Author Interview with Emiliya Ahmadova

Why did you become a writer…was it a dream of yours since you were younger or did the desire to write happen later in your life?

As a child, I was an avid reader. I read many classics, detective, romance. Therefore, I have developed a dream to publish my own book. As I grew up seeing negativity surrounding humanity as well as the human’s wrong behavior I decided to keep writing in order not only to entertain or inspire but to teach, guide, and direct people into the right direction as well as give them a hope. This what I did with Broken Chains.

What was the inspiration for your latest work of fiction? 

My latest work of fiction consists of seven short stories that I have published each separately. However, these stories in a few weeks would be published under the title A Hell for All seasons in a print version.

Many reasons have inspired me. Witnessing too much negativity where marriages are broken, bullying, abuse is going on, and seeing the negative effect of people’s wrong choices, habits inspired me to write these stories that show what happens whenever someone chooses a wrong path or allows evil to enter their life. With these entertaining stories, I do hope to push those derived from a right path into the right track and help them to change not only their inner world but the destructive lifestyle and habits that have a negative impact on human’s health and soul.

Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?

Most times I use my imagination but some of my characters have characteristics of real people in general. For example, I have been reading about bullying in the schools and the behavior of the bullies. So this pushed me to create two main characters: a bully Lisa and a victim Katrina in Revenge in order to highlight the issue with bullying. As you see in every fictional story there is something or someone that we can relate to in reality even though it is a fiction.

How do you go from an idea for a book to the birth of the story?  Is the process the same for every book you write?  How long does it take you to write a book? 

My mind is very creative and always full of ideas. First of all, I start with a reason why I would like to write a book. What am I planning to achieve with it? Then I think about issues or concerns that I would like to cover in order to give a solution to others as well as make my story interesting. After that I chose characters for my story, give them personalities that would help me to achieve my goal and work on the plot. Because of not having enough time, I take a long time to write something.

Are you currently working on any new book projects?

Currently, I am trying to complete a children’s book: My twin Sister and I. I just have to type about 15 pages.

Do you have any advice for beginning writers on how to write a book?  Do you have any advice for them regarding promoting that book once published?

Before writing anything, an author must research the market in order to give the desired product. After all the final goal is to satisfy the customer’s desire and taste by a producing something great. Most important not to give up and keep typing creating a great story.
Promotion part is the most time-consuming. Every book must be promoted. There are many channels where one can promote a book. Facebook groups,Twitter,Goodreads,Readers Gazete, Blogs etc. Most important one must try to get book reviewed. Reviews help the readers in decision making process.

What is your favorite work of literary fiction and why? Do you have a favorite literary author?

I grew up reading the work of Russian authors as well as English classics. Therefore my favorite fiction is War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy and Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. My favorite author is Mikhail Lermontov.

Who is your favorite contemporary author?  Are you currently reading any contemporary novels?

I do not really have contemporary favorite author and barely get a time to read. However, I try to read those books that enrich me spiritually and increase my knowledge.
What’s your writing schedule like? When do you find time to write?
Because of many responsibilities, most times I write in the office during my lunch break, or at nights. Sometimes I write during weekends.

How have your friends and family received your career as an author?  Are they supportive?

When my family members found out that I wrote a book, they were surprised. Yes, my friends are supportive and many are currently reading my novel Broken Chains.

However, they know that I do not see writing as a career. For me it is a hobby or tool where I use my talents, imagination, and knowledge in order to create something that can positively influence others or cover issues that are happening in society. It is more about doing what makes you happy and creating a piece that can help someone.

What’s the most challenging aspect of writing for you? ~ POV issues; using too much passive voice and not enough active voice; trouble creating active and engaging dialogue; using too many similar words in starting sentences; or something else?        
I am from Azerbaijan. My first languages are Azeri and Russian. Therefore, writing in English which is a foreign language for me, is a bit challenging. Everything I write must be edited by my editor. However, so far I am doing well!
What would you like to tell us about yourself? For example, why did you choose the path in life and as a vocation as a writer?
I am a journalist, author, motivational coach, and parent. I work diligently to achieve my goals and ensure that God plays the primary role in my life. Trying to be diplomatic rather than insistent, I never accept “no” for an answer. I believe that everything in our universe is possible as long as we do not surrender based on our failures but instead stand strong on our own two feet and persevere. I also believe that everything comes to us through God and that hardships are assigned to us so we can gain needed knowledge, experience, and wisdom to coach, positively influence others, and develop a strong relationship with God. Hence, through writing I try not only to entertain, but also to share my knowledge and thereby serve to positively influence my readers. Moreover, I adore writing, which allows me to create something new that can both spark the imagination and serve as an example.

