Interview series: Syaza Morni from Brunei

I found Syaza's name listed as a writer in Muslim Writers Club and emailed her asking whether she is willing to review my books on her blog. I received prompt reply, she is really nice and helpful (most writers do :P) and agreed to review both of my books. In fact, she had written quite a lengthy review about Candle in the Wind. You can read her review here.

I was told that she has scheduled the review on Submitting to Allah to be published soon. Can't wait!

Anyway, for someone who was not in the know of each other, we soon became acquaintances and that was why I asked whether she agrees to be interviewed. Syaza, is a writer like myself, but based in Brunei. 

Here are the records of interview that I had with her. The interview was done through email. 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m a 23-year-old Bruneian. I love to read and travel when I can afford to. I am obsessed with (my own) cats and enthusiastic about coffee. 

We understand that you just graduated from college. Which course did you study during your undergraduate?

Geology :) 

When did you notice you have the skills for writing?

Writing was more like a hobby to me initially. I never had an ‘epiphany’ like some other writers might have experienced. I’ve blogged since I was a teen but again, it was more like a hobby and have deleted many blogs since until I settled to only one, which I have now. I noticed that I was improving and getting somewhere the more I write and the more I share it with people. So… to answer this question, I honestly don’t know when. 

Why do you write?

I write mostly because it is therapeutic. It was never my intention to advance writing from a hobby to a career. Honestly, I don’t even know if it’s something that I can realistically make a living out of (for now) because the market for writers here isn’t so great. So, I am just trying to improve my skills and hopefully can be as good to enter the international market one day. I’m still testing the water and trying to get more experience, whether it is a fulltime job or something that I might need to do temporarily that is unrelated to writing. And I’m okay with failing and getting rejected because these would be the determinant if I really want to be a writer. And so far, I still do. 

Which genre do you prefer? Fiction or non-fiction? 

Nowadays, I tend to resort to fiction books because the possibilities of plot twists are endless. And I love unexpected endings (well, who doesn’t anyway). I am becoming more interested in YA dystopian, sci-fi, fantasy and historical fiction. 

I still read nonfiction, particularly for spiritual reads. But I am more choosy and tend to read the ones which are highly sought-after. 

Do you think writing is a ‘girly’ thing?

Absolutely not.

You do write regularly in your blog. Can you share with us the url?

You can find me here. You can also find my work in where my work gets published twice a week. 

Any other social media link that you want to share with us?

You can follow my twitter here, which I’ve also put up in my blog. 

Any published article that you treat as your masterpiece, like Leonardo Da Vincci with Monalisa?

I wouldn’t say it is a masterpiece. But there are some writings which I ‘felt’ more from writing about them than others. One of the earliest articles that I wrote for Muslyfe about “the highly-sensitive, quiet and alone Muslim” was one of it because being an introvert hasn’t always been easy. Alhamdulillah, I’ve got a few responses and apparently, people relate to it more than I expected. I would rather say that these writings are ones which I wrote (I hate being cheesy, but there you go) from the heart. Other than that, I don’t think there is any work which I consider as a ‘masterpiece’. 

Do you have any wisdom words for those who just found out that they can write?

I don’t want to be cliché, but if you are passionate enough to write, then you should do it. But you also need to be motivated enough to do it, so you need to find a purpose in writing. 

Start somewhere and find a platform. It won’t get easier from there but don’t stop. And don’t be too comfortable to stay at one place if you want to progress. If you still write despite not progressing anywhere just yet, it’s okay. A writer writes, and continue to do so until they find their “big break”. I haven’t found mine yet, but it’s okay… I’ve only just started. I wholeheartedly believe that the best work and discovery would take years and lots of self-doubt as well as failures. It’s just a part of life.

*** So on behalf of (actually the crew are just Mr H and me, hahaha) we want to say thank you from the bottom of our heart!

No comments:

Post a Comment