Geetanjali Mukherjee

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

How I Write: Authors on Their Writing Process - Brenda Mohammed

Today's author interview is with Brenda Mohammed, who is based in Trinidad. Interesting coincidence, my dad was actually born in Trinidad and grew up there, before moving to India with his parents. That's what is so great about being able to connect with people from all over the world online!

Welcome Brenda and thanks for sharing your work with us.

1.     When did you first start writing?
My name is Brenda Mohammed and I live In Trinidad in the Caribbean. I am a former Bank Manager and Insurance Professional. I wrote my first book, Memoirs of Dr. Andrew Moonir Khan in 1989, while I was still employed at the bank. I did that book out of love for my deceased father who was a great educator. However, I did not publish the book at that time. I revised it in 2014 and published it on Amazon and CreateSpace.

2.     What are your books about? Are you self / traditionally published or hybrid?
I am a self-published multi-genre author and I have written ten books to date:

Memoirs of Dr. A. M. Khan (2014) - This book is about the life of her father who was a great educator.
My Life as a Banker: A Life Worth Living (2014) - The author's autobiography.
Retirement is Fun: A New Chapter (2014) - Sequel to My Life as a Banker.
Stories People Love (2014) – Stories of Hope and Love
Adventures of Squeaky Doo (2014)- A Children’s series of stories.
Your Time Is Now: A Time to be Born and a Time to Die (2014) - A Book on Spirituality
I am Cancer Free (2013) - The author’s bout with ovarian cancer.
Heart-Warming Tales (2014) - Tales of mystery, love, and crime.
Travel Memoirs with Pictures: Exploring the world (2014)- A chronicle of the author’s travels around the world.
Revenge of Zeeka: Zeeka and the Zombies [2016]- A mystery thriller released on Feb 21st 2016.
I have written a series of Inspirational poems which are included in my publication Your Time is now.

3.     What led to your love for literature? Any favorite books / teachers / writing mentors?
Again, it was my father’s influence that drove me to love literature. He had a library full of every kind of books – even books for children, and I indulged a lot in these books. He was a great educator.

4.     What's your writing process like? Do you outline? Do you write by hand / type / dictate?
I use my computer. When I have an idea for a story I start typing on my computer. I go back and make changes if the characters I come up with do not fit in with the plot, which I expand on as the ideas flow from my mind. So I have no prepared outline….only ideas.

5.     What's your editing process?
I read and re-read until I am sick of reading and then pass it on to a sister to do the final edits. My sister is a retired school principal and is good at editing.

6.     Any favorite apps / software / technology for writing?
I use Microsoft 2013.

7.     Any favorite apps / software / websites for marketing and promotion?
I believe in Amazon and CreateSpace. They not only publish my books free, but they advertise them. I also like as they promote all my books for a very small fee of $15.00.
Goodreads is also a reliable website with free promotions. and are two wonderful websites that I have recently discovered. They provide superb service and publish author interviews for free. I love them.

8.     What did you find most / least useful in learning to write?
I learnt that it is not as easy as I thought it would be. Writing takes up time and energy and one can get carried away and forget about other duties. To be a writer one has to balance time. We need the support of loved ones and they need us too.

9.     Who or what inspires you? Where / how do you get your book ideas?
My ideas just come to my head when I am in the bathroom or in the middle of the night. I just get a burning desire to write my thoughts and that is what spurs me on.

10.   When in the day do you usually write? For how long?
I am most productive at night…between 8.00pm to 11.00pm when there is quiet all around.

11.   Do you have a writing routine / schedule? Any specific rituals?
No. Whenever I get ideas I write.

12.   Where do you feel most inspired to write?
I have a small library at home with my desk and computer and that is where I do my writing.

13.   Describe your desk / writing corner / favorite writing spot.
As I said above, my writing spot is in my library.

14.   Do you listen to music while you write? What kind of music?
No. I prefer quiet.

15.   Do you ever get writers' block? What are some ways you get around it?
I had writer’s block in 2015. I joined several authors groups and interacted with other authors and bought their books, read and reviewed them, etc. In 2016 I read in the newspapers about the Zika virus and the problems it was causing internationally. I got my idea then to start a series Revenge of Zeeka.

The first story was published Feb 21st 2016 – Revenge of Zeeka: Zeeka and the Zombies. It was a hit.

16.    Do you now, or did you ever have any day jobs? Did they add to or detract from your writing?
No. I have no day jobs. [Editor's Note: Brenda worked in banking and insurance previously.]

17.    How do you make the time to write?
I have a very supportive husband who helps me a lot with grocery shopping and cooking.

18.    How much research do you do? What kind?
If I need to do research on a subject for a book I am doing I would check the Internet. However, they never have what I am looking for so I have to figure it out by myself or ask other relatives or friends who are qualified in that field.

19.    How much marketing do you do? Which platforms are you most active on? 
I am active on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Google Plus, and Pinterest.

20.    What’s the most fun aspect of marketing? The most challenging?
Facebook is fun because I get lots of friends and likes as well as comments. However, I get no sales for my books. With Twitter I get thousands of hits and wish I could get thousands of sales, but that certainly is not the case.

21.    What project are you working on now?
I am working on Series II of Revenge of Zeeka.

22.    What books do you like to read? What are you reading now?

I am reading books by other authors. I read all genres.


Brenda Mohammed, a multi-genre author, lives in the beautiful tropical island of Trinidad in the Caribbean. A former banker and Insurance Professional, she turned to writing after she retired from the Corporate world. Brenda loves to travel and enjoys a game of Scrabble when she is not writing. She has written five memoirs, one children's book, two books of short stories, one book on spirituality, and one mystery thriller series.

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