How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing since I was in fourth grade! I loved the Anne of Green Gables books and I wrote stories with a strong, funny, bold girl as the lead character. I used to handwrite them into recycled school notebooks and share them with my family and friends.
What did you do before you became an author? If you are not writing full-time, what other work do you do?
I’m a full-time English professor. I teach literature and creative writing, so I am lucky because I get to be surrounded by books in my everyday life. I also have three children, so being a mom to them is another job -- and a very happy one! -- that I have.
What is your favorite thing about being a writer?
I love creating new worlds. I think there is so much freedom in imagining a whole town, city, school, or any place, and then filling it with interesting characters who interact with each other. Writing is kind of like daydreaming, just on paper.
What inspired you to write this book?
My daughter! When she was ten, I gave her the Anne of Green Gables books and she loved them as I did. Then she asked me why there weren’t cool, fun books that had Arab American girls in them. There are a few, but not many. Definitely not a book series, so I decided to write one for her. And Farah Rocks was born!
What type of book are you writing? What draws you to this category?
Farah Rocks is a chapter book series. I LOVED chapter books growing up, and still do! There’s always something wonderful knowing that you will meet these same characters again in another book. You never have to say good-bye to them.
What would you like potential readers to know about your book?
Farah is funny and brave, but she also comes from a family who struggles with money. The Hajjars are one step away from being poor, and like most kids in these families, Farah feels like she needs to help out and do her share.
What is/are your social media handle(s)?
I’m on both Twitter and Instagram at @SusanDarraj. Follow me and let’s chat!
Tell us one surprising/interesting/fun fact about yourself!
I’m a huge baseball fan! I watch baseball games all spring and summer, and I help out with my sons’ Little League teams as much as I can.