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Checking In With Cherish Author Adeeba Jafri

Cherish author Adeeba Jafri doesn’t write for the sake of it – although she does laud those who can. “I absolutely envy writers that are able to churn out stories one after the other. For me, writing means something very different,” she said.

By that, Adeeba meant that writing provided a vital outlet. She explained, “I usually write when there is something affecting my mental health at the time. It keeps me sane when my mind has gone into overdrive, and I need a way to channel those thoughts. The experience that I went through while writing Show Yourself reminded me that though my actions and body belonged to so many others, my mind solely belonged to me.”

Turns out, her book didn’t just help her mental health. Show Yourself is aimed at teens and gives them inspiration to speak up about their mental health concerns, too. (And yes, one of the stories does involve a smartphone.)

On that note, we published Show Yourself just over a year ago, so it’s the perfect time to check in with Adeeba and see what she’s up to now, what advice she has on self-publishing, and what’s next for her career as an author. Oh, and it’s also the perfect time to grab a copy of her book for the teen in your life, if you haven’t done so already!

Cherish author Adeeba Jafri

Tell us about your writing career before Show Yourself. How did your passion for writing start?

Prior to Show Yourself, I had published four children’s books: The Baby Garden, Alia and the Story of the Rose, The Path that Allah Made, and A Zoom with a View. I began writing children’s books back in 2002 when I was looking for books with diverse characters and Islamic themes.

How did you motivate yourself to write a book?

The first three books that I published were inspired by my daughter. At the time, I was constantly looking for books with Islamic content and kept coming up short. In particular, I was looking for books that could answer questions posed by preschoolers from an Islamic perspective.

I was expecting my second child at the time and I wanted a book that would simply answer the question, “Where do babies come from?” This inspired me to publish The Baby Garden. Alia and the Story of the Rose answers the question, “Why does my mother wear hijab?” And A Zoom with a View was written after watching my kids struggle with virtual learning.

I wrote Show Yourself because I wanted to tackle the sensitive topic of mental health among teenagers in a very subtle way. The subject is handled delicately while highlighting the importance of identifying and recognizing the signs of mental illness as the first step toward helping someone suffering alone in silence. 

What advice do you have for others who are considering the self-publication route? 

One of the biggest problems that all writers face is imposter syndrome. A lot of self-published writers go through moments where they feel that their book isn’t “good enough” for the traditional market and self-publishing seems like a cop out.

I wish other writers knew that this isn’t the case. As a result of the pandemic, a LOT of new writers emerged, and the market is so much more competitive than before. That doesn’t mean your book isn’t “good enough.” If you feel confident in your book, then go ahead and self-publish it. 

What was your favourite part of the self-publishing process?

My favorite part of self-publishing was how easy it was! I really felt that the team at Cherish Editions was working with me. They were just as invested in publishing a great product as I was.

What have you been up to since Show Yourself? Do you have plans to write another book?

I have secured a literary agent and I have a middle-grade series about a group of hackers in the works. 

Keep up with Adeeba Jafri

Now that we’ve checked in with Adeeba, we want to make sure you keep up with her latest news – we’re so excited to see what’s next for her!

You can follow Adeeba on:

And, of course, you can grab a copy of her book from TriggerHub.org – click here!