FAQ for Reporters & Journalists
Tell me about your childhood:
Please see the following links and youtube videos for information
about my childhood:
Tell me about the inspiration behind your books.
It depends on the book. Please see the following youtube book
talk/tutorials for information on the inspiration behind the stories:
Big Red Lollipop
King for a Day
New Life/Coming to Canada
The Roses in My Carpets
Why did you want to become an author?
Basically it comes down to the fact that books helped me survive my
childhood. If it wasn't for the books I read, I might have killed
I grew up in a small town in Canada where my family was the only
Pakistani Muslim family in the whole town, so most of the time I was the
only brown kid in the class.
This was in the sixties and seventies when the white people didn't
know much about brown people. They thought we were brown because we were
So I grew up very poor and feeling dirty. When I read books, I could
escape the bullying and the harassment. I could be someone else, I could
be somewhere else. Books gave me hope to keep going. They were a
respite. And when my grade eight teacher told me I was a writer, I
thought it would be the coolest thing in the world to grow up and write
the kinds of stories that kept me going.