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10 things you did not know about Tahereh Mafi

OmNIUM-GATHERUM - Miguel Ramos (The Philippine Star) - March 10, 2013 - 12:00am

Book worms and fans of young adult fiction in the Philippines were fortunate enough to have recently had the chance to meet the No. 1 New York Times bestselling author Tahereh Mafi. Author of the Shatter Me Trilogy, Tahereh was brought to Manila for a book signing by National Book Store.

Having had the chance to spend some time with her, I found out that she is one of the nicest and most genuine people you will ever meet.  Tahereh is funny, intelligent, humble, radiant, extremely talented and incredibly creative.

Here are 10 things I learned about Tahereh after spending some time with her.

1. Her name is pronounced with the accent on the first syllable and her family is originally from Iran.

2. She has four older brothers and was born in Connecticut.  She currently lives in Orange County, CA and has a season pass to Disneyland.

3. At age five, she wanted to be a chemist and grew up “living in the library.” Harry Potter is one of her favorite books because she was the same age and grew up with Harry.

4. She went to a small liberal arts college and never took a creative writing class.  For her, writing a book was always something that seemed like it was too difficult. Tahereh says “Writing is such a solitary pursuit that you often have to be your own biggest fan and cheerleader.  I know writers who had to wait for 10 years or 20 years before they were published.  I needed to keep myself motivated so that I could hang in there.”

5. She is an obsessive writer who would lock herself up in her house for weeks and literally wake up, write and fall asleep.  Repeat.  She wrote ‘Unravel Me,’ the second book in the series, in two weeks.

6. She wrote five manuscripts and received hundreds of rejections before coming up with Shatter Me.  Her advice for people who want to be writers is to never give up.  “I have been there many times.  The only difference between successful and unsuccessful writers is time.  So don’t give up too soon.” 

7. She loves to do things with her hands including cook, draw and doodle.  One of the things Tahereh is known for is “defacing” her books, where she draws, writes a quote or just goes crazy on the white hard covers.  This practice started one day when she was just sitting around and took the jacket off one of her author’s copies.  She saw that the cover was plain white and just started to draw on it.  She put the photo up on Twitter and it received so much positive reaction that her publisher asked her to do a few more for a giveaway.  It has now become her “thing.”

8. She is a picky eater.  When one of her friends found out she was coming to Manila, she was asked if she would try balut. She replied “NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!”

9. She has the same agent as Stephanie Meyer.

10. On the fans in Manila, Tahereh says: “The readers here are so passionate and it is very difficult to describe but I have never been to a signing where people were just so into it and screaming.  You can ask ‘Who is Team Warner?’ and people would scream.  They are just so genuine in their interest that you just want to squeeze and hug each one of them.  And it is very flattering to the author.”

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For comments, email me at omniumg@yahoo.com.

 

HARRY POTTER NATIONAL BOOK STORE NEW YORK ONE ORANGE COUNTY SHATTER ME SHATTER ME TRILOGY TAHEREH
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