Amal Hanif was a student of grade 5 when she wrote Dahlia the Dreamer. She is a passionate writer and ardent reader. The incidents of Dahlia are real-life accounts from Amal’s own life experiences. Presently, Amal lives in Karachi, Pakistan with her family.
Hibakidz spoke to ten year old Dahlia to discover more about her book, and here is what she has to say…
What inspired you into writing?
I think my mom was fed up with my misadventures and wanted the world to know about her suffering, so we wrote the book together.
How did it occur that you can write a book?
At school (Fajr Academy, Karachi) I was given the task of writing a book in Urdu as a project. So I thought why not try it in English, too.
Were you ever scared it might not get attention?
I wasn’t too bothered about it, as I am a happy-go-lucky person.
How many times did you have a writer’s block?
Alhumdulillah, I never ran out of ideas. In fact, I did not mention some incidents in the book deliberately, as they are too embarrassing to share.
At such times who came to rescue, other than your mom, of course?
My dad pushed me around to finish the book in time.
Mention some of your favourite reads.
“A to Z Mysteries” by Ron Roy, “The Prince and the Pauper” by Mark Twain and “Heidi” by Johanna Spyri. As a child, I marveled at “Hairy Maclary’s” books by Lynley Dodd, Disney’s “Winnie the Pooh”, “Critter Books” by Mercer Mayer and many more.
How many books have you read in the 10 years of your life?
Approximately 4000 plus. The credit goes a lot to my school and my mother. We have thousands of books at home, library memberships, etc. Books on shelves, in cartons, stowed under the bed, tucked away in closets, and piling out from everywhere.
Conducted by Asma Hamza