, or someone you haven’t seen for a while, do you tell them that you’re a writer or an indie author? Do you tell them if they ask you what you do or does it come out in passing? Do you like telling people? Do you worry that they’re going to judge you in a certain way for self-publishing? Or worse — that they’ll read your book and see you in a different light because of the things you made your characters do? LOL.

I don’t tell anyone. Writing is a part of my life that…


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Photo by StockSnap on Pixabay

In July 2020, I released the final book in my first ever epic fantasy series, the Heir to the Throne Trilogy. It was also the first time that I published an entire series in the same year (if you’ve read my #Storytime posts, you know that my life keeps getting in the way and I don’t get to complete my series in a “timely manner”. Sigh. In 2020, Covid 19 tried to interfere).

Nothing went to plan in 2020 — for anyone — but at least this series is complete.

To this day, I still can’t believe that I may…


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Photo by pixel2013 on Pixabay

I have a life threatening condition and I had no idea until I was in my 30s…

A single sneeze could have been the thing that killed me. For someone that sneezes a lot (hay fever in the summers, cold and flu in the winters), it was a frightening prospect. My gravestone could have read “Sneezed a lot. The Xth sneeze killed her” if I was destined to go that way. I still might, actually, as this condition can come back…

And I wouldn’t have found out about it if I didn’t have chronic back pain.

Imagine writing when it…


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Photo by Free-Photos on Pixabay (effects by author)

As readers, we become highly invested in our favourite fictional characters. When these heroes succeed in their endeavours, we rejoice. If they fall apart at the seams, our hearts break with them. And if they make what we think is the wrong choice, we can feel deflated, disappointed.

Sometimes, when an author takes their character(s) in the direction that we don’t want them to or if it’s a little bit controversial, it can affect our enjoyment of the book — to varying degrees. We might rant about it in our reviews, shake our heads whenever we remember it, or even…


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Photo by kaboompics on Pixabay

Writer’s block. Some people swear by it. Others scoff at it. I thought I had it for 10 years…

These days, most creatives don’t believe that writer’s block is a thing. There are several articles online explaining why writers might come to feel as though they can’t lay down a single word for their WIP. A lot of it makes sense: Poor or little plotting, overdoing the outlines, lack of belief in the story, uncertainty over the characters’ destinations, and so on.

Basically, the issues with your manuscript prevent you from continuing it.

The solution is to go over everything…

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