Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Zeeshan Ahmed, Writer

Welcome Zeeshan! 

Where are you in the world?
  • I was born in Hyderabad, Sindh in Pakistan. It is the 6th largest city of Pakistan, and 2nd largest city in the state of Sindh.
Tell me about your writing...genre, audience, etc...
  • Well, I am someone who writes with an open frame of mind, also known as free writing. Most of the times I build the characters, and let them go through the story. The story itself starts moving in the process. Yes, there are times when I come up with the conclusion of the story quite early, but a lot of times it gets changed when I reach that point. I have experimented with a lot of genres, the first story I ever wrote was fantasy, and since then I have written in numerous genres such as horror, science fiction and so on. I often experiment with multiple genres in a single story. Since I write mature stuff, they're targeted towards late teens and adults too.
Where do you obtain ideas?
  • Rod Serling, a famous writer (and the creator of Twilight Zone) once said that the ideas are everywhere, in every atom of this universe. And this is exactly what I believe too. But in the end it’s all about thinking. We see things, different things, on a regular basis, but we tend to ignore them. I often pick up those little things, and start thinking, and there you go. There are times when an idea just comes up, all of a sudden. I often jot these little words, so I can remember them later on.
What do you like to write?
  • I started writing when I was in 6th standard. They were mostly stories in Urdu, which revolved around superheroes. Of course, a lot has changed since then. I started writing in English when I was in school as well, but there came a gap. Someone who deserves a mention here is Mr. Noman H. Malik, who acted like my big brother at that time, and guided me. He informed me about a lot of things, mainly writing and helped me polish my skills, I am very grateful for his support. He was someone who encouraged me to keep on writing after reading my novella. I stopped writing, because of a number of reasons. I picked up writing once again in 2007. I used to write reviews for an English magazine DAWN’s Young World. I regularly blogged as well. I never posted my short stories on internet, but that changed when a dear friend of mine (Hina K.) told me about her cause (Specially Abled). I decided to write a story for the cause, and that was it. It was just this year (2012) that my stories were published in an online magazine. A few months later, a story of mine won second prize in a short story competition, organized by the same magazine with the collaboration of some other organizations. In August 2012, two of my short stories were published in the magazine, marking a milestone for me. Right now, I am also working in an online newspaper Shashca, which is the first of its kind. It is the first Roman Urdu newspaper of the world.
Do you have a favorite muse/inspiration?
  • Not just one, actually. I often find inspiration in music, bands such as Pink Floyd, Keane, Poets of the Fall play a very important role in the whole process. When it comes to writing, writers such as R.L. Stine, Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, Charles Dickens, Saadat Hasan Manto, Isaac Asimov, Jules Verne inspire me. Personally, there are lot of people who have inspired me when it comes to writing, such as Aadil Aijaz, Aisha Yaqub, Tazeen Razi, @Todayhasbeenoky, Ifra Khaliq, Hafsa Khawaja, Hijab Minahil, Ali Suleman (in no particular order) and so on. Sorry, but I couldn't mention everyone. You know who you are.
How do you maintain thoughts and ideas? 
  • I often paste them on my cupboard, or use my cell phone to store the ideas.
 Do you have suggestions for newbie writers?
  • Keep writing, and never give up. As I mentioned earlier, look for inspiration in everything, you will find it. Good luck, and that comes from a young and aspiring writer.

Follow  Zeeshan...

Friday, October 12, 2012

Alex Brown, Equine Author

Welcome Alex! 

An author, freelance writer, equestrian and much more, Alex is a world-class equine writer....

Where are you in the world?

I live in Chester County, Pennsylvania, USA, close to the Maryland state line and Fair Hill Training Center.

Tell me about your first encounter with a horse and your current horses...

I have ridden horses all my life. As a kid I was lucky enough to have ponies. I was in the Pony Club, hunted, rode point-to-point races and worked in racing in the U.K. I now gallop horses in the mornings at Fair Hill Training Center as a freelance exercise rider. I have ridden horses for more than forty years!

What is your favorite horse breed? Why?

The Thoroughbred, mostly because it is really all I know. But I also think they make great second career horses, and I have been doing work on helping retire thoroughbreds for second careers. We will have our first Thoroughbred show at Fair Hill at the end of October. It is very exciting!

Where do you like to ride?

Mostly in circles, around the training tracks at Fair Hill. But I do get the opportunity to ride outback at Fair Hill, and it is gorgeous. The best riding within 100 miles in Maryland I am sure!

