Dark Guardian: Legends Now Available

DarkGuardianLegendsSliver

Dear Friend,

I am excited to announce that the 3rd full novel of the Dark Guardian Series is now available! The book is available in both PRINT and EBOOK formats.

If you would like to check out more information regarding this novel, you can do so HERE. Although this 3rd novel wraps up Ethan’s original arc that began in the first novel, this 3rd book can be read and understood without having to read the previous installments (although the other two are great reads in my opinion).

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the novel! If you get a copy and are in the Brazoria County/Houston area, please let me know and I’d be honored to sign it for you! As always, I appreciate your continued support of my writings. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions 🙂

Your friend,
Ammar
ahabibwr@yahoo.com

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Start of My Dream

Whenever I’m at a book signing, speaking engagement, or any type of author event, the most frequent question I’m asked is how I got a publisher to pick up my first novel (Dark Guardian) when I was 20-years old back in 2013. There’s actually a pretty nice story behind it.

I’ve always loved to write and it’s been a dream of mine since I was 7-years-old to be a New York Times Bestselling Author. During the summer before my sophomore year of college, I got the idea for my first full length novel. I began planning it out, and by September 2012, I embarked on the journey of writing it. It was an superhero/action/thriller story. I loved the characters so much that by December 2012, I’d written out the 400 page book. Before I had even finished writing the novel, I decided that I wanted to share it with the world.

There was only one slight problem: I had literally no idea on how the industry worked. After a little research, I discovered that a good first step would be to start contacting literary agents in the hopes of having one of them pick it up. Using various resources, I wrote out a list consisting of a couple hundred agents who represented my novel’s genre. By mid-January 2013, I had written out my cover letter and was ready to send it out. This would be a cinch, wouldn’t it?

I’m not a very arrogant or egotistical person—although I’m sure there are people who will disagree with that—but one thing I’ve always been confident about is my writing ability. I was under the presumption that the first agent to read the book would love it and pick it up. So I decided to send the first letter out to the best agent I could find—the agent of the Harry Potter series. That was over three and a half years ago. I have yet to hear back from them, so I’m sure it’s a safe bet that they’re not interested!

I soon made the habit of sending out two or three letters a day. In no too long of a timespan, I had compiled ten rejection letters. Then the ten became twenty, twenty became thirty, thirty became forty, and forty became fifty. Before I knew it, I had a hundred rejection letters by the end of March. But one of the biggest things my parents had taught me through their own actions and words was that you don’t quit what you start and that if you want something bad enough, you can always find a way to make it happen.

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This is something I learned in sports. I played American football from 7th grade through 12th grade. I was always the smallest and slowest kid on the team—which is a horrible combination in football. But the best thing my dad did is that he never let me quit, even when it got tough. Instead, he taught me to always be the hardest working kid on the team. And even though I was a backup for the first 5 years of playing football, it earned me the respect of my coaches and teammates. Halfway through my last year of playing, the hard work paid off when my coach named me the starter.

I looked at this no different. If I kept going at it and didn’t quit, I knew I’d find a home for my novel. I kept up the habit of sending two or three letters a day. By June, I was at 200 rejection letters. The thing that frustrated me the most at this point was that not a single agent had even read my novel. They were rejecting it at face value. I don’t know if it was my young age, inexperience, or something else that was making them wary.

By this time, I had run out of agents on my list, so I had to go and add names to it. By the time I was at 250 rejections, I came across a medium-sized publisher that didn’t require authors to have an agent in order to speak to them. I sent them my cover letter and after a few weeks, I got a response from them asking to see my novel. I sent them the novel on a Monday evening. 23 hours later, I got an email from them offering me a contract! I guess my theory about the first person to look at the book loving it was true!

