Booktrovert Reader Podcast

Maham Fatemi: Returning Guest with The Frost Soldier and the Gilded Duty

October 05, 2023 Charity the Booktrovert Reader Season 2 Episode 31
Booktrovert Reader Podcast
Maham Fatemi: Returning Guest with The Frost Soldier and the Gilded Duty
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Show Notes Transcript

Hello Readers! In this fantasy book podcast episode, I have a returning guest with her second book in the series, Maham Fatemi!

Following Kolfinna's journey in 'The Ruins of the Heartless Fae', 'The Frost Soldier and the Gilded Duty' has been my personally anticipated read that I am super excited to share with you!

What We Talk About:

❄️What it has been like since publishing her first novel

❄️Talking about book 2 in her series The Frost Soldier and the Gilded Duty

❄️What she is currently working on

❄️What her advice would be to aspiring authors

❄️Maham talks about her avoiding burnout when writing

❄️Maham message about the impact of bullying and body image through her book


Connect with Maham Fatemi:
Facebook | Instagram | Website: Signed Copies

Want to listen to book one interview with Maham Fatemi with 'The Ruins of the Heartless Fae?' Click HERE for that episode.

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Maham Fatemi Author Interview The Frost Soldier and the Gilded Duty

 U1 

 0:00 

 Hello, 

 U2 

 0:01 

 readers. This is Charity, your host of Booktrovert readers podcast, where I help readers find new fantasy books. I have an author with me who's returning. Her name is Maham Fatemi, and she has published a second book in her series, which we had her previously on on another episode for her first book. So I asked her to come on and to talk about her. What's been happening lately since her first book has been published, what she's been up to, and I'm excited to invite her on again. So tell me about your book, The Frost Soldier and the the Gilded Duty. 

 U1 

 0:32 

 Yeah, I'm happy to be here. So it's a book. Two follows the events of book one. It follows Anna the Fey as she is now a part of the Royal Guards. And it's just about her finding her place in society and in the Royal Guards. And basically everyone treats her terribly because they don't like her because she's a fey. And so she's just trying to prove herself and try to find herself. And it's a lot of action, adventure and mythical creatures and all that. And yeah, that's basically the book. 

 U2 

 1:06 

 Yeah. Just to kind of give the first book just a blurb. Basically what I really loved about the book is that the fey is hunted down. They're not the powerful, they're not the oppressors. They are being hunted down for their their powers. And this is like basically book two where she actually overcomes a lot of it. And she's getting that protection now as a fey. But she's learning to come across setbacks and like the bullying a little bit because she is different and they think that she's a bloodthirsty monster, which isn't true. Yeah. So so since your last appearance on the podcast, has there been any significant developments in your writing career or personal life that you would like to share with listeners? 

 U1 

 1:50 

 Yeah. So my personal life, nothing has really changed. I mean, everything's pretty normal. I'm just a stay at home mom at this point. I mean, I do write when my son naps, but normal stuff like nothing has really changed. But on the writing side, a lot has changed because before I was not published and I was just writing kind of on the side as a hobby. And now that I'm published, it's like I have to have a mind shift change because. Now I have to be more conscious of my schedule and meeting deadlines and trying to basically treat it like a business rather than just a hobby. Because before it's like I could take as much time as I wanted to write book one because there wasn't any audience. Like nobody was waiting for it because nobody knew what was happening or what was coming. But now it's like, I have to be more conscious of that. And so it's been like a huge shift going from like a hobby writer to like a career writer. And I think the biggest thing has been just trying to treat it like a career, but that has definitely been the biggest shift the past three months, which is it's definitely like a huge change because it's like, you know, I got to shift everything in my schedule and just be more conscious of it, basically. 

 U2 

 3:02 

 So did you set your own deadlines to to meet? 

 U1 

 3:05 

 Oh, yeah. Because, like, know how long it'll probably take me to write a book and that I'm like, okay, it'll probably take me this many months and then this many months for editing and, and, and of course don't want to take too long because I don't want the readers to like wait forever. And especially since like, I'm not like a big author where it's like people will probably forget me in like a year or two if they if I'm not consistently releasing something. So I was like, okay, I got to like keep kind of a tighter deadline because I want to grow my audience. I want people to know who I am. And I think it's like releasing consistently helps with that. I don't want people to forget me or my book. So. So, yeah, that's, that's kind of like the, like the deadlines I created. I based it off of those things. 

 U2 

 3:55 

 So you are able to push your second book a month early. How did you accomplish that? Because that's a big feat right 

 U1 

 4:03 

 there. Yeah. So I actually wrote the first three books of this series, like in one year, and then I released my first book. So I think having those pre-written helped a lot. And so, I mean, that's like the main thing. But I think what for me, it's like I really wanted this book to kind of like embody a lot of, like, winter vibes. That's why I wanted it to come out. And around November I was thinking December initially, but I was like, I don't want to get my book caught up with all like Christmas and all the holidays. So I was like, People are going to be focused on that rather than like a book release. So I was like, How about November? But then it's like after I finished proofreading it and getting the book completely ready, I was just like, okay, the book is ready. It's like I could wait a month and release it in November. But it's like, if the book is completely ready, it's like, I like, why hold on. Like, why hold off on that? Especially if there are people who are excited to read it. So that's why I was just like, okay, fine, I'll just release it earlier. So that's that's what happened with that. 

