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Author Interview: Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali's book about American Muslim women.

Updated on February 07, 2013

Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali was born in Con­necti­cut, America, where she attended the Uni­ver­sity of Con­necti­cut for a cou­ple of years before leaving to marry her hus­band. They have now been together for more than twenty years, and have three chil­dren.

Khaalidah works as an oncol­ogy nurse, and is also the author of An Unproductive Woman, which tells the story of a man whose ten-year marriage remains childless. In the hope of producing a son, he takes a second then a third wife, as is permitted according to the Muslim religion. The novel reveals the first wife's struggles to deal with the situation.

Meet Khaalidah!

My name is Khaalidah. I am a mother, wife, cat herder, Muslim, oncology nurse, organic gardener, author and much more. That said, my many parts and definitions are pretty meaningless unless or until applied to the whole.

What is your current or most recent project?

Currently I am working on a story for a space and colonization anthology entitled Yuva. My story is entitled Progenitor. To date, I have never had so much fun writing anything else.

Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali
Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali

What are you planning to write next?

Once I complete Progenitor, I plan to get back to my rewrite of Honour & Truth.

H&T started out as a web-serial that I wrote off-the-cuff. Eventually I realized that there were too many plot holes to keep writing in good conscience. So, I stopped and outlined and had just started rewriting when I was presented with the prospect of writing the lead story for the Yuva anthology.

Do you have a daily word-count, an allocated time-slot for writing, or an established writing routine of some kind?

I work full time as an oncology nurse, Monday thru Friday, 8 to 5 (or 6 or 7). I try to write with kids talking to me, but honestly, I just do better alone.

I try to rise at 0430 4-5 times a week to get writing done before leaving for work. That is when I am most productive. I don’t have a specific word count though. Like regular exercise, it takes about 15-20 minutes for me to get warmed up and in a flow.

Do you have a personal philosophy, and is this reflected in your work?

I love reading and my tastes are eclectic. In particular, I love forms that challenge expectations and that fearlessly mix genres. With all of that said, I find that even in 2012 truly strong female characters, POC, and people of faith are woefully absent or not well spoken for in what I myself would consider truly good writing. I know that there are exceptions, but I don’t think they are in proportion to what the average person encounters in real life.

As a woman of color and a Muslim, I have made it my mission to do my part to fill the gap. I write about people whose situations and understandings are universal but who don’t resemble the typical tropes.

Have you other interests outside of writing? What do you do with your spare time?

Spare time? What’s that? Oh yeah! I am usually writing then, or listening to a book or reading a book.

My children are great too. I enjoy them more than anyone else on the planet. Talking to them is like taking an idea bath. Awesome.

Would you like to be interviewed for Hubpages?

Are you a writer or artist of any kind, who would like to be featured in Adele Cosgrove-Bray's series of interviews here on Hubpages? Then contact Adele by email at and put AUTHOR INTERVIEWS in the subject line.

What's the most useful 'how to' advice you've encountered?

I don’t have any real live writer friends.What I mean to say is that most of my writer friends exist in cyberspace and speak to me from the ether.I often ask for advice, but the advice that I think most helpful is the advice that I give to my patients.

  1. Simplify.Some things just aren’t as important as we make them seem.
  2. It’s the small things that create the whole.Tackle life/problems/trials/assignments one little step at a time.
  3. Stop blocking! (This is in regards to new ideas, technology, and blessings.)

© 2012 Adele Cosgrove-Bray


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