I think this was one of my favorite YA books of 2016!
Teymour Shahabi was born in Paris in 1985 of Persian parents. He moved to the United States to study Comparative Literature and Mathematics at Harvard University. He currently lives in New York City, where he's spent the last few years among serious professionals who probably have no idea he’s doing this (publishing). On September 29, 2016, he released The Secret Billionaire, a young adult mystery novel and his first published book.
I have been watching Teymour's vlog since the summer, and I am delighted to have him on An Angell's Life for an interview!
Hello Teymour! How are you?
I just published my first book, and we’re entering my favorite time of year. I’m doing very well!
So glad! I love this time of year as well. What is the current book you are promoting?
“The Secret Billionaire,” which is both a young adult mystery novel and my debut.
It was such a delightful book, too! I was honored to read it. Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
Olivia Gladys, because she’s intelligent, beautiful, and a little scary, as she says everything that’s on her mind. Also, she’s not afraid of anyone, which is the ultimate definition of cool.
Oh, she is quite the handful! I love the relationship between her and Cameron. Who is your least favorite character and why?
The school Principal, Mr. Clare, because he reminds me of adults I found despicable as a kid.
Sadly, I think those of us from all walks of life have known a Mr. Clare. Mine was a middle school principal in the South who targeted me because I was a "damn yankee". What inspired this book?
A combination of Batman, Ali Baba, and the Count of Monte-Cristo.
I love your eclectic interests! Count of Monte-Cristo is one of my all-time favorite reads! If you could have your book made into a movie, who would you want to direct it?
Since we’re entering the realm of dreams and fantasies… Myself!
And that, folks is why he self-published! Love the control. FYI, it's why I self-published too! I would be leery to hand my movie off to others. What is your next project?
The sequel, which will continue the story with a whole new mystery, and even add a layer of horror (and romance, which a lot of people have been asking for!).
Oh, bah to the romance! But I love the additional horror element! Cannot wait! What is one place you would like to visit and why?
I would love to go to Egypt. I was one of those kids who’re obsessed with pharaohs and pyramids… And I never grew up :)
Who wouldn't love to visit the land of the Pharaohs! If there was one thing you could do to change the world, what would it be?
I would make violence against children physically impossible.
A Beautiful sentiment. How do you write your books?
By putting in long hours that I’d much rather spend doing something fun.
Thank you for your sacrifice! A Secret Billionaire is proof that your time was worth it! Who inspires your writing?
A lot of my inspiration comes from outside of books, especially music and movies (opera and animation in particular).
Who is your favorite author?
He makes my top ten list as well! What is one great lesson you have learned as a writer?
That one should approach writing not as an artist and a mystic, but as a craftsman/woman and an athlete.
If you could never write again, what would you do?
I’d go look for the Wizard of Oz… And ask him how I could write again.
Ha, clever response! Tell us something unique about you:
My least favorite word is “cute.”
But it's such a cute word! Lol. What is your favorite word?
I love them all equally – except for “cute.”
Ah, a lexicomaniac after my own heart! Well, there you go, folks! Teymour is clever, fun and eclectic, and all of that is reflected in his writing! I am eager to read the sequel to the Secret Billionaire. Are you interested in reading The Secret Billionaire? It is free on Amazon from December 8th-10th Grab Your Copy Here
You can watch (and help) him try to figure out writing and life on his Facebook