Read and Write with Natasha

From museum curator to children's author

March 10, 2024 Natasha Tynes Episode 49
From museum curator to children's author
Read and Write with Natasha
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Read and Write with Natasha
From museum curator to children's author
Mar 10, 2024 Episode 49
Natasha Tynes

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In this episode, Shireen Sabanegh shares her journey from museum management in Jordan to creating children's stories in the UK. 

She reveals the intricate process of traditional publishing, from the excitement of having two manuscripts accepted to collaborating with publishers and illustrators. 

The discussion delves into  themes like representing disability in children's books through empowering narratives and the impact of storytelling on fostering inclusivity among young readers, particularly in Arabic children's literature. 

We explore Shireen's methods for teaching Arabic to children in the diaspora, blending classical and colloquial language

Shireen also talks about her latest projects aimed at promoting adaptability and female empowerment, enhancing learning experiences beyond the classroom. 

She offers advice to aspiring authors on the importance of embracing revisions and feedback to refine their stories for young audiences.

Support the Show.

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➡️ P.S: If you find my content useful, you might want to check out my Substack newsletter, in which I talk and vent about the writing life:


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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

In this episode, Shireen Sabanegh shares her journey from museum management in Jordan to creating children's stories in the UK. 

She reveals the intricate process of traditional publishing, from the excitement of having two manuscripts accepted to collaborating with publishers and illustrators. 

The discussion delves into  themes like representing disability in children's books through empowering narratives and the impact of storytelling on fostering inclusivity among young readers, particularly in Arabic children's literature. 

We explore Shireen's methods for teaching Arabic to children in the diaspora, blending classical and colloquial language

Shireen also talks about her latest projects aimed at promoting adaptability and female empowerment, enhancing learning experiences beyond the classroom. 

She offers advice to aspiring authors on the importance of embracing revisions and feedback to refine their stories for young audiences.

Support the Show.

****************************************************************************

➡️ P.S: If you find my content useful, you might want to check out my Substack newsletter, in which I talk and vent about the writing life:


Speaker 1:

I have an attempt of a project called the Arabi Bil Arabi, which actually uses the Amye, the spoken Arabic, and mirrors it with the Fusha, the traditional Arabic, so children can understand that they're both derived somehow from the same source, that usually, sometimes even by using the Amye, it's like you're bridging. You're creating a bridge to reach the traditional Arabic, rather than saying no, this is one school of thought and this one is another school of thought. I believe it's very important.

Speaker 2:

Hi friends, this is Read and Write with Natasha podcast. My name is Natasha Tynes and I'm an author and a journalist. In this channel I talk about the writing life, review books and interview authors. Hope you enjoy the journey. Hi everyone, and welcome to another episode of Read and Write with Natasha. So today I have with me Shireen Sabane, who's a highly skilled museum and heritage management professional, specializing in curation. Beyond her contributions to museum, shireen is a passionate children's book author with two titles to her name. She is the author of these two books I have right here Doktok and Raimuna. So, shireen, thank you so much for joining me today. I'm so happy to have you on the show and, shireen, you have a very interesting and diverse resume. So you went from in the museum field to writing children's books. So how?

Speaker 1:

did that happen? First of all, thank you for hosting me on your program. I'm excited to be here. How did that happen? When you come to think of it, Natasha, I used to work in a museum field.

Speaker 1:

Now, storytelling has always been an integral part of museums, because museums showcase the history of humanity. They showcase the history of science, of human evolution, of even the evolution of the planet. So everything you do in a museum is about telling a story. So sometimes, when people ask me how did you transition from working in museums into writing books, I didn't feel really that it was that much of a transition.

Speaker 1:

I always felt that the storytelling and creating a storyline was part of my work. What happened was that after I moved from Jordan to the UK in 2019, and I had left my job in Amman, which I loved dearly I had the time to pursue more of the interest that I had in writing. So I had begun a few scripts or a few texts years back, but never really gave them the time or the dedication. After moving to the UK, I had the time and I decided to pursue writing more professionally and take it more seriously, and that's how I transitioned, or I, let's say, utilized the knowledge that I had in the museum field and the power of stories into actually writing books for children.

Speaker 2:

So why books for children? Why not books for adults?

