(A): What do you believe it is about your writing that appeals to a wide range of people?
(R): “My writing covers a plethora of themes, such as self-love, healing, heartbreak, moving on, grief, mental health, self-care, and so on. I try to create bitesize self-help books for people who don’t like reading difficult stuff. So, I attempt to make them feel understood and to help them with their healing in a relatable manner. I want to reach out to my readers in their way, in a way that they can understand, as well as make sense of the relevant themes. My writing is for the average person who loves quotes and short self-help stuff but doesn’t like complicated books about those very topics. Through bitesize content, not only am I sharing invaluable tools with them but I’m doing it in a way that they can process and make sense of in their own words. It allows people to feel understood, like they’re not alone in the world or their healing. Often, we become so afraid of others and what people will think that we try our best not to be vulnerable, we somehow think that expressing how we truly feel makes us look weak – but this isn’t true. Through my words and the community that I’ve created on all my social media channels, my readers feel like they belong, like there is a place they can go to and express themselves, a place where they won’t be judged or made fun of, where they will be accepted. Through expressing my own vulnerabilities, fears and weakness, I am trying to create a positive and accepting community where others can also find their strength in their weaknesses.”
(A): Who has been your greatest influence?
(R): “My dad has implemented all the positive values that I possess today. As have his brothers and sister who helped him bring my brother and me up. My childhood was filled with selfless individuals who put my pain before theirs and always did their best to make me feel loved. Like I had more than just one parent – I had several. Through watching my dad deal with his grief and sorrow, I understood how invaluable strength of character and determination is, because if he could deal with everything that he had experienced, then I could do. He taught me the importance of dreaming, working hard, and never letting life break me to the point of no return. And he, along with my brother, taught me that I was nothing short of extraordinary, that being a woman didn’t mean anything when it came to how far you could go to achieve your goals. My brother has been an important part of all my early decisions regarding my career choices and my books. If he hadn’t urged me on and become my pillar, I probably wouldn’t have gotten where I am today. I also admire Malala Yousafzai. As the youngest Nobel Prize Peace Laurette, and deservingly so, Malala has inspired millions of women around the world with her integrity, strength, and willpower. I would love to have dinner with such an exceptional young lady who made a tremendous impact on the world with her actions. I’d love to know how her mind works, what her favorite books and songs are, what she enjoys watching on Netflix and what she does in her pass time. For me, getting to know the Malala within would be a life-changing experience.”
(A): Beyond a successful author, how would you describe yourself?
(R): “Outside of work I’d like to think of myself as an omnivert. I can be really outgoing and talkative – attending poetry nights, dinners, parties, and adrenaline-filled activities such as snorkeling, jet-skiing, indoor skydiving, bungee jumping, paragliding, etc., but I am also the kind of person who loves her own space. I could spend weeks not seeing any of my friends and just be happy reading, cooking, going to the gym, and taking walks in the park by myself. I’m also an Ambassador for Binti Period and I do poetry performances for their events. I perform in schools, mental health awareness events and so much more. I enjoy performing and speaking about topics that I write about, such as healing, self-love, mental health, etc. Other than that, I’m just like any other girl. I enjoy shopping, cafés, date nights and going out with my friends.”