Interview with Yasmin Shiraz

What is your e-reading device of choice?
Kindle. I have other e-readers, but I must admit that my Kindle Fire is my favorite e-reader. I love its size, weight, and the way that it feels in my hand.
What do you read for pleasure?
I read a lot of non-fiction books for pleasure. I am a life long learner and a student of life. I LOVE discovering new things through reading.
Describe your desk
My desk is a large mahogany desk. I keep it clean. When I'm writing I have enough room to spread index cards all over my desk. I keep a bamboo plant on my desk and a Smurf! I love Smurfs.
When did you first start writing?
I was given a journal at a very early age. I started writing poems when I was about 7. In my mind, I've always been a writer.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Delaware. I spent a lot of time in my room by myself so reading and writing came naturally. Though I grew up in the suburbs, I made a lot of friends with kids who lived in the inner city. This blend of environments influences my writing because I am sensitive to both worlds. When I am crafting characters I can pull them honestly from a suburban or a inner city environment.
What's the story behind your latest book?
A popular student is accused of a crime that he didn't commit while there is a serial rapist terrorizing the campus. Date rape drugs continue to be used and there seems to be no slowing down of the trend. I wanted to tackle this issue. I also wanted to deal with the action of being "accused" of something because I don't think anyone realizing how devastating it can be to be accused of something that you didn't do. As a society, we often quickly believe rumors about people, and this is hurtful. So, I wanted to tackle that issue as well.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy in writing is telling a great story that has heart. When I sit down to write I want to believe that people will relate to and connect with the characters that I've created and the stories that I'm telling. So, just finishing a book and knowing that you gave it your all is an absolutely fantastic feeling.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I've been an "indie" spirit for a long time. I was a indie magazine publisher before I became an "indie" author. I love share my ideas without worrying what someone else has to say. I live for sharing thoughts and ideas and creating new pathways.
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans are EVERYTHING. I have fans who write to me and tell me, "Yasmin, you need to write another book!" I am so thankful to my fans for encouraging me. Its funny because so many of my fans say that I helped them with my books, but they help me with their words and their enthusiasm. Fans mean more than words can ever say.
How do you approach cover design?
I like working with graphic designers who can understand the main story of the book and capture it in one image. I like to capture the most important aspect of the story on the cover...
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords has given me the tools to interact with my fans in a different way. My first book was published in 2002, long before I understood e-book publishing. Through Smashwords, I've been able to get book reviews and engage book reviewers in a different way. I'm still learning new tools but Smashwords is helping a whole lot with e-book promotions.
Published 2014-02-09.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Loyal: The Prequel To Retaliation
Series: Retaliation. Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 31,830. Language: English. Published: August 23, 2016. Categories: Fiction » African American fiction » Urban life, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Social Issues
n the prequel to Retaliation, brother and sister, Khalil and Tashera find themselves on different sides of loyalty. Khalil's loyalty to his gang threatens the loyalty he should have to his family. This book illustrates the dynamic between a brother and sister and shows their love, challenges and desire to be there for each other.
Accused: A Retaliation Novel #2
Series: Retaliation. Price: $6.99 USD. Words: 57,040. Language: American English. Published: January 15, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Drama
(4.50)
The Retaliation saga continues in Accused: A Retaliation Novel #2. When Ahmed and Tashera leave Washington, DC and enter Georgia Atlantic University, Ahmed is accused of a crime that he didn't commit. As he is tried in the media, his popularity plumments, his relationship suffers all while a campus predator roams free. Will Tashera be able to find the predator and save Ahmed?
Retaliation: A Novel
Series: Retaliation. Price: $6.99 USD. Words: 62,150. Language: English. Published: August 28, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Drama
(5.00)
An American Library Association, Top 10 Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers, Retaliation tells the story of 17 year old, Tashera Odom who is brutally attacked by people she doesn't know. Everyone in the community, school, and even her family wants to retaliate. But does she? Retaliation exposes how one act of violence can impact an entire group of people.
Teens, Handle Your Business: 24 Tools for Motivation & Success
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 10,790. Language: English. Published: July 27, 2011. Categories: Nonfiction » Education and Study Guides » Student life
Best selling author, Yasmin Shiraz, shares 24 tools for teens to stay motivated and become successful. This workbook provides tools to eliminate distractions, assist in time management and goal setting as well as build self-esteem. This workbook gives empowering techniques to utilize social media in networking and create a personalize journey for success.