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Author Interview: Zara J

Today's interview is with author Zara J. She is the author of many Muslim fiction novels as well as the owner of University Publications.  Welcome Zara J.

Can you please tell us a little bit about yourself and your books?

I am the owner and an author of University Publications, a Muslim fiction publishing company specializing in American Muslim Fiction. I've authored Dowry Divas and American Boy. Soon, In shaa Allah I'll be releasing The Submissive Wife, which I'm really looking forward to completing.

How long have you been writing?

I published my first African American novel in 2012. Since then I've published six titles. I've been writing Muslim Fiction for almost a year.

What are some challenges you've had to overcome writing and publishing your work?

Learning how to write for your audience was something that had to be developed. You have to have a desire to increase your skill and consistently study new trends and ways to publish. It's an ongoing process. The most important thing I had to learn was patience. I'm just not a patient person lol, however I believe I've exercised more patience with publishing than anything in my entire life.

You are also a publisher, right? Can you tell us a little bit about your company?

Yes. We produce modern American Muslim reflection that reflects the American way of life and the trials and tribulations of trying to hold onto your religion in this society.

What books do you actively seek at University Publications?

University Publications loves romantic and drama tales. Although we're open to other genres, the readership that's currently developing loves a good marriage novel.

As a publisher, what do you see lacking in Muslim authored publications and how can Muslim writers advance and become comparable to non-Muslim published authors?

Whoa, great question. Honestly, this is why I felt compelled to write Muslim fiction. It was hard to come by relative stories that weren't preachy or romanticized Muslims as perfect beings. I don't believe in that. Although the author has a responsibility to the reader and the Ummah, stories need to capture the essence of being human. Real life stories, lots of drama and making it true fiction. Have fun, develop memorable characters and intriguing plots. The only difference in the stories should be that the characters are Muslim. Christian fiction has done a great job with this.

Thank you so much sister Zara J for taking time out of your busy schedule to share your books and publishing information with us.

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