Bleed : What do you do when find out your entire life was a lie? is my debut novel. It follows the journey of a 15-year-old girl, Amaryliss Roxten, whose quiet world turns upside down when she finds out that she is adopted. However, her parents are hiding a secret far graver than this–something they aren’t willing to tell her at any cost. As she tries to find her real identity, Amara comes across a strange boy with secrets of his own, Austin Daves, someone from a world that is not supposed to exist. With her disturbing dreams seeping into reality and the fact that she is changing in ways impossible for a human, Amara must uncover the secrets of her existence and avoid the death planned for her before it’s too late.
Tell us something about yourself.
I am 17 years old and have been writing for eleven years now. I write stories, poetry and lyrics, and have received an award from the City Council of New York City for my writing. Though I was born in Bangladesh, I live and was raised in New York City.
What inspired you to write this book?
The intensity of human emotions and my fascination with the supernatural world served as a bridge that led to this book. It was also my simple passion and love of writing that fueled it. Bleed started out as a short story but I felt there was more to it and continued writing.
How did you choose the title?
I thought Bleed was appropriate because it adds to the enigma that constantly surrounds the story and blood plays a vital role in the plot.
What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?
Since I was new to the publishing world, I had to figure everything out myself. I didn’t have anyone to help me along the way or hand me advice, so I learned by researching on the Internet.
How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?
I knew I wanted to be a writer the day I wrote my first original story at nine years old. I keep a notebook in which I write all my poetry, and continued writing short stories and sharing them with others.
Do you have any writing rituals?
I usually have a time around evening or late evening when I sit down with everything I need and write. Other than that, I write whenever I can!
How do you come up with the names for your characters?
I am actually into names that sound poetic to me or have symbolic meanings, especially the unusual ones, so that’s what I go with.
Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book?
From writing the book, I learned to believe in myself because that’s what really counts. I also learned about my own writing style and about my characters. From publishing the book, I learned that it can be quite hard but you should never give up, which is what I did.
If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?
If I had to do it again, I’d probably rewrite a few things and I’d definitely go about publishing it differently.
What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors?
I’m a total bookworm so I’ll read anything that catches my eye or really draws me in! Mostly, I like reading books that make me think and stay in my mind even after I’ve finished. My favorite authors, and those writers whose writing I especially admire, would be Laurie Halse Anderson, Neil Gaiman, J.K. Rowling and Alice Hoffman!
Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?
Yes, I’m currently working on the sequel to Bleed. What I can say about the second book in the series is that it will follow Amaryliss on her quest to find her real father and what really happened to him, but on the way, she is hindered by unexplained events and mysteries that once again threaten her life, as well as everyone around her.
What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
The one thing I can definitely say (and something I learned to do myself) is never, never give up, and always, always believe in yourself and your writing. Those are the two things that will keep you going. Find strength and confidence in your writing, in your characters and in yourself.
Who is the perfect reader for your book?
Of course I can’t say everyone–but I believe my book would be most enjoyed by readers of dark fantasy!
Where can readers learn more about you and your book?
They can follow me, the author, on Twitter. They can find out secrets and interesting facts about Bleed and its characters that are not revealed in the novel, plus things that are to come in the future novels.