 U2 

 5:13 

 Did you, after releasing the first book, decide to change anything in the second or third book based off of the reviews and opinions from the first? 

 U1 

 5:21 

 No, I didn't. I feel like the reviews are pretty solid and pretty like good. So I think that helped. I mean, there were some things that I did change in terms of like like some typos I missed the first time. But other than that, no, not with the actual story. 

 U2 

 5:39 

 I'm terrible at catching typos. So if there was in there, I didn't see 

 U1 

 5:42 

 it. So. Yeah, yeah. Because the thing is, like, this book has been like edited multiple times by me and other people as well, but it's like, you're human. Like, you know, we're human. It's like we're going to miss a few things here or there. You know, it sucks. Like when somebody messages you and you're like, Hey, I found these typos. But it's also great because you're like, Oh, thank you, thank you. Because now I can fix it. But also it's just like a gut punch because like, dang it, there were still some errors. Like, Dang, I thought this was perfect, but mean it if you know, if you ever reached out to me with the typo. Thank you so much. Like, don't think that I'm trying to say that. Don't send it to me. But like, after you've edited the book several times, it definitely feels like dang, like I missed that. How did I miss it? You know, just like. Just like things like that. But with the story. No, I didn't really change anything. 

 U2 

 6:29 

 Guess, revisit the first book. How has it been received by readers and how has there been any surprising reactions or insights from your audience from the first book? 

 U1 

 6:38 

 Yeah. So thankfully people have they seem to have enjoyed the book, which of course is great because like no author wants to release a book and people hate it. But thankfully, yeah, so thankfully people have liked it. I think some surprising insights is like I've had like 3 or 4 people mentioned to me that it kind of reminded them of like a fey version of Indiana Jones, which was like so flattering to hear because I was like, Oh my God, like Indiana Jones. Like, he's so big like or like, that whole franchise is so big. And then some people have said it reminds them of some video games like Skyrim, which is also so flattering. I think it's just like the adventure aspect with like these ruins and this magic and there's like these mythical monsters. I think those have been the most interesting to me because I feel like people, like, I thought that people would be more interested in the book because as of like, you know, there's this girl and then there's this guy who's like really powerful and like, he tried to hunt her down a year ago and he almost killed her and she escaped him like, kind of like the subplot, like the romance I thought people would be like, really into. But like, surprisingly, people have been like, really vibing with like the adventure aspect and the action aspect, which is really surprising. But I mean, of course I like that because Book one really does explore a lot of like action and adventure more than it does like the romance subplot. So I'm happy with that. But it was definitely surprising and flattering to be like compared to like Skyrim or something. So I, you know, I'll take it. 

 U2 

 8:10 

 Yeah, especially since you said that this book was inspired by a video game you saw your husband playing. Yeah. So it's kind of like the ultimate compliment. Oh, 

 U1 

 8:19 

 yeah. Was like, yes. It's my writing, like, you know, showed that. So I think that was that was a good compliment. 

 U2 

 8:28 

 What particular challenges or breakthroughs you experienced while writing the new book compared to your previous book? I mean, I know you wrote it all at the same time. I guess that would be an interesting question. Now that I know you wrote it all at the same time. 

 U1 

 8:42 

 It was honestly like so challenging writing the second book compared to the first book, because I've always like only written standalones. I mean, obviously none of this is published or anything, but like, you know, like on my own time, like was standalone. So it was like this was my first time like trying to write a series and like, writing a series is so different than writing a standalone because there are just so many things that you got to keep in track of. Like, okay, what's this character's hair color? What's this character's like? BackStory. Does this character have a sibling? And then of course, it's like you also have to keep track of like the plot. Like there are like the plot doesn't completely resolve in the first book. And so when you move on to the second one, it's like you have to like keep track of all the plot threads and then you want to wrap up some of them, but not all of them because you do want it to carry over to the next book. Just keeping track of all of that. It was definitely a challenge that I was not used to. And I think with each book, it's like since you're following the same character, it's like their problems. Some usually do evolve and then of course it's like some insecurities they have don't completely resolve in like the previous book. And it's like carrying all of that over was definitely a struggle for me. But I mean, I totally enjoyed it at the same time because, I mean, I don't want to part with these characters too soon. So that's so it has been like a nice challenge and like obviously I want to stay with these characters a little bit longer and of course get to know them even more and give them more challenges for sure. But that was definitely the biggest, the biggest change for me, just, yeah, just following like a series. 

