Saturday, August 17, 2013

Carroll Bryant Interviews Ira

It's no secret that I don't do many interviews. I thought I wanted to do more of them and in a way, I kind of do, but the thing is, it's a little harder than it looks. It takes a lot of time, and time is one thing that has been lacking recently. I do enjoy doing them though. The HoiTahPoiSha interview was really fun to put together and do. One of the hardest parts of doing interviews is trying to find someone interesting to interview. I have several interviews pending right now. One of those interviews pending is with a man who knew Elvis Presley. However, health problems has caused a major delay in that one. Another interview with a band on the top 40 charts in England has fizzled due to contractual issues with their manager. Then there is another musician I had lined up but he is being stubborn. LOL He just doesn't like giving interviews ever since he retired from the bizz. He's still thinking about it though. Still, there are others I have contacted and yet to hear back from.

Add all of this up and put into factor that my schedule hasn't exactly been clear itself and it's just one big mountain to climb to try and find these interesting people do interviews. It takes time to search for them too. However, there is a saying that talks about things being "right under your nose" and you just never seem to realize it. Lo and behold, here I was searching for someone interesting to interview and I didn't realize that someone interesting was already standing right in front of me. Someone who has done perhaps a hundred interviews of authors and even did a few with me. Someone who is already a very good poet too. Of course, I am talking about my blog partner, and perhaps best internet friend in the history of internet friends, Ira.

Ira and I met while I was a member of Goodreads back in the Fall of 2011. Our conversations led us to a friendship and then I made her a mod of my GR group. From there, it just grew and grew. She was the one who "forced" me to start a blog here on "Blogger". I wasn't very thrilled about it in the beginning, to blog that is, as I had a blog with Weebly and wasn't getting into it one bit. But thanks to her persistence and along with her help, I did start to enjoy blogging and now, just a hair over 1 and a half years later, here we are. But her and my friendship is going on 2 years strong now. She and I are about as close as two people can possibly be over the internet. She owns just about all of my passwords for almost all of my online accounts, with the exception of my emails. She has helped me out a lot when I go galloping off to California or wherever. She's been a tremendous help and an even more tremendous friend.

But it hasn't always been a one sided affair. I have opened a door for her too where blogging is concerned. In the beginning of us becoming blog partners, she wanted to do some author interviews so I brought her into my author group on GR and let her go at it. She began getting authors to interview. She, nor I, never knew how that would turn into such a huge thing. Probably more than half of her posts on her blog are author interviews. She's gotten quite good at it. She's the Larry King of blogging. Or perhaps a much more better comparison, the Barbara Walters of the blogging world. And she's still going strong to this day.

Don't think I haven't noticed. Okay, it took me a while to notice it, but better late than never. And now, because of her doing so many interviews with others, I thought it would be fun to interview her for a change. After some coaxing, I finally got her to agree.  So let's get this interview going, shall we?

Carroll: First of all, Ira, thanks for finally agreeing to this interview.  My first question is, why in the heck did you become my friend? LOL I mean, what did you see in me that made you think you wanted to become my friend?

Ira: Well, are you sure you want that answer? I'm going to leave you and everyone else in mystery for this. Keeping my reasons to myself.

Carroll: I already know the answer, but since you put it that way, I see you don't want to say, so ... moving right along. (LOL) How many author interviews do you think you have done so far?

Ira: At the moment I have done 95 and probably by the end of the month I'll have 105.

Carroll: What is it about doing these author interviews that you like?

Ira: I never really thought about it...I think that I like doing this is cuz I feel like I'm helping authors and helping myself.

Carroll: Of all the interviews you have done with all of these amazing authors, talk about a few of your favorites.

Ira: Oh that's a tough one. I'm not sure to be honest, I have done so many that I cannot keep up with whose would be best. I think I say that all the interviews I've done have been different. Some were very to the point and then there are some authors who open up and give little details that intrigues the reader. I feel as if to enjoy a book, if you know what the author and their personality or their feelings are about the book, you enjoy it more.

Carroll: Why do you think you do so many interviews? What do you get out of it? Is it just simply the thrill of meeting these people and interacting with them? I know you're a big reader of books, so I would imagine there has to be some kind of excitement in thinking that one day, some of these authors will become best sellers and you can look back and say, "I interviewed that author." - is that one of the thrills of doing these interviews?

Ira: I say that even now! Lol, I've interviewed Nyrae Dawn, Kasie West, Katie McGarry, Jodi Medaows. These authors have written amazing books. I'm sure I could add more but the list would be long. Although I have not read any of her books, Erin Albert is a famous person on my blog. All these authors who write have something to give others; they give this certain type of hope to other aspiring authors and people in general. I am honored to have interviewed these authors and as soon as I can, I wish I can interview other authors who I love as well.

Carroll: It's no secret that you're a devoted Muslim. Could you talk a little bit about what it is like to be a Muslim? Perhaps shed some light on public misconceptions of what Muslims are all about? And stereo-types?

Ira: I love being a Muslim. I love wearing my hijab, my abaya, my niqaab. I love my religion and I am proud to be a Muslimah. However, when I go out and see the stares that once made me cringed, I now look at them straight in the eyes and roll my eyes.  I live in a small posh town where it's mostly filled with Non-Muslims but the count of Muslims is rising. I haven't seen many praciting Muslims though I know they're out there. My father never forced me to wear the veil or hijaab. I wore it out of my own love and want. Not all Muslim families are idiots or illiterate and don't know how to speak English and, in the Canadian Charter of Rights, we have free will to practice religion; people shouldn't be telling me that I can't wear the veil just cuz I live in Canada. Sorry, but this is a passionate and hurtful topic. It hurts me to know that there are ignorant people who think we Muslims are terrorists when half us struggle to live in our daily life. It's a shame.

