June 5, 2012

Interview with Aliaa El-Nashar, author of Against All Odds

Hi guys, Aliaa is one of the nicest authors I've met so far, and even after I gave her book a three star rating, she still talks to me, and is a totally wicked awesome girl. Her book blog is just too cool, and her sense of humor is good. So, I decided that it would be really cool to interview her, beings she's so awesome and all. ^.^

Aliaa's book is also going to have a blog tour! Bloggers: Sign up here.

And here we have, Aliaa! :)

Tell us a bit about yourself, Aliaa.

A little about myself huh? Well, my name is technically not 'Aliaa' it's so complicated to even explain since the letters don't exist in English. In fact, growing up I really hated it, until I heard foreigners pronounce what they think it is. That's when I started being ok with it. I am 21 though I don't feel it. I love nothing more than to read write and draw. The idea of giving life to one of your creations is magnificent! Whether it's a portrait I drew or a character in my story I made up, it's exciting. I enjoy learning languages, and hope to be able to speak at least 8 someday (I can speak 4 now, so I am halfway there!) I get ridiculously excited when I receive things in the mail, be it a postcard a letter or a package.

Do you write every day, or just when you feel like it?

Ah, that's a very complicated question, writing in general, not as often as a I should if you consider the amount of stories in my head that are bursting to come out. But coming up with ideas? Well I am always on with those. I generally need a firm hand, like say from a close friend who is interested in the story, to get writing. But usually I can't stop when I am inspired.

M&M's or Skittles?

SKITTLES! I know many people would probably kill me for this, but I am not a huge chocolate fan. Sure I like the occasional Twix, Mars or Cadbury bar, and I LOVE Nutella, but I can survive months without eating any of them.

Are your characters based on real people, or are they completely made up?

I think a writer accidentally pours a bit of himself in the characters he chooses, sometimes in the heroes and other times the villains. Sometimes he pours someone he knows into them. So, my characters are made up, yet they hold qualities in me or my family or friends.

In what way do you relate to your character, Alexis (from Against All Odds)?

We both love to draw, that's the prominent part. I love ice-skating as well (though I am not very good or anything I just love the rush). I'd kill for a golden retriever. I am great at making friends, but not at letting someone in, just like her with her list. Not to mention I had a big thing for volley-ball when I'd first written the story. Oh and I hate hospitals.

What is the one word that you would use to describe yourself?


Facebook or Twitter?


Favorite book?

Wuthering Heights.

Favorite Author?

Wow, erm, can it be a tie? I can never choose between Julia Quinn and Meg Cabot.

What makes you just wanna grab a book and read it?

The cover. I am a sucker for a great cover. Maybe it's the artist in me? I am not sure, but the second a cover catches my eye, I want to read it. In my experience, a cover is sometimes a better judge of the book than the synopsis. Like a book I recently read, 'One Moment', I'd have never picked it up if I'd only read the synopsis, same with 'Familiar Ties' but the covers were so gorgeous I couldn't help it. And I am glad I didn't read the blurb beforehand.

Least Favorite book?

The Catcher in the Rye. I never finished it. Which is saying something for me since I read anything whether I like it or not, I believe in finishing that task, with this book I just couldn't. Though I promised a friend I'd give it another chance, maybe it's like Pride and Prejudice? It needs a third read before you get into it?

Favorite band/singer?

Katy Perry.

Do you wish that there were do-over days?

Almost all the time, but I usually end up backing out of that wish. Sometimes the bad days and experiences are there for a good reason, and I know it might not seem so at the time, but in the future things clear up, and I end up glad for whatever had happened.

When you first started writing (Against All Odds), did you know how it would end?

When I first wrote it, it wasn't even meant to be a book. It was a descriptive essay for English class. One of the rare assignments I accomplished - though I never handed it in. So definitely not. Even along the way, the book changed so many times, the endings, the characters, the background stories, but never the scene from the essay because it's all based on that.

What has influenced you the most in your writing?

Mainly Meg Cabot's books, I wanted to be like her, to write like her. You could almost be the characters from the way she wrote and got you so into them. But also, I fell in love with the characters. They occupy my head and they become residents there, so I feel like I owe it to them to let them out, to give them their perfect stories and though I more often than not make them suffer like hell (I'm a sadist I know) I always give them their happy endings.

What is the worst criticism you've ever gotten on your writing?

*feels impish* That there were errors in the book because I am not a native English speaker.

What is the best compliment you've ever gotten on your writing?

A friend of mine had been going through some issues at home, and had a lot of exams, and apparently what helped throughout that time was reading my book over and over again, she apparently wore it off. So, even if not many people like the story, I would still write the sequel, even if it doesn't see the light of day, I owe it to my friend to give her Edmund's story.

Favorite Movie?

A Walk to Remember, I am a hopeless romantic and the story is like many of mine.

Have you always wanted to be a writer? If not, what did you want to be before?

I'd never considered it until a friend of mine read the English essay and begged me to write a story for it. Sure, before I wrote fanfiction on Quizilla, and then it was just stories of my own creations, but it was of characters in my head I'd wanted to get out of there, not because I thought people would like it or enjoy the stories. So when my friend did, and so did another, I started to think about it.

Favorite Color?

Light blue.

Books: Classics or New Releases?

I absolutely love classics, but it's so much easier to read new releases. So new releases.

Is there anything in particular that you think your readers should know?

Well, writing has become such a great part of my life, and so have the characters, I just hope you get to like them just as much as I enjoyed creating them! That and, I'm always open to suggestions, criticisms, and well the occasional compliment. Oh, and I don't bite so find me wherever and send me a message if you like!

Twitter: @Aliaa_ElNashar
My Book Blog
My Random Ramblings


  1. Great interview! My favorite movie is also A Walk to Remember!

    1. Thanks! I actually hated A Walk to Remember, but that's just a preference. *Passes on comment love to Aliaa*

  2. Wait, you hate it? How come? It's awesome ( both movie & book)

    1. I don't really know. It was just kind of a blah movie for me. I've never read the book, though. I leave Nicholas Sparks to my sister. She loves him. :)

  3. Great interview!! Aliaa is super sweet isn't she?! I'm super thrilled to get to Edmund's story too! :)

    1. Aliaa is very sweet! I'm more excited about William's, but his is like fifth. I'll keep reading til we get to William! :)