My interview in “Ask An Author”

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Tarek Refaat

This topic is about Tarek Refaat
Ask An Author, Win A Book Corner > AC: Tarek Refaat of Ruptured (July 26 – July 30)

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message 1: by Fran (last edited Jul 25, 2011 08:17am)
Fran | 1695 commentsTarek Refaat, a Fiction author; will be joining us for a Q&A and book giveaway on July 26- July 30, 2011.

Meet Tarek: I’m an Egyptian author who works in the field of information technology , not exactly the closest job to writing!

I’ve been into writing since I was thirteen.. But I never really gave it serious thought until a few years back.. Am currently working in the field if Information Technology but that doesn’t hold me from pursuing my passion for writing!


Book: RupturedRuptured

Giveaway: Tarek Refaat will be giving away 25 ecopies of his book Ruptured. This giveaway is open to all participants.

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message 2: by Rossy, Literary Slut
Rossy (naughtybookjunkie) | 2094 commentsWelcome Tarek, it’s a pleasure to have you with us!

I hope you enjoy your time with our members; and good luck to you all!


Members, if you can please write the questions in bold; it would be easier for her to know that you have asked a questions and less chance that it will be missed. Thanks!

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message 3: by Rossy, Literary Slut (last edited Jul 25, 2011 11:57pm)
Rossy (naughtybookjunkie) | 2094 commentsdescription

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message 4: by Tarek
Tarek Refaat | 20 commentsThank you Rossy & Fran

It’s good to be here and I will be looking forward to the reader’s questions and thoughts!

Have a great day everyone and hope you have a fruitful discussion!

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message 5: by Joanne
Joanne | 151 commentsHi Tarek, thank you for spending the time answering our questions. Congratulations on having your first book published!

What or who inspired you to start writing?

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message 6: by Tarek
Tarek Refaat | 20 commentsHi Joanne,

Welcome and thank you for kicking off this discussion..

Well I am a person who has always been into analyzing his surrounding and specially people’s behavior towards one another.. I recall almost a year or 2 years ago there was a case when a rape victim spoke out and took the criminal to courts and had him sentenced, despite the fact that he was convicted I could still see people doubting her and looking at her as some sort of “Expired goods” or “Incomplete person” , this thought stayed hanging in my mind for some time maybe 7 months later or so. I wanted to write something about a rape victim but it had to be different..

And one morning I was driving to work , and I just saw heroine in the events..

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message 7: by Fran
Fran | 1695 commentsWelcome Tarek!

Ruptured is a book about a sensitive subject that according to reader’s reviews was written with sympathy, heart and sensitivity.

How long did it take you to write Ruptured? Were there many female influences in your life growing up?

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message 8: by Tarek
Tarek Refaat | 20 commentsDear Fran

Thank you for the warm welcome


Ruptured took me approximately a month to write, I used to write on a daily basis giving myself some 20-45 mins of writing


I can say I’ve met a lot of females in my life from different backgrounds and cultures and since I didn’t just restrain myself to the people I know. As I mentioned earlier that I tried to study people and understand their personalities so this gave me a lot more insight into people.

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message 9: by Meagan
Meagan (MadameLovrina) | 8 commentsWhat advice would you give to aspiring authors and writers?

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message 10: by Bailey
Bailey Bristol (baileybristol) | 12 commentsHello, Tarek! I’m so glad to see another IT author. You’re right, they don’t go together, but that’s not stopping us!! Your subject is so very noble and needed…and we so rarely see that from a perspective such as yours.

Do you plan to write other stories in this same vein? Or do you have other storylines you expect to develop in future works?

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message 11: by Lyn
Lyn Horner | 55 commentsHi Tarek, welcome to our corner. You sound like a very descent man. Rape is a subject that used to be hidden in the shadows here in the US. Only in recent years have victims been urged to come forward and report the crime — and face their attacker in court. Has it become easier for women to do so in Egypt since that brave young lady won her case?

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message 12: by Tarek
Tarek Refaat | 20 commentsFirst of all Allow me to thank you (Meagan, Bailey & Lyn) for stopping by and sharing your thoughts and questions!

Okay to begin answering each to her own

@Meagan, well what I would say is simply keep on writing , keep on trying..Don’t give up, I for one do not perceive myself as much of an accomplished author as to more of someone who is trying to still cross the barrier and see myself develop. I believe it would be important for aspiring authors never to stop writing and never stop believing they can make it. It takes time but they can make it!

@Bailey , So I see a fellow colleague! Well it’s good to know I am not alone! As for your question, I’m quite of an odd person I do not really plan out what I will write, I just get a feeling for a subject and I just go for it, however I believe my writings are probably going to be around social issues. I do have a ready story which needs some fine tuning but I believe I just want to give Ruptured the time to be out there.

