Blog tour: Not the Girls You’re Looking For by Aminah Mae Safi
I’m so pleased to be welcoming debut author Aminah Mae Safi to the blog today, to talk about how she finds inspiration. Before I pass you over, I’m going to share a little bit more about Not the Girls You’re Looking For, just in case you haven’t heard about this brilliantly diverse title yet.
Lulu Saad doesn’t need your advice, thank you very much. She’s got her three best friends and nothing can stop her from conquering the known world. Sure, for half a minute she thought she’d nearly drowned a cute guy at a party, but he was totally faking it. And fine, yes, she caused a scene during Ramadan. It’s all under control. Ish.
Except maybe this time she’s done a little more damage than she realizes. And if Lulu can’t find her way out of this mess soon, she’ll have to do more than repair friendships, family alliances, and wet clothing. She’ll have to go looking for herself.
Debut author Aminah Mae Safi’s honest and smart novel is about how easy it can be to hurt those around you even if – especially if – you love them.
Still not convinced? Here’s an excerpt – hopefully hearing for Lulu herself will make it impossible for you to resist picking up a copy:
“You chase boys,” Matt’s voice trailed off, more unfinished thought than question.
“Hah. Maybe. Or maybe I don’t run away when they catch up to me. I haven’t quite figured it out yet. All I know, is once I pounce, or let them pounce, the fun’s all gone. Usually.”
“Okay, so like, every day last spring, I’d run for training. I’d run by the boys lacrosse team, you know, to keep it interesting.”
“And a friend of mine. Let’s call him Brian, he accuses me of running by the team on purpose,” said Lulu.
“What did you do?”
“I denied it, of course.”
“I didn’t lie. See, Brian accused me of running by the boys on purpose, so they would check me out.”
“No. I was running by the boys to check them out. But Brian assumed the reverse. Boys are the subject, I’m the direct object.”
“That’s a technicality.”
“It might seem like a technicality to you, but I like being the subject of my own sentences.” Lulu kicked the curb with her shoe. The rubber of her sole made a satisfying squeak.
“Who cares what some idiot thinks of you?”
Lulu slurped the last of her granita. “If everything you did in life was constantly about that same misunderstanding, you’d be pissed off too.”
If you’re interested in learning more about Not the Girls You’re Looking For, click on the cover to check it out on Goodreads. If you decide to purchase a copy, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link: I’ll receive a few pennies from your purchase.
Now it’s time for me to pass you over to Aminah. I hope you love her guest post as much as I do!
Stories are probably my biggest source of inspiration. I love to read and re-read books. I also love to watch and re-watch my favorite movies. I think it’s the re-reading and the re-watching that help the most. Because once you’re past watching the story, or reading it, to learn what happens in the end, the more you can focus on how the story moves to its conclusion.
When I was writing Not the Girls You’re Looking For I re-watched classic girl gang movies – Grease, Mean Girls, Clueless and Heathers. I also watched this dark comedy – not a teen movie by a long shot – called Bachelorette about a dysfunctional group of friends who had gone to high school together and were now fully grown and on the eve of the first of them getting married.
Other people’s stories help because they showed me there were many ways to approach the same problem. There is no single way to tackle a story of female friendship. The reason we as a culture watch all of these movies is because their myriad experiences have spoken to us all, at various points in our lives, along the way. Realizing that took the pressure off as I wrote.
I also listened to Rosamund Pike’s narration of Pride and Prejudice – she does a fantastic job, by the way – in order to understand the way Austen had written about the dynamic of sisters. I did a re-read of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women for the same reasons. Much like my main character, Lulu, literary sisters have always held a fascination for me.
I’m a big believer in reading while you write – both inside and outside of your genre. In watching films that resonate with the themes of your story. I think those have been the biggest places I’ve been inspired. I understand why some authors won’t do this – they’re worried about subconsciously producing a book that is not their own.
But I cannot write any other way.
Maybe it’s because I was rained to be an academic and I cannot write without some level of research under my belt. Maybe it’s simple because I love stories. No matter the reason, I’m a big believer in staying plugged into stories as I write, and perhaps you are, too.
About the author:
Aminah Mae Sai is a Muslim-American writer who explores art, fiction, feminism, and film. She loves Sofia Coppola movies, Bollywood endings, and the Fast and Furious franchise. She’s the winner of the We Need Diverse Books short story contest. Originally raised in Texas, she now lives in Los Angeles, California, with her partner, a cat bent on world domination, and another cat who’s just here for the snacks.
Once again, a huge thank you to Aminah Mae Safi for writing such a brilliant guest post. If you love her post as much as I do, be sure to reach out to her on Twitter, Instagram or Tumblr to let her know.
I’d also like to thank Aimee, Always for allowing me to get involved in the Not the Girls You’re Looking For blog tour. I’ve popped the blog tour schedule down below: make sure to check out some of the other posts.