Speaker 1:

Okay, that's a good question Books for children because my background comes in working in a children's museum. To be honest, even when I started working in the museum as if I stumbled upon that whole field of museums by chance, because in Jordan, museums or museum education is an emerging field and when the museum opened its doors it was a novelty in Jordan and the region, to be honest. So when I joined the museum it was like I was introduced into a whole new world of education fun education, fun learning, the ability to take really complex issues and simplify them and communicate them to children, and I think that that's where the passion really started and it just stayed with me. So I'm fascinated with children's literature and books in general because of their ability to simplify things, and I find it quite intriguing how sometimes we underestimate the intelligence of children or how much they can actually observe and how much they can actually contribute to issues that we think are quite complex, and that's why I turned to writing for children.

Speaker 2:

So I want to ask you about your publishing journey. So I noticed that your publisher is. Let me see, I think, who's the publisher? It was, it's Hashid Antoine. Hashid Antoine, yes, where are they based and how did you meet them?

Speaker 1:

Okay, Hashid Antoine are based in Lebanon, okay, in the capital. And how did I meet them? Well, that's quite a long story because, yes, I used to work in a field that was filled with contacts in the children's, let's say, education field, but I never really pursued building a lot of relationships with publishers, okay, so when I embarked on this journey of starting to write after, of course, you reach the stage where you feel that you, as a writer, you've completed your writing and you would like to share it with somebody else I had no clue where to start. I knew of publishing houses for children that were in the region and I went online, to be honest, natasha, and started publishing.

Speaker 1:

And then I created a list of publishers and I'm not exaggerating when I tell you that I sent the script to around 30 publishers and some of them, of course, replied others do not reply and eventually I reached Hashid Antoine, and it was through, basically, through email. That's how we met through me Sending the script through the email that they have on their website, and then meeting the person in charge of editing children's books, and that's how the relationship started. And the first script was Mamuna, and it took and of course now we're saying this. It takes a few minutes, but I am not exaggerating again when I tell you that this process probably took a year, if not a year and a half.

Speaker 1:

The editing Also because when you communicate with publishers, there's always this dialogue. Sometimes the communication is cut off. They come back after a while, so it takes some time until you actually secure a deal to publish a book with a publisher. Yeah, and at the time that I had showed Hashid Antoine Mamuna and Afkarah Al-Majnoona and they accepted it I had also written Do Do so. When I shared it with them, do Do again. They immediately fell in love with it and they said could we please have both? Oh, okay, yeah, and that's how I ended up publishing both books with the same publisher?

Speaker 2:

And how did you find the illustrator? Or did they find it for you?

Speaker 1:

Now, in the field of publishing, there are different contracts with publishers. My contract with the publishing house is what they call a traditional contract, where the publishing house takes the full script from the writer and they actually handle everything in terms of finding the right illustrator, editing the text and even producing the book. So that's the form of contract that I have. Other publishers, of course, there's hybrid publishing contracts. They're more independent when you decide to do it all on your own In my case, no, I went with the traditional method of finding a publisher, then accepting the script, and they handle everything else.

Speaker 2:

Oh well, you're lucky Because I talk with a lot of authors from all over the world, and I mean especially in places like, let's say, the US. The competition is really tough and it's really tough to find a publisher, and even in the Arab world as well it's hard to find. I mean, as you said, rejection, and so you know your work must be really good and I read it. It's pretty good to land a traditional publisher in. I mean, honestly, a year is a short time in terms of the publishing words. Some authors take like five, ten years to get published.

Speaker 1:

A year until I found a publisher, and then it took around two years until the books came out. So you could, it's maybe a process of three years, yeah, yeah, until the books actually saw the light, let's say.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, but even year finding a publisher is lucky, but good for you. So I want to ask you about the themes of the book, especially Douda. Douda is about a child and I like how you know maybe it's spoiler alert how at the end we realize that the child has, you know, a challenge, a challenge, and the genie I guess that was a genie helped him with his challenge. And how did you come up with this theme? Why did you come up with a theme of, let's say, disability or, you know, life challenges?

Speaker 1:

No, you're absolutely right, natasha, it is a disability and disability is basically it's part of diversity, part of human diversity. They're different in ways, but we are all different. That's the beauty of actually humanity that we're all different. We're all unique in our own way. And I have to tell you, also inspired by my work at the museum, the issue of disability in our part of the world, in the Arab region, is still there isn't much awareness around it and people still there's a lack of, let's say, awareness when dealing with disability or with people with disabilities, and sometimes it's even looked upon as if it's a sort of weakness or if it's a sort of something that you should try away from discussing or avoid mentioning. Sometimes it comes from lack of understanding that it's only diversity.