All put together, I received 302 rejections. So in hindsight, was it the easiest thing in the world to do? No. Was it always fun to get rejections? Heck no. But was it rewarding? Well, let’s look at the results. The novel came out and had the best opening week in the history of the publisher to that date. It ended up being the second highest seller for the publisher’s 2014 year. Its success led to the publisher greenlighting a series (the second book came out in February 2017 and the third is releasing November 2017). I’ve also had another novel outside of this series published. And now, I DO have an AMAZING agent who I’ve been working with since August 2016!

So, I’d say it was worth it. Chasing any dream is always worth it even if other people can’t see it at the time. I grew as a person. I learned what I was made of. But most of all, I earned my own self-respect.

The thing that I find humorous is when people tell me how lucky I was. There wasn’t any luck involved, in my opinion. It was persistence, self-esteem, and faith that really made it happen. The most rewarding thing about all of this is that now I am closer to my childhood dream than ever before. I can see the path to it and will continue striving forward until it becomes a reality! And now, whenever I meet any aspiring authors, I can tell them with full faith and encouragement that if I could make it, so can they!


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. Ammar is currently continuing to further his writing career. 

Interview with Bestselling Author, Carrie Whitethorne

Hello, friends! Today I have the pleasure of interviewing author Carrie Whitethorne. Carrie is a bestselling author with several published works under her belt and more on the way. Originally from a small town in South Yorkshire, Carrie now lives with her husband and two children. She enjoys incorporating British folklore into her works, and is a fan of fantasy and dystopian novels.

If you’d like to check her out on social media or learn more about her works, you can do so through these sites:

Facebook Website Twitter

You can check out her first novel, Riftkeepers: Prime, at http://mybook.to/Prime, which is available on Kindle and Kindle Unlimited.

Alright! So let’s get started with the interview!

 

1) Were there any particular books/events that inspired you to start writing?

I’ve always been a fan of fantasy novels. I was introduced to Tolkien when I was eight, and that began a lifelong love of all things fantasy.

 

2) What is your writing background?

I used to write a lot as a child, then abandoned the practice for social pursuits in my teens. I didn’t pick it back up until I was in my thirties when I began writing my Riftkeepers Series.

 

3) What is your writing process? Is it a set process or more fluid? What inspires you?

My first book was written, so to speak. No thought, no planning, I just wrote it. I try to plan the story out, however loosely, then build on that. I do give my characters biographies, I detail places and their descriptions in a separate document for reference. The character biography is always stuck to, but the outline of the plot is often strayed from. I allow my characters to lead the way, and if they take an unexpected turn, I let them.

 

4) What advice do you have for new/aspiring writers?

Write. Every chance you get, write. It doesn’t really matter what you write, but the habit of sitting down and creating something from whatever is going through your mind is always a good practice.

 

5) Do you draw inspiration from pop culture (TV Shows, Video Games, Movies, etc), and if so, which ones?

I got a lot of my magical ideas from playing World of Warcraft, an MMORPG. I used to play a warlock and magical powers have been a big influence in my Riftkeepers series.

 

6) You’re trapped on an island, but are allowed to bring one person, one food item, and one object. What are your choices?

My husband, a cake, and a bottle of gin. If we’re stuck there, we may as well enjoy ourselves.

 

7) What drew you to your genres in general?

It was inevitable that I would write fantasy and paranormal romance. I am a romantic, I’ve been with my husband since we were teens, and my love of fairy tales, folk lore and fantasy tv, film and books made them the perfect genres for me.

 

8) What project have you enjoyed working on the most?

I co-wrote a book with another author earlier this year, that was a lot of fun. Bouncing ideas back and forth, really working as a team to create new people and a new world. I really did enjoy that.

 

9) What is the deciding factor on whether or not to pursue a project? 

If it’s worth pursuing, the whole story will unfold in my head and I can get the basics down on paper. If this doesn’t happen, there is little point in chasing the idea. I make the notes, save them on the laptop, and revisit them if something else comes to mind, but I never force it.

 

Thank you for the lovely interview, Carrie! It was interesting to learn how Carrie sticks to her character biographies, but is fluid with the plot’s outline. It was also to learn about her enjoyment in co-writing projects. Having worked with co-authors on a few projects myself, I can attest to the fact that there are definitely aspects of collaboration that are enjoyable!

