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Interview with Suha & Richard

How did you become a writer?

Suha – As a child, I loved listening to family anecdotes that opened a window into my curiosity. I heard stories of black magic and supernatural creatures that would forever influence my storytelling. My first story, which drew from these magical influences, lead me to film school, publishing my first novel and my husband.

Richard - Throughout my career, creative writing has been paramount to me. Despite being dyslexic, I found my voice and my love of storytelling by writing. I found my writing partner and muse in Suha.

What inspires you to write?

Suha - I consider myself to be a cultural hybrid, having lived in Bahrain, UK, and the US throughout my life as an ambassador’s daughter. My stories bring together these global influences, integrating diverse themes and perspectives. I thoroughly enjoy bringing different worlds together while exploring how distinct rules and psychologies impact the individual and cultures alike. My experiences, my struggles for survival and identity, including getting through cancer, have all dictated my storytelling.

Richard - With a passion for mythology and technology, I find inspiration from both in my storytelling. In my stories, I strive to ask questions that pull together these influences of old and new to comment with a fresh perspective on issues that we face as individuals and as a society in this modern age.

How do you develop your plot and characters?

We start with a premise, a central question, that all the characters come to have an opinion about - to agree or to disagree, to fight for or against. It often turns out that by the time we have fleshed out the structure, the character we least expected now drives the plot and the premise forward.

Could you share some of your challenges as a writer?

Finding a unique and distinct voice for each of the characters can be an ordeal. By returning to the premise and finding out how each character feels about that central issue, their voices speak for themselves.

Tell me about your protagonist. What's your favorite trait and/or weakness?

Sophia is a medium with an abundance of empathy driving her every action and unlocking unimaginable potential in those who thought themselves powerless.

How does your antagonist create conflict?

Where Sophia is motivated by empathy, the antagonists have turned their backs on others, focusing only their primal needs and nothing else.

What are your current/future projects?

Suha - Our script for a magical children’s film is in active development to be greenlit next year. I will be producer and director.

Richard - Currently, I am writing a sci-fi screenplay commissioned by a British independent film guru.

Do you have a routine you follow when writing?

With three young children running around, including one with autism, a routine is hard to come by. When the creativity comes, we write with every fiber of our being. We take late nights and creative disputes in stride.

If you could go back in time to give yourself advice, what would it be?

We would pass on the advice from a detective friend of ours, ABC:

A – Ask questions.

B – Believe nothing.

C – Confirm everything.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Find something that matters to you, something that absolutely refuses to leave your thoughts. Let it be something that you know from experience and insight. There you will find the roots for your stories - write what you know.

Instagram: @alkhalifasuha

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