Speaker 1:

And after moving here to the UK, I actually possibly I'm trying to remember when exactly I started working at the school. It was after the government here in the UK announced that they're reopening schools, especially for key workers. I had a small job, a small role at the primary school where my son used to go, so I used to go in every day during lunch break to help and assist the teachers with the students, because, of course, of the social distancing and everything they required a higher number of staff and there was a girl in the class with a hearing disability and she was part of the classroom, living a normal life like any other child in year two would be living. And, to be honest, I found it amazing because she didn't even try to hide the fact that she had a disability.

Speaker 1:

She was actually celebrating it because remember one day she came into class and she was like super excited and she was telling me how the doctor has called her parents and informed her that now she's on the list for an operation where she will no longer need to wear the hearing aid because she will have one implanted, a permanent one implanted, and she will no longer need to worry about the hearing aid having to put it on and take it off.

Speaker 1:

And she's do something very cute when the class would get a bit too loud during the break, she would actually take her hearing aid off and put it on the table and she would say you know what? They're getting too loud? She would just take it off, put it on the table. And of course she was always sold off, because if the teacher was saying something where all the students should be listening, she couldn't hear her. And I remember at the museum we used to do a special month program for people with disabilities, just to create awareness about disabilities, and during that month the museum would even be open for free for any visitor with a disability or any family, just to encourage them more to come to the museum and use the facilities.

Speaker 2:

And unfortunately Sorry, the museum in Jordan or in the UK In.

Speaker 1:

Jordan, the children's museum where I used to work. People wouldn't even feel encouraged by that to come. So I felt that, looking at Arabic children's literature, that we do have a few gaps, and especially when it comes to tackling these important issues. And if children at a young age are taught about differences and accepting differences and embracing diversity from an early age, they would grow up to be more tolerant citizens and even more accepting people. Where you create empathy from a very young age is very important.

Speaker 2:

So you have a wild imagination and I loved how you imagined the small creature and what the small creature did in the house. How did you come up with this very cool idea?

Speaker 1:

The thing is, I don't think that there's an idea that any one person comes up with. I feel that it's usually an accumulation of everything that you have read before or seen before or even watched before, and all of us grew up being fascinated by these imaginary, whimsical characters, and especially at a younger age. Even if we look at our children around us, they get attached even to things that are completely imaginative and do not relate to reality in any way. So I was thinking how can I tackle this issue and talk really about disability without the child even noticing that we're talking about disability? So nobody, no character with a disability is introduced at the beginning of the book. Even so, far from the feedback that I've heard from people who have read it, none of them even suspect that anything related to disability is in the book.

Speaker 1:

And the whole idea is when children read this book, I want them to go into different imagination scenarios, exactly like what I went through, and imagine all sorts of things. So I hear things from children saying this young man is actually collecting all the noises or the voices and then he's actually going to pop up out one of the scenes in the story. Children say that this he's like Spider-Man coming from somewhere that we do not understand where they're coming from. Maybe he came from the clouds. So you find kids even blowing up the imagination. That says scale that I put into the story to beyond what I even imagined. So I think we all have this ability to imagine things that are not real. But as we grow up we become more realistic and we tend to focus more on reality and less on imagination. Yeah, it's true.

Speaker 2:

So what was the reaction Like how did the book, let's say, sell in the Arab word and beyond? And what was the reaction towards and what can people find on Amazon, or just some questions about that In terms of sales to be?

Speaker 1:

honest, I cannot give you any information of I don't really know, because, again, this is something that the publishing house is handling, but definitely the book so far has been to numerous book fairs around the world. It's available in Jordan, my hometown, amman, in Al Ahliya bookstore. Online is available through anilwafuratcom and also on Hashid Antoine's website you can find sources. So, in terms of feedback that so far has been coming through people who have read it or through what I've been hearing online or from students from schools who have read it, it's extremely positive and the fact that people just enjoy reading a book and find the story interesting, intriguing, makes them laugh. I think that's for me as a writer, that's very positive feedback. But in terms of sales I really don't know, because the publishing house will share with me, of course, this feedback, but after one year of the book being released.

Speaker 2:

Have you been doing your own marketing for the book? Definitely, what have you been doing?

Speaker 1:

I was recently in Amman where I went down and I actually did a few book readings in schools. I went also to the museum, to public libraries. I've also read to a few schools here in the UK, to a few Arabic schools, but I've done it online. A few of them online and a few also on site. There are Arabic schools here that operate on Sundays, on the weekend. What they do is they take up a premises of an actual school and they have a full day of Arabic teaching. So that has been also an interesting opportunity for me and it's basically through book readings. I've had also some people interested in I've done a few interviews, even with you here today, this beautiful talk. So I'm trying my best because you cannot expect that the publishing house is going to do everything for you. They invested in you as an author and they're helping you get your book out there, but there's a lot of work that is on basically lies on the author in promoting their book.

