- sff author, filmmaker, radio host, and disability policy executive
Readers! Let’s give a good hearty welcome to Day Al-Mohamed!
Day Al-Mohamed is an author, filmmaker, and disability policy executive. She, in addition to writing fantasy and science fiction, is a host on Idobi Radio’s Geek Girl Riot with an audience of more than 80,000 listeners, and her most recent award-winning film, “The Invalid Corps,” is currently screening both nationally and internationally. She is an active member of Women in Film and Video and a graduate of the VONA/Voices Writing Workshop. However, she is most proud of being invited to teach a workshop on storytelling at the White House in February 2016.
Day, thanks for agreeing to be here today. Most interviews start off with bios and such, and while I’ll get to that as always, let’s start with the important stuff!
If you could have any pet (real/fantasy/no-allergies/no worries about feeding it) what would it be?
Honestly, I have to admit, I’m really attached to my dogs. 🙂 Having a guide dog around 24/7 you make a connection that makes it hard to imagine anything else. Although some days I DO wish that Gamma and I communicated a bit better (my current guide is the “party dog” of the crew).
That would be so handy if you could communicate more directly!
What do you write?
I write primarily fantasy and science fiction, with a side helping of alternate history.
An excellent set of genres and right up my alley!
What do you like to read?
Fantasy, YA, cozy Mysteries, and historical Romance. The last two are my go-to when I’m stressed. 🙂 Those genres guarantee a happily ever after and/or that justice is served. Sometimes we need stories that remind us that if we are strong, fight for what is right, and believe, then the world will be a better place.
So true! I have a lot of books on my shelf, but the ones with a guaranteed HEA (happily ever after), that I can read easily in one sitting? They’re my comfort reads.
Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that doesn’t work for you.
Write every day.
One of the most commonly accepted pieces of writing advice that doesn’t work for me is: Write every day. (Although to be honest, I’ve heard it doesn’t work for a LOT of people).
I have a busy work schedule and even outside of work I tend to be very active. I am an IS Officer for the Coast Guard Auxiliary; I’m training for US Fencing nationals; I’m working on my next film project – a web series; and of course I want to spend time with family and friends.
I love doing these things and don’t want to give them up. They feed my creativity and without them, I lose a piece of myself. But, we are all only allotted 24 hours in every day so I tend to have a day or two where I write (unless I’m close to a deadline).
It’s so hard! Experiencing life is what helps make our worlds and our characters three-dimensional. Yet, you can’t write while you’re out living. Finding that balance can be a struggle.
Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that they can pry out of your cold, dead hands.
No good writing ever came out of a cave.
I’ve tended to paraphrase my favorite bit of writing advice as, “No good writing ever came out of a cave.” It’s based on the idea of the author disappearing into a cave like a hermit and writing for years and then resurfacing with the next “Great American Masterpiece.” But it just isn’t true.
Having trusted readers, critiquers, editors, and even people to bounce ideas off of, or to check that what is in your head is actually making it onto the page makes your work better. Also, having people help to improve it AS YOU GO is a lot easier than someone telling you you need to completely restructure your story after you’ve just typed, “The End.”
You forgot the part where living LIFE (your antidote to the very advice you skip), instead of hermitting can make your writing that much better! I love that both the advice you follow and the advice you shun compliment each other so nicely.
Shameless Self-Promotion time!
I can’t help but give three. I may be just a little greedy like that (Yes, I’m that kid who snarfed extra chocolate cake at the birthday party when you were 8).
First! (And the big one on my list today) Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn is being re-released in 2020! This was my first longer story (okay, it’s actually a co-written novel) and it is a fun steampunk story set in the 1800s that travels from England, through Jerusalem, and into the desert areas of the Nejd. It mixes magic and mechanicals and hopefully lets you see 1001 Nights (Arabian Nights) in a way you’ve never seen it before.
P.S. One of the fun things about Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn is how many elements in the novel connect to actual historical events, people, and items. I talk about some of these “Book Secrets” here. A definite must for anyone who loves those Extras you find on DVDs. 😉
The Labyrinth’s Archivist is an #ownvoices murder mystery in a fantasy setting with a disabled protagonist (who also happens to have a girlfriend):
Azulea comes from a family of fabled Archivists, mapmakers and the tellers of tales. They capture information on all of the byways, passages and secrets of travelling the Labyrinth between worlds. But Azulea will never be a part of her family’s legacy. She cannot make the fabled maps of the Archivists because she is blind. But now, someone is killing off Archivists using strange and unusual poisons from unique worlds.
As Archivists die, one by one, Azulea is in a race to find out who the killer is before they decide she is too big a threat to leave alive.
For all of you history fans out there, I have to plug, my film, “The Invalid Corps” (Trailer: https://vimeo.com/329600732).
Everyone thinks they know the story of the Civil War – Four years of America’s bloodiest history. Over 600,000 men killed and more than 40,000 men with amputated limbs and even more with other injuries and illnesses.
What no one ever asked is “What happened to those disabled men afterwards?”
Check Day Al-Mohamed out across the web!