Ammar Habib is a bestselling and award winning author who was born in Lake Jackson, Texas in 1993. Ammar enjoys crafting stories that are not only entertaining, but will also stay with the reader for a long time. Ammar presently resides in his hometown with his family, all of whom are his biggest fans. He draws his inspiration from his family, imagination, and the world around him.
To start with, can you tell us a little about yourself and the project we are seeing today?
Hello! My name is Ammar Habib. I am a 24-year-old bestselling and award winning author based just a little bit south of Houston, Texas. I’ve been writing professionally since I was 18-years-old, but started writing for fun when I was in elementary school. I enjoy writing all kinds of genres, having written many kinds of works, including action/thrillers, comics, young adult, historical fiction, inspirational fiction, and even nonfiction.
Today, I am mostly talking about my main series, the Dark Guardian Series. This was my first novel and series to write. I wrote the first novel¸ Dark Guardian, when I was 18-years-old and that kicked off this series. The series is heavily inspired by all the comics I read as a kid. The third book in the series, Dark Guardian: Legends, is releasing November 3, 2017!
1. What does it mean to you to be called an author?
AH- Being an author means many things. You’re a world-builder. An action hero. A cowboy. A wizard. You’re whatever you want to be. As an author, you live vicariously through your characters (I sometimes even find myself thinking about them!). Therefore, you’re a wearer of many hats, and get to keep a piece of each character with you long after you’ve written the story.
LN- That is an interesting way to look at it.
2. What advice do you have for new authors, like me?
I’ve learned a lot about the industry over the past few years. What I’ve seen is that along with film making, it is probably the most subjective industry out there. A writer may spend months perfecting their story, putting their heart and soul into it, staying up the whole night working on it, only for an editor to reject it with a short sentence of vague reasoning. That’s what can make the industry very frustrating.What I tell people who ask is that you need to write something that you believe in. Don’t worry about what others think about it. If you think it’s a great story and one that needs to be told, then write it! The other thing is that writers need to have thick skin. Editors and agents reject hundreds of works a day, so never take it personal. Even critics give bad reviews all the time. But if you believe in your work and did your best, then never let the opinions of anyone tear you down. Write stories that you’d want to read, regardless of what others say!
That is a perfect way to look at it.
3. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
One thing I’ve learned is that my writing is actually pretty diverse. When I used to take Creative Writing in school, I had thought that my writing was only strong in one certain genre. But ever since I began writing Dark Guardian, I’ve actually learned that my writing is very diverse in my writing strengths. Learning that has led me to writing many types of projects, including comics, children’s books, and non-fiction works.
That is probably something that most people don’t think about. It is good to not put yourself in a box and think you can’t do it, because maybe someday you find you can.
4. Who is your favorite character in the book you are sharing with us today?
My favorite character in my Dark Guardian Series is the protagonist, Ethan Daniels. He is an extremely complex character, heavily evolving throughout the course of each of the series’ novels. It’s been fun to see how he has transformed from a very selfish character, not caring who he hurt in order to achieve his goals and into a selfless hero who puts the good of others before himself.
The best part of any story is how the characters grow, Ethan sounds like a fantastic individual. Great name by the way.
5. What do you think makes a good story?
As Herman Melville once said, “To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme.” Starting out with a strong theme (or message) is where I like to begin my books. A strong theme can build powerful characters and is the backbone for the book. Although a theme is not the only important thing—characters, plot, and style are major factors as well—it still plays a crucial role in the impact of a story.
Great insight, thanks.
6. What or who inspired you to begin writing?
The one book that inspired me to become a writer is Og Mandino’s The Choice. I read the book when I was seven-years-old and it is what put me onto the path of becoming a writer and inspired the dream to one day have millions of copies of my books sold around the world.But outside of books, the other main thing that acted as a catalyst for my writing was my 2nd Grade Teacher at AP Beutel, Mrs. Scott. When I was in her class years ago, she gave me a homework assignment to write a one-page story. This was the first time I ever wrote anything. That experience breathed the love of writing into me and I’ve never stopped since!I’ve also discovered that I’m not the first author in my family. My great-grandfather was a writer after his career as a police officer in India ended. My maternal grandmother was also a writer, having some of her works published in the newspaper. Although my own mother was not a writer, she has her Master’s degree in Fine Arts. So I think this artistic capability probably runs in the family too.
Thank you so much for the interview! I hope your readers enjoy viewing the interview as much as I enjoyed answering your great questions.
The best part about these interviews is finding out how alike people are. My book was published because of a homework assignment. I will always look at that as one of my first inspirations. It was wonderful to hear your story. Best of luck with the new release.