Interview with Helen Khan

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy comes not from writing but knowing that what I wrote encouraged, empowered, built confidence and gave voice to those that have no voice. Perhaps they even found a new perspective on life. Joy comes from knowing that the reader found self-worth in my book’s pages.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up on a farm in Northern Alberta, Canada. Days consisted of chores, school and after-school fun. I had exceptionally good parents, so I had an ideal childhood. We didn’t have wealth, but we had love and community. The books that I write are a far cry from my childhood; yet it is this childhood that enables me to write passionately.
What is your writing process?
I always have a notebook handy to jot down ideas that come to me. I have a tentative outline of where I want the story to go and my purpose for writing what I write. But it's loosely defined so that I can add or change characters, ideas, events until I have it where I want to be. My first book required minimal research because these are stories I had heard or seen firsthand. But my second book, still in the making, requires a lot more background research to pull off a meaningful novel.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I work for a major university, that’s my day job. For me, writing is very purposeful. I write to release intense emotion bottled inside; the result of suffering I see around me. I don’t see writing as my career. When I’m not working or writing, I spend time with family. My husband and I like to play word games together. And I like to sew.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Rather it is the stories of women who are voiceless.
What do your fans mean to you?
The word fan, as a noun means supporter or someone who is enthusiastically devoted to something or somebody. If there is any fanfare, I hope it is never directed towards me, but rather towards God who has gifted me and inspired me to write.

The word fan as a verb is much more meaningful to me. We can fan the flames. So, for me, I hope my readers are strengthened, stirred up, encouraged, awakened, inspired. I hope that my books encourage and uplift their readers; give them a new paradigm that allows them to believe in themselves, face the world with confidence and self-worth. That is the flame I want to fan.
How do you approach cover design?
The cover design should convey the same message as the title and content. I believe a cover should be attractive enough to say “Read Me.”
Who are your favorite authors?
I generally have favourite books, but for authors, two that come to mind are CS Lewis and Khaled Hosseni. I like CS Lewis whether he’s writing about philosophy, faith or children’s books such as the Narnia series. I like Hosseini because he can weave a brilliant story.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Self-publishing seemed the best way to go for a number of reasons. I popped the question to friends, should I self-publish or find a publisher. One friend came back that self-publishing isn't that hard - he had done it successfully. Also as I searched online for reasons to self-publish, I found the platform I am using makes my books accessible internationally through numerous distributors. Those were two big motivators along with price and maintaining total originality.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The prospect of another day to be embraced with anticipation of what will this day bring.
Published 2019-06-03.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Shrouds Over Eden
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 30,720. Language: English. Published: July 12, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » General, Fiction » Inspirational
In this allegorical narrative, Helen Khan takes the reader through stories of domestic and systematic abuse towards women to a garden where love, respect and dignity awaits. In the garden, Sonu meets Lamb in the garden where she is introduced to unconditional love.