First, let me share with you one of the messages I got lately from Christine in Canada which absolutely made my day:
The whole premise of your novel touches my heart. I am in love with Maya and Yusuf and their story of true love and soulmate connections is so important to me. Keep writing---the world is truly blessed with your words in it.
Thank you so much Christine! I'm actually blessed to have readers like you. =)
And AT LAST here's the interview with the (FICTIONAL) heroine of my debut novel Maya Seif as promised (sorry about the unintentional delay). And to everyone who is asking: No, I'm NOT Maya. :)
Some of the Basics First:
Full Name: Maya Seif
Birth Date: 15 July 1981
Astrological Sign: Cancer
Birth Place: Alexandria, Egypt
Hair Color: Brown
Shape and Features of Face: Round face, "delicate" features
Eye Color: Hazel
Social Status: Married
Current Location: New York, US
Maya, how do you see yourself and how did the author see you?
I see myself as a very romantic and emotional person. I've changed throughout the book. At first, I had low self-esteem and I was struggling with an abusive husband. Then I became stronger and more determined. I would say the author, Marwa Ayad, saw me really well.
What was/is your biggest disappointment?
I would say I experienced a couple of disappointments throughout the novel; if you read the novel, you'll know what I'm talking about.
What, if anything, haunts you?
The darkest times in my first marriage and that ill-fated day when I had to go to the hospital haunt me from time to time; but to be honest, I've let go of the past and forgiven myself and anyone who has wronged me.
Has anyone ever failed you?
My ex-husband failed me.
Have you ever failed anyone?
I've failed myself before, but that's all changed, thankfully.
Do you keep your promises?
I do, yes.
Why, after sending Yusuf that last email, did you close your email account and change your number right away (a question from a reader)?
I was very disappointed in him and I felt I'd been lied to and deceived. I didn't want him to contact me again and thought it was best to put it all behind me; that's all I could think of at the time really.
Who is your first love?
What is the most important thing that ever happened to you?
Reuniting with Yusuf.
Since the release of the book, the author has received many messages and emails from women either in abusive marriages or divorced and many of them could relate to your story; what advice, if any, would you give such women, Maya?
I would tell them to be strong and stand up for themselves. They have to love and respect themselves enough to realize that no woman should put up with abuse of any kind, be it physical, verbal or silent. Learn to speak up; don't accept the unacceptable! Every woman deserves to be happy; don't let anyone take that away from you.
Finally, how are you and Yusuf doing now... what is life like now for you both?
Things are great! We're both blessed to be together; life isn't perfect all the time but when you share it with your soul mate, things are pretty different. We're still in the US and I'm a very busy mother with two kids now. :)
Thank you, Maya, for this lovely interview!
Don't forget, no matter where you live worldwide, you can buy a copy of my novel via this link.
Also feel free to read more about The Years of Silence on my website. You can also join my Facebook page and/or group to stay updated.