Friday, 13 May 2016

Interview with Author Brenda Mohammed by Quotesrain.

Short bio or SYNOPSIS here on writing as your passion

Brenda, a multi-genre author, lives in the beautiful tropical island of Trinidad in the Caribbean. A former Bank Manager and Insurance Professional, she turned to writing after she retired from the corporate world. Brenda loves to travel and enjoys a game of Scrabble when she is not writing, or reading books by other authors.
She has written thirteen books: - five memoirs[one on her travels], one children's book, three short story collections, three kindle short reads, and one book on spirituality.
One of her short story collections is a zombie mystery trilogy.
My Life as a Banker – A Life worth Living,” is her own autobiography. “Retirement is Fun – A New Chapter,” is a sequel to My Life as a Banker and describes the author’s new travels and experiences after she left the job at the bank.

How long have you been writing and what inspired you to do it seriously?

I wrote my first book, ‘Memoirs of Dr. Andrew Moonir Khan” while I was still employed at the Bank. I did that book out of love for my deceased father who was a Great Educator. I thought that his life was worthy of recording. However, I did not publish the book. I revised it in November 2014 and published it in both kindle and paperback.
I started writing seriously in the year 2013. My first book was a children’s story, “Adventures of Squeaky Doo.
It was about the adventures of a teddy bear with a wonderful family.
I was inspired to write this book in the hope that if I had grandchildren they would read it and remember me.
This is what one reviewer said, "It makes exciting reading for children and teaches the value of love even for inanimate things.”
Another said, “It should definitely be on the reading list for children.This book will enchant both adults and children."

When choosing a name for your characters, what do you consider about them that determines what you finally call them?

I think about the role I have planned for my characters before I name them. For instance, in my latest book, Revenge of Zeeka – A Trilogy, I introduced a female robot, and named her Miranda. One reviewer could not help but refer to her in his review.“The highlight is Miranda (oh, Miranda!), whose presence gives a lot of weight and realism to the futuristic theme and setting of 2036.”

Did you have a collection in mind when you were writing them?

I wrote three collections of short stories. “Heart- Warming Tales,” “Stories People Love,” and “Revenge of Zeeka – A Trilogy,”
At first I wrote several stories as kindle short reads, but later on I put all the stories into the above books.

How did you choose which stories to include and in what order?

The first collection, “Heart-Warming Tales,” are four stories based on real life events.
One reviewer had this to say about the book,“Heart Warming Tales is a short book of stories with intriguing plots and pleasant characters. Although each story is set within the real world, there seems to be a fantastical quality to each. The style of the writing is satisfyingly simple and easy to follow.”
The second collection, “Stories People Love,”contains four short stories of crime, adventure, and love.
One reviewer referred to this book as “a collection of stories all connected by the common theme of hope.”
Another said, "This is a neat and extremely readable collection and shows an author who is able to write fiction and non-fiction elements seamlessly. It's not an easy combination and yet the author pulls it off admirably."
The third collection, “Revenge of Zeeka – A Trilogy,” was only released on 4th May 2016.
The story, which is set in the year 2036, is told in three parts, which are also available as Kindle short reads.
It is all about Zeeka, and his intent on revenge for something that occurred twenty years before.
Zeeka and the Zombies is an intriguing introduction to this multi - layered zombie story, which leaves you wondering what will happen next. In Zeeka's Child, the plot gets more complicated, and after many twists and turns, Zeeka is revealed.
In the final episode, Zeeka Returns, this very exciting three part series concludes in a most surprising way.

Do you have a “reader” in mind when you write stories?

I write for young adults but my books are suitable for all audiences.

What do you do to get book reviews? What is the best review you ever got?

I depend on purchasers of my books to do reviews, but that does not always happen. I had several Free promotions on Amazon Kindle Publishing, and had thousands of downloads, but I received no reviews from these promotions.
I received Five Star reviews for most of my books from verified purchasers, and it is hard to say which is the best review I ever got.
However, I liked the following review of Revenge of Zeeka – A Trilogy by Kato’s Revenge very much:

“Zombies. A mad scientist. A cool detective. Cool brains (and brains all around) and a cool head needed for the enjoyable trilogy By Kato's Revenge on May 5, 2016 Format: Kindle Edition
This is a solid collection of zombie stories from author Brenda Mohammed. I have read each of the three stories in turn, so for potential readers looking at this, I offer a capsule review of each tale, followed by a summary of the series as a whole.
I: Revenge of Zeeka Who is Zeeka? Why is he revenge-ing? What would your government’s response be to zombies waddling around, mixing with the locals? It’s all here in the first book. I love the author’s descriptions.
The dialogue can be a little weighty at times, but it’s all part of the set-up. It’s an intriguing horror that slowly pulls you in. ‘These different plot lines keep you reading, and keep you guessing.
Despite its length, I did not read this book in one sitting.
I wanted to absorb the cleverly interlinked plot lines. In fact, there's not a lot of the mysterious Zeeka of the title in this first story, and I think that's a clever decision by the author.’ Summary: Here is an author stepping out onto a new genre and scoring high. It’s not the best in the series, but it sets up an intriguing premise.
When read back along with parts II and III, I think it is a story that gets better with successive re-reads.

