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

A New Life/Coming to Canada

Many Windows

Wanting Mor

The Roses in My Carpets

Muslim Child

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 myself.

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 dirty.

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.