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Ibrahim Ashmawey Interview

What inspires you to write?

For me, writing isn't a choice. Characters, ideas, and stories show up in my head. These ideas and characters subconsciously come from everything I see around me. I see something, and it causes me to ask a question. And who better to answer the question than a character living an experience? If I don't then bring these characters to life and put them on paper, I get a fever. I can get jitters until these characters get to breathe and tell us their stories.

Could you share some of your challenges as a writer?

I don't believe in writer's block. If you get writer's block, you're writing something you shouldn't be writing. However, finding the proper time to write is always a challenge for me. I'm a firm believer that a writer should write every single day. My preference is to write in the morning, but if I can't wake up early one day, I force myself to find the time in the evening, which always tends to be a challenge. Thank God for smartphones! I can get an idea while shopping, during lunch, or other random moments and pull out my phone to begin writing.

What are your current/future projects?

I'm currently making some final edits on "ETA: The Trial of Logan Gruver." This is a light sci-fi romance that puts a new spin on time travel. But while the science aspect is fun and entertaining, the story really about these deep, relatable characters as they experience a sci-fi version of Romeo and Juliet for which all of existence may have to pay the price. I'm incredibly excited about this story, as I feel it carries a lot of important messages very prudent to our day and age and the world we live in.

Do you have a routine you follow when writing?

Routine is everything for me when I write. I wake up at 5am, before the sun has a chance to show its face. Quiet house to myself, I put on my robe (winter or summer), make myself an espresso, grab a few pieces of chocolate, and hit my desk. When I wake up that early, my logic is only half-functioning. To me, that's the perfect recipe to write creatively.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

My advice is stolen from my favorite author, Ray Bradbury, who never professionally learned to write, but graduated from the library, reading all the books he could. He advised, "For the next thousand nights, before you go to bed every night, read one short story...Okay, then read one poem...and one essay a night...That means that every night then, before you go to bed, you’re stuffing your head with one poem, one short story, one essay—at the end of a thousand’ll be full of stuff, won’t you?"

What is your preferred method for readers to get in touch with you?

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