Monday, March 3, 2014

Interview with Lilas Taha, author of SHADOWS OF DAMASCUS

1.     What part of the writing process do you dread?
Spelling out the words. I’m terrible at spelling, and when I jot down a scene or a thought, I rush to get it out. When I look back at the computer screen, I see lots of underlined red words that are sometimes indistinguishable. Thank God for my son. Without his editing, you would likely have difficulty reading this. That’s the technical part. The creative part is less daunting. Getting to the end of a story is troublesome for me. Since I don’t work from a set plotline ahead of time, I don’t have specific ideas on what the next chapter is going to be, so reaching the end of a story is a dynamic process. And when I finally do, I dread starting over to refine and fine tune the sequence of events that lead to the end.

2.     Where do you get your best ideas?
I depend on my dreams a lot. And I seem to remember many details about my dreams. I included a couple in my book, Shadows of Damascus, with slight variations. I also like to draw on children’s undiluted perceptions of the world.

3.     What do you do to relax?
Take long walks outdoors.

4.     If we were to come to your house for a meal, what would you give us to eat?
Hummus and pita bread, a spread of olives and stuffed pastries for appetizers. For the main course, Barbeque lamb kabobs and chicken, and maybe stuffed grape leaves if I had three spare hours the day before to prepare them. For dessert? I would probably buy a red velvet cake and serve it with fruit salad. I’m not good with desserts.
Bullet wounds, torture and oppression aren’t the only things that keep a man—or a woman—from being whole.

Debt. Honor. Pain. Solitude. These are things wounded war veteran Adam Wegener knows all about. Love—now, that he is not good at. Not when love equals a closed fist, burns, and suicide attempts. But Adam is one who keeps his word. He owes the man who saved his life in Iraq. And he doesn’t question the measure of the debt, even when it is in the form of an emotionally distant, beautiful woman.

Yasmeen agreed to become the wife of an American veteran so she could flee persecution in war-torn Syria. She counted on being in the United States for a short stay until she could return home. There was one thing she did not count on: wanting more.

Is it too late for Adam and Yasmeen?

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Lilas Taha is a writer at heart, an electrical engineer by training, and an advocate for domestic abuse victims by choice. She was born in Kuwait to a Syrian mother and a Palestinian father, and immigrated to the U.S. as a result of the Gulf war in 1990. She earned a master’s degree in Human Factors Engineering from the University of Wisconsin- Madison. There, Lilas met her beloved husband and true friend, and moved with him to Sugar Land, Texas to establish a family. She is the proud mother of a daughter and a son. Instead of working in an industrial field, she applied herself to the field of social safety, working with victims of domestic violence.
Pursuing her true passion for creative writing, Lilas brings her professional interests, and her Middle Eastern background together in her debut fictional novel, Shadows of Damascus.

Author Facebook Page:
Twitter: Follow @LilasTaha

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Prizes for the tour are as follows:
 • One randomly chosen commenter will win a $50 Amazon/ gift card. 
 • Two randomly chosen hosts will each receive a $25 Amazon/ gift card. 

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