 U2 

 10:24 

 How did you keep track of all your characters and things like 

 U1 

 10:27 

 that? Honestly, like I'm the I'm the worst at this, but I just had like, this, like, ratty old notebook and I would just, like, scribble down notes here. And it wasn't even, like, clear. It would be like it'd be like a like recipe. And then on the side, like, Blair has blue eyes or like something like something like that where it was like it was not organized at all. But somehow, like, I don't know, guess I was able to keep track of it that way, but like, not the best organizational way to do it for sure. 

 U2 

 11:01 

 Something that I didn't get to ask you last time because you were one of my first interviews. Are you a plotter, a prankster, or a discovery type of writer? 

 U1 

 11:12 

 Um, I feel like I'm like 90% a plotter and then 10% pantser because, like, I have everything kind of planned out. This chapter, that chapter. But like, I don't plan out, like, every little detail. So I do like to, like, let the characters figure some things out, things that don't really matter to the plot. Guess like certain conversations that don't need to be super plotted out. Like I'll just naturally write those out. But like, yeah, definitely. I plot everything or pretty much everything out. I feel like if I don't like my story has no direction and I could just be writing forever and it would just like abruptly end and then be like the end. So I don't think I'm not a good Pantser Yeah, I have to plot everything. Or most of everything. Yeah. 

 U2 

 12:02 

 Yeah. 1s Could you share a particular moment or encounter related to the research or writing process of your 

 U1 

 12:10 

 book? Yeah, So a lot of book one and book two is inspired by, like, Norse mythology. Not. Not like super, super inspired. Like, there's nothing with like, the gods or like, those kind of events, but more like like the monsters and like the environment, the climate, that kind of thing. But definitely, like, looking up some of these, like, mythological mythological beings has been interesting. And a lot of some of them in particular really inspired some battle scenes that happen in book two and then, of course, in book one as well. There was like a there was like a few that were mainly inspired by those monsters. So I think for book two, definitely like some of some of the mythological monsters I took from, you know, that Norse mythology and used that 

 U2 

 13:00 

 with your characters. What are the main things that you've been that you explored in the second book? Because I know Coffee has, you know, she's very strong with her powers, but she's she's still dealing with the insecurities of her body and her magic and things like that. And, of course, you know. Blair So because he, you know, he kind of left it kind of a unsatisfying moment for a lot, you know, 

 U1 

 13:25 

 readers. 2s I think the biggest theme I really wanted to show in this book was just trying to find your place, that there are people out there that will make you feel at home and you need to find those people. And of course, like dealing with like insecurities, like body insecurities and just feeling like awkward, I guess, and just dealing with those kind of things. And then obviously, like, with bullying and. Basically having people pick at you all the time and then just trying to overcome that. 

 U2 

 13:59 

 Yeah, that's the main thing I've reading in your book. Thank you for the arc. Yeah, no problem is the bullying is just getting to meek. It's the bullying is getting to me because it just hurts my heart out because it's just so unfair. 

 U1 

 14:13 

 Oh, yeah. Yeah. I hate having to put her through it, but she has to go through it. It's the character development. 

 U2 

 14:22 

 All right. If you say so. 2s In the context of your new book, is there any characters events that you feel particularly strong connection to and why? 

 U1 

 14:33 

 Oh, I mean mean. Character wise. I definitely feel a strong connection to the mean because she's like awkward and she has like low self-esteem and she's just overall, like, very, like, introverted, but like, she totally knows how to kick butt at the same time. Right. Which, you know, obviously, like I love and I think a lot of people could relate to her because like, she's basically in like a tough position and she's just trying to try to do her best. So I think she's definitely the character I relate to the most, which is obviously good because she's the main character and you spend the most time with her. But I mean, as for events, there are definitely a few scenes in this book that like follow like a certain trope that like, I absolutely love. Like, I love the trope of like when one of the characters is like, gravely injured and then the other has to like tend to them or like the trope of like there's like this big ball and you get to dress up like a princess or just like watching like the grumpy side character as he like loves his sunshine, love interest. Those are definitely a few few key like scenes that like have my heart. Those are definitely like that have like the strongest connection to without like obviously spoiling too much. But yeah I think those are those, those those were the ones that had like the strongest connection to scene wise and character wise. 

 U2 

 15:57 

 So you're saying that we're going to get more of a romance plot in this one, or are you 

 U1 

 16:03 

 just gonna just be mean? Yes, this this book is going to have more of a focus on romance because like Book one, I, I made a conscious effort not to make it romance heavy because I just felt like it just didn't fit in with the story. Like, she's like book one. She's, like, really traumatized with Blair just having her fall in love with him, like in this, like, mission that she was so terrified to go to just didn't seem. Realistic to me. So that's why was like, you know, you need to give her a little bit of time and think the time has come a little bit in this book. So you guys will have to just read to find 

 U2 

 16:40 

 out. I got to the part where Blair shows up and back into her life and I'm like, Where were you? Blair 

 U1 

 16:47 

 Yeah, that's like that's like the biggest question. Like, I love writing him. He's definitely like, my favorite character out of this entire series. Sorry, Coffee. And I know I said the last question I just said had a strong connection with her, and that's true. But Blair has like my heart. I love him as a character. He is so much fun to write. So yeah, he's definitely my favorite character. Hands down. 