Speaker 2:

I noticed you use classical Arabic in the book and currently there is a movement to use colloquially Arabic. So one of the things that I do a few times a week is I teach Arabic to kids online through an online academy in the UK, and one of the things that we talk about is it's good to as well talk in colloquial, because sometimes we read books in colloquial to the kids, since the kids hear colloquial at home, especially kids of parents who moved to, let's say, an unspeaking Arabic country and what happens is if you read them a book in Fusha, they don't understand it and then they will abandon it. So I speak to my kids in Jordanian Arabic and they probably would not understand if I read this in Fusha to them. So what is your thought and I know there are two different schools of thoughts One of them is no, we have to keep our classical Arabic, and one other is no, let's do dialects to encourage kids to especially those of parents who live abroad to at least know how to speak. So what are your thoughts on this?

Speaker 1:

I actually believe that all roads lead to Rome, so I'm not of one of those who says, no, you can only, when it comes to reading or when it comes to teaching or when it comes to education of Arabic language, that you should only use for Suha, because at the same time, I can see, because I have children, and I have children who also grew up in Jordan, in the Arab region, and now I'm raising my youngest here in the UK, and I can understand the barrier that they might find when reading traditional Fusha Arabic. It takes a lot of practice and a lot of discipline until they reach the stage where they can fall in love with the language and understand it fully for all the beauty that it offers, and I'm actually one of the people who actually advocate for reading in both, and I had even an attempt. Maybe one day I'll share it with you, natasha. I have an attempt of a project called the Arabic Bil Arabi, which actually uses the Amye, the spoken Arabic, and mirrors it with the Fusha, the traditional Arabic, so children can understand that they're both derived somehow from the same source and that usually, sometimes even by using the Amye it's like you're bridging, you're creating a bridge to reach the traditional Arabic rather than saying, no, this is one school of thought and this one is another school of thought. I believe it's very important.

Speaker 1:

Yes, there is a difference in dialects when we travel to different parts of the world in the Arab region. Hence, writing in the more traditional Arabic allows the book to reach a wider audience, whereas, for example, people, for example, in Egypt, have different terms that they use in Arabic, the spoken Arabic. If you go to the Gulf region, there are different terms. If you go to the Middle East and the Levant, it's also different. So the beauty of the traditional Arabic is that it unites all of these different Arab backgrounds.

Speaker 1:

But again, I am one of the people who advocate actually for using Amye, and I've had to use Amye in some of the storytelling or the story readings because, as you mentioned, the level of students, if I would read it fully and push how, they wouldn't understand it. But what you could, what I use sometimes is I, for example, even if I say a word, I would also use the Amye to make children understand that when this word comes again, this is what it means. So, anyway, any method used to help a child understand their language more and to fall in love with. It is an important method.

Speaker 2:

So what are you working on now? I have a few interesting projects in the pipeline.

Speaker 1:

I don't want to reveal too much, but there's another children's book project. All I can say it's about adapting to change, being resilient, seeing things from different perspectives. That's the main theme of the book. And there's another book project which I'm very excited about. All I can say is it's about female empowerment With the same publisher. No, not with the same publisher.

Speaker 2:

Do you have a new publisher or yes, I have a really new publisher, but again, I'm so far.

Speaker 1:

I'm not allowed to share, so any more information than that. But I promise you as soon as I can I'll be sharing it with you.

Speaker 2:

Okay, that's good to hear. Do you also teach Arabic, or do you?

Speaker 1:

No, I don't teach Arabic. What I'm currently doing is I'm writing, of course, in Arabic. I'm pursuing a postgraduate degree in museum studies and I work in creating what they call them creative learning activities that help the students learn the national curriculum in a more fun, interactive way. But none of that, because I'm working here in the UK. None of it involves teaching or anything to do with Arabic. So the only Arabic let's say activities I get to do is when I conduct the storytelling sessions or the activity sessions with Arabic schools.

