By Joan Mead-Matsui
Pocono Township author Sahar Abdulaziz is inspired by people and their backstories.
When Abdulaziz first embarked on her writing career, she wrote everywhere and anywhere, often planting herself in the middle of her dining room amidst the “sheer bedlam” of a large, noisy family.
Eventually, though, she claimed ownership of the family library – an open space that offered a “sort of kryptonite visual buffer.” And while she experiences significantly fewer interruptions there, she also swears she’ll never turn down chocolate, tea and pizza donations from her family.
Abdulaziz has six books to her credit. Her first book, But You LOOK Just Fine, is nonfiction and a user-friendly resource for people who suffer from easily concealed mood disorders. The Broken Half, As One Door Closes, Secrets That Find Us, and Tight Rope, her subsequent works, are decidedly fiction, but her characters depict true human fragilities and vulnerabilities resulting from social injustice, sexism, bigotry, racism, and bias. The Dino Flu is her only children’s book, and is a story about the strength of imagination. The upcoming Expendable, her next contemporary fiction novel, is a heart-wrenching story about the lasting and detrimental effects of emotional abuse. It’s scheduled for publication in early 2018.
Where does she find her inspiration to create her hard-hitting storylines?
She earned a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from The College of New Rochelle and a Master’s of Science degree from The California College for Health Sciences. She is certified in Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Crisis Intervention and Counseling. In 2016, she won an award for Community Written Expression at the Second Annual Monroe County Image Awards. She is also a member of The Pocono Liars Club, a Monroe County writers’ group.
Abdulaziz uses her writing platform as a vehicle to uncover the many layers of truths often well-hidden and protected by convoluted lies. “It’s imperative my characters mirror real-life struggles,” says Abdulaziz. “What’s behind the choices they make, even when those decisions aren’t in their best interest.”
“After the initial ‘I know what I want to write about next’ wears off, a certain excitement mixed with trepidation begins to seep in as I climb into my story’s head and soul; into my characters’ minds and lives. I feel almost like a Trekkie, going to places where ‘no man has gone before,’ and I love it. From beginning to end, wherever the story takes me, I am willing and ready to explore. Then I start to write.”
Abdulaziz plans to continue using her writing platform for social change, but most of all, to remind those facing difficult challenges that they are not alone. Through her stories, she continues to demonstrate that “those who have suffered abuse are not victims, but survivors.”
Readers of Abdulaziz’s work can count on many unexpected plot twists that will surprise and fascinate. “For me, writing and authoring are both an honor and a gift which I cherish greatly,” she says. “I hope and pray I do the craft justice.”
Photo © Mustafah Abdulaziz
For more information, visit www.saharraziz.com.