2. What are your future career plans? What are the sources of your skill sets and your talents?
As an author of fiction, I will continue writing and covering topics that capture readers’ interest while at the same time offering them a world in which to escape. Nonetheless, I aim to teach, provide guidance and direction, and highlight the salient and cogent issues that we humans are confronting. I would like to try different genres to produce divergent and diverse fictional pieces for my readers. However, I view writing not as my career, but as a hobby. As a motivator, mentor, and coach, through deploying my radio voice and other communicative skills, I plan to conduct a radio program and TV shows where I can help others find solutions. The inspirations for my skill sets derive from my natural talents and abilities such as a solid education, acting abilities, influential tendencies, persistence, faith in my own talents, a belief in positive outcomes, and a rich life experiences.

3. What does the title of your book, Broken Chains, symbolize and has it been published and reviewed by publishers, editors, and your readers?
Broken Chains symbolizes a yearning for freedom from one’s fears, anxieties, and negative predicaments. It demonstrates a firm desire to break from everything that keeps one down and shackled in place, while moving forward to new and better pastures without looking back with regrets. However, although it has not yet appeared in print, a few publishers have requested to see the entire manuscript. Currently, it is being translated into the Russian language. Nonetheless, it has already been reviewed, including at Readers’ Favorite. Based on these positive reviews, it seems as though my book has the potential to become a bestseller that will rescue many readers from their lives of servitude. You can read the reviews at www.emiliyaahmadova,com

Reviewed By Divine Zape for Readers’ Favorite (5 stars):
Broken Chains by Emiliya Ahmadova is a touching story that will appeal to a wide audience because of the sensitive, not-so-often discussed questions it raises. In the heart of this story is the important question: What does it take to live with a deep sense of inner freedom? The author opens her narrative with a fortuitous encounter between the parents of the protagonist and moves on to show how this encounter leads to a brief affair that culminates in an unwanted pregnancy. Esmira, the mother of the protagonist, raises her daughter alone, under difficult conditions. Now an adult, Silvana has to face the challenges of growing up and the horrors of abusive relationships. How she deals with her abusive Christian partner is what will blow readers' minds. This is a page-turning tale of one woman’s struggle to avoid the same fate that befell her mother, a story of suffering, inhumanity, and redemption. Emiliya Ahmadova’s 

Broken Chains is a powerful work in the area of protest literature, a tale that gives voice to the voiceless people who suffer in any form of relationship. In Silvana, Ahmadova develops an icon of protest against the numerous forms of injustices orchestrated against women. The author writes confidently about issues in a wide selection of themes, including religion, interracial and inter-religious marriage, the primacy of human dignity, the primary right to freedom and happiness, and a lot more. Silvana is a compelling and well-developed character who will not only interest readers but will be a powerful example of a warrior for freedom and human rights.

4. What is the nature of your narrative in terms of both plot and themes? Why do you think readers will grab it off the bookstore shelves or online and want to read it?
My novel invites my readers to new experiences in the Asiatic country of Azerbaijan with its exotic culture, customs, and beliefs and its vibrant inhabitants. From Azerbaijan, I take my readers to Kenya with a tale of emotional topics and formidable characters. The main protagonist of my novel is an Azeri woman named Silvana, who has had a sad childhood. She grows into a young and beautiful Muslim woman. However, when one thinks that finally she finds love and happiness, in fact Silvana ends up in horrid circumstances after marrying a false charmer named Mark. Every reader can relate to Silvana’s life experiences and the lessons she learns along the way. Silvana is a compelling and well-developed character who will not only interest readers but will be a powerful example of a warrior for freedom and human rights (Readers Favorite). Scenes in the book and Silvana’s strong personality compel readers to keep reading it. They will keep wondering what will happen the next. For example, in one part Silvana lifts a knife to commit suicide, leading readers to wonder if she will carry through. Seeing her fears, hopes, frustration, and unfortunate experiences with abuse in all its forms, readers will keep reading to find out whether she will find a solution and how she finds the strength and fortitude.

5. In its genres of women's fiction, romance, family saga, and protest literature, what makes your first novel different from others in competition and in those respective genres?
The plot itself and the issues presented make it different from stereotypes and templates in many of these genres. Readers can find everything in my book: romance, betrayal, problems with parents, teachers, abortion issues, child bearing, dealing with stigmatization, love, abuse, faith, and drama. Here are examples of what makes Broken Chains different:
EXCITEMENT: A wedding set in exotic Azeri culture is new and different for Western readers. Central is a divorce from an abuser and at the end a true love, transforming a fearful woman into a shrewd businesswoman.
ADVENTURE: Silvana’s whole life is full of excitement and disappointments. She ends up in a school for children without parents and has confrontations with teachers. Moreover, her father beats her mother while she is at home. She has a life full of rich experiences and moves away from Azerbaijan as a Muslim woman and becomes an Orthodox Christian in Kenya, upsetting her mutinous Muslim family in Baku for betraying her own religion.
MYSTERY: Samed uses a false identity, conceals from his family the existence of his children until he ends up in jail. Esmira abandons her other bastard daughter, Arzu, to her friend for adoption. Her daughter knows neither about the existence of her siblings nor about the mother who gave her away.

