Much Anticipated Interview with Laila Ibrahim

Luca is the Frenchie. The mini Aussie is named Hazel

Laila Ibrahim grew up in Whittier California. She has lived in Oakland and Berkeley for 40 years, when she moved there to go to Mills College where she studied Human Development and attachment theory. Since 1993 Laila and her wife have lived in a small co-housing community with two other families. Her adult children are a great joy, as is her dog, a toy Australian Shepherd named Hazel. She is beyond excited to welcome her first grandchild in July.

Q. Where do you write? Do you have a special room, shed, barn, or special space for your writing?  Or tell us about your ‘dream’ workspace.

LI. Since my last child moved out I have had a room of my own to write it. I LOVE it. It’s in the back of the house with a view of a beautiful redwood tree. Before that I worked at the dining room table when my kids were at school or a small desk sandwiched in the living room.

Q. Do you have any special rituals or quirks when you sit down to write? (a neat workspace, sharpened #2 pencils, legal pad, cup of tea, a glass of brandy, favorite pajamas, etc.)

LI. I don’t get dressed before I write. I usually make myself a cup of rooibos chai tea. I generally write for 45 minutes to an hour. Take a break. And then do it again. I can’t usually write for more than 3 hours in a day.

Q. Could you tell us something about yourself that we might not already know?

LI. I often write my very drafty, first drafts in bed, in a half dream state.

Q. What tools do you begin with? Legal pad, spiral notebook, pencils, fountain pen, or do you go right to your keyboard?

LI. I write on a lap top, though I have used a full size external keyboard at times.

Wedding Party

Q. Do you have pets? Tell us about them and their names. 

LI. My toy Aussie, Hazel Nut Ibrahim-Bartley, often sits by my desk as I write. She’s 18 months olold and we LOVE her. She enjoys laying on our legs, playing fetch and running in big wide circle on grass.

Q. Do you enjoy writing in other forms (playwriting, poetry, short stories, etc.)?
If yes, tell us about it.

LI. I enjoy making visual art, but not other forms of writing, so far. Though when COVID first struck I wrote a poem for the first (and so far only) time.

Q. What’s your best advice to other writers for overcoming procrastination?

LI. Create routines that work for you, and know why you are writing in the first place. I find if I’m sitting at my keyboard and nothing is coming out then I’m not working on the right story for me.

Q. Where/when do you first discover your characters?

LI. With the Yellow Crocus series, I am continuing with the descendants of the characters in the first book. With the other two, Living Right and Paper Wife, it was a mystery. In many ways all my characters are parts of who I am, or who I wish I aspire be.


Q. What first inspired you to write?

LI. I was very surprised when I got the call to write a story. In 1998 I had a flash that conceived Yellow Crocus. Before that flash, I had no desire to write fiction. I was with a group of people talking about Tiger Woods. Someone mentioned the fact that he identifies as Asian as much as African American….

Join us for part two of this interview with this wonderful writer on June 16th
To receive my weekly posts, sign up for my  On the home page, enter your email address. Watch for more interviews with authors.  April: Author, H.W. ‘Buzz’ Bernard.  May: Victoria Costello.  June: Laila Ibrahim


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