I hope you all enjoyed learning about Carrie as much as I did. I am excited to see where her Riftkeeper series will go from here!

-Ammar

 

Interview with Author Samantha Nicklaus

Hello, friends! Today I have the pleasure of interviewing author Samantha Nicklaus. Samantha is a young and rising star in the literary world. Samantha Nicklaus is a New York born and Tallahassee based writer. She graduated from Florida State University in 2017 with a Bachelors Degree in History with a minor in Psychology. She has always been a writer, but got more serious about it after winning her first National Novel Writing Month in 2011. Her first self-published novella, Prison 917, was released this past August. She loves reading, writing, video games, Disney movies, and spends too much of her time watching Netflix.

If you’d like to check her out on social media or learn more about her works, you can do so through these sites:

Twitter Facebook Website GoodReads Amazon Author Page

Alright! So let’s get started with the interview!

1) Were there any particular books/events that inspired you to start writing?

Nothing comes to mind. In my elementary school, we always did creative writing exercises, writing little stories with prompts. I sort of just started there, and haven’t really stopped.

 

2) What is your writing background?

I don’t know how much of a “background” I have. I’ve won a few poetry contests and writing contests, but nothing I remember well enough to talk about. My first self published work just came out this August, a novella titled Prison 917.

 

3) What is your writing process? Is it a set process or more fluid? What inspires you?

My writing process is a bit all over the place. Generally I have a story idea, work it over in my head for a while, then just start writing. I usually write until I either get bored or I lose track of the plot, then I stop to make a breakdown of what I want to happen. That’s just a word document with 1, 2, 3 listed out with events I want to include. I very rarely write a story in chronological order. I get inspiration from a lot of different places, but usually it starts with an idea for a character and I kind of work from there with things like, “okay, if that sort of person was in this situation, what would happen?” and I mull that over until I think of an interesting situation that fits the character.

 

4) What advice do you have for new/aspiring writers?

I generally shy away from giving advice, because honestly I think that writing advice (and advice, in general) comes from a really personal place. People preach that “write a little every day” stuff, or the “never start a story with a character waking up!” or weird little things like that. If I had to give writing advice, it would be to do literally whatever you want. Don’t worry about how you write or what you write, just do what you enjoy. There are plenty of “bad” books that have gotten popular enough for movie deals. Don’t sweat what everyone thinks; just go with what you like.

 

5) Do you draw inspiration from pop culture (TV Shows, Video Games, Movies, etc), and if so, which ones?

I’m sure that I do, but nothing specific comes to mind. I think that Tanya Huff has influenced me a lot though. I have a collection of her short stories and they are funny. The thing that gets me about them though is that they aren’t made to be funny, they all have messages in them, the comedy is an afterthought. She writes stories about a thief falling in love with a mercenary and its funny. A story about a wizard being split into two different people, and it’s funny. My stories did get a lot funnier after reading her work. I realized that a story doesn’t have to be all about the jokes, there can be a fantasy or dystopian plot and it can also be funny.

 

6) You’re trapped on an island, but are allowed to bring one person, one food item, and one object. What are your choices?

Whether the goal is to get off the island or survive on the island, I would bring my dad. He would have shelter and clean water in no time. As far as food goes; peanut butter. It makes me sick after a while, but I think it’s the best food to have around. And object? Probably a book, but I couldn’t name which one. Way too hard to pick!

 

7) What drew you to your genres in general?

I want to have a deep and insightful reason, but honestly, it’s laziness. Prison 917 is a break from my usual, which is fantasy. I’ve been writing fantasy for a while now, and have two novel length works in progress I hope to get out in 2018. I started with fantasy because I get to be lazy. Magic is my favorite thing in the world. Scifi you have to research and know things, history you have to be sure of what you’re writing. Fantasy? Never. If I need a character out of a scene, they can jump on a magic carpet and be out of the way. As long as the rules of magic are consistent in that world, I can do pretty much anything I want and explain it away as magic.

 

8) What project have you enjoyed working on the most?

I enjoy working on all of my works in progress, but I think the one I have gotten the least frustrated with is Prison 456, which is in the final stages of editing and should be out in the next few months. This is my second novella, and I knew where I wanted the story to go, so it was really easy to write. Even editing so far has been quick and painless.

 

9) What is the deciding factor on whether or not to pursue a project? 

My interest in it. That’s the only thing that matters to me. I have a work in progress that could be done by now, and is probably 95% written, but I was working on Prison 917 and Prison 456 and was so passionate about those projects that I haven’t touched anything else. National Novel Writing Month is coming up, and I have a story prepared to start for that as well. I skip around between works in progress a lot. Whatever has me excited is what I work on and what I keep working on.

 

Thank you for the lovely interview, Samantha! It was great getting to learn a bit about your unique writing process. I hope you all enjoyed learning about her as much as I did. I have no doubt that she has a very bright future ahead of her!

-Ammar

Update on Writing Projects

Dear Friend,

I hope you are doing well! I want to first thank you for taking the time to visit my new blog. Along with occasional updates on the status of my writing projects, I aim to use this blog to interview authors and learn about their different writing processes.

For today’s post, I just wanted to give a basic update on the stages of development my various writing projects are at right now since there are quite a few in the pipeline. As I’m sure you likely know, I currently have three novels published (Dark Guardian, Memories Of My Future, & Dark Guardian: A New Dawn) along with many hort stories.

My next novel to be released is the third, and final, installment of the Dark Guardian Series. The title of the novel is Dark Guardian: Legends and it will be published the first weekend of November 2017 God-Willingly! The cover art and final proofread have all been complete, so everything is set to go!

After Legends, the my next novel to be published is a police novel set in 1999 that follows the early adventures of an undercover narcotics officer in Houston. This novel is co-written by a good friend of mine who has a former background as an undercover narcotics officer in Brazoria and Harris County, Glenda. Glenda is a very strong storyteller and some of the protagonist’s situations are inspired by situations Glenda faced during her career. Working with Glenda on this book was one of the funnest experiences I’ve had as a writer and I can’t wait to share this novel with everyone in the near future.

Currently, my amazing agent has my 6th novel and is working on securing a publishing deal for it. The book is a Young Adult novel currently titled Aleppo: A City Forgotten. As that name suggests, the novel is set in the city of Aleppo in the midst of the current and tragic civil war that has gripped Syria. The story follows a thirteen-year-old boy, Zaid, when he is separated from his family the night Aleppo is attacked. With this novel, I wanted to show the horrors of wars like these from the eyes of children who live through them. The main theme of the novel is the unbreakable human spirit and the courage of mankind at their darkest hours.

I recently finished a children’s picture book (for ages 5-7). The current title is Most Bunnies Hop, But Some Bunnies Fly. This book follows the adventure of a young bunny who cannot hop like the other bunnies. His journey of self-discovery teaches him a valuable lesson about discovery. This book is currently being read by several publishers.

Recently, I also finished up a graphic novel. I wrote the script, while my friend, Jackson, created the artwork for our sample pages. Jackson is an amazing and invigorating artist (and a great person overall). The current title is Mors: The Legendary Wolf. Jackson’s artwork is a mix of traditional comic book art mixed with some very unique styles, which really makes it captivating. I view this graphic novel as a modern day western following an old gunslinger who has lived longer than he should have and is now haunted by the demons of his past and the monsters in his soul. This story is inspired by some of my favorite movies, including The Last Samurai (although it has nothing to do with samurais) and John Wick. It also takes inspiration from classic comic book stories, such as Old Man Logan and The Dark Knight Returns, to name just a couple.

So those are all the projects and their stages of development! Hope that was not too confusing. I truly appreciate your continued support of my writings and cannot express how thankful I am. As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me!

Your friend,

Ammar