@Lyn, Quoting you “You sound like a very decent man”, I am both honoured and flattered by your statement! Rape is an obscure subject I believe all over the world, and I believe in most cultures it is very difficult for a rape victim to speak up because of the emotional devastation she goes through is quite harsh..However to answer your question I believe the stop that lady took did indeed open the door and the eyes of many to take it a step forward but it is still quite a difficult subject to address but I believe in the future we will see more victims coming forth it’s just a matter of time in my own personal perspective.

I hope my answers have covered your questions.. Please feel free to ask more…I’m here to answer!

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message 13: by Lyn
Lyn Horner | 55 commentsTarek, someone close to me was raped when she was only 13 years old, so this subject is one I care about deeply. Any man who stands up in defense of rape victims is a good guy in my eyes! And I understand your point. It always takes time to change opinions, especially on such a touchy subject. So glad to meet you here!

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message 14: by Tarek
Tarek Refaat | 20 commentsWell Lyn am sorry to hear about your friend’s mishap, in my eyes rape is an atrocious crime but also if the community does support the victim they can easily destroy her life.. The back talk and the looks can be deadly to people who have underwent such a hineous crime!

It is indeed a pleasure to meet you here

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message 15: by Fran
Fran | 1695 commentsWho are some of your favorite authors and have they influenced your style of writing?

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message 16: by Tarek
Tarek Refaat | 20 commentsWell Fran, being an IT guy didn’t give me much of time and I wasn’t really big on reading literature , despite that I write it. I mainly read history and biographies , However one novel I bought was a WWII story by Len Deighton which was called goodbye Mickey Mouse, which definitely had an impact on the way I wrote as well as Paul Brickhill author of the biography of Sir Douglas Bader “Reach for the sky”

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message 17: by Liss
Liss Martz (Liss125) | 2 commentsWhat inspired you to write this genre and no others? 

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message 18: by Tarek
Tarek Refaat | 20 commentsHi Liss

Welcome to the discussion

To answer your question , I did write a variety of genres both in Arabic and English ( romance, action and comedy ) however this is my first published work.

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message 19: by Liss
Liss Martz (Liss125) | 2 commentshow do you feel about it? are you excited? =) I’m really interested about your book, is a living reality, and I love that kind of books. Goes to my tbr list.

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message 20: by Tarek
Tarek Refaat | 20 commentsWell Liss,

Thank you am honoured and flattered, of course am excited it’s my 1st book to come to life and see it before my eyes..The feeling is unimaginable and is definitely exciting! I will be looking forward for your feedback !

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message 21: by Bailey
Bailey Bristol (baileybristol) | 12 commentsBy way of feedback, I will say that I’ve just read your first 20 pages and BOUGHT THE BOOK. Did not even want to wait for the possibility of winning a free copy. I applaud you for the subject matter and for your excellent writing voice.

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message 22: by Tarek
Tarek Refaat | 20 commentsHi Bailey

I am more than flattered and I hope you will enjoy the book and I will then expect your feedback!

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message 23: by Shannon
Shannon (IandSsmom) | 3 commentsI’m wondering do you write different stories in Arabic and different ones in English or do you interpret your story into which ever language? I hope that’s not confusing! I love the idea behind your book and am very excited to read it!! Thank you for doing this!

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message 24: by Michelle
Michelle Sutton (Michelle_Sutton) | 6 commentsSounds like my kind of story. I like darker stuff, but I always like stories with healing. I don’t like bummer endings.

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message 25: by Tarek
Tarek Refaat | 20 commentsHi Shannon & Michelle,

Well to answer your questions respectively:

@Shannon, yes I do write different stories both in Arabic and English , they are not the same, and writing the story in what ever language simply depends on the fact as to how it strikes my mind.. The idea pops out and I begin to write, I do not try to put it in a specific language.

@Michelle , Well I do hope you will get to find all what you are looking for in “Ruptured” it does have this sort of conflict and healing you are looking for I believe, hope you will enjoy it!

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message 26: by Nôùdã
Nôùdã | 2 commentsDear Tarek ,
I was wondering , did u have a hard time to write your 1st Novel ??
And did you took classes to emprove your arabic vocabulary since you didn’t study the arabic leturatures because I recently found out you write Arabic novels .

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message 27: by Tarek
Tarek Refaat | 20 commentsHi Nouda,

Welcome to the discussion, I don’t think I ever had a hard time expressing my feelings and writing , was it the perfect way ? Probably not, I never did take any classes to improve my skills due to the fact that my job technically takes out all my time. And , yes I’ve written a couple of Arabic novels , mainly romance and social comedy.

