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Monday, January 14, 2008

About a Book Mondays

Debut Authors: Introducing Maryam Diaab



GB: So tell us a little bit about yourself. In addition to the standard biography, what’s one thing about you that most people would be surprised by?

MD: Well, I was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan and I am married with two children. In addition to being a new author I am also a fifth grade Reading and Language Arts teacher. I love to read and my first introduction to African-American fiction was sneaking to read Waiting to Exhale by Terri McMillan while my mother was working. I must have been about twelve at the time, and have been hooked ever since. I think that people would be surprised to know that I read the Sweet Valley High series until I was nineteen and I am completely addicted to General Hospital!

GB: Girl, don’t tell anyone, but I’m addicted to General Hospital too. I love me some Sonny and Jason and I totally think Sonny and Carly should get back together and… Opps got a little side-tracked… tell us a little bit about your road to publication. What was it like getting the call? Holding your novel in your hands for the first time?

MD: I began writing Where I Want To Be in 2005 and it took about 8 months to complete. I submitted to about 25 agents and small press publishers, and while many were interested in seeing the complete manuscript, one agent offered representation in 2006. From that point, my agent began shopping Where I Want To Be to publishing houses. In January 2007 my agent called with the news that Genesis Press wanted to extend the offer of a contract. I was literary shaking when she told me that they were interested in publishing my book! Holding the finished book in my hands was a surreal experience. It still doesn’t seem real.

GB: Tell us a little bit about your novel, Where I Want To Be. What was your inspiration for writing it?

MD: Where I Want To Be is about a woman who swears off love a little too soon. It is a book that deals with aspects of loves, lies, greed and redemption. It is filled with drama and is very hot! The inspiration to write this romance was born with the characters. One night, the characters of Alexis, Kevin, Massai and Eva just came to me and I knew I had to tell their story. In the beginning, I wasn’t sure what twists and turns their lives would take, but the more I wrote, the stronger the characters became. As a result, the story really began to take on a life of its own.

GB: I love letting the characters just take over. They always surprise me and that’s what makes writing so much fun. The discovery! I hear you already have a release date for your second novel, Things Forbidden . Can you tell us a little bit about it? Is it connected to the first novel? When can we expect it?

MD: Things Forbidden will be released in July 2008, and is a project I am extremely excited about. The novel centers on a woman who is engaged, but falls in love with a man 14 years her junior six months before her wedding. While Things Forbidden is not connected with my first novel I am working on a new project that is. This novel, tentatively titled Unraveling, delves deeper into the lives of Claire and Morgan from Where I Want To Be.

GB: Okay, do you have any advice for other writers dreaming of their own debut?

MD: The most important piece of advice I can give aspiring writers is to write everyday. Practice makes perfect, and the more you write, the better you become. Another tip is to study your craft, if you want to write romance, read romance, if you want to write urban or chick-lit, read those genres. Also, join a critique group. When I began writing I started my own group and without them and their constructive criticism there would be no Where I Want To Be or Things Forbidden .

Check out Maryam’s wonderful book trailer here:



Find out more about Maryam and her books here:

  • http://www.maryamdiaab.blogpsot.com


  • http://www.myspace.com/maryamdiaab


  • Book Blurb:



    When Alexis Hunter finds out her boyfriend has a wife and kids, she decides she's had enough. No more men. No more heartbreak. This promise is soon put to the test when she meets pro basketball star Massai Taylor. Although the attraction is strong, Alexis is gun-shy. To further complicate matters, Massai's gold-digging girlfriend is determined to keep them apart at any cost. Can Alexis overcome her past before she loses her chance with Massai?

    Purchase Maryam’s debut novel here:

  • Genesis Press
  • 30 comments:

    Angelia... said...

    Gwyneth,
    very nice interview, Congratulations Maryam, this will go on my ever growing TBR pile...Bless You!

    angelia

    Don said...

    Good Q&A, Gwyneth.

    Sounds like a good read. Props to the both of you.

    I see how the book Waiting To Exhale changed the game for everyone, it seems.

    Maryam Diaab said...

    Thanks for the interview Gwyneth. It was so much fun and I really appreciate it!

    Angelia- Thanks so much for the congrats wishes.

    Don- Waiting To Exhale was a life changing for me. It was what got me hooked!

    Shelia said...

    Great interview...another book for me to check out :)

    Eleanor said...

    Wonderful interview as usual G. I love her trailer. Sounds like a must read...

    Gwyneth Bolton said...

    Angelia ~ Thanks for checking out the interview. I have Maryam's book on my tower of books to-be-read.

    Don ~ Thanks for stopping by Don. Waiting to Exhale really did change the game for a lot of people. Terry ushered in a new era of Black fiction and opened the door in terms of publishers realizing that black folks read and buy books.

    Maryam ~ Thanks for sharing your story with us. Best of luck to you!

    Shelia ~ Thanks for checking out the interview! It means a lot!

    Eleanor ~ Thanks for checking out the interview. The book trailer is nice, isn't it!

    Gwyneth

    Demon Hunter said...

    Great interview, Gwyneth. And congratulations, Maryam! :*)

    Tiffany said...

    Gwyneth that was a great interview. I just added this book to my list and can't wait to read it. Congrats on your debut novel Maryam!!

    Patricia W. said...

    Maryam and Gwyneth, thanks for another good interview. I'll be adding this to my TBR list.

    JC Martin said...

    Gwyneth,
    I just bought Maryam's book yesterday. I had to special order it from Borders close to my house. But that is alright. I read the excerpts on line and just had to know what happened next.

    Gwyneth Bolton said...

    Tyhitia ~ Thanks for checking out the interview!

    Tiffany ~ I can't wait to dig into Maryam's book. The blurb sounds like it is going to be full of lots of drama! Yummy!

    Patricia ~ Thanks for checking out the interview!

    JC ~ I was lucky that my Borders had copies. And I didn't read the page a day when she had it on her blog because I knew I wouldn't be able to wait to read the rest. That was a great way to hook folks though! Great idea, Maryam!

    Gwyneth

    Adrianne said...

    Big Congrats and welcome to the wonderful world of publishing.

    LaConnie said...

    Hi Maryam:

    Congrats on the new book (I'm buying it today) and much success in your writing career.

    Best,
    LaConnie

    Gwyneth Bolton said...

    Thanks for checking out the interview, Adrianne and LaConnie! I appreciate it!

    Gwyneth

    Gwyneth Bolton said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    WrkNProgress said...

    Very nice Interview Gwyneth! I love coming here. I am an avid reader and always get the low down on good books to read. Thanks.

    Anonymous said...

    Great Interview Gwyn, and I will add Maryam on my wish list. This book sound like it is good. Oh by the way Yeahhhhhhhhh about the Hightower. 3 books from you this year I can't wait.

    Louise

    Kimber An said...

    Great interview, both of you! I'll keep an eye out for this book.
    ;)

    Gwyneth Bolton said...

    Wrknprogress ~ Thanks for checking out the interview!

    Louise ~ Thanks for checking out the interview! I'm geeked about the Hightower books... :-)

    Kimber An ~ Thanks for checking out the interview!

    Gwyneth

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