What books have you published?

Just one; Greatness and Goodness: Barbaro and His Legacy. It is an authorized biography, and Barbaro was a Fair Hill trainee.

 Where do you like to write?

Mostly I write in my house, but now it is more media coverage of horse racing and so forth. I have no ambition to write another book. I really enjoyed the experience of my first, and last, book, but I also find writing to be quite difficult; I will leave authorship to those more suited to it!

How do you maintain thoughts and ideas?

Oddly I get my best thoughts when I am riding at Fair Hill. I find when you are totally switched off from your work, you tend to then have a clear mind, and thoughts follow.

What are you currently writing?

I write about one story a week, but it is for our local newspaper, or a horse racing magazine. It is Freelance work. I also teach Internet Marketing, so I am considering writing some content in that sphere at some point. 

Any advice for new writers?

Follow your passion, be passionate about your subject matter, as well as the opportunity to improve your craft!

Follow Alex….

Sunday, October 7, 2012

MaryAnn Myers, Author

Welcome MaryAnn!

MaryAnn writes about what she knows 
and loves - Horses!

Where are you in the world?

Chesterland, Ohio  - the midwest

When did you begin writing?

When my son was a baby. He just turned 32. That's a lifetime! 

What books have you written?

Fiction: Call Me Lydia, Favored to Win - Maple Dale - The Frog, the Wizard, and the Shrew - Maple Dale Revisited - Ellie's Crows - Hannah's Home - Odds on Favorite 

Short stories: 
A Thoroughbred's Dream, A Derby Dream, A Horseman's Dream, and Shipping out in the Morning - are now in a paperback/book of short stories under the title of A Thoroughbred's Dream   

Non-Fiction: For the Love of Horses, which is an anthology of articles written for Yahoo. I am a Yahoo Equestrian Sports Writer

Where do you like to write?

For years, my office used to be in the den. My office was the den! :) But last winter, I had my husband move my desk into the living room. We heat solely with wood, and when writing in the den, two rooms away, it could get a little chilly, not to mention how I would get so involved in what I was writing, that I'd forget to put wood on the fire. I ended up loving it here in the living room, so that's where I am going to be year-round. 

How do you maintain thoughts and ideas?

I honestly don't know. I have to say I don't give that much thought. They are just there. Sometimes there are way too many and get in the way of real life. My mom said even as a child, I had quite an imagination. 

What are you currently writing?

I am working on the third book in the Winning Odds Series. Book one was Favored to Win, Book two was Odds on Favorite. Working title for this one, Winning Odds.

Any suggestions for beginning writers?

Yes, to write about what you care about. What about what you love, about what you hate. Write about what you are passionate about, and be true to your characters. Don't manipulate them to make a point. Let them tell their own story. Get to know your characters. 

Who is your favorite author?

I really don't have a favorite author. I have read many many MANY books by many different authors in my lifetime. I have read many books by specific authors. Off the top of my head I can't think of one in particular that I would single out. 

Tell me about your horses….

We have four horses. Malaki, my Morgan mare with an attitude. Burn & Begone (Burnie) a retired Thoroughbred racehorse and retired broodmare. Johnny C - he's my daughter's horse and a son of Burnie's. He too is a retired Thoroughbred racehorse, and Bo - another retired Thoroughbred racehorse who captured my heart when I wasn't even looking.

I rode my first horse when I was five and lived and breathed horses from that time on. I bought my first horse at the age of 18 and had four by the time I turned 20. As my husband says, the rest is history. 

What is your favorite horse breed?

Thoroughbred. I love the breed. My first horse was a half-Arab, and he was an amazing athlete. I bought a QH mare in foal, bred her back to a Thoroughbred, and that was that. It was Thoroughbreds forever after that. My show horse was a Thoroughbred. My love of Thoroughbreds - their spirit - their size - their attitude - I was smitten indeed. Like many, I ended up at the track and got my trainer's license at the ripe young age of 24, rather young for a "girl" at that time. I was told I was one of the youngest in the country. Malaki, my Morgan mare...that a whole other story. Suffice to say, she's my mare. 

Where do you like to ride?

I'm a schooling rider. I guess I'm too disciplined to take to the trails. I loved cross country, but am a little too old for that. :) I enjoy schooling a horse, indoor arena, outdoor riding area. I like taking to the trails to cool the horse out.

"I just want to write, I just want to ride."
MaryAnn Myers, Sunrise Horse Farm
11872 Chillicothe Road
Chesterland, Ohio 44026