Friday, 14 October 2016

Brenda Mohammed on Author Spotlight with Stephen Bentley

Oct 6, 2016 - Brenda Mohammed, a very warm welcome to you and I am looking forward to the interview. Shall we start?

Interview Questions from Stephen Bentley.

Why do you write?

I started writing for pleasure after I left the corporate world.
I am a former bank manager.
I am inspired to write mainly on topics with which I am familiar. I love to write autobiographies of people I know and to tell true stories. I believe that people can learn from the experiences of others.

For example, I have written a book called, I am Cancer Free. It is about my bout with cancer. i wrote it in the hope that my experience can help someone or even many people. I have written thirteen books in various genres. So far, those books have received good reviews. I even wrote a few poems and they are included in some of my books.

What are you currently working on?

I am working on a new story ‘Zeeka’s Ghost.’ It will be released in October 2016. I cannot discuss it because I want it to be a surprise, but I can share the cover, which was done by the talented Sharon Brownlie, and the blurb..

Swift. Silent. Ghostly.
Zeeka's Ghost appears to Steven and he feels the ghost has evil intentions.
Coupled with that, Steven discovers that he and Mandy are the targets of unknown enemies and their lives are at stake.
Steven must find a way to hunt down and apprehend these ruthless maniacs and save his beloved wife.
Is Zeeka's Ghost here to harm or help?
Zeeka's Ghost is the fourth story in the series Revenge of Zeeka.
Revenge of Zeeka: Horror Trilogy received a five-star seal from Readers Favorite International in September 2016.

From where did you draw your inspiration to write your latest book?

My latest book was Revenge of Zeeka: Horror Trilogy, which I compiled in May 2016.
It comprises of three stories, which have also been published as kindle short reads.
The idea to write this series stemmed from current events - the prevalence of the zika virus in South America and the surrounding islands.
It was my first try at writing a sci-fi horror series for young adults, and the reviews have been good.
The book was a nominee for the Metamorph's Publishing Summer Indie Awards 2016.
It also received a five- star review and five-star seal from Readers Favorite on September 14th, 2016.

Zeeka has been playing with my brain and I decided to write Zeeka’s Ghost.

Which writers had the most influence on your decision to write?

My first attempt at writing was when I wrote a biography of my father while I was still employed at the Bank. The name of the book is Memoirs of Dr. Andrew Moonir Khan: A Great Educator in Trinidad and Tobago. I did that book out of love for my deceased father who was an Educator. He wrote all his notes in diaries and scraps of paper and I compiled his memoirs from those. The book was very popular among my father’s friends and relatives. A past President of Trinidad and Tobago and a current President requested copies of the book for their personal libraries.
After I left the bank I wrote my own autobiography, ‘My Life as a Banker: A Life worth Living.’ [That book was voted second in the category bio/memoirs in Metamorph Publishing Summer Indie Book Awards 2016.]

I wrote seven other books after that, but I stopped writing completely in 2015 as I had writer’s block.
In January 2016, I met John Hennessy, a British author of Paranormal Fantasy, online at a Facebook event. We started chatting online and he encouraged me to write again. That is when I decided to write the Zeeka series.

What was the last book you read?

I just finished reading ‘The Clouds Aren’t White ‘by Rachel Wright. She is a writer who writes with deep feelings and expressions.

Do you suffer from writers’ block?

Yes. I did in the year 2015 as I described above.

Biggest frustration as a self-published author?

As a self-published author, my biggest frustration is getting my books noticed among the mounting sea of other self-published authors. However, I have joined a Facebook group called Indies United. I am a proud member of the group.
INDIES UNITED is a membership community of independently published authors from all parts of the world, writing in different genres. We support, encourage and promote each other, with the belief that our united voices will have a broader reach, helping to spread our visibility and readership. Our membership includes many award-winning and bestselling independent authors, authors who regularly feature in the upper echelons of Amazon's bestseller charts.

Reviews for books are vital. Any tips on getting more reviews?

I have learned from many best-selling authors that the only way to get more reviews is to have a large email list. I am still in the process of building my email list. I have three free books, which I use as Reader Magnets.

Do you use social media? If so, do you like using it?

I use Facebook and Twitter. Yes, I enjoy using them. I have a personal Facebook page, an Author page, and one for updates on Zeeka stories.

Who is your biggest fan?

I have fans from all over the world, but my biggest fans are my two children.

Many people have a bucket list. What is #1 on yours?

My family will always be No 1 on my bucket list.

Any special message for your readers?

Yes, I would like to tell my readers that I love them and love all of their reviews. Their reviews give me encouragement to write. I joined a Facebook Group called Best Book Reviews and I have been posting their reviews and expressing my thanks to my readers openly.

Brenda's Books can be obtained at Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, Create Space, Kobo, Apple, Scribd, 24 Symbols, Page Foundry, Smashwords, and Tolino.