1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?
I think I’ve always been a storyteller, even before I learned how to write. My parents used to keep cassette tapes of the six-year-old me narrating stories I made up with imaginary characters and colorful worlds. During middle school, I started experimenting with writing, video creation, and drawing anime mainly because I had so many stories to tell. Though I didn’t create anything serious until much later in life, it all put me on the right track.
Growing up with social anxiety, I had a lot of trouble expressing myself. I have never really been an eloquent speaker, but writing gave me an opportunity to put my thoughts and feelings into words and helped me become more confident.
2) What inspired you to write your book?
Honestly, I wrote the first draft of Echo so long ago that I can’t remember how it all started. But I do know that I’ve always been passionate about magic and superheroes. At that time, most female superheroes I knew were “too cool,” if I may. I couldn’t relate to them, and I wanted to write about a hero that was just…ordinary. A clumsy, sometimes naive character who’s always trying to do her best despite her own insecurities. That was how Echo was born.
3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?
Everyone has a choice. In the battle against evil, the hardest part is to fight the demons inside. Whether it was Echo, Doyle, Ebba, or any of the characters, it was always up to them to choose redemption, even when it wasn’t the obvious choice and when it wasn’t easy.
There’s evil and good in all of us, and we get to choose which side will win.
4) What drew you into this particular genre?
I’ve been a fan of witches and witchcraft since I was a child watching Sabrina The Teenage Witch on the Disney channel. So, my first serious book had to be a fantasy.
5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?
If I could, I’d sit down with Vanna, drink tea, and ask her about life in general. What she has learned in her long life and what she has read in her books. Vanna has always been the one who didn’t say much, yet she thought a lot and had surprising opinions about everything.
6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?
It’s a bit too early to judge that since I’m still starting, and my book isn’t even out yet. Like many authors, social media is a great challenge for me; however, I’m more comfortable using Twitter than FB or Instagram, and many people know me from there.
7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?
Keep writing. It’s the only way to get better. Ask for professional feedback if you can (and as soon as you can). And stay strong. Writing is not for the faint of heart, and the path to authorship is full of rewrites, rejections, and redirections.
8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?
Yes, I’m very excited about moving on to my new books. I’ve already plotted the planned the first two. They’re going to be different from Echo, and I hope they’ll live up to my readers’ expectations.
About the Author
Yasmine Maher is the author of Echo: The Curse of the Blackwood Witches and Director of Fables and Facts Publishing. As a passionate wordsmith and an active member of the Twitter writing community, Yasmine loves to weave captivating tales that inspire her readers with whimsical adventures, magic, and larger-than-life characters.