Tell us about yourself and what inspired you to start writing.
I am fifteen years old and have been an avid reader since age 4. My second grade teacher encouraged my class to write everyday, and I realized that it was my passion. I love being able to create characters you’d want as friends, or characters you’d be enemies with in real life. I try to express world problems that need to be resolved while taking the reader on an adventure
Tell us about your books.
I have one book published as of right now, but I’m planning to release more in the future. Spirit of the Wind is a middle-grade novel addressing important issues such as the fight to save America’s wildlife. It tells the story of two twelve-year old cousins who are determined to save a vacation camp from closure. They realize the elusive creatures scaring campers and rumored to be dangerous are innocent and need the girls’ help. From the wild forests of Long Island to a high-rise building in NYC, every twist and turn sweep the cousins to escalating levels of thrill and adventure.
How did you go about getting published?
I began drafting my book when I was 8 years old, in a composition notebook. It has undergone countless versions and plot changes since then. The manuscript has been edited by several professional editors and the cover designed by my cover artist, Hatice. I am self-published as of right now. I originally sent my query to quite a few agents, but I didn’t have a strong one. That’s when I began learning a lot about self-publication and it appealed to me. I realized I’d like to market my own book, choose a cover design and keep more of the royalties. But maybe sometime down the road, I’ll pick the traditional publishing route again. Who knows?
What is your writing process? Do you have a time, day or place you like to write?
I try to write as much as I can, which is hard because I’m very busy during the week. Weekends, holidays and the summer is when I get most of my writing done.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Full-time job, pets, hobbies?
I am a sophomore in high school and swim year-round with my team. When school is out for the summer, you can probably find me traveling with my family, surfing some of the best breaks in the world or skateboarding.
Any advice for authors about book covers?
Design the cover yourself if you have experience with Photoshop of other programs. If not, hire an artist. Pick an image that has something to do with your book and catches the reader’s eye, because the first thing they will notice is cover art.
Any marketing tips you’d like to share with other authors?
Never stop marketing. Try to do something to promote your book(s) everyday. Build your audience and get them excited about your next projects. Try to get speaking opportunities and organize book signings.
What’s your favorite book?
There are just too many! But all the books in the Harry Potter, Divergent and Hunger Games series are favorites of mine.
What are you reading now?
The Kidnapping of Inda Jackson by Cher Foth
What’s your next book project?
I will be writing a sequel to Spirit of the Wind. I’m not sure whether I’ll take the characters on a different adventure experiencing the Tunisian revolution (and address topics such as children and countries at war) or make a continuation of Spirit of the Wind.
Author Websites and Profiles
Yasmine HamdiAmazon Profile