Interview: Fares Aoun

Fares Aoun was raised in Lebanon and grew up in a troubled area in the middle of a civil war. He witnessed a lot of anger toward others, and after moving to the U.S., he changed his worldview which prompted him to write his book.

Here’s a video trailer for Jerusalem Spring:

Enjoy this interview.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your latest book. What do you hope readers take away from it?

I grew up in Lebanon. Our fifteen-year civil war started when I was only five years old. Growing up in the midst of such a long war made me acutely aware of injustice, and unfortunately we still have a lot
of division in my country.

When I moved to the US I was surprised by how many people didn’t understand much about the Middle East, and I wanted to find a way to answer people’s questions, because I got a lot of questions from people around me. I was talking to my wife about an idea I had to use personal stories — of women, men, kids — that would make the situation more concrete to Americans. She encouraged me to write about it, and Jerusalem Spring was born out of these discussions.

People end up interested in the Middle East only when it makes the news, like right now. I want people to read the book and be interested in the possibilities for peace there now, and understand
why it’s so necessary. People in the Middle East have been crying out for freedom for a long time. I hope my readers will try to work in some small way for peace.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Paint, take pictures, read the news (I’m a real news junkie), watch movies.

Favorite way to spend a leisurely weekend afternoon?

Playing with my two children.

In your opinion, what’s the measure of a successful writer?

One whose book can catch the reader’s attention from the beginning and delivers a good message at the same time. Good authors make the reader think.

Where can we learn more about you? or

Additional resources on novel writing:

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