An interview with writer and blogger Nadine Banna @NadineBanna

Recently I wrote a review of a short story called The Ward, written by a fellow blogger Nadine Banna (@NadineBanna). Having found her story to be thrilling and extremely intriguing, I approached Nadine with the idea of a follow-up post featuring an interview with herself, to find out who, when and what inspired her to write and what makes her creativity tick.

“I was surprised how much words on paper could affect you.”

Growing up as a ‘huge bookworm’ Nadine loved all kinds of fiction and after reading each book desired to become a writer herself. When asked what really inspired her passion for writing she replied that being a huge Harry Potter fan she was surprised ‘how much words on paper could affect you’.

Having grown up in Cairo, Nadine went to an all-girl French Catholic school which did not change all through (what she calls) kindergarten, elementary, middle and high school (for us that would be nursery, primary and secondary school). I asked whether there was any specific event or reaction from this environment that encouraged her to write. She told me that she was asked to write her high school graduation speech which was her first real ‘piece’ of fiction. When asked what it was about Nadine stated that ‘It wasn’t really a speech but more of a story about young girls growing up inside the walls of a castle and wanting to get out of there as soon as they can to see the outside world, they had to make a deal with a witch called Time. They finally got out, but at a price.’ Nadine went on to explain that ‘All through my speech I could see her [Marina, (Nadine’s best friend)] and a lot of other childhood friends crying as they identified with the all-too-eager girls who wanted to finally leave the ‘castle’ but at the cost of losing their school friends. Their response and the nun who asked me to write the speech, she came up to me afterwards and hugged me and said to never hide my talent, that it was a gift and that I was meant to grow it. Their reactions towards my speech were amazing and her words and everyone else encouraging me to keep on writing has meant that I’ve never stopped since!’

“I was trying to see how different people would react to what I write and from their reaction see how I could improve my work.”

Nadine’s retelling of those events had me emotional and gripped to find out more, especially about The Ward which she published on her blog on the 22nd June 2017. Although Nadine hasn’t professionally published any of her books, she certainly hopes, in fact, plans to in the future. Speaking of publishing, I asked what made her publish The Ward on her blog and why she thought blogging was a good idea. ‘I started the blog in March [of this year] to try to build a readership and to get wider feedback on my work. I was trying to see how different people would react to what I write and from their reaction see how I could improve my work before taking the step towards professionally publishing. I used to publish my work on Facebook but the community was closed and restricted to people around me.’ Having read several of the comments about her short story and of those I got from my review of The Ward, this ambitious move definitely seems to have paid off.

“I am particularly fond of works of fiction that have an unexpected twist.”

The latter part of our conversation focused more on The Ward, the short story that I recently reviewed. I found that the genre of this short story was hard to identify, in fact, I thought it would be restrictive to label it as belonging to only one category and Nadine reassured me that that was the entire point. ‘I am particularly fond of works of fiction that have an unexpected twist at the end, that can make you revisit the entire piece to make sure you didn’t miss any clues as to the truth of the situation, for example Snape’s story in Harry Potter… I don’t think you can restrict this effect to one genre because it can be used in drama as much as in thrillers or mysteries.’

Nadine’s mentioned of Harry Potter and being a massive fan of J.K. Rowling myself I was compelled to asked whether this story had an impact on her work. ‘Oh definitely… as I was saying, Snape’s story was a big inspiration as well as Neville’s parents who ended up in a ward.’ Speaking of authors, Nadine mentioned that she was also a huge fan of Dan Brown’s mysteries ‘which heavily rely on this effect too.’ These books helped with elaborating the idea which she revealed stemmed from one of her dreams. I asked if she could elaborate further on this point, which she was more than happy to do, stating that ‘I dreamt that I was visiting someone in a psychiatric ward and I was told that I was the one who was sick. I liked the idea and further elaborated it with a richer background story and tried to make it more emotionally engaging.’

The popular response to this story meant that I had to ask whether she was planning to write anymore. I can confirm that she is! I managed to extract that the story will be called The Gift and that it is about relationships.

I finished the interview asking if she had any advice to writers and her response was ‘write, write and write some more… A finished imperfect piece is better than a perfect unfinished piece. I believe that feedback negative or positive is very constructive. But it is only the negative feedback that makes you notice the loopholes in your writing and would make you a better writer.’

If you have found this interview interesting like myself and found that you want to read more of Nadine’s work then just click this URL link to find more: https://nadinebanna14.wordpress.com/2017/06/22/the-ward/

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87 thoughts on “An interview with writer and blogger Nadine Banna @NadineBanna”

  1. An interesting insight into her motivation. I loved the story about the graduation speech. My daughter just finished high school and I recognised that in some of her class. I’m also a big Harry Potter fan so the Snape comparison was good as well.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. It is very interesting to see you supporting another blogger! I would like to ask you this question. Do you pitch them for interviews?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nadine seems like a very enlightened writer. I’m trying to work myself to becoming a self-sustaining writer so any advice is much appreciated. Thanks for taking the time to share this!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m so glad to see your interview with Natalie. She’s such a beautiful writer! I could read her stories all day long. It was especially fun for me to see where she’s taken inspiration from, as in J.K. Rolling and Dan Brown’s mysteries. x

    Liked by 2 people

  5. This was a nice review, and I have bookmarked the short story to read. I have always been envious of people who can write stories and really admire how they are able to write and make words just flow!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I think Nadine Banna will be my next favorite writer. I can relate so much to her life. I was educated in exclusive girls Catholic schools too, from Nursery to high school and went on to earn my degree in a Catholic University.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah Nadine is a blogger! She’s multitalented! I can’t stress how much I think everyone should read her stuff. They are brilliant books- I grew up with the Harry Potter books. They’re what made me fall in love with literature!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I love her advice to write, write and write some more. I think that’s one of the best ways to get out of writer’s block and get things going. Great interview.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This is absolute GREAT advice from Nadine ….‘write, write and write some more… A finished imperfect piece is better than a perfect unfinished piece. I believe that feedback negative or positive is very constructive. But it is only the negative feedback that makes you notice the loopholes in your writing and would make you a better writer.’….I am a work in progress but realize I cannot improve my writing if I am not writing. Thank you for sharing

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I love doing interviews with writers, but also anyone who has a dream or a goal! I love to find out what others are doing and I want to help and encourage them in whatever way I can!

      Like

  9. Thank you for sharing the interview. I have not read any of her books or her blog but i sure am going to! I need to free up some time so I can get a copy of her book and read it this weekend.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I love how supportive you are.
    Harry Potter is my little childhood dream.. 😀
    The last advice: ‘write, write and write some more…” is a good one for me because I need to improve my English 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I really relate to Nadine’s line: “I was trying to see how different people would react to what I write and from their reaction see how I could improve my work.” That’s what I’m working on now! I’ve published three novels without many comments along the way until they were out! I had no idea how my writing would be received! It’s quite rewarding to learn and connect with others!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Hi Jade! They are a continuing story beginning with Mending Stone then Catching Rain, Seeding Hope…Maybe there will be another 😁 but the characters haven’t told me yet! You can find them on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.com…or from me. I have lots posted about them on my blog http://www.mendingstone.com It has been the most awe-mazing journey for me and I love “meeting” so many great writers and readers!

        Liked by 2 people

  12. You did a lovely job introducing us to Nadine’s writings. Many come to blogging with aspirations to become full fledged writers. I wish Nadine much success in her journey.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I enjoyed reading both this post and the short story review. Nadine has led an interesting life and her story shows how much we can fuel our creative expressions with our experiences.

    Liked by 1 person

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