Hello Author Naureen Youssef, Thank you for joining us! Please tell us something about yourself?
I was born in Denmark in 1989. I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration majoring in Marketing, and have a GDM diploma in Business Management. I mothered a baby girl at the age of 24 and shortly divorced my husband afterwards, being a single mum was tariffing for me but I had to stay strong and become stronger for my daughter. In 2015, I got in the modeling world by becoming a fashion model. Later on, I became a social media influencer and a motivational speaker to empower women especially single mum’s like myself. Afterwards I became the only mother in Egypt to win a crown in a beauty pageant as “Miss Planet Egypt 2019”.
When did you start writing and what inspired it?
Since I was 13 years old, I always liked to write. I would write pieces here and there but never thought to do much about it. After going through a terrible divorce, I felt like expressing my pain through writing and one day I decided to share my writing with the world, in a way writing saved my life. It was a dream for me to publish my own book “Bits & Pieces”, and I am beyond grateful this dream became a reality.
What does your family think of your writing?
It’s actually funny because I never asked! But I do know they are very proud that I never gave up on my dream and they are always there in every occasion or book signing event.
What do the words “writer’s block” mean to you?
Oh wow, A LOT let me tell you that. When I started Bits & Pieces I had days when inspiration was all over the place and then I would go into a block, literally not a world comes to mind for days, in face in the beginning I used to think to myself “Oh okay, that’s it. I can’t be an Author” but later on I started seeing it in a more constructive way. You exhaust your mind to a point it goes blank but then it recharges and create again.
Your book “Bits & Pieces” Can you tell us about it?
Well Bits & Pieces is my life work and my first book, every page tells a different story or poem hence the title. Bits & Pieces will make you feel like you are not alone in your daily struggles or happiness, you will relate and connect to more than 250 quotes, poems and short stories.
Is there a specific part that is personally emotional for you?
Yes, there are a lot of pieces that revolve around my personal story but the part I found very hard to write about was the pieces involving my daughter. In the sad pieces I imagined her pain growing up without a father and being her mother, it made me feel a lot more pain and responsibility but as much as it was hard for me, the happy pieces gave me strength because I see through her eyes how much she believes in me.
Can you share a piece about your daughter that was hard for you to write?
Yes sure, I think She Grew Up without a Father was one of the hardest.
She told me one day you will return in regrets, but I could never believe someone like you could ever ask for forgiveness, but here you are now. All those years I have wondered; why were you gone. Was I the reason? Or was your heart simply made of ice? I looked around, all I could ever see was happy people playing family, and mine was missing you. I figured you were never in the frame. You tore apart the full picture and played a victim. Little did you know that tables would turn. I now stand tall and look into your eyes; all I could think of is how thankful I am you were gone. And she was the one there for me. What’s the matter, don’t you recognize I am a copy of what you broke long ago? I am another version of a woman who spent her life trying to fill up the hole you left deep inside me. For years, I have wondered if I ever crossed your mind. Every time I asked where you were, she gazed away with a smile on her face that could not hide the pain in her eyes. Thank you, father, for toughening me up. I never needed you. Do not come to me because I will disappoint you as you did a long time ago. My mom taught me to forgive and forget, so leave in peace. I will not remember you or remind you about your daughter’s debt.
Do you have any regrets?
Not to sound above it all, but I believe everything happens for a reason and if I didn’t do this or that or a particular mistake, I wouldn’t be where or who I am today which I love. Loving yourself is hard but when you reach that peace and clarity, you only look back and feel thankful and blessed with no “if only” or “what if”.
Where can readers learn more about your story?
My Book “Bits & Pieces” is available locally on Souq, Jumia and Diwan book store. Internationally it’s available on Amazon as Paperback and Kindle version and Google Books. Readers can learn more about me and my book on my website: www.naureenyoussef.com.