On the Raven’s Wings is an interview series presented by Sumayyah of The Raven Desk blog. It interviews aspiring writers (both agented and un-agented alike) to get their perspective on writing, the business and life. I know that this week I promised Kara Thrace from BSG and/or Chandler from Friends, but Amna is way cooler. Plus, she's real! Without further ado, I introduce to you the super cool and very talented, Amna!

Q: Why don’t you tell us a little about yourself? 

A: I’m a 17 year old writer. I live in London and have a profound love for tea, chocolates, and snuggling up in my bed with my laptop. I’m 5’2, love rainy days and oh wait— this is starting to sound like those profiles on internet dating site.

Q: What genre do you write? What attracted you to this genre? 

A: It’s not a writing genre, but I absolutely love romantic comedies. It’s what I love to watch, read and it’s what I love to write. This can be in the form of contemporary or light fantasy.

Q: What are you currently working on at the moment? How was the story inspired? 

A: I’m currently working on ‘Aspie Love’- YA Paranormal/ Magic Realism:

Leila Lefley is awkward. She resigns to drooling over her crush Neil from a distance. Her Asperger’s Syndrome makes normal social interaction hard enough – forget about talking to the most sought-after guy at Eastbay High. Then she collides with Thore, whose mission is to make Neil fall in love with Leila. Add unnecessary rambling, an incident involving hot rollers and her tendency to take everything literally and the mission just got a lot more complicated.

How, or who, inspired my story? My younger brother came to me asking for girl advice, he was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome a while back and he struggles with social norms and becomes a little flustered with people his own age. You have all had interview practise, right? Well, my brother and I would have practise conversation with each other. We cover colloquialism, slag, body language etc. Then the idea for ‘Aspie Love’ hit me. Love is awkward and uncomfortable for us all, but what if the MC (main character) suffered from Asperger’s syndrome? Leila was born and the plot followed.

Oh by the way, my brother has turned into quite the ladies man. The worst part? He is in 5rd grade.

Q: Is there a place you like to go to write? Are there any rituals you stick to when writing a story? 
A: I can write anywhere, but I love writing in my room on a cold day drinking tea (I am slowly, but surely, getting over this addiction). This is embarrassing, but… I put my IPod on shuffle and dance. Not swaying of the hips or shuffling my feet-—I really dance my ass off. I jump on my bed, do the moonwalk, and the manic headbanging to Linkin Park. I just love releasing all the pent up energy before I calm down and write.

Q: What is your favorite thing about writing? Why? 

A: Escapism. I love creating characters and making them do whatever I want. *cue manic laughter*. But honestly, sometimes I want to just get away from the stress that is reality. I want to delve into a world where the underdog wins over their love, saves the day, and drinks a nice cup of tea.

Q: If you had to pick a soundtrack for your current WIP, what songs/bands would be on it? 

A: Anything and everything from the Beatles, Sara Bareilles, and Marie Digby.

Q: What is your favorite thing about your current work? Who is your favorite character to write? 

A: I love my characters, I actually giggle-snort at most of them. What I love the most about them is how real they are to me. I swear, I’m not crazy. My favorite character has to be my MC— Leila. I love her insecurities, her passions, and integrity.

Q: What plans do you have for the future writing wise? Any new ideas in your mind?

A: I want to continue improving my prose, characterization, setting, pace and my writer’s voice. This comes from practice, practice, practice!

I am currently working on my second novel: Under the Red Stripes and White Stars.

Seventeen-year-old Aden is an alien. No, he doesn’t have tentacles or purple skin, but to the people of Somerville—he might as well be. Immigrating to the land of dreams, and blending in, is a lot harder than he imagined. He didn’t expect high school to be rough, he didn’t expect money to be so tight, and he most definitely didn’t expect to fall for the all-American girl. As he struggles to adapt to his new culture, while holding on to his own, Aden discovers that moving away from a war-torn country is only the start of the battle.

Q: What keeps you from losing interest in your work? How do you make sure you finish a project? 

A: I am probably the most fickle writer ever. I start a story, get excited over it and as I near the end I make the biggest mistake— I read over what I have just written. Overwhelmed by sudden writer’s insecurity I abandon my work and start something new. It’s a cycle I am trying to break. The idea of being branded as a quitter repulsed me, so I opened my WIP and got to work.

I’m happy to report that I have finished my first novel.

Q: What’s the best part of finishing up a novel?

A: Writing the end. A thrill rushes through me. I just finished a novel. I, Amna, have just finished a whole novel. I don’t know how to describe the warm, satisfying feeling that stays at the pit of my stomach. It feels…It feels good.

Q: What advice do you have for writers, both veteran and amateur? 

A: Support each other. We are all in this crazy world of writing together, and we should all lend a helping hand.

If you are a veteran writer, than bless us with your knowledge and expertise.
If you are an amateur, like me, then do your research. READ, READ, READ! You absorb so much. And then when your eyes hurt from reading, go and read some more. And write, whenever you can. You writing will get better with practice; it’s a craft that you have to take the time to improve.

But most importantly—- Write because you love to. 

Want to learn more about Amna? Check her out at her very own blog, Amna Writes. And see if you can find her on Absolute Write! :)
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