Name: N.H. Senzai
'10 Book Title: SHOOTING KABUL
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Favorite Bit of Writing Advice: Dig within yourself and write what you know, you’ll surprise yourself!
Favorite and least favorite part of writing:
Favorite: Believe it or not, doing research. I love finding out the history, back-story and details of what I’m writing about, and although I may only use 5% of it in my book, the journey of discovering new information is immensely satisfying.
Least Favorite: Checking grammar. I was an Accounting and Business major… I still don’t know what a dangling participle is. But the good news is that I have an excellent critique group with two English majors – Woo hoo!
Outline or Let it fly?: I am a big time outliner and plotter. Okay, so I’m a bit anal (it’s the accountant in me) but I have dozens of spreadsheets outlining chapters, character development, subplots and elements I’m using in a book. BUT I’m always open to change, so if my character decides he is now a girl instead of a boy, or the plot needs a radical twist, I accommodate it into my outlines.
5 things about me
1. At age four I moved to Jubail, Saudi Arabia from San Francisco when my father, a civil engineer, was transferred for work. I lived there 10 years, made tons of friends, ate camel meatloaf, camped on the beach with my girl scout troop and had a blast.
2. I went to a boarding school in London, England, wore a navy, itchy blue uniform and was voted “Most Likely to Lead Literary Revolution” (Mostly because I was reading comic books and romance novels when I was supposed to be analyzing Anna Karenina, doing calculus problems and distilling compounds in chemistry.)
3. I love to cook and own over 300 cookbooks. Most of my favorites deal with dessert..(Sshhh... I have sweet tooth and a secret desire to become a pastry chef.)
4. I’ve sailed down the Nile, through Cairo, past the Pyramids, the Temple of Luxor and swam with barracudas in the red sea.
5. I am an Intellectual Property Consultant in Silicon Valley by day and help companies and inventors figure out what to do with their patents. A few of the technologies I’ve worked on are: hybrid cars, plastic packaging, car seat warmers, fireworks, cell phones, meat processing, MRI machines and robots.
SHOOTING KABUL Synopsis:
In early 2001, Fadi and his family hide in a sheltered teashop on the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Staring at the full moon, Fadi recalls the first line of the tattered book he found in the black-market, From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler -
“Claudia knew that she could never pull off the old-fashioned kind of running away...”
Fadi hopes that his family’s escape will be successful - if they arent', they're going to be in an awful lot of trouble. As the truck rolls into pick them up, the Taliban show up, and in the chaos, Fadi’s younger sister, Mariam, is left behind. Settled in the United States as refugees, in a post 9/11 environment, Fadi tries every hare-brained scheme he can think of to find his sister. As he waits to hear if he’s won the grand prize of a photography competition, which would allow them to travel back to the border to look for Mariam, he wonders if he’ll see his beloved younger sister again.
Shooting Kabul is about the power of hope, love and perseverance.