Today, we are honoured to have an interview with author Alyshia Nath, who has written the book For Normal People, With Special Needs. I have been in contact with Alyshia for a while, and recently she kindly agreed to an interview.
Where do you come from and has this place influenced your writings?
I was born and raised in Kuwait, but I am ethnically Indian. I spent 5 years of my life in Dubai, studying Medical Biotechnology at university. Although I am originally Indian, the place that has influenced my writings is most definitely Dubai and not India. The key reason for that being that Dubai is the most ideal example of multiculturalism. It strikes the perfect balance between supporting its societal, cultural and religious laws, while still permitting commercialism to allow all other cultures to exercise their own freedom.
Freedom is the element which leads to enhanced expressions of creativity and original thought, plus enhanced productivity and, overall, an exceptional quality of life. Every individual has a unique way of expressing his/her freedom and this ‘uniqueness’ is what I write about in my book.
You are a very intelligent person as you are not only an author, but also a clinical nutritionist and a medical biotechnologist. How do these skills and qualifications of yours help or influence you with your book writing?
Thank you for your kind compliments. Well, I would say that my educational qualifications and skills have helped me gain more than just book knowledge. It has had a profound impact on my lifestyle and perspective of things and people. Life is a continuous learning experience, and I write about many of these experiences in my book.
This blogger: Yes, life most certainly is! Our experiences mould us, one way or another.
Your book is called For Normal People, With Special Needs. Can you tell us two or three things about what it is about, please?
For Normal People, With Special Needs is about embracing the fact that we, though normal, have special needs in one way or the other. It is about accepting some and at the same time overcoming some of the little ‘quirks’ that we all have hidden deep within our personality. Some of us naturally exhibit these, whilst others unintentionally display them when we are around others.
What made you decide to write this book?
I have been passionate about writing since I was 10 years old. It was at this age when I discovered that I was best at expressing myself through written communication as compared to other forms of communication.
I’ve always wanted to reach out to people and share my ideas with them through writing. There was an overflow of thoughts based on experiences in my mind, with respect to how our little ‘quirks’ make up the bigger picture of who we really are. It makes us so unique and different from one another, and this led me to write my book.
Moreover, I noticed a lot of judgement upon those with special needs and how people look down on them. Normal people consider themselves more ‘capable’ and term those with special needs as ‘less fortunate.’ However, in reality if we look within ourselves we would find a universe of grey areas that would provoke us to change the way we feel about the ‘less fortunate.’ My book addresses this issue on a deeper level.
Who is the target audience for it?
The target audience would range from Self-Help readers to Emotional and Mental Health readers.
On a meta level, what does Normal People, With Special Needs mean to you?
Essentially, Normal People, With Special Needs refers to the little ‘quirks’ in each of us that we often tend to ignore, as said above. We all have an element of it within our personality which makes us unique and different from one another. I talk about several of these ‘quirky’ elements in my book.
This blogger: I like the message of your book a lot. It is part of self-realisation and growing as a person, to accept who we are… and our quirks. (*Smiles wryly.*)
If you could go back in time to speak to your younger self, what would you tell her about the writing process?
I would tell her to write about what she herself would be passionate about reading.
However, do consider the reader’s perspective. Try and eliminate distractions as much as possible while writing. Keep a pen and paper next to you at all times, as you never know when that thought process is going to overflow and help you flood the pages and come up with a masterpiece. Be completely original and unique.
Publishing is the hardest part about the writing process. Finding the right publisher is really important. Ensure the publisher values your work as much as you do. This will greatly help in the marketing of your book and in a successful publishing experience.
What is your writing kryptonite?
My writing kryptonite is work. I really need to dedicate more time to writing as I am mostly occupied with my work, being a Clinical Nutritionist. I am also the Founder of a French bakery business “Mes desirs par Alyssa” and that keeps me very occupied. All in all, work is what really hinders my writing drive.
This blogger: You sound incredibly hardworking and dynamic. Keep it up, Alyshia.
What do you find harder – writing your book or marketing it?
Writing the book was harder for me. Running a business and being a Clinical Nutritionist takes up most of my time. I’ve always been a good writer, it’s just that I don’t get enough time to actually write. It is much easier for me to market my book since I am a part of a lot of local and virtual author support groups.
Also, I have a great writing community locally that supports my work. I am very fortunate. I’m surrounded by a great audience that loves to hear what my book has to say!
This blogger: That is very fortunate. No doubt, when they read this they will realise how much you appreciate them too.
Have any of your friends and family read For Normal People, With Special Needs? If so, how do you feel when they talk about it with you?
Yes, they have read my book. They feel immensely proud of me and my work. My family encourages me to write more books and my friends do too.
Are you writing another book at present? If so, is it a sequel or another book entirely, and could you give us a sneak peek please?
Yes, I am writing another book. It is on a totally different subject and is an entirely different genre. It is about Digital Transformation.
I haven’t decided the title of the book yet or the cover design. I’m still working on the content, but it is basically about how we are moving towards a completely digital age and the ways we can learn to adapt to the changes happening so rapidly. It talks about the benefits and risks of artificial intelligence (AI), and explores the possible ways in which AI is going to change our world.
This blogger: That sounds very interesting. I look forward to reading it when it’s ready.
Lastly, outside of writing, what do you like to do?
I am a goal-oriented Clinical Nutritionist. I am focused on conducting detailed nutrition consultations and creating personalized meal plans to meet the needs of each client.
In addition, I am a Medical Biotechnologist and an Entrepreneur. I love what I do and am eager to achieve greater things. Also, I am very determined to put my passions and talents to good use, which has led to my profound experience in Cake Artistry & Event Planning. I take delight in being a part of innovative communities and organisations for the growth and betterment of society.
This blogger: You sound like a gift to the world, Alyshia! Simply, stay this way and go from strength to strength.
End of Interview
That, I’m afraid, concludes our interview with author Alyshia Nath. I would like to take this opportunity to thank her for her time and to wish her all the best in her future writing, clinical nutritionist practices, bakery, and other endeavours.
You can purchase Alyshia’s book – For Normal People, With Special Needs – on Amazon. Go and check it out now!
PS: If you liked this interview with author Alyshia Nath, and want to read more fascinating interviews with authors, film directors, models, writing and life coaches, and Instagram sensations, please fill in the short form below: