Thursday, October 30, 2014

Interview with an author

Masha Allah, there are so many amazing women out there who are using their talents in a positive and productive way. I have had the privilege of coming across one such woman, sister Robyn Abdusamad, who is an author of children's books with a difference. Here's my interview with her, I hope that you find it as inspiring and interesting as I have. 


1.    Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?

     I am from North Carolina but my family recently relocated to Texas, the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  I am a graduate of North Carolina A&T State University with a Bachelor in Communications/ Public Relations and a Masters in Public Administration from National University.  I have over 10 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. I’ve also worked in the secondary school system in North Carolina. Right now, I am a stay at home mom.   In my spare time I enjoy volunteering in my community, traveling, shopping, and connecting with family and friends.

2.    Is this your first book? If not, what other books have you written and what were those about?

In 2013 I published my first book “Wahid and His Special Friend” (Authorhouse).  It is a cute rhyming book that is a quick read for children ages 0 – 7.  Rhyming is essential for children to comprehend and play with language.  It not only tells a great story but has great illustrations and great rhymes with a hint of mystery.  “You Are Beautiful” is my second book in my line of children books.   It is about two sisters who learn a meaningful lesson about ethnic diversity as well as the importance of compassion and unity. 

3.    What inspired you to write children’s books?

Being a mother who wanted to make sure that my children developed a love of reading introduced me to the world of children’s literature. As I began to purchase books for my kids, I noticed a lack of books that focused on the needs of Muslim children. So that void in the market is what inspired me to try my hand at children’s books.  So, with the support of family and friends, I took that leap.

4.    Your latest book, “You are Beautiful” is due for release this November, this looks like a very interesting book, please tell us a little bit about this book?

Yes. It is scheduled to be released November 28.  “You Are Beautiful” (Mindworks, 2014) is about two sisters who are saddened by a racial comment made by some of their peers.  It is a heartfelt and inspirational lesson that teaches young children how they can embrace diversity with knowledge and kindness. 

5.    What was your motivation for writing this book?

My motivation for this book stemmed from the injustices we all witness in society today. Additionally, when I worked in the school system I was able to observe, firsthand, the bias that children demonstrated toward each other. So my purpose with this book, I hope, is to give parents a way to engage their children in conversations about diversity, racism and other forms of bias.  As the late Maya Angelou once said, “When we know better, we do better.”

6.    It seems that your books are aimed at dealing with important social issues, do you see your writing as a form of social activism? Also, do you believe that writing has the ability to bring about real change?

Not all of my books have a social activist theme; however, “You Are Beautiful” could be seen as such because the storyline is about overcoming intolerance and embracing diversity.  As a writer I don’t set out to be a social commentator. But as a parent and educator, it is essential to educate our children about racism, prejudice, and respect for others.   Many parents may feel uncomfortable when discussing race with their children, but considering the racial climate of America, it is a much needed conversation. Children are keenly aware of racial background and differences in (color) and when we do not openly talk about it with our children, it becomes an issue that goes ignored for generations.  Part of having good character is to not pre-judge people.  As far as my writing bringing about real change, I think my writing coupled with the dialog that I mentioned earlier can help effect change in our communities.

7.    Who is this book aimed at? (Which age group?)

The age group is for ages 8 – 12 (grades 3 – 6). This is a children’s book so it is written for them as well as parents and teachers of any race, ethnic group, gender and religion that embraces diversity. 

8.    Where can this book be purchased?

This book can be purchased at in paperback and kindle format.  Pre-orders are being taken now through my publisher at you can receive a signed copy of the book when you pre-order it.

9.    Please share with us some of the ideas you have for upcoming books?

Currently I am working on two other children’s books; I have completed the drafts for “Zaynab’s Enchanted Scarf” and “Zakiyyah’s Flower Garden”.  Once they are published, I plan to write a book about balancing marriage and relationships. 

10. I’ll leave the final question open, please share some words of wisdom with us, anything you’d like to share.

Well, the one thing that comes to mind is the importance of surrounding yourself with people who are positive and uplifting.  Also, be supportive of those who are doing good things in our communities and treat others the way you would want to be treated.  Get to know people outside of your comfort zone despite the color of their skin because that could be the one person who enhances your life.  Keep peace in your life and know that Allah (swt) is always watching.

Jazak Allah Khayr to sister Robyn for this interview. I would recommend that you get a copy of Robyn's latest book as well as her previous one. This seems like a Must-have for every children's library. 

To Sister Robyn, I wish you all the best for the future, May Allah keep you in peace always!


  1. Excellent interview...I will be sure to pre-order a copy for my children. Much success to the author, we need more books like this on diversity and multiculturalism for our schools.

  2. Anonymous

    I agree, we definitely do need more such books and I think it's brilliant that Robyn has taken the step to address these issues.

  3. Thank you so much for sharing this interview with us. The books written by Robyn Abdusamad are great inspiration to teach our children about important issues. I'll definitely have a look at them. I think we have so much to learn from one another.
    Thank you to you both and may God bless you.

  4. Marie

    Thank you for your comment, I agree, these books are very valuable to help teach and guide children, and yes, we definitely do have a lot to learn from each other.

    May God Bless you too, stay well always