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Fiction Readers - A Little Advice, Please?




As Salamu-Alaykum, my lovelies!

I can't believe we are over halfway through Ramadan already! I hope everyone's been having a productive month filled with lots of spiritual and personal growth. I set myself a few targets this month and I'll share a few of them with you at the end of Ramadan, inshaa Allah. I would like to see how many of my targets I accomplish, and also hopefully continue to set new ones after Ramadan. 

Today, I just wanted to get a bit of advice from anyone who enjoys reading fiction. I don't know if I've mentioned this in the past, but I read quite a lot of fictional books, and I also write from time to time. I've been working on a few projects over the past year, but Ramadan this year has made me think about a couple of things. 

First of all, why do I hardly ever come across a bestseller with a Muslim protagonist? I love psychological thrillers - are there no Muslim women or men who go through psychological trauma and eventually come out triumphant (or not, depending on the story!)? I also love mysteries - do we not have Muslim men and women working as lawyers, detectives, crime specialists or in the police force? What about young adult fiction? Are there no Muslim teens and adolescents who go through battles worth writing about - identity crisis, bullying, depression, insecurities, struggles with families and/or friendships, conformity, etc?

I think half of fiction is being able to relate to at least one of the main characters of the book. While there are many different reasons you may relate to a character, I think there should be more of a choice when it comes to the background of the characters. Every female character does not have to be an American named Hazel. And not every male character has to be a British boy named Harry (although I do love me so H. Potter ;-)). And it's okay to write books that don't contain wizards and werewolves and underage sex and excessive profanity.

I did some research online and I did find a few books with Muslim protagonists, but there aren't nearly enough. Not in my opinion, anyway. Since then, I've been thinking about focusing more of my time working in that direction. So far, none of my projects have any Muslim protagonists, which I would like to change from now on. I'm talking about plain fiction by the way, rather than a religious guide of some sort (there will be no preaching, lol).

So, to the Muslim readers of fiction out there - what do you think? What kind of genres do you enjoy reading? Have you read any good books lately that you can share with the rest of us? Would you like to see more writers out there publishing books with Muslim protagonists, or do you not care either way? And if you're a writer yourself, send me an email if you'd like so we can discuss a bit more!


Any feedback will be very much appreciated, and all opinions are regarded in equal measure x

Ramadan Kareem :-)

10 comments:

  1. There was an amazing story I came across the internet one day- it was about a Muslim boy being turned into a vampire. It was, in my opinion, very well written and it had me hooked. Unfortunately, (or fortunately) the writer has decided to publish their book when its done, so they stopped updating on the internet. :( but I hope they get it published soon.

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    1. Looking forward to this becoming available for sale. Do you remember what the writer's name is?

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  2. Yes! I defo. think there's a huge need for this kind of fiction. It's the same thing like watching TV/movies. A lot of young people look at media to see the kind of person we should be, and it's sad that the people that you see everywhere are completely un-relateable. There's a couple that I've read..."does my hijab look big in this"..and the others I can't remember the name of. It's kind of disappointing though, when I was in elementary school there was ONE 'muslim' novel we had in the library,,,and now almost 15 years later there's probably 2. It's sad to see how slow this process is.

    On a side note, I find it super exciting to see Muslim names anywhere..even in textbooks! It always feels like such an accomplishment!

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    1. I completely agree with you! The fact that we get surprised/excited when we see Muslim names in books shows just how underdeveloped the industry is. It really is a shame because it suggests that Muslim kids/teens etc don't have stories worth telling - which is pure rubbish! Hopefully, this is something that will begin to change in the near future. Thank you for your comment...I'm glad to know I'm not the only person who is frustrated by this.

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  3. I am not a writer ..yet I would hope to be someday and I would love to read fiction where the protagonist is Muslim.. I used to love classics and thrillers...but if you read many by the same author or a series..they eventually stop being as thrilling
    then I moved on to chick-lit lol..yes its shallow and a gulity pleasure but I tried to stick one that were clean...and then at a particularly low point in my life..no joke..I was v depressed and my choice of poison was of all the things imaginable online fan-fiction...(good books are tad hard to comeby in saudi) an lets just say its filthy yet addictive and Im no teen...but I do wish there were vampire stories or young adult written by and with muslim characters that are not filthy...we need to read but not trash!

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    1. Salaam Anon,

      Thank you for your comment - absolutely hilarious and it brought a smile to my face :-)! I'll be the first to admit that I've read some of the most pointless books ever written, lol. Sometimes...all you need is a little light reading and chick-lits are perfect for that. I haven't tried any fan-fiction books yet, but I recently bought a few books that I used to read in my childhood (Malory Towers etc). So don't worry... I'm not even in a position to judge your reading habits lol. I hope you do become a writer someday. We need more writers who are capable of delivering clean, yet entertaining fiction.

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  4. Hey, I nominated you for the Liebster Award, check out my blog for more info xoxo
    resh-inspire.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Salaam Reshah,

      Thank you for your nomination :-)... that's really kind of you. I'll complete this soon and tag you once it's up. xx

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  5. i nominated you for the Liebster Award, check out my blog for more info
    www.ani-smarthelp.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Salaam Anisah,

      Aww, thank you so much for your nomination. I'll do this over the next couple of days and tag you once it's up :-) xx

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