1) Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name has no 'h' in it, and that makes me unique. Although I lost count how many times a teacher, coworker or friend has told me that I spelled my own name wrong.
Otherwise, I'm in my late 20s, living next to Dubai. By day, I work for a literary festival inviting authors and creating the program, but my true passion lies in the written word and making it blossom.
2) What are you hobbies? What do you like to do for fun?
I really enjoy reading. I know, it's an obvious hobby, but, hey, I have no 'h' in my name. I'm allowed to be a little run-of-the-mill.
3) What do you look for when you are editing a story?
I don't often think of myself as an editor. I like to think of myself like wax on a car. A car can be nice and the engine may be awesome, but I clean it up and make it shine. It's like brining out the inner beauty of a piece of work. That being said, I try to get in the mind of the writer. It makes editing both easier for me and the author. When I can make my thoughts seem like their, I consider it a success and we both progress. Although, sometimes I get caught up in the story and have to go back a few pages...
4) What are the stories that reach you that are captivating in your opinion.
I've read and edited many short stories, essays and a novel in my life so far. I really enjoyed editing the novel, The Sheepish Pirate, because it gave me the opportunity to edit a longer piece of literature and to really understand the writing style of the author. Otherwise, I once edited a grant application for sustainable development in Somalia. That was a pretty interesting read.
5) What was the first book that really resonated with you?
Slaughterhouse five. I love love love how Vonnegut writes. It's chaotic, expressive and yet, as a reader, so long as you flow with it, then he will take you to new places and you experience things like never before.
6) When did you realize that you wanted to pursue a career in literature/language?
I suppose, as one always does, that I've always known. It was always somewhere, deep down inside. Maybe it was that rainy night when I kept neurotically rerecording myself reciting Beowulf in Old English because it wasn't perfect enough, or perhaps it was the first time I felt genuinely proud of one of my students when they realized they understood the Present Perfect tense. I'll probably never know exactly when I realized this was the direction my life should go, but I am happy it's moving.
7) Who/what do you find inspiring in literature?
It's the raw talent of new writers. I love reading their work. Their pure, unadulterated insight makes one think about themselves in a whole new light... even if it's only for a few minutes.
8) What draws you to a book/story?
Many things draw me to a book or story. I like a story to be entertaining, yet a bit real. I like the history in it to be researched and like the story to be intelligent and make me interested in the ideas. One summer, I read an action book called Meg, granted the story was all action and not too much plot, but it was so well researched that when I googled it, I was shocked to find that all the technology referenced in the novel actually existed!
9) What type of questions would you like to be asked?
That's an interesting question in itself. I think, what I'd like to be asked are:
What is it like being an A culture, living in a B culture and dealing with C, D, and E cultures?
-My answer. It's impossible, but there are some incredibly entertaining moments.
What is your favorite grammatical tense?
-My answer: All of them. No, I'm lying. My favorite is: Future perfect- I will have gone to bed by the time you read this. It's amazing that when one travels, they begin to use this tense far more than ever before.
What was your favorite class in university?
-My answer: It's a tie. I loved my contemporary linguistics class (taught by prof. Jodi Novotony), but I also really enjoyed my Anti-Americanism course (taught by prof. Gregory Weeks).
Why do you travel so much?
-My answer: Because the world is big and exciting and needs to be explored and lived in!