Carroll: Good enough. Besides being an active blogger and interviewing authors, you also like to write poetry. What is it about writing poetry that you enjoy the most? And how does that conflict with you being Muslim?

Ira: The poetry I write is more of a let out for me in different aspects and views. I tend to write poetry from my feelings. I take in the situation and atmosphere, the emotion and everything around it and then write the words that come. It conflicts in many ways, I however, have ceased on writing poetry because of the conflicts I've learned about poetry in Islam. I do not want to get into this though. My apologies.

Carroll: Apologies accepted. Besides writing poetry, do you aspire to become an author yourself someday?

Ira: Yes I do actually. I do hope, that some time in the later future, I will become an author.

Carroll: How many poems have you written so far in your life?

Ira: I counted them recently and I don't like to boast or openly tell people this. However, I have written about 300 and counting.

Carroll: Being friends with you has opened my eyes about the Muslim community. You have taught me many things about that religion and because of it, I have a greater respect for Muslims. For that I thank you, but, also because of this, I have noticed a lot more persecution of Muslims in the media and by American and Canadian government. How difficult is it for you to see this persecution going on? What kind of toll does it take on you personally?

Ira: As dramatic as I am, I'm not gonna go into the whole Americans and Canadians and all those people killing my fellow Muslims should die and burn like those other idiotic Muslims do. However, it pains me to see that Muslims in all these countries are getting persecuted. Their homes are being burned down, their families killed. It then behooves me when ignorant non-Muslims say that they deserve it. Tell me, if your father was brought out and killed in front of you; what would you do? Tell me, if your house was bombed and then the house of your friends and their friends and you had no where to go? No roof over you head? How would you feel? I don't think people understand that. They just think that Muslims are terrorist and that we should all be put behind bars. Did you know that there are Muslims all around the world who aren't violent? Who aren't extreme? Those people that Non-Muslims call terrorist aren't Muslim. They are terrorists but not Muslim for a Muslim would never be a terrorist. For a Muslim doesn't believe in harming others.

I suppose this becomes a touchy topic for me because while sitting here I can't do anything to help those in need. I just wish that the ignorant, self righteous and full of themselves Non-Muslims would see the truth. But they wont and that's what hurts most. I pray to God, to help those in need in Syria, Palestine, Afghanistan and all those other countries where hell is taking place.

Carroll: Have you ever considered getting into politics?

Ira: Hell no! I hate politics. They're so annoying and stupid. I sometimes have to sit with my parents and listen to the latest political arguments on the computer cuz my dad loves politics and I swear, I itch to get up and leave but I quietly listen, asking the questions that need to be asked and that's all.

Carroll: Do you own a pet? If not, do you think you ever will?

Ira: No, at the moment I don't. I did however, 10 years ago. It was a few fishes...They ended up dying for some reason...Later I found out that my sisters had been making them play...with their  hands....Yeah no wonder they died. lol

Carroll: I know you're a big Tim Horton's fan. What's you favorite beverage you like to order from Tim Horton's?

Ira: lol, I can't believe you asked this! Yes, I love Tim Horton (the coffee shop) and my favourite beverage is Iced Cappuccino. And mostly in the winter I love to drink Hot Chocolate, sometimes the occasional French Vanilla but that's rare. I mostly opt for Iced Capp.

Carroll: Do you think you'll live your whole life in Canada? And have you ever considered moving to the states or anywhere else when you get married?

Ira: I don't know, I want to move and get away but at the same time the prospect of leaving this small town, the big city of Toronto kinda scares me. I don't know about when I get married but for now while I live with my parents, I'd like to live in Ontario.

Carroll: I know you can't wait to get married, but how many kids do you think you would want?

Ira: Well, lets see now...Maybe 5? Maybe more? lol I don't know. If it happens and I end up with 12 kids even, I'll be happy. I'm not saying I want 12 kids, just that I don't care for how many kids I have.

Carroll: As you begin your quest in chasing your dreams of becoming a writer, what hurdles do you face or do you think you might face in your pursuit?

Ira: I'm not really sure at this point. All I know is that I am not a devoted writer as I was before. I get distracted too easily and next thing I know, I've stopped writing. So I couldn't really answer that because I don't seem to be facing any right now.

Carroll: Because you're new to writing, what advice at this point early on would you give someone if they asked you for it?

Ira: Write what you want, when you want and how you want. You are your own person and shouldn’t worry about what others will think.

Carroll: Hey, thanks a lot for doing this interview. I really appreciate it. Any final words or thoughts you wish to leave us all with?

Ira: Everyone out there is different. They have their problems to deal with and the best way to deal with it is not to be alone, but to be united with those who you call family. If you close yourself off from people, you'll either become a recluse or die alone. I think that people should put their difference aside and suck it up to live life to their fullest. Thanks for interviewing me Carroll.

Carroll: That about wraps up this interview. Check Ira out at her Love Hate Poetry blog, and read her poetry, author interviews and learn a little bit more about being Muslim. The truth - versus mainstream media stereotypes - may surprise you. There's a lot going on over at Love Hate Poetry so check it out.

Thanks again Ira. It's been fun interviewing you. 

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