Today we're joining the ACCUSED blog tour by chatting with author Yasmin Shiraz. Come meet Yasmin and learn more about her new adult contemporary.
Hi, Yasmin! Welcome to We Do Write. Tell us a bit about yourself.
I was born in Delaware. I went to school there, and I went to college at Hampton University in Virginia. I am a sociologist according to my college degrees and I use sociology to create great backstories for my books.
How long have you been writing?
I've been writing in journals since I was a pre-teen. Writing in journals allowed me to begin to write poetry. From poetry, I started writing television scripts, movie scripts. I, finally, started writing books after I tried so many other mediums of writing.
Tell us about ACCUSED. What’s the story about?
Accused is the 2nd book in the Retaliation series and its about a high profile athlete who gets falsely accused of a crime, while the perpetrator--a real charming sociopath-is going free and continuing to terrorize campus. It's also about how easy rumors and perceptions can change in the era of social media.
How did the idea of the story come to you?
I had been sitting in my office and the thought for Accused shot across my mind like blinding light. I heard, "I didn't do it," in one voice. Then, I heard, "They won't catch me," in another. I immediately thought, "Oh no, Ahmed's been accused of something." "Somebody is raping girls on campus," was the theme in my head that finally sat me down and guided me through the Accused outline.
Do you have a critique group/partner or beta readers, or do you self-edit?
I would love to work with a critique group or beta readers. Right now, I use an editor after I've self-edited a bunch of the book. I thoroughly research story lines so I, generally, produce a solid first draft.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
My process for developing a story changes from time to time. Retaliation, the first book in the series, I wrote in 28 days without an outline. I wouldn't necessarily recommend that to anyone, but its the first book that I received a Top 10 Award from the American Library Association. Other times, I've had the theme of the story and simply create an outline for the story.
What’s the hardest part of writing for you?
Getting started! I love procrastinating much more than I should!
What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?
Black warrior pencils. I like the feel of the pencils, and I like the name of the pencils. I wanna feel like a warrior when I'm writing. I'm also known to occasionally gnaw on a pencil when a plot twist overwhelms me.
What are you reading right now?
How to Market A Book by Joanna Penn
If you could have any super power, what would it be?
I'd like to fly. It just snowed again where I live. I'd like to fly to the Bahamas or at least, Miami to be rid of it all.
What's the weirdest thing you've googled?
Topics relating to sociopaths. In researching the antagonist for Accused, I wanted to write a real person. I did extensive research on sociopaths and what they liked, what kinds of things do sociopaths do. It was disturbing and weird!!!
Quick writing test! Use the following words in a sentence: accuse, stain, chocolate.
If you accuse me of creating the enormous chocolate stain on your couch, I will not speak to you again.
Finish this sentence: If I'm not writing, I'm probably ...
Doing research on the internet.
Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Let's hear your shout outs.
I'd like to thank readers for caring about books, stories, characters and authors. Without the readers to motivate us, encourage us and be our light, many of us would be sitting in a dark room without much hope. I'd like to thank the Young Adult bookclubs who are contributing to the success of young adult literature worldwide. I'd like to thank bloggers who care enough about books to create blogs and write about the books that matter. Finally, I'd like to thank librarians. Many of my books have reached readers because of the love of librarians.
And finally, where can people find you and your books online?
People can visit me online at www.yasminshiraz.net, but I'm on twitter too @yasminshiraz, facebook at www.facebook.com/stilleyerisemedia and I'm pinning various book related things on my pinterest page www.pinterest.com/yasminshiraz
Get my books online at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble ... Many of my books are also in stores as well. Just ask for them.