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Kindle Author Interview: Ahmed Hamdy

Ahmed Hamdy, author of Old Young Lovers, discusses his book, his journey as a writer, and self-publishing on Kindle.

DAVID WISEHART: What can you tell us about Old Young Lovers?

AHMED HAMDY: Old Young Lovers is my first book. It contains thirteen fictional short stories even though it is just 100 pages. About the thirteen stories, I don't really consider them stories as I prefer to call them scenes. Some of them take place entirely in Cairo, Egypt while others have just some parts that take place there. The "scenes" combine romance, drama, and comedy.

It is hard to talk about each story here but what I guarantee the readers is that the book contains a variety of stories with a variety of situations that they will enjoy, if not all, at least a number of them.

DAVID WISEHART: How do you develop and differentiate your characters?

AHMED HAMDY: When I get the idea of a story, I start putting myself in the shoes of each character and live inside my head for a few minutes imagining how that character looks like, thinks and acts. I can simply say that I act what I write before I write it and that gives me more ideas to develop my characters.

DAVID WISEHART: Who do you imagine is your ideal reader?

AHMED HAMDY: My ideal reader is simply anyone who can trust me and let me take him/her to that world of romance that we have forgotten about in our chaotic life these days. I imagine that my readers are mostly women and that's because women are more romantic than men in my opinion.

DAVID WISEHART: What was your journey as a writer?

AHMED HAMDY: My journey as a writer goes back to the time I was only about eight or nine years old. Back then I remember one day I told my mom I was going to be a writer as I sat on the floor writing something that I don't remember now.

Nine years later, that idea wasn't anymore inside my head until one day I was participating in a project for a class in college which was to create an online magazine with seven other students. That magazine started as a project and lasted two years after we were done with the class. I had my own column on the front page where I wrote under the name of The Objector and it was the most read column.

One day I was really depressed and I wanted to write something to express how I feel. Of course I couldn't write something like that in my column because I wanted to keep a line for it. I went to Facebook and created a note where I wrote my first ever short story or scene. It was so sad and so depressing that everyone who read it asked me, "Why would you make me read such thing?" but everyone also said "Despite it being that depressing, you are an amazing writer."

So it started there. I began writing every time I think about a story some times they reflect how I felt at a certain moment and sometimes not. As I felt people like what I write, I decided to publish my stories but my only problem was that they were all combined too short to be published in a book and that's when I started writing "Old Young Lovers," the longest (and the best in my opinion) story that is 1/3 of the book.

I contacted a publishing house here in Egypt but I didn't like the offer, then I thought since it's an English book, why would I publish it in Egypt? So I decided to publish either in the US or the UK. I started looking at offers until I chose the Xlibris offer and here I am.

DAVID WISEHART: What is your writing process?

AHMED HAMDY: My writing process starts with getting the idea in my head then I start living it, as I said before, then I would act the story as I start writing. As I write the first few lines, I might change my mind totally and write something else or maybe I just don't write at all. I continue writing any story only if I feel satisfied with the first few lines.

DAVID WISEHART: What authors most inspire you?

AHMED HAMDY: I would have to say Jane Austin as I really adore her work. I was also inspired by two Egyptian writers, Nabil Farouk and Bahaa' Taher (even though I read only one of his novels).

DAVID WISEHART: What one book, written by someone else, do you wish you'd written yourself?

AHMED HAMDY: Pride and Prejudice because it's simply amazing.

DAVID WISEHART: How was your experience with Xlibris?

AHMED HAMDY: The pre-publication and publication phases were really good. I got everything I wanted done and quick responses to all my questions. The post-publication phase wasn't the same quality of service. I ask a question and I get the answer days later. Every time a new author representative answers me, which got me confused whom to ask when I want something else. Overall, I can give the experience a 7.5/10 rating.

DAVID WISEHART: How have you marketed and promoted your work?

AHMED HAMDY: I mainly marketed and promoted my work through my Facebook and Twitter accounts. I have had cards and posters printed out but my problem is that I don't live in the United States or the United Kingdom so I can't really reach the main market I'm selling to. Of course, I also had some other marketing services from Xlibris.

DAVID WISEHART: Why publish on Kindle?

AHMED HAMDY: Kindle is easier to get and read anywhere, plus it's also cheap. That means that your book can be read and sold more.

DAVID WISEHART: What advice would you give to a first-time author thinking of self-publishing on Kindle?

AHMED HAMDY: Just go for it and hope the best because I think what you hope is what you get even if it came late.

DAVID WISEHART: Thanks, and best of luck with your books.




ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ahmed Hamdy, a senior mass communication student at Ahram Canadian University in Egypt, is a 21–year–old son of a former Egyptian diplomat in the United States. He is currently a trainee at Al–Ahram Weekly, the English version of the biggest newspaper in the Middle East, Al–Ahram.

Visit his website and follow him on twitter.

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