Monday, October 24, 2016

When I Met Chaker Khazaal The Most Influential Arab in the World

(Sorry for the low resolution picture, I seriously should've wiped the front camera)

On Wednesday 19th of October 2016, I met someone who I have wanted to meet for quite some time now. Not only an author, a journalist, speaker and champion for human rights and refugees, but also the most influential Arab in the world, Mr. Chaker Khazaal.

I went there, filled with questions, and I didn't hesitate to ask. Immediately, I said "do you feel a certain pressure about your title of being the most influential Arab in the world?" to which he answered "I don't think about it really, it's nice to be get these rewards of course, but that isn't why I do what I do. In the end, you just wake up and go to work."

He was extremely humble, down to earth and just simply amazing. Words cannot describe the feeling and sensation that you get by just being around him, you just feel incredible, invincible even. That maybe, all those voices in your head that fill you with doubt, get quashed by his aura. His story, is one worthy of remembrance.

So what happened then? I pounded him with one question after another, and I felt like he was my big brother, to whom I was just complaining about the hardships of publishing a book in the middle east, and what I got from him was to just keep on trying, and to never be ashamed of my work.

And then, I told him about the doubts that I had in my mind, and how it sometimes feels crazy and hectic. Sometimes, the inner doubts that one can have, are his only demons and obstacles to success... And then, he told to first, sign a copy of my book, and then READ him a part of it. It was an amazing exercise to be honest, and one that definitely helped. In his own words "I hope by doing this, you'll remember what you have done."

So in the end, I'd like to just say to every aspiring author out there, and to anyone who is having doubts about sharing their work... Just power through it! Remember who you are, be okay with making mistakes, learn from them and be the very best that you can be. Because in this day and age, we do not have the luxury of having an excuse why we didn't do something.

If you'd like to check out Chaker's book (which I totally recommend by the way, go over to www.chakerkhazaal.com

And to Chaker, I say: It was an honor meeting you, and I hope that we will meet again soon (and this time, have you sign my copy of 'Confessions of a War Child').

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Review: Bishop a Short Story by Ric Santos



A couple of weeks ago, something stumbled across my Twitter feed and compelled me to check it out. That thing was the beautiful cover that you see. Now, being able to actually purchase it though was a completely different story (one, where I had a 2 hour phone conversation with Amazon -story coming soon-).

Something about the cover just compelled me to check it out, and @RicSantos was kind enough to show a couple of pages as a (read before you buy) which I absolutely love when authors do that by the way, and I just read the story.

I felt extremely drawn to it, and long story short, I couldn't purchase it through Amazon because apparently I live in Narnia. So I contacted the author and he kindly provided me another way to purchase the story, and the rest was history.

In the sense that it breaks away from normally found short stories and I found that it executes its concept pretty well (which is a short story to be exact). The story begins after 'The Calling' and the world is pretty much in chaos, laws are abandoned and instead anarchy breeds and lurks in every corner.

The main character, Bishop whom I immediately felt drawn to, is the personification of the word 'total badass' and spends his days hunting for his revenge. After his wife and daughter are brutally killed by a group of criminals, he sets out in an already forsaken world bent on avenging them in the most action oriented way possible: butchering everyone left and right until he gets to the source of the problem.

While I won't spoil how the story shapes, it is definitely a great read, but one that I felt could've used a lot more depth and backstory. A short story, simply does not do the world that Ric created justice, and at the end, I found myself still wondering about what would happen next.

'Bishop', was an absolutely thrilling read, but it was one, where it would leave you wanting more and more. I would absolutely love for a sequel, or even a prequel... or you know, anything!

You can find Bishop on:
- Smashwordshttps://www.smashwords.com/books/view/666848
- Amazonhttps://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GXVK62W

That's all for now,

Until next time,
Write on!