6. In your book, you serve as a potent voice against abuse in all forms (generational, sexual, domestic, parental, and child) and thus a motivational coach and mentor in the person of your main protagonist Silvana. If she were an actual living person, what would be her message to all readers, specifically, and any victims of abuse, generally?
Many females choose to be victims of abuse because of fear of leaving their abusers. Thus, they allow these fears to chain and mire them down in negative and hopeless situations with escape routes. Some lose hope and faith in God, wondering if anything good will come their way or whether God will be there for them. There are two types of abuse: emotional and physical, Emotional abuse is the worst one because negative and derogatory words are said, which can be more damaging and inflict more harm than physical wounds, It affects someone’s life, self-esteem, health, and relationships with others. Some may fall into depression. Knowing all these facts, Silvana would say: “Today I am here to let you know that you can turn your life around and find a happy ending. God did not desert you. He is here and will deliver you. You just have to lean on Him, keep praying and keep asking for His help. However, you must exert some effort, stay strong, remain focused, and work hard to find a solution and a happy ending. In return, God will open up doors or opportunities for you. If you are in need of help, do not feel ashamed to ask for it. If you do not ask, no one will come to your aid and rescue you. Remember that there is always bright light at the end of a dark tunnel and an end to the bad that surrounds and envelops you. However, you must be willing to exit the bad situation and move to something better! You do not have to tolerate someone’s foul and inappropriate behavior or be a victim of abuse any longer. You are beautiful souls and deserve to be happy and respected. So, stand up for your rights by making every step to break your chains and eradicate negative syndromes from your lives.

7. Silvana is a worrier and a strong woman who experiences many trials and tribulations, in addition to pervasive abuse. However, at the end she surmounts this abuse and severs her shackles and chains. Through what strains of thought and owing to which sources of strength does she achieve this feat? Besides her upbringing, what other sources inform her worldview?
Silvana has always been a fighter and a strong believer in positive outcomes, Even as a child, she continually fought for her beliefs and rights while supporting what is right as opposed to a pervasive wrong. She never justified the wrong behavior, especially abuse or cruelty. She is a firm believer that every human being has a right to freedom, respect, love, and understanding, especially for women who struggling to make significant sacrifices for their children. She understands that she deserves the best and did not come into this world to be ceaselessly abused, manipulated, or controlled. She strives to rise above and move to the future that she always visualized for herself. She absolutely needs her freedom and peace of mind. Silvana despises being disrespected and abused by her partner. Hence, abhorring abuse, she faces her fears and terminates an existence that she never accepted by standing up for her rights and raising her voice against abuse. She understands that the role of a victim is not for her. Her relationship with God through prayers, dreams, goals, and hopes leads her to contend that there will be a happy ending to feed her strength.

8. We live in a world of borders and the trespassing of them. In finding love beyond Islam's borders, what is Silvana's primary lesson in life?
After enduring an unhappy marriage, Silvana comprehends that when you meet someone you do not jump into an intimate relationship or even marriage unless you know the person well. Marriage should be based on love, respect, care, and understanding, not control and abuse. She learned that sometimes we attract the wrong people into our lives with our negative thoughts and fears. When we think that we do not deserve happiness, love, or in fact anything good, that is what we attract.

To be happy, one must first learn to love oneself (instead of depending on someone’s love) and spread love. Thus, love must grow within you and shine toward others. The more you give love to others, the more you get back. You must also think of yourself positively and nurture your self-esteem. This will help you find and attract a healthy relationship. And, yes, there is true love waiting for you. At the end of my book, Silvana learns that the greatest love is God’s love toward us.

9. You have covered a delicate topic that some are even afraid to talk about. What compelled you do to treat it?
I have met too many people who went through abuse. Some of them have been able to turn their lives around, but others still struggle. Not only seeing their desperation and pain, but also knowing that sometimes society ignores them can lead us to think that society in general does not understand the seriousness of abuse. I decided to write a book that would help victims of abuse and act as a powerful and motivating voice against abuse.

10. Have you written other books?
Yes, I have scribed Across the Darkness, a collection of mysteries. However, I am still in search of a quality publisher. Currently, I am working on a children’s book, My Twin Sister and I.

Coming soon to KEITV12: The Kingdom Hour ​