Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to a new indie author Amira Aly! Amira has stopped by here as part of her Wow! Women on Writing Blog Hop and she’s agreed to come and motivate us to Step Out of Our Comfort Zone. What brilliant advice!
Amira Aly lived in Canada up until her first year in university when she moved to Egypt to study medicine at the University of Cairo. It seemed she was on the traditional route of a medical career working as an intern and teaching assistant in the surgical pathology department. But then she discovered the wonderful world of freelance medical writing. And who could resist its charms?
Egypt: The Uprising isn’t Amira’s first book. There was that picture book she wrote when she was five years old. Sadly, publishers didn’t recognize its brilliance but it was the first step on a life filled with a love of writing.
When she isn’t writing Amira likes to read her favorite authors Anne Rice, Stephen King, and F. Scott Fizgerald. She also spends time dancing, playing video games, and eating her favorite food Molokheya (an Egyptian green soup). She’d like to squeeze in time to learn a fourth language. She already speaks English, Arabic, and French. Amira lives in Cairo with her husband, 7 year old daughter and 17 month year old son. Her children would like to add a dog to that list but Amira, still traumatized by the loss of a pet turtle, has sworn off pets. That, and she knows she’ll be the one walking the dog even though everyone promises they will.
Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
by Amira Aly
Where I come from, women don’t write fantasy.
Strike that. All over the world, a women’s name does not a fantasy book sell. Just look at J. K. Rowling who was advised by her publisher to use her initials rather than her name so as to not ” put off” male readers.
I had a fantasy story that needed to be told. A story about ancient Gods and modern pharaohs and teenage freedom fighters set against the backdrop of the 25 January 2011 revolution. Everyone I spoke to when I was working on my novel scoffed at the idea.
“A woman of middle eastern heritage is expected to write certain types of books, you know.” said an old high school friend of mine.
“With your medical background, I bet you could write a medical thriller.” said another well- meaning friend.
What both these friends did not know is that I already walked the path of women’s fiction and medical thrillers because when I started writing, I was told, time and time again: “write what you know.”
It is great advice when you’re starting out, because you can focus on honing your technique and mechanics. It takes the heat off and makes writing easier. The trouble with this mantra is that it keeps you locked in your comfort zone.
What’s wrong with comfort zones you may wonder.
There is plenty wrong–because in the uncharted territories may lie your greatness. Your true talent. And you will never ever know until you try.
Writing “Egypt: the Uprising” and planning out the series the Battle for Maat was the most fulfilling venture of my career. I found myself in fantasy, and I intend to stay there for a while.
Had I dismissed the idea, had I chickened out and just lingered in my comfort zone, I would have missed out on the most rewarding experience of my career.
Do not write what you are expected to write. Write what YOU want to write. Step out of your comfort zone and take a leap of faith–it may just be the only thing standing between you and an enticingly fulfilling writing career.
By Amira Aly
Aya is a teenage girl trying to live through the Egyptian Revolution of January 2011 with her brother and aunt without getting swept up into the demonstrations and violence. But fate has something else in mind for Aya. What starts out as an attempt by Aya to drag her brother and is friends away from the demonstrations transforms into a battle with ancient Egyptian figures who have returned from the past to take control of modern Egypt. Can Aya learn enough about her mysterious past and powers in time to save her world from the evil threatening it?
Egypt: The Uprising is a fascinating combination of modern events, historical figures, secret organizations with magical powers, and adventure that keeps readers on the edge of their seats.
You can learn more about Amira and her work online: