I’m hosting an interview with Yasmin Shiraz, author of YA novel “Accused”. Welcome, Yasmin!
1) Please tell us about yourself.
I grew up in Delaware. I’m a wife and mother of two children. I studied Sociology and have both my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Sociology. I went to undergrad at Hampton University. I attended graduate school at Morehead State University. I started writing in journals as a pre-teen. My first book, The Blueprint for My Girls, came from my very first journals. I write movie scripts as well as books. I love writing. I often visit schools and after school programs discussing my books and other youth issues.
2) Tell us about your book.
Accused is the 2nd book in the Retaliation series.
Accused is about two teens from Washington, DC who go off to college in Atlanta and things stop going as planned. Tashera, The main character, wants to help her boyfriend who has been accused of a crime. Tashera was a victim of girl violence in Retaliation so in Accused, she gets to grow and show how she’s going to help other people. Accused is very topical because of all of the current news stories about sexual assaults on college campuses being mishandled. This book also shows how the use of social media can make a person appear guilty.
3) What inspired you to write Accused?
I had been sitting in my office and the thought for Accused shot across my mind like blinding light. I heard, “I didn’t do it,” in one voice. Then, I heard, “They won’t catch me,” in another. I immediately thought, “Oh no, Ahmed’s been accused of something.” “Somebody is raping girls on campus,” was the theme in my head that finally sat me down and guided me through the Accused outline.
4) How many hours do you write per week?
My manuscript writing is roughly 20 hours per week. But, I also write for my blog and I do guest posts which typically take another 4 hours per week.
5) If you could meet three authors, which authors would you choose?
I’ve already met so many authors in my life already but I’d like to meet Alice Walker, James Patterson, and Stephanie Myer.
6) What are you working on at the moment?
I’m writing new books and material every day. I’m looking forward to continuing the Retaliation series.
Author: Yasmin Shiraz
Genre: YA – real life
An easier and more peaceful life seemed to be destined for Ahmed and Tashera when they left Washington, DC and entered Georgia Atlantic University. But when Ahmed is accused of a crime that he didn’t commit and begins to be tried in the media, his popularity plummets, his self-esteem suffers, and his dreams of playing college basketball disappear.
Meanwhile, there is a serial rapist on campus who has been attacking freshman girls at record numbers and forcing them to keep silent. As Tashera learns about the girls, she begins to close in on the rapist. But is the attacker too crafty to be caught? Will the state prosecutor ignore key evidence to instead focus on the fame that comes with convicting a high profile basketball star?
Tashera is beyond stressed as she divides her time between trying to find enough evidence to clear Ahmed while at the same time stopping the rapist who roams the campus of Georgia Atlantic. Ahmed and Tashera’s journey into a new life away from home is more challenging than they ever thought that it would be.
An Amazon Top 500 Book Reviewer had this to say about Accused:
“I recommend it for teen readers… Shiraz has a knack for writing in the voice of teen characters without having to resort to obscenities. It’s an important and worthwhile YA novel.”
Yasmin Shiraz is an author and filmmaker. She has written several other books including Retaliation (A YALSA Top Ten Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers,) The Blueprint for My Girls and Exclusive. She is a screenwriter and film director who produced the Can She Be Saved? documentary and the Sources web series. She resides in the suburbs of Washington, DC.