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message 28: by Dee
Dee Bibb | 21 commentsHello Tarek,

Thank you for joining us!

Do you already have another project in the works?
Do you plot out the book before writing or do you just sit down and begin?

Thank you.

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message 29: by Tarek
Tarek Refaat | 20 commentsHi Dee!

Thank you for the welcome , it’s indeed a pleasure to be among so many avid readers!

I do have another book in plan , but at the moment I am just trying to focus on Ruptured to give it the proper exposure.

As for writing, I couldn’t really much plot out a story.. What happens is I see the characters talking and in situations and I just begin to put down on paper what I see..

Hope that covers the questions!

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message 30: by Ken
Ken (NYKen) | 28 commentsGood afternoon Tarek. Hope you are well. Thanks for your time here at “Ask an Author.” I would like to ask you the following two questions:

1] In your opinion, how would you define hope?”

2] Often books change drastically in the writing, did any of your books start out as something completely different?

Thanks for your time answering my two questions today. Have a good afternoon.

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message 31: by Tarek
Tarek Refaat | 20 commentsHi Ken

Thank you for taking the time to drop by and share your inquiries.. So let me get to answering your questions

1) Hope to me is actually a state of mind and firm belief that things can get better, and everything that goes down must come up one day , and at all times

2) Since I don’t have a plot or attempt in anyway prepare my story, so I don’t technically face any changes , however there was a time, when I was writing a set of notes which I ended weaving it together , this was both unplanned and unexpected

Hope that answered your queries Ken

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message 32: by Nôùdã (last edited Jul 27, 2011 05:23pm)
Nôùdã | 2 commentsMr. Tarek ,
could u plz tell me where can I find ur book ?
I looked for it in Tunisian Libraries , but I can’t seem to find it 😦

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message 33: by Meagan
Meagan (MadameLovrina) | 8 commentsThanks for answering my previous question, Tarek. I’m working on a 3 year old WIP novel, so your words were quite encouraging. Even though I specialize in young adult sci-fi, your novel sounds like something I would read.

Do you accidentally find yourself writing people you know in your novels/stories?

How long does it take you to write and research for any of your novels?

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message 34: by Tarek
Tarek Refaat | 20 commentsWelcome back again Nouda & Meagan!

Well , unfortunately the book is not available yet in Tunisia! However it is available as a soft copy and everyone who has joined us here on this Author & Book discussion including yourself , are entering a draw to win a free copy of the book! So hang in there you might get yourself a free soft copy of the book!

The pleasure’s all mine! I do wish you indeed all the best on your novel and hope it will be a smash! To answer your questions..

A1) Adding people I know from real life to my stories can sometimes happen but what happens mostly is I take out some of the features from several people and mix them into a one person ,it all depends on the situation and what role do I need the character to fulfil.

A2) Usually writing my stories would take about a month since I write on a daily basis and I do not interrupt that flow, due to the nature of my job and being both a father and a husband ,I do not really have much of time on my hands. So I usually resorted to writing early mornings for 20-45 mins. And it takes me a month to usually complete a book. But in the end , it all depends on you and your routine.

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message 35: by Ken
Ken (NYKen) | 28 commentsGood morning Tarek. Thanks for answering my questions yesterday. I have two more questions for you today.

1] I see that you told Lyss above that you have written romance, action, and comedy before. In reference to your romance writings, as a man, how did you approach writing from the women in your romance writings?

2] As to your comedy writings, would you say that writing comedy is more difficult than writing drama? Why or why not?

Thanks for your time Tarek.

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message 36: by Tarek
Tarek Refaat | 20 commentsGood morning Ken and Good afternoon from my end!

Well to get to your questions..

1)I am what I believe man can call a romantic person and , and I have always had my own thoughts on Romance, as to addressing how I wrote it , it is usually utilizing a combination of my experience, imagination and the era the story is taking place in, for example my Arabic romance story (للماضي لون أخر) which can be translated to ( The past has a different color) , is a story that takes place in Egypt back in the 50s and hence addressing romance back in those days has to still fit within the time frame of where the story is taking place, of course for that I resorted to my own study of history and of course the people in my life who have lived during this period

2) Every type of writing is different in it’s own way, but to me there was no difficulty in deciding what or how will I write as opposed to asking myself , what do I see or feel about this and from this story.. So for example, while writing Ruptured, I remember there was a passage where my eyes literally teared and I had to stop for a few seconds.. On other occasions such as writing comedy I got to laugh or smile..My writing is mostly based on what imaginative experience I go through.. Simply what images I see in my imagination just go through my hands and onto the screen in the form of typing..

