TJ: Hello! Welcome to Author Spotlight where both new and veteran authors share a little about themselves and their work. Today we have Paranormal Women’s Fiction author N. Z. Nasser. Let’s get into it. Care to tell readers us about yourself?
N. Z. Nasser: Before I was an author, I worked in national and regional politics, but eventually reverted to my first love: writing. I write Literary Fiction under Nillu Nasser and Paranormal Women’s Fiction under N. Z. Nasser. I love the balance that the two strands bring to her work. Literary fiction is often about surviving the world. Urban fantasy is about saving it. It’s atmospheric, magical and escapist, and a whole heap of fun to write. PWF is what I am concentrating on right now while I complete the Druid Heir series.
First and foremost, though, I’m a reader. I used to get in trouble for reading under the bedcovers at night. If there isn’t anything in the room to read, I’ll read the back of a cereal pack. I’m happiest barefoot with a book in hand. They are the first thing I unpack when I’m somewhere new. I live in London with my husband, three children, two cats and a fox-mad Spaniel. If you fly into Gatwick and look hard enough, you’ll see me furiously scribbling in my garden office, where I’m working on my next story.
TJ: What inspired you to become a writer?
N. Z. Nasser: A love of words. Spoken words I sometimes find tiring; written words are for me a source of energy and understanding. I can take the time to weave intricate sentences or get the nuance just right without worrying that it is already someone else’s turn to speak or that I have bored my listener. I can examine a thought carefully, tangibly, without it slipping through the fog of my brain like a wandering child at a funfair.
I write because in this world of constant change and fleeting lives, it comforts me to leave a record of my thoughts. The physical act of writing, the tap of the keyboard, the soreness of my fingers after a long day’s work, the crease of the page and the glare of the screen that blurs my vision are satisfying. They mean I have done an honest day’s work. Fiction may be a lie, but writing is truth. It helps to write in a world that often feels destructive. It helps to create, imagine and make sense of the confusing. It’s a tool for self-insight and healing. It’s the closest I’ve come to magic.
T.J.: I like how you put “like a wandering child at a unfair.” I often feel speaking is like that whereas with writing I can articulate how I think and feel better. In other words, totes relate. On to the next question: If you could meet any person dead or alive, who would it be and why?
N. Z. Nasser: This is such a tricky question. I couldn’t possibly only list one. I could reel off some names now, and then I’d be cross with myself in the middle of the night if I remembered someone else! My contenders right now would be Robin Williams, Stacey Abrams, Emma Watson, David Bowie, Jacinda Ardern, Maya Angelou and Dave Grohl. If I had to pick one, it would be Bowie. He was such a changeling, brave, clear-sighted and true to himself. I miss him.
T.J: Now, is my favorite part of the interview, hearing all about your work. Can you tell readers about the Druid Heir series)?
N. Z. Nasser: I started working on the Druid Heir books during the pandemic, when the world seemed dark. I wanted to write something light and magical, with a cast of characters who could rely on each other. Central to it all is an older woman saving the world. Because let’s face it, women are forces to be reckoned with but sometimes we are taken for granted. The Druid Heir books allowed me to write a character who discovers she is more powerful than she realised. She owns that power and once she knows who she is, there’s no stopping her.
I’m a London girl and that’s where the books are based. Magic pops up in unexpected places: in a tea shop, in a park and at a gym. The books are diverse, funny and full of heart. Alisha, the main character, is a half Indian-half French, newly divorced English teacher. Her best friend Marina is a sister to her. They share everything, warts and all. Alisha’s cat Echo is not what he seems. As an author, I got to play with and how Alisha reacts to her new magical self, the magic revealed in the world around her, and what it was like for her being able to flirt again. It was so fun to write and I hope readers laugh out loud and fall in love with the characters.Here’s the blurb for Midlife Dawn, book 1. The rest of the series is being released at short intervals so readers won’t have long to wait:
Shivers of excitement shot up my spine. It was time to draw a line under the past and find a new me.
By forty, Alisha thought she’d be living her best life. When her idiot husband gambles away their savings, she divorces him and throws herself into teaching her night class in godforsaken London. That is, until her mum dies in a car crash and Alisha suspects foul play. To top it all, the Metropolitan Police don’t seem to have heard of the detective investigating the case. Alisha’s first instinct is to have a nap and hope it all goes away, but she’s her mother’s daughter. Secrets set her off like a bloodhound.
When a mysterious man tells her she’s the last of an ancient magical druid lineage, she laughs in his face, but she’s intrigued. She wants to believe there’s more to life than a messy divorce and a dead-end career. It doesn’t seem crazy to follow him into the undergrowth in Crystal Palace Park. Not even when she hears her cat telling her to stop.
To avenge her mum and survive a new magical world, she just needs to pull on her control pants and hold on for the ride.
TJ: I’ve started reading the first book, Midlife Dawn, and I have to say, I’m hooked. Thank you for visiting my blog. Hope to have you back again!
N. Z. Nasser: Thanks for having me, Tammy. I’m so glad our paths crossed. I didn’t have to see you in fairy wings to know you’re an utter superstar.
TJ: *chuckles* Thank you! My TikToks are a lot of fun to make. Look out for Nasser’s work everyone. She’s going to be A-list.
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