 U2 

 17:16 

 I know I've loved Can't. I've just got so excited. Yeah. Get into that part. Now that we're getting into it, he's coming right back. And I'm like, All right, what's what's going to happen? 2s Do you have any other upcoming projects or ideas that you're excited to work on after the release of this book? I mean, if I remember, remind me how many books in this series that you got coming. 

 U1 

 17:39 

 So this whole series in total is going to be five books long. Which, you know, mean. I've already gotten the third book done. I mean, not completely done. I still have to edit it and do like I got to change some things some scenes around, so I'm not completely done with it. But yeah, I still have two more books to write, but like after I finish well after book two releases, I'm actually going to take like a little break from the story and focus on like another project just for like a few months and then jump back into like, you know, Coffee World Because I definitely feel like after writing a certain character or like being in like a certain world for so long, it could get a little bit tiring. Like, of course I love coffee and I love her story, but like, sometimes it's like you need to step away, get like a little bit of a palate cleanser and then come back to it. It's like the same way as like, you know, if you keep reading like certain a certain genre of books, but then like, they're all good, but you need to like take a break and read like a different genre for like 1 or 2 books and then jump back in. It's kind of like that with Mean. I'm still going to be writing the same genre. Like maybe that was like a bad analogy. Yeah, I think I'm just going to work on like one story on the side and then jump back in. So think I'm just going to like, like write a little bit of a side story and then jump back into Coffee World because I've been writing Coffee Story for like a year now and like Mean of course it doesn't seem that way because. Because like the ruins of the Heartless was released in June. And then now, you know, Book two is going to be released in October. So it's like it just feels like a 3 to 4 month span for the readers. But like to me, I've been with her for like over a year, so I'm just like, okay, maybe I'm going to jump into another project and then I'll jump back to you again. 

 U2 

 19:27 

 I get that because I'm kind of like the same way when it's like mood reading and I call it for mood writing for some writers because like, if you do the same thing over and over again, you kind of get burned out a little bit. So it's always good to take a step back and get a refresher on it. Like palate cleanser, like you said. Yeah. And I've been following you on Facebook and, you know, Instagram and all that fun stuff and you're working on another book. Do you want to tell a little bit about that? Because it sounds very exciting. 

 U1 

 19:57 

 Okay. So I'm working on this book called Dynasty. I had originally written this in 2019, but like, my writing has changed a lot over the years. I feel like the story is pretty solid, like plot wise, but the writing is not good. So I'm kind of trying to like bring that back to life. But it's definitely been hard because this book is so long. It was inspired by Game of Thrones and it's set in like this. Um, and like, like an Asian setting, like, particularly, like, based on like Chinese mythology, the setting and environment and yeah, so very heavily influenced by Game of Thrones like Game of Thrones style. It's like really large and it follows a lot of characters. And so it's definitely been a challenge for me, like, like trying to rewrite it and like. Bring it back to life because it's so long. Like, I'm like, this is like two books combined. Like I should have split this in half or something. So I've just been working on that and like it's definitely like I'm on Struggle Bus with it because it's just such a huge, overwhelming project. But I also love it because I'm just like just looking at it and I'm just like, Oh my God. Like, there are so many good scenes in here, and I definitely think I could do it more justice now that I'm I'm more of an experienced writer than I was when I was first writing it. So that's just what I've been working on right now. But I am hoping to finish it by the end of this year and then look into publishing it sometime early next year, maybe mid next year. We'll see. 

 U2 

 21:35 

 Yeah, I'm looking forward to to that one because you've been talking a little bit about it on a Facebook group and I'm just 

 U1 

 21:40 

 like, Hm, yeah, what is this one? Yeah, yeah. 

 U2 

 21:45 

 Something that I like to ask is that for, for the listeners, for aspiring authors, and you're going into your second book and already working on a completely different series. Advice would you give based on the experience in the industry as an indie author? 

 U1 

 21:59 

 Definitely don't give up. Like just keep writing, keep reading. And I think you really have to do research and try to figure out what path you want to take. Do you want to be self-published or do you want to be traditionally published? Both of them have their pros and cons, so trying to like you have to figure that out. And then another step further is trying to figure out what's your end goal? Like, what do you see as success? Like, do you want to just write what you want and do it as a hobby and release your books that way? Or are you are you thinking of it more like career wise? Like, are you trying to make money off of this, that sort of thing? Because then each of those, depending on what your goal is, you're going to be taking different steps. Like like if your goal is just to like write as a hobby and just write what you want to write. Like, of course it's totally fine. And then but then like, you know, you just keep doing what you're doing. But if your goal is to make money or to like treat it as a career, then there's like other steps you got to take, like more research on like marketing and like just basically treating it like a business rather than just a hobby. So think it's like you really have to figure out what your plan is and what your end goal is. And I think that's like, I mean, you really got to do your research and figure out all that out in order to be successful. And I think it's like you have to also define what success means to you, because what success is to me is completely different than it is to another person or another writer. So think it's just like, you know, figure that out, that stuff out for yourself and then go on from there. 

