I had the pleasure of interviewing many of the authors in the new Mirrors & Thorns Anthology. Tonight I want to introduce you to Särah Nour, author of Nova and Ember.
Särah Nour is a Lebanese-American freelance journalist based in Fargo, North Dakota, currently working a day job as a substitute teacher. Her poetry has been published in Stone Path Review, Red Weather, and The Poetry Rag. One of her short stories was included in Northern Narratives, a community project produced by the Fargo Public Library.
Fargo’s art community inspires her every day with its commitment to diversity and its support for modest local businesses.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
Oh boy… Juliet Marillier, Ian McEwan, Monica Byrne, Charlotte Bronte, Fyodor Dostoevsky… Roald Dahl was a childhood favorite. Lately I’ve been reading more Toni Morrison and Margaret Atwood.
What is the weirdest compliment you’ve ever been given?
I was getting a henna tattoo at a state fair and I mentioned to the artist that I was a writer. She said, “You look like a writer. I’m from L.A., so I know.” I’m not sure what she meant, but it was clearly complimentary, so I didn’t question it.
If you were stranded in the middle of nowhere with no hope of rescue for at least 2 weeks, what 3 things would you make sure to have with you?
One: an ax to chop firewood, build a shelter, and chop up animals for food. Two: a lighter to keep me warm and cook the meat. Three: a tarp to keep me dry and to collect rainwater to drink. I think these three items have enough uses to keep me alive.
Inspirations and ideas—where do you find them?
I’m fascinated by retellings, so I read a lot of fairy tales. While I was working on my Master’s, my thesis was a novella based on “Little Red Riding Hood.” There’s another book I’m working on (one of many) that’s based on “The Snow Queen.” Speaking of which, I have an idea for a young-adult retelling of “The Snow Queen” told from the point of view of my favorite character, the Little Robber Girl. I’ve also written a story about three sisters crossing a bridge, which was inspired by “The Three Billy Goats Gruff.
What’s your favorite part about writing? Least favorite?
I think Dorothy Parker said it best: “I hate writing. I love having written.” My favorite part is the end result: the creation of something you can be proud of. My least favorite is the process: the editing, the agonizing, the multiple drafts… all those things that make me think, “No wonder Hemingway was a heavy drinker.
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