Speaker 2:

I mean speaking of like gamifying education. My daughter now is using Duolingo for Arabic and I looked at what they're doing and it's you know she's into it because you know she gets points and all of that. And I mean it's something to think about because I keep telling her you know I can teach you or we can go you know somewhere and sign you up. No, I want to do this online. So it's just interesting and she's serious about it, but she just wants to do it her own way, using the game method. So for me it was fun to see that you know where kids are going is through games to learn, and that's got the concept of apps like the one in Go and others. So I was wondering if you could also like give me five reading in Arabic. You know where they can get points and they could get you know badges or whatever.

Speaker 2:

So I think there's something to think about, yeah.

Speaker 1:

I think there's a platform called could be, manasat, could be, and that's exactly what you do, because you can, like, you can create a profile, choose your own books, create a library, and I think there's reading points, and gamification comes from the, let's say, the human nature of wanting to play. So everything about us, we enjoy playing. So, when we have, when you merge learning with the idea of something, of a play or a game, where there's a reward, and any game or any play there's specific rules, and that's what we like about actually games and playing is that there's a specific set of rules that you have to do, you have to stick to in order to reach a specific point, and when you break those rules, you don't achieve this, you don't reach the point that you're supposed to reach. So, definitely, a merging gamification with learning, regardless was it a language or a concept or a different field or any other subject or topic, is an extremely successful method. And exactly what you said, natasha she's driven by her own interest in knowledge, which is the highest motivator ever, because you can be there cheering her on, taking her to Arabic school every weekend, getting the most interesting books, buying them for her and adding them to her library that's what I did there and she would show zero interest.

Speaker 1:

And then they find one method that interests them and it just opens new doors. So she's definitely on the right track, but it comes, of course, in being in the right environment. So understanding that it's important, being at least intrigued, a bit curious about it, helps, but the fact that she's found her own way of learning is actually something that you should admire.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean I had no idea about Duolingo and what's going on with it. I mean I'm looking into it now, trying to learn the language as well. It's fun. I got all of the family like a family subscription, now everyone can learn, it's fun. So, shireen, let's say I am someone who wants to write books to children. What would you tell me? Whether it's an Arabic, indonesian or any language? How would you? What is the roadmap for that?

Speaker 1:

The first thing that I would say is start writing.

Speaker 1:

Okay, whatever the idea you have, start writing. Start just putting pen to paper, whatever it is, and try your best to silence the inner critic, at least at the beginning. Because I'm telling you from experience, natasha, the first Mamona of Karan Majuna, when I first wrote it, the idea just came to me and it was a few pages on a random notebook that I had even next to my bed, and then I read through it a few times and then I was like what is this? This is complete nonsense. And I just put it in the drawer. Put it back in the drawer and then, maybe a few months later, I just went back to it, fixed a few things, read through it again and I was like this is complete nonsense, put it back in the drawer. And I'm not exaggerating when I tell you that before leaving Jordan, traveling to the UK, I remember taking the few pieces of paper from the drawer and just putting them in my carry-on before I went, left the house and I was like, okay, I'm going to have a lot of time on my hands when I move, maybe I can do something with this.

Speaker 1:

Definitely, start writing and, to be honest, do a bit of research at the beginning In terms of is the topic that you're writing on already a topic that has been written about extensively? Does the idea that you're offering offer any unique perspective into something or a different interpretation into something? There has to be something different about the book that you're writing If it is going to grab the attention of a publisher again, if you're aiming for traditional publishing path and not self-publishing. But definitely just start writing. Just start writing, because you're not sending the publisher the first draft of whatever you write. You're probably sending draft number 25.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so it's going to take time. It's going to take time. And how are you going to know unless you actually try? And even when you do send it to a publisher, it evolves and you have to be accepting that it's a good thing, accepting that it's going to change Emotionally, detaching a bit, and trusting that somebody else knows how to basically polish it a bit more or help you actually work on polishing it a bit more. So it's a very long process but it's an interesting one because definitely there's so much learning involved in it.

Speaker 1:

But the best thing I could say is just start writing, put the pen to paper and just start doing it and possibly, if you have a few close friends that you can trust, share it. Share it, get an outsider's opinion, because sometimes you're stuck in your own bubble of thoughts. Yeah, Somebody comes from the outside and they say, wow, this is very interesting. But I didn't understand this. Oh, I was confused when I read this. So it's these small remarks that you get, the feedback that you get, and sometimes criticism, which actually help you improve.

Speaker 2:

So I've been reading a lot lately and I'm not sure how you feel about it is that, with the rise of AI, some people are just plugging whatever and especially because the children's book and selling them online. How do you feel about the advent of AI, how it's going to affect publishing and all of that?