 U2 

 23:32 

 When you first went into publishing your first book and now to other books, have you found that your goals have changed since then? 

 U1 

 23:38 

 I don't really think my goals have changed. I've always wanted to be a like an author. So I think like I've always had like for years, like this is this is my goal, to release like a few books every year, that kind of thing. And I don't really think that's changed at all. But I mean, I think the biggest thing I think for me and other authors or aspiring authors, just taking that step to like jump in because like for years I was like, oh, my writing's not ready. I'll wait another year or two before I even try to publish, even though like I'm like writing books, I'm like, No, no, no. These books aren't ready for that, like public to be published. And it's like they just kept happening year after year. And then eventually I was like, okay, you know what? If I keep this up, like I'm never going to publish my book, It's like, you just have to, like, take the dive. So I think that's like one of the biggest thing, like, advice I would also give is just like, I mean, of course research and then also just take the dive like you're going to have to like jump if you want to, you know, like chase after what you want. I think writers, we're very introverted and we're very well, no, not all of us are introverted, but I think we're very introverted with our writing where it's like we feel like our writing is not good enough and definitely not good enough to be published, or we hold ourselves back and think we're our biggest critic. So think you just need to like silence that voice that tells you like, Oh, it's not I'm not good enough and just like, go for it. I think that's definitely been like the biggest thing for me. It was just changing that mind shift of I'm not ready to like, okay, my books are good enough. It doesn't have to be perfect because you're never going to be perfect if you keep chasing that and you'll never get published then. So it's just take the dive. I like everything you just said because it's, you know, like a book podcaster. I'm like, I have the same thoughts. Yeah. And now you're just kind of reminding me and reinforcing like, I just got to keep going and I'm like, okay, okay, I need to hear this. Yeah. 

 U2 

 25:34 

 So it's for everybody. 

 U1 

 25:35 

 Yeah, think so. Think It's like with any hobby or anything that you have that you want to turn into a career. Yeah, just go for it. Because you're your biggest critic. That's like the end of the story. Like you're the biggest critic that you could have. Your opinion probably matters the most to you and not to other people. It's like, just just go for it. 

 U2 

 25:54 

 It's worse is like when you you come up with critics that other people could have and you just tell yourself, even though it's never said to you, Oh, 

 U1 

 26:01 

 yeah, sure. It's like like for years I was just like, Oh, no, my books aren't good enough or my writing is not that. Like, it's not up to that level of like, these other authors. But then it's like another thing you have to keep in mind, like those authors have been writing for several years and they've had like, like that book that you're reading is like a polished version versus like you're trying to like, compare it to your rough draft. And it's like, of course, like there are always going to be some people who are better writers than you, but you shouldn't let that hold you back. You should just go for it. If you want to be like a published writer, like go for it. Like don't hold yourself back because, like, you're the like, sometimes it happens. It's like you're the one who's setting up your own boundaries. And I think boundaries are a good thing. But mean, it's like you're setting up your own, like like your own ceiling of success. Like, you can't go beyond that, but like, think you have to like, yeah, just go for it. Basically. That's what I'm trying to say. 

 U2 

 26:56 

 If you look at some of the lot of indie authors, sometimes they don't become where they are now until their fifth book, you know? Yeah. So it's like it's encouraging that if you stay consistent and keep pushing yourself out there, you can grow and you'll get the audience that you're that you're wanting. 

 U1 

 27:12 

 Yeah, I've heard that too, where it's like where I've heard a few authors say that it took like their fourth or fifth or sixth book before they started either earning like a decent income or they started like, gaining recognition from like, like, like getting like a bigger audience. And I think that's true. Like if you just, like, released your first book and it like, doesn't do that well, it's like it could literally just be that not many people just know who you are. They don't they've never read your book because it hasn't really gone that far. And it's like you just got to keep it up. And there's been like a few authors out there that I've but people I look up to basically where they it took them a few books to, to become like, like to like become famous. And then the first few books that they had written also became popular because people read like this author's fifth or sixth book. They really loved it. And then they went back and read the other ones, too. So I think it's just like, yeah, you just got to keep staying consistent and then eventually you will get there if But the biggest thing is just don't give up. I 

 U2 

 28:16 

 hope that for the best for you, because I love your writing. I will stay true to be your fan base. Thank 

 U1 

 28:21 

 you. 

 U2 

 28:22 

 So now that you brought up the community, how has your relationship with your readers or the writing community community in general evolved since your last appearance on my podcast? 

 U1 

 28:34 

 Yeah, feel like it's definitely changed a lot because before it's like nobody really knew who I was and I feel like I didn't have much credibility. Like, I think people treat you differently when they know that you're actually a published author versus just like a hobby writer. And I think because like before, like I tell people like, Oh yeah, I'm a writer. And then they'd be like, Oh, like, so your books are like published. And I'd be like, No, they're not published. And then it's like, they don't take you that seriously versus like when you're actually published, it's like, Oh wow, Like you must be making tons of money or something. I'm like, No, I really do think that people take you more seriously. Also in the writing community, like aspiring like writers would come to me for like, Oh, like they'll ask questions or something and I'll just be like, which is crazy to me because I'm like, I'm a baby author myself. Like, I've only been published for like 3 or 4 months. So it's like having people come up to me for advice or something. I'm just like, Look, I'm like small potatoes at this point, but it's still like it gives you a bit of like, it makes you seem more legit when you're actually published. Think not to say that there's anything wrong with writing as a hobby because like, I was like that for years. But I think that's how like the general writing community and the reading community see you like when they know that you're published, they take you a little bit more seriously versus like if you're just writing and nobody ever sees that writing. 

 U2 

 29:58 

 Yeah, because I think when you first start out, it's very daunting, the whole process of it. So when that person actually does get all of it done and actually completes and published, it's like, Whoa! 

 U1 

 30:11 

 Yeah. And I think people people respect that, think because they know how tough it is. Or they can imagine how tough it is to release your first book. I mean, it was definitely hard for me. And it's like I think a lot of it is also self-doubt, like we were talking previously. It's like, you know, like trying to, like, think like, is my book good enough? And you don't really have like any markers of like, what's successful, what's normal, what's anything because it's your first time doing it. But like, yeah, I definitely feel like people do treat you a little bit more legit after you have your book published, which, you know, think it's a good thing. But it it also did suck being like a hobby writer. And then people treated me like I wasn't doing anything worthwhile because they were just like, Oh, but you're not even like, publish, so what are you doing? So like, I could see both sides of it like it does definitely sucks. Like when they don't treat you like, like I one time told someone like, Oh, I'm a writer. They're like, Oh, so you're just like, Stay at home mom? And I'm like, Yeah, guess. Oh, I'm like, Yes, yes, yeah. Well, I mean, yes, I'm a stay at home mom, but it's like me being like writing is also think a valid job as well. 

 U2 

 31:23 

 Yeah, it's a full time thing and I can't imagine the the process of doing it. And I've talked to a lot of authors and I'm like, I don't know how you guys can to do it. It just overwhelms me the idea of just plotting, you know? 

 U1 

 31:37 

 Yeah. And then especially like trying to avoid getting burned out, like, that's definitely been a struggle for me, like, because like, like I try to compare myself to how I was writing before I had my son. So I'm like, Oh, I should be able to crank out this many words and this many, you know, this. Much of the story should be done by now. And I'm just like, but like if I do it like at the pace I was before, like, I will certainly burn myself out because I have so many more responsibilities that I have now that I didn't have before. And then, of course, I also compare myself to like when I was like, like, you know, before I was married, I was living with my parents and stuff and, and like, you know, had a ton of free time. Like, I had zero responsibilities, just write for hours. But it's like you always you have to think, always like, pivot, you know, like shift and figure out what's working for you and try not to get burned out. I think I tried to plan out my schedule according to like, how am I not going to get burned out? Like, sure, I could probably if I dedicate this time and this time I could probably write like like 5000 words. But I will for sure get burned out in the process. So it's like just trying to like, be moderate and not like push myself too hard because if you get burned out, like you could be out for months, maybe even a year or two. Yeah. Which I definitely want to avoid. So it's just like a lot of, like, you also have to take care of yourself, I think. 

 U2 

 33:00 

 Yeah. Which is it's a great, great reminder because I didn't think of that. It's like, you know, especially like you said, mood. I call people mood writers sometimes, and if you just push yourself too hard, it just you can snap your creativity and you'd be done like you said. So with you trying to treat it as a business as well, you're having to focus on making sure that you don't burn out at the same time. 

 U1 

 33:24 

 Yeah, it's definitely been tough because it's like there's a part of me that just wants to push, push, push and like go farther and farther and farther. But then it's just like there's another part of me that's like, okay, you got to slow down. The world will not end if you don't release this book in like five months or something. Like just slow down. So I've just been trying to do that as well. I think it's like it's like a struggle because I think a lot of people have that where they want to push themselves, but then they also try to hold themselves back. It's hard finding a balance, I think. 

 U2 

 33:56 

 Yeah, I can, I can definitely see that. And it's like I like how some people say certain things and I'm like, Yeah, I understand. I understand podcast. 

 U1 

 34:04 

 Yeah. 

 U2 

 34:06 

 In the going kind of back into your book in the context of The Frost Soldier and the Gilded duty with that book in mind. Is there any messages or ideas you hope that the readers will take from this? Because I know you're talking a lot about coffee and her journey. 