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message 37: by Isabella
Isabella Queirouz | 47 commentsHello Tarek, nice to meet you in here. I enjoyed reading the questions by readers and your answers so far. I’d like to say first of all that this last answer you made, writing just the way you feel, putting these feelings based from true life or imagination, into words is such a gift, and a bless and you did affect me and impress me there. I’m not a writer but I used to put on paper these feelings that I can’t express out loud and then I get this sensation of satisfaction of relief and freedom.
Now based of what I know so far about you, I’ll be checking your site after asking this:

Why did you choose to publish your first work in English and not Arabic your mother language?
This is a story about rape and preconception. But is it bounded just for a specific place and background or it reaches to cover whatever society the victim rape belongs to?

Thanks very much in advance.

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message 38: by Tarek
Tarek Refaat | 20 commentsDear Isabella,

I am glad and honoured as much as flattered at the way you see me.

Your question really touches different points which in turns makes me want to explain, I am a person who speaks Arabic as a mother language as you highlighted earlier as well as English & French. There’s no specific reason as to why I chose English, but perhaps in the back of my mind I want this story to reach as many people as possible and English now has become this intermediary language where many are able to find common ground. And despite this being a middle eastern culture but I personally believe it’s human nature and there would be similar cases in other societies where other people are suffering from perhaps the same fate. I personally believe that there’s more common things between humans than they think.

I hope to hear your thoughts on my book and your feedback as well. Also regarding your ability to put down your thoughts into words.. My advice to you is don’t let that go.. Grab every opportunity to express your feelings one day it might unlock the door to an unprecedented gift.

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message 39: by Tarek
Tarek Refaat | 20 commentsWell folks since today is my last , I will still be looking forward to more of your questions!

Keep the questions coming !

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message 40: by Navid
Navid (SirNavid) | 1 commentsHi Tarek hope everything be alright out there! my question is How much do u think different societies will react different upon subject of the book? as a Author Did you read other works likewise ?
Thanks for ur time

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message 41: by Tarek
Tarek Refaat | 20 commentsHi Navid,

Thank you very much for takin the time to join us, well due to the fact that I got the opportunity to interact with different societies , I think that people will not just react differently because of the whole society because now we live in a world where multicultural societies have merged and fused together which results in a different set of exchanged experiences , and also people despite many cultural differences but people’s feelings are somewhat similar no matter where you are. So you cannot definitely say that they will or will not reac differently . I’d rather believe that people will be able to connect one way or another based on their knowledge , experiences and background

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message 42: by Ken
Ken (NYKen) | 28 commentsGood afternoon Tarek. Thanks for answering my previous questions. It’s a searing hot Saturday afternoon here in New York City. This is the final day for your “Ask an Author” Q & A session here. I hope you’re having a good weekend so far. I just wanted to ask two final questions:

1] Are there social issues that you feel it important to deal with in your work as a writer?

2] In your written work, does your protagonist pretty much reflect your own view of the world and how it operates?

Have a good afternoon, and thanks for your time answering our questions here at “Ask an Author.”

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message 43: by Tarek
Tarek Refaat | 20 commentsHi Ken,

Nice of you again to drop by with your questions! I’d be more than glad to answer more than just those two!

A1) Well in my work , usually an idea drives me, whether its a story or a social issue, it all depends on what pops into my mind.. But I’d like to address different things in the future.

A2) Well in Ruptured, what I do try to reflect through the protagonist is mainly what I’d like people to do, which is to stop judging others and that if you have underwent major traumatic experiences in your life that doesn’t make you less of a human and you are entitled to live as a complete human being.. So the main idea which the protagonist represents, is I am human and I have the right to live just like everyone else.

And thank you for having me here! It’s been indeed a great pleasure to be part of this “Ask an Author”

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message 44: by Tarek
Tarek Refaat | 20 commentsRossy & Fran , thank you very much for the wonderful opportunity of being here and sharing these valuable days with all the readers and yourselves and thank you for making this possible.. I believe we will be moving now to the coming phase which is the draw on the winners 🙂

Stay tuned everyone !

If you do have any questions.. Do not hesitate to drop me a line.. I will always find time to answer your queries or listen to your feedback

Have a lovely day all

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message 45: by Fran (new)
Fran | 1695 commentsThank you so much for joining us Tarek!

It was a pleasure to have you here and have an opportunity to discuss your book and your thoughts and experiences on writing.

Winners of a copy of Tarek’s bookRuptured will be announced soon…

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