First of all I’d like to welcome Amina El Karamany to my blog, and it’s a pleasure to have you with us to talk to us a bit about yourself and your book “The Yellow Raincoat”
So please grab a chair and let us begin!
So tell us a bit about yourself?
I am originally a graduate of Alsun, English literature and translation. Then I studied Human resources, had a diploma and then masters, and then moved to study coaching and NLP so I am a CPCC (certified professional co-active coach) and NLP practitioner. I work now as part-time HR Director and Senior Consultant and Trainer in UK and Germany based Companies. I have 2 wonderful kids, a boy and a girl.
When did you start to feel that writing is an important part of you?
I have started reading and writing as a kid. I knew writing was a passion of mine and I remember at age 9 I believed my profession would be a writer. Then I stopped writing for more than 10 years, that is when I got practically busy in the career and family and then came back to writing.
Have you taken part in any local/international competitions?
Did you attend any writing workshops/ courses? Would you recommend any?
Yes, I did attend “The writers’ workshop” by Hay House in UK. It was great. It was however too broad covering various aspects of writing. However, if someone is interested in the basics or the art of writing itself this might not help. If he is interested in writing in general and in publishing, then I do recommend this book for him/her.
What was the first book that got you interested in writing? Why?
It was a novel and I did not finish it. But other than that, I write a lot as reflections. It helps me to understand and dig deep into life. It is my way of managing and coming to realizations.
When did you decide you want to publish your work?
As a kid, I thought I would be a writer and then I forgot this dream. Then one day after I started writing small articles and reflections for myself, I read it to a friend, and she said out of nowhere “You should write a book”, so that was when the dream came back to life. I kept writing from then on and my dream kept getting stronger till it became a reality.
Writing & Amina:
What are your favorite genres to read?
Self-development/ reflections/ novels ; romantic and social (though not often)/psychology/HR/Leadership
What are your favorite genre(s) to write about?
Self-help/ self-development / reflections/ HR and may be one day novels
If they’re different tell us why?
I just believe that if you have a message, you can deliver it in various ways. Sometimes, it can be a novel, in others it can be a short story or a poem. It depends on how it chooses to come to life and on the tools and words you love using…those elements that come handy to you.
When did the idea pop up into your mind that “I want to be an author”?
As I said, I guess I was 9. I read a story and at that era, they used – in some books – to ask questions at the back cover. One of those questions was what would you like to be when you grow up. And I thought a lot about it and then wrote : a writer
Do you write any other form of literature (poetry, prose , quotes etc..)?
I write poetry in both Arabic and English. I write short stories sometimes, quotes and I have trials to write novels.
Has writing changed or added to you? In what way ?
Added. So much. I realize things when I write. I come to clarity and sometimes it is writing that crystallizes the ideas, so they become clear, solid and part of me. Whereas, without writing, they would have been lost amid all the other thoughts in the air. Plus, I enjoy writing. I love it. It makes me feel good. And, it is my method, my channel through which I hope I can achieve my life purpose.
Through this section we will get to know a bit about The Yellow Raincoat
So care to tell us a bit about your book?
My book is basically a collection of blogs along one year of my life. In them I record the daily life, the struggle, the ups and downs and the way I dealt with them. I reflect on incidents, quotes, events, feelings and then discuss them or open them and examine them in those blogs. Those are feelings and situations we all face and not always stop at them and wonder, so we get stuck in them. I open them for me and for the readers to explore and learn and grow and become free. There is a huge variation among the blogs some are happy, some mystical, others sad but overall, the message is that life is hard, yet beautiful. And that happiness to a huge extent resides in our brains and our hearts.
How did the ideas for this book pop up?
I am not sure J I wondered about blogging. Then I just made a blog and decided to fill it. Originally I wanted to write a book with the same message but in a totally different form as a non-fiction or a novel. Then, I sort of got addicted to blogging and in the end I had this collection of blogs and I met a friend who suggested I publish them in one book, and so I did.
Have you considered changing it or its structure? Not going through it along the way?
I almost finished them before deciding to publish anyway. So, that was not how it went.
Did you struggle to find a title for the book?
This title was there inside of me for some time. I wrote a poem once and I visualized the happy shield and the inner faith as a yellow raincoat, and I wrote that in the poem. So, the name was there and very clearly
When writing, do you get emotionally involved while writing any of the situations or scenes in your book?
Since it is not a novel, so it does not exactly include scenes. And since it is a blog, so of course I was pouring all my emotions and thoughts onto the screen.
Every writer has a muse that comes in all different shapes and forms and even sometimes it’s some sort of very delicate routine that an author cannot write without!
What’s your muse?
No muse, really. Just a word / a feeling/ an action that makes me pause and go deep and come back and then so much wants to come out and it comes as words.
Do you scribble down notes when you are outside and an idea hits you?
Yes, a lot. Sometimes in a notebook or on my phone.
Did you get writer’s block before? How did you handle it? And how do get back an idea you lost?
Yes, I do. Sometimes, I just keep writing, even if the quality of my writing is not up to my liking, just to unblock this pipeline. And at others, I just stop writing and get busy with life as usual, until I am moved by something again to write.
The writing world
The writing and publishing world is becoming more open with a lot of various options for the different types of authors, some prefer to go indie, others prefer traditional publishing but in the end each author has a dream
What are your dreams as an author?
To have best seller books not only in Egypt but everywhere and that my books do inspire people and help them release their potential and enjoy life.
Are you a self published (indie) or traditional published author?
Imagine you walk down a road and you see in a bookstore a few people standing in front of your book holding one of it and talking about it, how would that make you feel?
It makes me feel great. Like “OMG! That is real. My words are in the street”
As author who inspired you to write?
Tawfik el Hakim, Paulo Coelho, Louise Hay, Wayne Dyer, Mark Nepo
If you would give an advice to authors out there who are working on getting out their work, what would your advice be?
Keep writing and dreaming …and take action while you are dreaming. You never what opens up to you, when you kick open that first door!
Here are some questions we’d like to shoot at you just to get to know you a bit more!
Favorite drink? cappuccino
Favorite meal? Red berries and pancakes
Someone you would love to have over for tea or coffee? Louise Hay
Left-handed or right-handed? Right
If you were given the chance to change one thing about your book what would it be?
Nothing in particular. But I know If I was going to change something, then I would change it all over. Writing to me is a creative process, so I keep changing and adding and deleting and re-creating!
What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear or read these words
Hills/mountains : space
The ocean: freedom
Word: material to use
Gun: metal, useless-thing
World: overwhelming – big
Where can we find your book(s)?
Diwan branches, Shorouk branches, Kotoubkhan El Maadi, Alef branches, Averos downtown
Facebook: The Yellow Raincoat (page)
Well after this wonderful time we got to spend with Amina, we would like to thank her for taking the time to be here and share with us her thoughts!
Thank you, Amina El Karamany