Fridays 5 with Yasmine Hamdi

Fifteen-year old Yasmine Hamdi wants to inspire children to protect wildlife and take care of our planet. She began drafting ideas for her debut novel when she was eight years old. She lives in New York with her family and has been an Honors English student for three years now. When she isn't reading or writing, you can find her traveling, surfing or swimming competitively. Her favorite places to explore are Tunisia, in North Africa and Costa Rica. She aspires to become a successful surgeon.

1.) When did you first get serious about writing?

A.) Probably around age 12 or 13.

2.) What is the hardest part for you about writing?

A.)  Marketing my books and keeping the ideas flowing. Sometimes I have great ideas, but it's just continuing the action and flow throughout the book that is difficult for me. And marketing is easier said than done.

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Synopsis: Unfamiliar animal tracks and strange nightly noises arouse suspicion at Shady Oaks, a seaside camp on Long Island. Campers become frightened as rumors of dangerous creatures spread. The camp begins to lose its prestige and receive closure threats. Twelve-year old Kyrah Willis is determined to solve the mystery. The camp guards won't help her, and seem to be hiding something they don't want the public to know. Why? With her fun-loving cousin Lynn, fiercely loyal dog Scampi and brave horse Comanche, the curious girl embarks on a journey to the most remote parts of the island in search for answers. In the treacherous and unforgiving wilderness, Kyrah discovers there is far more at stake than the future of Shady Oaks.

3.) How did you feel upon publication of your first completed project?

A.)  I felt proud that I achieved my goal, eager to start selling copies and grateful to everyone that has helped me.

4.) What is more important to you, story, or character? Why?

A.)  Character, because they shape the story. Underdeveloped or flat characters make stories very dull.

5.) What is a typical day like in your world?

A.)  I get up around 5:30 or 6am, get ready and go to school. (I am in tenth grade) Once I get home, I'll do homework and head to swim practice. When I get back, it's usually pretty late, so I'll check that I don't have any more homework or studying to do before writing for about an hour. More if I'm lucky. On weekends, I try to get as much writing in as possible.  They are also the best days for marketing. But during the summer, I'm able to dedicate the most time to being an author.

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