Scarberryfields: Can you tell us a little about your nationality?
Habibo Haji RN: I’m from East Africa, Somalia to be precise, where I lived until I was 14 years of age. The civil war broke out in 1991, causing chaos over the whole country. I immigrated to Kenya with my mother and siblings and lived in the largest refugee camp for a total of three years before being selected to immigrate to America.
Scarberryfields: When you finish a novel, do you miss the characters?
Habibo Haji RN: This book is actually based on my life experience in the refugee camp and living in a very primitive village in Somalia as a nomad. Through my experience as a nomad, I went through many hardships, such as rape, beating and starvation for many months and years. The story also focuses on my struggle of immigrating to America without knowing a word of English, and how I overcame the odds to now work at the most prestigious medical facility in the world - the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
Scarberryfields: While writing, if you need help with punctuation, grammar, etc., where do you turn?
Habibo Haji RN: My good friend, Joe Culhane has been helping me throughout the writing process. Therefore, without him this book would not be in publication. Many thanks to him.
Scarberryfields: With the number of hours spent writing, do family members support you or complain about the time spent away from them?
Habibo Haji RN: I have no family support, because it’s just my 3 children and me. Therefore, times can be tough especially with the writing process. I do want, however, to show young men and women that with persistence and patience, you can and will accomplish many things.
Scarberryfields: Does writing benefit you in any way and if so, how?
Habibo Haji RN: Writing this book was very beneficial for me because it allowed me to reexamine my life from earlier years to where I am now. Many of the memories were not very pleasant so it allowed me to make peace with the past and be hopeful for the future.
Scarberryfields: When you’re writing, do you shut-off all social networks?
Habibo Haji RN: I like social networks so I multi-task because, as you can guess, a single mom with 3 kids needs to multi- task to get things done. I sometimes read postings in Facebook or Twitter to get me through the day.
Scarberryfields: Did you use any family members as Beta readers for your debut novel?
Habibo Haji RN: I have had a few friends that read the book, which was very helpful.
Scarberryfields: Do you feel social networking as a marketing tool, is beneficial?
Habibo Haji RN: I think social networks are a great tool to use for marketing, because you can reach people that you would not normally have contact with.
Scarberryfields: What is the last book called that you completed and published?
Habibo Haji RN: Conquering the Odds, Journey of a Shepherd Girl.
Scarberryfields: Where can readers go to find your books?
Habibo Haji RN: You can find my book here:
Habibo Haji RN: http://www.amazon.com/Conquering-Odds-Journey-Shepherd-ebook/dp/B00B0QQIA4/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1359039046&sr=1-1&keywords=habibo+haji