1. When/why did you decide to become a writer?
For me, writing has always been a part of my childhood. I really started writing stories when I was in the sixth grade and never stopped all through middle school and then high school. It was recently in my junior year of college that I decided to reach out to agents and actually get my work published.
2. What authors inspired you when you were younger? What books do you enjoy reading today?
Growing up, my teachers were my biggest inspiration. Upon that, truth be told, my parents were very strict and I wasn’t really allowed to go out as much as the other kids my age. Writing sort of became my escape.
3. What was the inspiration behind your novel Charlotte's Secrets: Demon's Love?
I’ve always rooted for crazy love that defies impossible odds. Charlotte’s Secrets pretty much soaks up that idea. I wanted to write a novel centered around the fact that a man (or woman, had I chosen my protagonist to be a female) would do anything for the one he loves. As one chapter led to another, I had a paranormal romance ready for readers to enjoy.
4. What can we expect from the sequel?
The sequel is equally focused on all the characters as opposed to just Charlotte and Julian. The book is written in third person so readers actually develop an understanding of the emotions and feelings of all the other characters. Old enemies tag along but new problems arise. The readers also get an inside scoop on each character’s individual struggles, feelings, and details on their pasts.
5. How many books do you plan on writing about these characters?
So far, Charlotte’s Secrets: Demon’s Love is meant to be a trilogy. I don’t have any plans to branch out series on each individual character but who knows. An author’s mind is always working so nothing is ever written in stone.
6. Were any of the characters' personalities or emotions taken from real life?
Definitely. Sometimes, the way Cassandra acts reminds me of myself. Watson is witty and sarcastic and we know a personality like that in a group of serious people is an absolute must. I just wanted to even the odds with my characters. Making everyone tough, emotional, and a sucker for love would make the novel boring. I needed to incorporate personalities and emotions I had come across in real life to make it relatable.
7. What other genres would you like to try your hand at?
I actually write across the spectrum of genres and for a variety of age groups. After the trilogy, I plan to take a poke at a women’s fiction novel set in the Middle East.
8. What would you do if you were Julian?
Julian and I share one thing in common: we both are romantics and would do anything for the people we love. I think I based his actions off what I would do myself if presented the scenarios he went through.
9. Why magic in the Dark Ages? What was it about that time period that made you want to set your novel there?
I’ve always had a fascination with the Dark Ages. From the lifestyle of the people, to the art, architecture, grand feasts, festivals…it had always been a time and culture dear to my heart so I decided why not write about it?
10. Would you like to see Charlotte's Secrets as a film? If so, who do you want to see play your characters?
I would be lying if I said I didn’t. I think Charlize Theron would make a grand Charlotte.
11. Where do you see yourself and your career in the next ten years?
Hopefully on the New York Times Bestseller list. Mainly, I hope to win the admiration and respect of readers and have several books under my belt by then.
12. What would you be doing if you weren't writing?
I’d be consumed by school which I still am. Though, writing is my passion, I am going to college to be a Speech Language Pathologist. I also find comfort in cooking and if I wasn’t writing, I think I’d have my own cooking channel on youtube or something.
13. Can you tell KSR what you're working on next (aside from the sequel to Charlotte's Secrets)?
I have plans for so many projects it’s hard to keep up. I keep a binder of ideas and when I’m done with one project, I run my finger down the list and try to figure out what I’m in the mood for next or what’s the best thing to put out there for my readers. I’m undecided between a contemporary women’s fiction novel set in the Middle East and a dystopian novel for young adults about fallen angels.
14. What authors, dead or alive, would you like to collaborate with?
I would say Edgar Allen Poe. He’s known for his poetry but he definitely wrote some dark and twisted stories with deep meaning (that’s why I admire him). Working with him would be a dream.
15. Thank you for participating in the interview. Can you please leave the readers with three things that may surprise them about you?
It was truly an honor, thank you. Three things about me that may surprise readers:
•I’m a black belt in taekwondo.
•I’m very messy and a horrible organizer.
•I’d sell my soul to Sephora.
Find Maryam Malik online via: