Fatima Saleem is a talented poet who self-published her first book of poetry when she was only 14 years old. From her days spent at the computer, typing up fanfictions on Wattpad, Fatima has climbed up the ladder when she decided to go forward with publishing. Since then she's been invited to several interviews and discussion panels, including an interview with Bahrain International TV as well as an author discussion hosted by Neo Books Cafe. Ladies and gents... we give you, the author of Words For Bullets and Unsaid!
NQD: You're the author of Words For Bullets and Unsaid. We're curious to know, what were the inspirations behind each book?
I was heavily bullied in middle school, which in turn affected my mental health. The only thing that helped me move on was transforming my pain into words. This is why when I was in the process of publishing Words for Bullets, I didn’t really sit and brainstorm poems. A lot of it was just material written throughout the years that I polished and perfected to add to the book. The inspiration for Words for Bullets stemmed from my trauma. With my work, I wanted everyone to know that it's okay to not be okay.
Similarly, with Unsaid, the inspiration for the book comes from the name itself. I wanted to focus the book on the thoughts and feelings of people that don’t express it out loud. To let them know that they do not need to suffer in silence.
NQD: When you decided to publish your works, how did you know what resources to go through for self-publishing?
When I had confirmed the decision of publishing Words for Bullets, the first step was doing the right research and figuring out which path I wanted to take. I read multiple articles, about the pros and cons of different self-publishing sites. Finally, I settled on Amazon KDP and it was the best decision for my book.
NQD: In your self-publishing journey thus far, what valuable lessons have you learned?
To be original and invest wisely. With traditional publishing, everything is made easy. From the book cover to marketing it best. In self-publishing, the author has to figure all of that out and it is not easy. One advice I can give everyone out there is to invest. Invest your money in cover designers that specialize in your book genre and editors that can polish your work best. It can make or break your book.
NQD: What have been the best reactions from your readers and what do they mean to you as an artist?
The readers' support that I have gotten ever since I started my writing to author journey has been the best part. I am so grateful for the love I receive on a daily basis and I cannot thank them enough for everything. They are the reason I am what I am and why I am always striving to become the best writer and person I can be.
NQD: Talk to us about your long-term literary aspirations!
I aspire to have my work read by millions. I want people to genuinely enjoy and heal from what I love doing and serve as an inspiration for them. Writing is something that has gotten me through tough times so if I can help at least one person with my words, I’ll consider my dreams fulfilled.
NQD: We're sure you've had moments in your writing journey that you've enjoyed more than others. What are some of your favorite quotes that you've written? This could be from any of your books, including anything from Wattpad.
Ah, I have so many that I could share but my all-time favorite from Words for Bullets is “I’ve lost myself in hopes of finding you,” and from Unsaid, “spread your wings, let go and watch yourself flourish.” is very close to my heart. I also have a Wattpad book written, The Good In Diavolo, and my favorite from it is, “Everyone has good in them, for even the devil was once an angel.”
NQD: Tell us, what puts you in a good writing mood?
A good cup of coffee and my cats curled up around me. Never fails to uplift my mood from I-don’t-want-to-get-out-of-bed to lets-get-some-writing-done.
NQD: Regardless of your age, you're a published author with a following of over 1400 people on Instagram. And we admire you for that! What would you say are some of your advice for those hesitant to take that step of publishing?
Thank you. My advice is to be confident and go for it. Publishing a book can be overwhelming but do not let your nerves stop you from achieving your dreams. Reach for the stars, conquer the universe. You can always reach out to me personally for any advice!
NQD: What are your thoughts about the current Bahrain writing community which includes not only writers (published and unpublished), but poets, illustrators, bloggers, and more?
I am so proud of it. I believe it's amazing that Bahrain is giving more opportunity to new talents and allowing people to showcase what they do best. I have met so many wonderful writers, poets, bloggers, and illustrators through this community, and I couldn’t be happier to be a part of it.
NQD: We'd love to let our followers know of any upcoming projects or books! Is there anything in the pipeline?
Absolutely. Unsaid is set to publish towards the end of this year and my debut novel publication, Vittorio which is a mafia romance book that talks about second chances and how sometimes we need to fall before we can rise. It will come out next year around mid-2021.