Speaker 1:

I think it's going to affect publishing a lot because AI again, it's like there was this show on the radio the other day and they were saying AI is like Google on Ecstasy. So basically, what it does? It just goes and in split seconds it can read through thousands and thousands of content that's available online and just create and merge it up and give you something.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

So AI doesn't really. It doesn't have the creativity that a human brain has, but it doesn't mean that it's not a powerful tool. It definitely is, but again, something written by a robot. I feel eventually, maybe now we cannot spot it, but I have a feeling down the line we're going to be able to start spotting it and seeing the patterns and understanding the repetition of it. I'm all for, let's say, AI, use it, for example, if you want to edit a text. Use it, for example, to say could you please help me identify a problem in this through these two sentences, if you want to use it. But I wouldn't say go and use AI to create a story or write me a story about.

Speaker 1:

I find it very strange, as if we no longer want to think, as if you took the thinking and you gave it to someone else, Someone else. But to be honest, it will possibly take away from your sense of achievement. Even if the world doesn't know, deep down you know that you didn't write that, Somebody else wrote it for you. That's true. And eventually I think or maybe I could be mistaken Sometimes I think, maybe I could be mistaken.

Speaker 1:

I mean, when the calculator first came out, everyone was saying the calculator is going to ruin math for a whole generation. Everybody is going to be able to do a mathematical equation. After the calculator came out and people were scared of it and Asians they were even lobbying to ban it and force to ban it yeah, not to be able to use it. So anything that comes out at the beginning and creates a hype, we resist into it because we still don't understand it. But eventually I'm sure there are going to be other tools that we'll be able to detect if it was written by AI. They haven't been developed yet. Eventually they're coming and definitely they will impact human creativity. Interesting.

Speaker 2:

So, before we conclude, what kind of tips would you give to aspiring authors?

Speaker 1:

I would say be ready for feedback that you will not like you need to prepare yourself for it Because, again, writing is a very emotional process.

Speaker 1:

It's like you're pouring your heart, your thoughts, your imagination onto paper. So it's very difficult when you share whatever you're written with someone and the feedback that you receive does not align with your emotional attachment to the piece of writing. So, definitely be prepared, be open. Be open, be prepared, be agile and flexible Because, yes, it might be your idea and you're very emotionally attached to it, but at the same time, there's other ideas or other perspectives that could help you even evolve and develop your idea. Furthermore and the other thing is research, research, everything you do, research.

Speaker 1:

Spend a lot of time researching, reading, understanding, talking to other people about your idea, and not necessarily the full details of what you want to write about. Just test the waters, test the fields. If you're writing, for example, about your character as a child who's seven years old, talk to children who are 10 years old, read about children who are 10 years old, try to understand as much as you can about children who are 10 years old. Again, it stems from researching. Regardless, was it researched, a traditional way of you reading, or was it the more social way of you interacting with others and understanding more and through this research and interaction and openness, any idea that you have will evolve. And the more your idea evolves, the better your writing actually becomes.

Speaker 2:

Wise words. So, Shireen, how can people reach you if they want to buy your books? How can they get in touch with you?

Speaker 1:

Again, I don't sell my books directly, but if they would like to reach me, I can be reached at. They can find me on Instagram. My account is Shireen Savanech, so my first name and second name. I'm on Facebook, I'm on LinkedIn and I'm always open to people reaching out to social media or, more professionally, through LinkedIn, and I'm actually always intrigued by what people might ask and I enjoy actually making these connections online Because, again, it's another way to communicate and with the world, how, the way we've evolved, you can talk to anyone anywhere, anytime through these social media methods. So I would, I'm very open if anyone would like to reach out my actually my accounts are public and just reach out.

Speaker 2:

It's great. It's been wonderful, Shireen, and now I'm excited to go finish my children's book that I know I've been sitting in one of those drawers.

Speaker 1:

Yes, I know what you're saying yeah, I know what you're saying. So just silence the inner critic, Natasha, and just really do it.

Speaker 2:

So, firstly, thank you so much, shireen. This has been wonderful. Thank you, natasha, and, for anyone who's listening or watching, thank you for joining us for another episode of Read and Write with Natasha and, until we meet again, thank you for tuning in to Read and Write with Natasha. I'm your host, natasha Tynes. If today's episode inspired you in any way, please take the time to review the podcast. Remember to subscribe and share this podcast with fellow book lovers. Until next time, happy reading, happy writing.

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Promoting Diversity Through Children's Literature
Teaching Arabic
Tips for Aspiring Children's Book Authors