Tag Archives: Saffron Dreams

Book Trivia: Interview with Women’s Fiction Author Shaila Abdullah

book-trivia1It’s time to play Book Trivia! Periodically, we scour the Internet for interesting authors who would like to play Book Trivia with us. By answering our book trivia questions, we get to learn things about the author no one else knows! So, let’s get ready…let’s play…Book Trivia!

Today our guest author is Shaila Abdullah, author of the women’s fiction novel Saffron Dreams. Shaila is an award-winning author and designer, based in Austin, Texas. Her creative work focuses on the strengths and weaknesses of Pakistani women and their often unconventional choices in life. Her debut book, Beyond the Cayenne Wall, is a collection of stories about Pakistani women struggling to find their individualities despite the barriers imposed by society.

Among other accolades, the book won the Norumbega Jury Prize for Outstanding Fiction and the DIY Festival Award. Abdullah received a grant from the Hobson Foundation for her new novel, Saffron Dreams which is about the trials and tribulations of a 9/11 Muslim widow.

Abdullah has written several short stories, articles, and personal essays for various publications, such as Dallas Child, Web Guru, About Families, Sulekha, Women’s Own, She, Fashion Collection and a magazine of the Daily Dawn newspaper called Tuesday Review, etc. She is a member of the Texas Writers’ League.

A Pakistani-American, Abdullah is also a seasoned print, web, and multimedia designer as well. See a complete bio at http://www.shailaabdullah.com/bio.html.

saffron-dreamsIf Tom Hanks, in the movie Cast Away, unearthed a copy of Saffron Dreams, how would that help Tom find a way off the island?

If he found a copy of my book, he might not get off the island faster, but he’d get some ideas about how to cook with coconut milk.

Everyone knows rock star idol Brittany Spears is always in trouble with everything you can think of. In what way could your book help her and set her life back on track?

One thing I hope this book will do for many people is to offer some perspective on the good fortune that most of us in the U.S. enjoy, and the importance of keeping a loving heart in the face of adversity.

You have a chance to appear on the hit talent show for authors, American Book Idol, with judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson, and Kara DioGuardi determining whether your book will make it to Hollywood and become a big screenplay. What would impress them more – your book cover, an excerpt or your best review – and why?

If my work cannot stand on its own, then the rest doesn’t matter.

Hulk Hogan, the famous wrestler and star of his own reality show, has invited you and your book to appear on his show. One catch. You have to read a passage out of it to convince him you are star material. What part would you read?

I will read the part where the veil-wearing protagonist was the victim of a racially-motivated attack at a subway station.

They’ve invented a board game using the theme of your book. What would the title of it be that would be different from your book and which retail store would they place it to make the most sales?

I can’t imagine this story as a board game.

The Arbor Day Foundation has decided to pick one tree in your honor because of your writing brilliance. What kind of tree is it and why did they choose that particular tree in relation to your book?

Ivy for its propensity to interweave in growth symbolizing long-lasting connections and bonds, such as what the protagonist of Saffron Dreams forms with her son and in-laws after the demise of her husband. The ivy is incredibly durable like the character of the novel and can withstand harsh conditions. The ivy is also known to flourish in challenging environments.

President Barack Obama has become the author of several books and he has requested your presence at a special hush hush meeting to discuss ways to promote it. Through luck of the draw, you were chosen. What would be the first thing you would tell Barack?

I will say, congratulations and then introduce him to my good friend and publicist Irene Watson.

Finally, you just got word that your book has received the 2009 NY Times Bestselling Book Award and you have to attend the ceremony at the Four Seasons Hotel in Manhattan. Anyone who’s anyone will be there and it’s your shot for stardom. On stage, you must give an acceptance speech. What would you say and who would you thank?

It all starts with one word. But it doesn’t become print until you type it out. Respecting that single word and allowing your mind to be receptive will allow others to follow it. Thanking a few people would be a disservice, because the journey of becoming a published author involves many. I want to thank all who have helped in big ways or small in getting me to this point.


You can find a wealth of information on my website at www.shailaabdullah.com including a reading guide, excerpt, reviews, and buying information. For those with comments and questions, I can be reached at shailaabdullah@gmail.com. If you mention As the Page Turn, you will receive a free e-book called A Taste of Saffron, containing recipes of dishes mentioned in Saffron Dreams. Readers who sign up for updates on my website will get a free excerpt of my 2005 book, Beyond the Cayenne Wall.


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