 U1 

 34:24 

 I really hope that people could just take from it that if you're in a in a in a bad place and nobody really likes you or you're getting bullied, like there are people out there that you can call your home and that do want the best for you. And you should definitely try to find those people. And I think it's just I really want to, like try to show that, like being bullied and stuff like that does have like a negative impact on somebody's own self esteem, too. Like in book one, was it mean she was a little bit insecure about her body, but like in book two, she was definitely a lot more insecure because so many people pick on her because of that. And so like, it's like the story is about her overcoming that and overcoming other challenges that she has. So I just really want to stress that like, you know, like don't give up. Like there is hope out there 

 U2 

 35:14 

 and you're more than welcome to not answer this or answer it the way that you would like to. Did you reflect any of your own personal experiences when writing this book? 

 U1 

 35:23 

 Oh yeah, for sure. Like, for sure. Like I feel like growing up, I always felt like I was like the chubby kid. And so it was like my whole life I've always, like, struggled with, like, weight. So I really wanted to show that, like, it would be to the point where like, I wouldn't be like. So I grew up in like a Pakistani American household. So in like Pakistan, I feel like. The standard of beauty is very thin and mean. The case is similar here in America. Mean trends are always shifting here, but like growing up, it definitely felt like, you know, you had to be like thin, like a model. And I think like just struggling with that, I really kind of guess it kind of reflected like, how I felt growing up or like as a teenager, like just not feeling super comfortable in my own skin. And so I kind of wanted to show that in this book as well. So yeah, yeah. 

 U2 

 36:16 

 I think there needs to be a message about body image, you know, just it's, you know, whether plus size or not, whatever the case may be, I think dealing with the emotion is important because you can be stick figure and still deal with the insecurities and vice versa. It's still insecurities and oh yeah, for 

 U1 

 36:34 

 sure because like, yeah, even like, like I've had family members, they would be thin, but then they still have their other like things that they're worried about, like their height or, or, or other aspects of their body. And it's just like, aw, they're not, they're not this or they're not that. And I think everybody struggles with not 100% accepting their own body and think I because like, the story is like more about not accepting herself more too. And I think the biggest thing is that like sometimes, like growing up, like I actually never felt like I was like, I didn't like, intrinsically have this idea like, oh, I'm, I'm a little bit chubby. I should feel like I'm less than until people pointed it out to me. Like I didn't have that feeling until people would make fun of me for it or like or like I would have like some family members who would, like, point out things about my body. Like, I didn't ever felt like that until I had people pointed out. So I kind of wanted to show like the effects that like people's words have on somebody. Like in like case. I mean, she was aware of it in book one, that she was different than everyone body wise. Like she wasn't lean and fit like these soldiers. But like in book two, like she really takes it to heart because like, she's constantly being heard, like. Like people are, like, saying terrible things about her and her body and, like, making fun of her. And I think that, like, totally made her body image even worse. So I think I wanted to show that for sure. 

 U2 

 38:01 

 It was like there was one section of the book where she couldn't get a winter uniform because they don't provide sizes in her size, you know, And that's like a, you know, a soft moment of saying you're fat, you know, you know, just being mean. Just it doesn't regardless of the reason and all this stuff. And I think that's a beautiful message you're portraying in this book. And that's why I love coffee in the very beginning. Yeah, because we saw that already going through her journey. And now it's going to this is what we're focusing on. So I love that. It's a beautiful message and I cannot wait for readers to read that. 

 U1 

 38:39 

 Thank you. 

 U2 

 38:41 

 Do you have any particular lessons or insights you gained as an author that you wish you had known when you first started your writing career? 

 U1 

 38:48 

 Oh yes, for sure. I think the biggest thing is be accepting of feedback and get feedback on your work and don't take it too personally if there are things wrong with your book. Because I think the biggest thing is we're so close to our work that we can't see it objectively most of the time. So like, I think you have to be very accepting of feedback, whether that's from an editor or a critique partner or just somebody like reading your book. I think you have to be open to that because like, we as writers should always be trying to improve our writing. And I think being like closed minded and being like, No, my book is perfect. Like, there's nothing wrong with it. You either take it or leave it. I think having that mentality will really stunt your growth as a writer. So I think that's like the biggest thing for me because I feel like early on, like years ago, like I would be like, I would have that mentality of like, No, my book is perfect the way I wrote it. And that was mean. Granted, I was a teenager, but I felt like, yeah, like my work is great. I don't need to listen to this person, but it's like, you really should because like, you want your book to be the best it can be. And it's you should take advice, especially from people who know what they're talking about, like editors. I think that's like the biggest thing. Like, if you can make that mentality shift about your own writing, like wanting to improve on it, I think that will make you a better writer overall. 

 U2 

 40:16 

 Would you say there is any one point that you're just it was a little hard to accept advice on your writing? 

