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Books and me

Writing is so therapeutic. I used to enjoy reading and writing even as a child. I remember going to the library with my siblings every Saturday and would take out seven books. I used to be so eager and excited.

The library building was old and majestic and exists to this day. It was quite small compared to the one that has replaced it, but I will never forget the hours of enjoyment I had there.

I loved reading Tintin and Asterix – the forerunners of modern day graphic novels. But my reading didn’t stop there. I would read anything which had a nice looking cover from fantasy to adventure.

I used to love reading books by Terry Brooks, the creator of the Shannara world, and I loved reading stories about the Hardy Boys.
The look, smell and feel of libraries stuck with me, something that I still notice in some libraries. To open a book is to open a doorway to another world.
I eventually went on to read the Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit by Tolkien. They were huge books and hard to understand in parts but the novels are way better than the movies. I also read the seven books set in Narnia by C.S. Lewis. They were actually Christian allegory which I didn’t know at the time. Nevertheless, they were great stories.

My siblings and I didn’t watch TV because most of our time was spent in reading books. I did very well in my GCSE English so I decided to study it at A level. While in college, I read Wuthering Heights which is actually one of my favourite stories. I also studied the Tempest by Shakespeare.

Shakespeare was a genius as themes he discussed in his plays hundreds of years ago, are relevant to this day. Who hasn’t heard of Romeo and Juliet? Or Macbeth?
It was at college that I decided to pursue a career in journalism – an ambition I am yet to fulfil. I actually won a scholarship that helped me to volunteer at a newspaper without having to work over the summer holidays.

I eventually went on to study English and Politics at degree level. I really enjoyed my time at university and learned criticism and aesthetics to creative writing and American Literature.

I started to write my first book during the first lockdown more than two years ago. I found self-editing to be so hard that I procrastinated and didn’t write much for prolonged periods. However, I eventually went back to the manuscript and had it edited by a professional and had a front and back cover designed.

I recommend using Fiverr as there are many talented editors and designers on there. My first book ‘Rise of the Fire Mage’ was inspired by Tolkien, Brooks and even J.K Rowling. It is a product of my blood, sweat and tears. I am proud of it and hope more people read it and enjoy it.

My latest book, ‘Tales with a Twist’, although not very long, was actually hard to write. It is aimed at 7-9 year olds but was surprisingly difficult to write as it had to be as simple as possible. It is a collection of stories with moral messages for young readers.

I believe there is a need to educate youngsters about morality. About being truthful and grateful and not being cruel to animals. So my stories are geared towards teaching them valuable lessons.

To conclude, there is nothing more satisfying than holding a finished book in your hands after months, even years of hard work to join the rank of those who call themselves authors.

I not only write fiction but I have also written for a journal and contribute to various newspapers including Oldham Times and Islam Channel. I want to excel in all forms of writing from fiction to academic writing. Writing is my passion and know I will keep doing it till my last breath.

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