II: Zeeka's Child Oh. It had to happen, didn’t it? It’s not enough to have adult size flesh eating zombies running amok on a small island…we have to have kiddie sized versions too? Or do we?
‘When book one ended, there was what I would call a 'soft' cliffhanger, in that readers would not be annoyed that there was a cliffhanger in itself, because it was a complete tale in itself.
Now with Zeeka's Child, the plot revolves around Raynor and Janet, and the serious nature of having to raise a child that is not his own. This is an interesting concept to feature in a zombie story, which would at first appear to be nothing more than a skin bursting sideshow, and I was a little (just a little) put off by the initial chapter because it seemed more like a romantic interlude than anything else.
This is actually a very clever piece of writing by the author, because it is like she is saying, 'hey, you know this is a zombie tale, I know it's a zombie tale, but let's confuse the hell out of the readers by focusing on contemporary romance for a while.' This could be the first ever zom-contemp-rom, unless you know of another story like it.’
Summary: The best thing about Zeeka’s Child for me was the beefed-up story re the two cops, Wildy and Cole (hey, give these two their own spin-off series!). The author doesn’t drop the threads of book one.
They are skillfully integrated into this story, and it works. It’s a much more deeper and complex story than book one, some achievement in such a short story.
III: Zeeka's Return Oops. Zeeka is returning, and the island of Gosh is not happy about it. He is also revealed to be, as everyone knew, as Brian Cameron (of course, he isn’t, I made the name up because you don’t want the reveal spoiled, do you?)
I expected mayhem in this final third and we do get it. The highlight is Miranda (oh, Miranda!) whose presence gives a lot of weight and realism to the futuristic theme and setting of 2036. The ending is unexpected but enjoyable.
'Zeeka Returns is the pleasing third installment in the Zeeka and the Zombies series. What I have observed through reading each tale in sequence is a significant level up in terms of writing style and character development. That is no easy task in a short story format, and given Zeeka Returns is the longest of the three, it should be noted that it is still a short story. One wonders how our antagonist from book one is going to prevail - or not, as the case may be.'
Summary: Zeeka is a series that could have run on, on…, and into self-absorbed oblivion. A good author knows when to wrap a story up. Zeeka is a trilogy that is done, dusted, and edited well. There are few multi-layered zombie stories out there, so this is a gem readers will enjoy.”

What does the word “story” mean to you?

A story is an account of real or fictitious events. The plot and characters must be appealing to readers.
When I write, I bear this in mind.

What are you working on now?

I have started a new story, “Zeeka’s Ghost.” I have already written four chapters and hope to complete it within a month or two.

Do you have a special time to write, or, how is your day structured?

I write between the hours of 8.00 pm to 11.00pm. It is a quiet time for writing,after all the day’s chores are completed.

How do you promote your work? How does Quotesrain help you in your book promotions and sales, would you like to refer this platform to your author friends?

I advertise my books on My Facebook Author Page, Twitter, My website, Blog, and on other platforms such as Readers Gazette, Quotesrain, Goodreads, and Ask David. I also promote them on several Author and Reader Groups.
I recently became a pro-member of Quotesrain and I am very impressed with their promotion of my books.
I have a fantastic website, which displays all of my books, and I can create impressive book teasers to promote on Twitter.
I can also schedule tweets to be displayed on Twitter.
I definitely would like to refer this platform to my author friends. I recommend it to all of them.
I am constantly donating books to the National Library in Trinidad, and to my church, when they need to raise funds for charitable purposes. I also sell some of my paperback books printed by Create Space, privately in Trinidad.
My paperback books are available on both Amazon and Create Space.

Would you like to share something with your Readers and Fans?

I want to encourage my readers and fans to continue to read my books and do reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. Your reviews will help me to be a better writer. Please follow me on Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and visit my website at Quotesrain for continuous updates. Without readers, there is no point in my writing. I need every one of you. I do not only promote my books. I promote those of other authors as well.
You will read reviews and post of books by other popular authors when you visit my pages.