Monday, January 17, 2011

Debut Spotted Interview: Mariam Maarouf + Rosie

Today I spotted a very talented teen author - Mariam Maarouf - (who happens to be a very friendly girl) who lives in Alexandria, Egypt where she goes to high school. Her debut novel, Rosie, will be published today and it has such a gorgeous cover! 

What or who inspired you to write Rosie?

I've been writing for years now, between short stories, novellas and amateur poetry (something I later discovered is so not my thing). One day, I was too bored and my computer wouldn't load so I got out my copybook and started writing. At first, I wanted Alessandra (my MC) to be a copy of me, then I added the older brother because I've always wanted one. A couple of hours later, I had the first chapter of Rosie's very first draft. About a month later, I typed it on my laptop and it evolved - a lot of things have changed since then. Sandra's nothing like me.

What lessons will readers pick up from your novel?

That's a tough one. Mainly, my MC learns that life isn't a fairy tale. She learns how no one is the same as they might seem, that people aren't always angels from heaven, but true friends help her get over all the bumps in the road.

As a teen author, what was it like to write something that other teens would read?

It was a great experience! It still is. I've always thought that no matter how close the adults were, they would never get the whole picture from our perspective; we can be both deep and shallow, angry and happy, sarcastic and naive - all together. We're confusing, we're weird - we're teenagers. So it was great to write something I think people like me would read and relate to.

What was it like writing about your home?

 It was fun, to say the least; I get to describe places so many of my potential readers had never been to - even if they did come to Egypt. Places like international schools, quiet neighborhoods - the other side of Egypt.

The island of Sandra and Damien were of a Greek-Italian mesh. How did you come up with this? (I'm studying BA European Languages and I'm really interested in this!)

At first, I was looking for a location near Alexandria, Egypt, so that it would make sense for them to go there (even though I'm Egyptian, I don't think it makes sense to leave Europe to stay here. Not by any means), so I thought something in the Mediterranean would be suitable. Then I thought - what's the history behind this place? What makes it so special? I've always been intrigued by the Greek mythology, so I made my royal family Greek, and I like Italian very much (it's right next to French on my Favorite Languages list) so I was like 'What the heck? This is fiction! It's my island! Greek royalty and Italian it is!'

Which part was more enjoyable to write? beginning, middle or end? Why?

I think the end was the most enjoyable to write; I got to introduce a whole new character during my last draft (not recommended if you don't want to rewrite the whole book) - Carlo Theophilus - and he's my favorite for several reasons, the main one being that he has curly hair :P
Any last words?

Overall, this was a wonderful experience that I hope to repeat soon (I'm trying to with my WiP). Thank you so much for the well-planned questions, Precious! I hope you enjoy Rosie! :)

Thank you for sharing, Mariam!
In life, nothing is the same as it seems. People create masks –identities – to hide who they really are –some for noble reasons, or nefarious ones, but only a tiny fraction because they must.
Alessandra and Damien, or Rosalie and Daniel, were once the Princess and Prince of La Pacifica until they were forced out of the beautiful island. Eight months flew by, and they finally began to settle in Alexandria, Egypt, when they found out that they didn’t leave their past behind them, and that they were both wanted urgently.

As of now, Rosie is available in ebook format in Amazon and in Amazon UK! After a few days or maybe weeks, the print version will be available too. So watch out for that!

Liked the interview? Like the sound of Rosie? Do you have comments? Violent reactions? :)



  1. It's awesome that she's a teen author; her book sounds amazing! I love the cover, too.

  2. Congratulations on your release, Miriam! Great interview, I love that you've Spotted an author from Egypt (I've always wanted to visit there!). The cover for Rosie is so pretty! And the book sounds great!

  3. Wow! It is always so nice to discover teen authors! And I like that her book, Rosie, is set in Egypt. Great interview!

  4. Sorry for the late comment. Great interview! Rosie sounds like an amazing read and Mariam is one of the nicest people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. I wish her nothing but the best of success!

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