Today on Meet the Author, we hearing from the lovely Malia Zaidi….over to you!
Tell us a bit about yourself:
Hello, my name is Malia and I’m the author of four books in the Lady Evelyn series.
What inspired you to start writing?
I’ve always loved stories, and relished making up characters and new worlds, even when I played with my sisters as a child. Writing seemed like a natural fit.
How many books have you written and published?
The Golden Hour (released March 26, 2019) is the fourth book in the Lady Evelyn series.
Which book, out of all the books you have written, is your favourite and why?
That’s a tough question, because I am fond of them all, having spent so much time with the stories and their characters. I can’t choose one (I’d feel like a traitor!) but I really enjoyed setting The Study of Silence (Book 3) in Oxford, one of my favourite places in the world.
How do you choose the names of your characters?
This is one of my favourite parts of writing, to be honest. If I could get paid just to make up names for people, that would be a dream;-) I feel quite often with characters that a name conveys something about that person, at least it does to me, so I choose them quite deliberately.
Which of your characters would you want to be stranded on an island with, and why?
I think it would be Evelyn, because we are alike and both love books and travel. I think we could be good friends. On a more practical level, I should choose Hugh, because he would be far likelier than Evelyn and I combined to figure out a way to get us off the island!
Who is your favourite author and which of their books is your favourite, and why?
A tricky question for someone who loves reading as much as I do. I can’t quite choose just one, but I will say I don’t often re-read books, but the ones I have re-read are Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë and The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay.
What is the first thing you can remember writing?
I can’t say I remember, but I imagine I might have been my name in school? On a professional writing level, it was the first book in this series, A Poisonous Journey.
If you could get in a time machine and had one chance to travel, where would you go? (Backwards or forwards!)
I would definitely travel backwards. I would love to slip into the time period in which my novels take place, the 1920s. Perhaps to London, but New York or Paris would also be fascinating at that time between the wars, a time of grieving, but also celebration and innovation.
If you could have one conversation with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
The person I always want to have a conversation with is my mother, because we can talk about anything from philosophy to The Bachelor, no one else comes close
What are your favourite things to do?
Apart from reading and writing, I love to paint, travel, visit museums, stroll around bookshops or go for long walks, listening to an audiobook or podcast.
If you could give your younger writing self any advice what would it be?
It would be the same advice I would give anyone wanting to write – read, read, read! It’s the best tool to learn how to write.
Name one book you think everyone should read?!
If you want to escape into a world of magic, adventure and friendship, I can’t think of anything better for anyone of any age than the Harry Potter series, but I am also frequently finding myself recommending the wonderful book by Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One. It’s moving and wonderful all around. You won’t regret reading it!
And finally, tell us about your most recent book and where we can find it?
My latest book is the fourth in the series of historical mysteries with the sleuth Lady Evelyn Carlisle. It can easily be read as a standalone.
Here’s a little summary:
Lady Evelyn Carlisle has barely arrived in London when familial duty calls her away again. Her cousin Gemma is desperate for help with her ailing mother before her imminent wedding, which Evelyn knew nothing about! Aunt Agnes in tow, she journeys to Scotland, expecting to find Malmo Manor in turmoil. To her surprise, her Scottish family has been keeping far more secrets than the troubled state of their matriarch. Adding to the tension in the house a neighbor has opened his home, Elderbrooke Park, as a retreat for artistic veterans of the Great War. This development does not sit well with everyone in the community. Is the suspicion towards the residents a catalyst for murder? A tragedy at Elderbrooke Park’s May Day celebration awakens Evelyn’s sleuthing instinct, which is strengthened when the story of another unsolved death emerges, connected to her own family. What she uncovers on her quest to expose the truth will change several lives forever, including her own.
With the shadow of history looming over her, Evelyn must trust in her instinct and ability to comb through the past to understand the present, before the murderer can stop her and tragedy strikes again.
Thanks so much for taking part Malia, I completely agree that Harry Potter is a must read series for everyone (although I’m still trying to convince my best friend!) I’m down for the blog tour of The Golden Hour and have the other three books to read too so keep an eye out for reviews coming up soon!
Have a great Saturday all!