 U1 

 40:23 

 The thing is, I'm not really sure because I think I've always been super open to feedback other than like when I was a teenager, like I said, or felt like I was like perfect. But I think like so I used to write on Wattpad as a teenager and in college, so I feel like I got a lot of feedback from with like other like books that I would write on there. And I think like that really opened me up to like, like being like, okay, like accepting feedback. And of course there is like a line to that. Like, of course if somebody says like, Oh, this book sucks, it's like there's nothing you can really glean from that. But like, if it's like constructive criticism, like, Oh, this character is really passive and they're not actually doing anything for the story, then it's like, you really have to like, take that into account. I'm not saying like, you change your entire story because this one reader or this one critique, but it's like, I think you have to be more open to it or open to the idea of it. I think I personally haven't. Or maybe I've just dealt with some really good critique partners that were not like like wanting to rip my book apart. So I think maybe I'm just lucky in that aspect, but I've always been pretty open to like getting feedback and changing my story to make it better. Like, like if their critique is baseless, then of course I'll just ignore it. But if it like makes sense what they're saying, then like I will take that into account and try to change things up. But like I feel like I've been pretty open to feedback, I think. I mean, obviously I'm a new author, but I have been writing for a while, like as a, as a hobby writer. So I think I am kind of experienced as a writer, not an author, but as a writer. So I think I'm pretty like used to getting feedback on my work and being open to that, which I think has helped me a lot to get to this point as well. 

 U2 

 42:13 

 This is kind of almost off topic almost, but going back to the book in a way, before I go to our last question. Something I've been fascinated about is, you know, fantasy romance is pretty out there right now, and it has smut, as they call it. Yeah. And for your books, have you considered because you didn't rush into the romance in the first book, which is nice and refreshing, What have you considered on which direction you're going to go in that aspect? 

 U1 

 42:43 

 Yeah, I think I would take a fade to black aspect with this book or this series. I just feel like I'm, I'm personally like not comfortable writing smut. Like. Like, don't get me wrong, I've read books that have it like a Court of Thorns and Roses and and forth wing and things of that, But I personally am not like comfortable writing it. So I think for my books I would, I would take like a fade to black approach, not just with this series, but probably all my books going forward. Yeah, I don't think I would I would step into that realm. Not that there's anything wrong with it, but just me personally. No. Yeah, 

 U2 

 43:22 

 I just. It's just it's interesting to see just because there are some people that is looking for that too, to know that that's where you stand. That's good for our listeners to know. So if that's what they're looking for. 

 U1 

 43:34 

 Oh yeah. No, yeah. Think that's, that's definitely something that people ask me a lot when, when they hear about like that. I'm an author. They ask like, Oh like how spicy is it? So I think it's totally a valid question. 

 U2 

 43:47 

 And just for the last question to wrap up, what is the next in your terms of writing projects and career goals? We've talked about your writing, a new series that might be published next year. What is what is your writing goals, I guess your career goals for being a writer? 

 U1 

 44:03 

 Yeah, I think I mean, I would hope that I have like a long career as an author because this is what I've always wanted to do. So I definitely think I'm going to aim to try to release like 2 to 3 books a year and hopefully I can keep that up. I mean, of course, if I get to that point where it's like, like, you know how like Sarah Jane, like she could release anything and people will gobble that up whether she releases like one book a year or one book every five years, people will eat that up. So I would hope I would hope I could get not to like I mean, of course, I would love to get to her level, but I mean, realistically, probably not. But I would like to get to like a point where I could release like one book a year and people would still, like love my books and keep up with me. But like at the point that I'm at right now, I think 2 to 3 books is doable for me. That's like what I hope to be able to publish every year. 

 U2 

 44:58 

 That's great. I love getting to know you. Just if you could just talk about where to find your new book, what day it's going to be published, and where to find you on social media. 

 U1 

 45:07 

 Yeah, you can find me on Instagram at author Maham Fatemi. And then I also have a Facebook group. It's called I think it's called Mom Fatima's Book Club. And that's kind of bad that I don't even remember my own group name, but I think it's called Muhammad Ali's Book Club. And then the Frost Soldier and the Gilded Duty will be available on Kindle Unlimited. So on Amazon, people can read it there. And then the the print book will be available wherever books are sold. And you could also get signed copies on my website, which is Mayhem. Famicom. Oh yeah, it releases October 3rd. I don't know if I mentioned that or not. No, no. Didn't. Okay. Yeah, it releases then. So I think it's like in two weeks, two weeks and one day. So 15 days. Yeah. 

 U2 

 45:51 

 So October 3rd and this episode is being released after it is published. So by the time any listeners hear this, they're going to be able to go ahead and purchase it. Everything will be in the show notes to go ahead and follow Mom and get her books. Yeah, definitely follow her on social media and be looking out for the next episode. Thank you so much for joining me. Oh, thank 

 U1 

 46:13 

 you for having me. Thank you. It was nice talking to you. 



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