Interview with Mavie Ahmad

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a small town called Ilford - just to the east of Central London. My local library was a wealth of used books that I came across one dark and stormy afternoon when I took shelter from the cold rain.

Once inside, I passed the time browsing a range of teen books and ended up selecting a mystery genre from the Sweet Valley range. I became an avid reader at the age of thirteen when I religiously began following the world of the Wakefield twins!
When did you first start writing?
My English teacher set us a writing task when I was in Year 8 of high school. While other students scribbled notes to one another, I dove straight in - jotting down ideas, plots and drafting characters for the story that was shaping in my head.

A week later, we were handed back our assignments and I vividly remember the red A drawn at the top right hand corner. The small note next to it filled my heart with joy - Excellent work! - my teacher had written.
What are you working on next?
I'm working on something very exciting. Something a bit racy and controversial.

The story is told from a man's perspective and is set in the cosmopolitan city of Dubai. The hero arrives from London, penniless but full of hope as he starts his new job at a marketing firm. Here he meets a shy administrator who is virtually ignored by those around her.

When Adam is invited to a success party for one of the latest campaigns he worked so tirelessly on, he is half embarrassed and half mesmerized at the beautiful, confident dancer raking in money from the business-suits around her.

Adam wants her. But his traditional family values go against everything his heart desires. Who is the stunning beauty on stage? And will she really be interested in him?

I plan to complete this work by summer of 2014. But will post snippets of the scenes on my Facebook page until then.
Who are your favorite authors?
I love Louise Bagshawe, Marian Keyes and John Hart. Oh, and the amazing Dan Brown...can't forget him...
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Nothing to be honest. My kids force me out of bed each day. Once they have left the house in a whirlwind mess, I am free to begin writing. I love the weekends, as I can sleep late and wake up without having to worry about schedules and preparing for the day.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
My day goes by very fast. Three quarters of my day revolves around my children but once they are in bed, I love to power up my laptop and watch a few episodes from whatever I am into at that time.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
The simplest way I browse for books is to use iBooks on my phone. I do this under the covers when the lights are off and I can't sleep.

During the day, I have a quick look at Smashwords for the latest releases as it is easy to filter a search from their website.

I have heard plenty of good things about Goodreads, but I haven't got around to checking it out.
What is your writing process?
Weird. It is a very weird process with lots of breaks. I start with the first page and make sure it is perfect. Then I begin to jot down ideas, sentences, key points and try to build scenes from what I have.

Then I write scenes that link some of the points I have drafted. After that I usually go back to the beginning and rework the first page and continue from there. There are lots of re-writes, deletions and new scenes added throughout the whole lengthy process.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
My first read was from the Sweet Valley High School series. I loved the whole concept of escapism when I could close my bedroom door and get lost in the world of the Wakefields. The twins went through every scenario imaginable and I experienced it all with them. Its been a while, but if I ever find a SVH or SVU book lying around, I will grab it and read it. Such a classic.
How do you approach cover design?
Cover designing is my favourite part of the publishing process. I have a wonderful graphic artist who understands what I need without me having to explain things in too much detail. When I do need a cover, I look back at the story and try and pick the strongest scene to illustrate. The colours are always something I prefer as an individual and the minor details are left to my designer.

Once a draft is ready, I review it and make amendments from there.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My iPhone. Because I can carry it everywhere with me.
Describe your desk
My desk is made of mirrors. I have a laptop right in the center and an empty glass on the right. The glass would have had some juice in it at one stage.

There is a lamp on the left and bits of paper scattered around my laptop. Its not messy but not super-tidy either, unless I am expecting a visitor.
Published 2013-08-31.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.