My name is Leila, though I sign my stories as Katherine Joe (long story). Currently, I live in London but originally I’m from Iran.
Iran in the house ya’ll. What are some major differences between living in London and Iran?
A lot of differences, not only in how I live, but mostly how my personality changes. In Iran I mostly depend on my parents, I would stay most of my time at home and with the people who are our close family/relatives. Here though I change to a different person and I have to decide about everything myself. From the basic things such as my home decoration to how to manage my money. It’s harder but worth it. I love my personality more in London than in Iran.
Sounds like you enjoy the independence of living in London. Cool beans. Are you employed outside of writing?
I have never been a one-dimensional person. I study PhD in computer science and systems biology and work as a tutor and a teaching assistant.
That’s awesome. What job do you think you’d be really good at?
I think I am good at teaching and research. I hope to be good in writing too.
How many siblings do you have?
I have an older brother who is married and has a child.
What was your childhood dream?
I had many; I have forgotten most. The ones I remember are: I wanted to be a famous mysterious author who no one knew about her. I wanted to be a teacher and an astronaut. I had a lion pet and was living in a village.
Sounds like your dreams have come true somewhat. You’re a teacher and you write under a different name which is kinda like the mysterious author lol. What is the most annoying habit that you have?
I lose confidence in a blink. Just something comes to my head, a small thought, I think it over and over and then conclude that I’m no good.
Happens to the best of us. We all have our moments of doubt. I commend you for being courageous enough to put that out there. We just gotta stop those thoughts immediately and replace them with good ones!
What’s your favorite color?
My favorite color is White.
Beautiful. Let’s talk about writing. Who is your favorite writer?
My favorite authors are Agatha Christie and J. R. R. Tolkien.
Why is writing important to you?
I love writing my thoughts and creating my worlds and running away to them from reality. With writing them I can share them. Inviting people to my world seems exciting. Knowing I am showing them something they have never seen, as amazing.
What genre do you write in, why?
Sci-fi and fantasy, because I enjoy running away from real world. Drama and fiction to teach myself and others about the real world.
What’s the most difficult thing about being a writer? The most exciting thing?
The most difficult is that a writer has a huge responsibility. It is important what we write and teach the reader. How we influence their way of thinking and their beliefs. At the same time, it is the most exciting thing. A writer is teaching something to someone which can change their lives.
I agree. Does blogging help you to write?
It does, yes. What a writer always wants is to be read and internet has made it easy. With the blog, your art is out there and people can enjoy it. It is so fun especially when someone puts a comment on your post to criticize or compliment.
Gotta love that feedback right? Are you religious Katherine?
I believe in God and I consider myself a Muslim. But I think about my religion a lot. Sometimes I’m lost. But I want to believe in something for my own heart warming.
Can you elaborate a bit on what you mean when you say that sometimes you are lost and want to believe in something for your own heart?
Well, I was born in a Muslim society but I was never like others to accept what they hear immediately or to deny all the thoughts simply because they judge the religion on the society and not itself. I always enjoy a friendly talk about religion and comparing them to each other as long as we both respect the other party’s beliefs (which sometimes it cannot happen). I look for the best way of living and I believe someone introduced religions to guide us in living a better life. Sometimes I get so confused yet I keep my faith in the things I believe. So I assume I am doing my best, to the best of my knowledge.
We definitely have to do some sidebar chatting. What do you love about yourself?
I think the thing I love about myself the most is that I am different and I can easily be a teacher to myself and comment on my own behavior, analyze them and see if I was doing the right thing. I also love the fact that I am honest, no matter the circumstances to everyone and most importantly to myself.
Beautiful. I love that you can self-examine yourself! It’s of crucial importance that we understand that. What don’t you like about yourself?
I underestimate myself and I am happy with “good enough.” Though I want to learn to be perfect at something.
The ability to understand both what you’re good at and what you think needs improvement is an important leadership skill!
Would you say that you’re political?
I’ve never liked politics. I find it boring and complicated.
Lol. I hear you. What do you wish you knew more about?
I would love to know more about Astronomy, God and humans.
What’s your favorite TV Show? Movie?
TV show: Friends. Movie: don’t have one.
Whaat? You gotta have a favorite movie! What songs have you completely memorized?
Fire on fire Sam Smith, Reflexion from Mulan.
In your own words, define racism.
Not being able to love another person, or judging them at first glance simply because of their appearance. Not only skin color, anything.
I like that. If you had one superpower that could change the world, what would it be?
Justice, which I could give everyone what they really deserve. With that I could give discipline to this world.
What TV channel doesn’t exist but really should?
Comedy channel where they only shows comedies.
Does Comedy Central count?
I have never heard of that channel, not sure if it in on channel list in TV in UK. But if it plays comedy all day long, then absolutely it does count.
What would your perfect writing / reading room look like?
I can write almost everywhere, and for some reason when I am surrounded by people and noise my brain has a better function. So my writing room is a small room full of books and a desk under the window and the view of the alley where people may pass every thirty minutes or so.
If you had unlimited funds to build a house that you would live in for the rest of your life, what would the finished house be like?
The house has 10 bedrooms. A big master bedroom for myself, with an enormous bathroom and a huge changing room/closet. The other 9 rooms are suited for children I have adopted….
Wait, you want nine children??? Don’t answer that, go on. This getting good…
Each have specific color yet no animation characters on the wall; for I want my children to create their favorite characters in their heads. My dining room’s walls are decorated with green-blue bookshelves and while there is a 12 seater wooden dining table, there are two yellow armchairs under the window, with a round coffee table in front of them and a tall standing lamp beside each which is the reading spot. This stops anyone in the house from skipping a meal for reading.
You are so detailed I love it
Then the kitchen is just beside the dining room. It has all white wood cabinets and an island in the middle where the sink is built. I can see my children in the living room and the dining room while I’m there. The living room has a huge TV and half-circle grey sofas so everyone can sit. Big windows on each wall are the best light source and I decorate them with blue curtains. There is a wooden coffee table in the middle with a glass top and a round rug with the combination color of blue, grey, yellow and green on the ground.
On the other side there is a chimney and in front of it four armchairs, two green and two yellow, are located. A square coffee table with another rug is there as well. It is the “important discussions” spot.
On the rug, there are many cushions in different colours so it can seat everyone on the ground, if not on the armchairs. There is the hidden attic too. It is “I-need-space” spot. It is decorated with just a bed and a desk just like Anne Shirley’s room.
If you could live in a movie, which would it be?
Chronicles of Narnia. Because of Aslan.
What would be the most amazing adventure to go on?
In real life? Having a backpack and going around the world, not fearing a thing. In my head? Quite the same thing, with dragons, swords and monsters.
What do you hate most about writing advice? What do you love?
Mostly, it help you get better. Even if it’s an advice which you don’t agree with, it makes you look at your work from another aspect and think twice. Though, I don’t like the ones which come from the people who think they know everything, but they know nothing.
These are facts. What skill would you like to master?
I would love to master in writing what comes to my brain, also I love to learn how to draw. My brain knows how to, step by step but my hands cannot do what I think I want to do. I love singing though I don’t have a good voice and I love playing music as well.
When did you publish your first book? What was that like?
I published my first book on Amazon, in February 2019. I did it mostly for myself confidence and I got great advice from the people who read it. They helped me through it a lot with reading my work and commenting on it. I also started believing in myself and I’m working even harder for my new work now.
Thank you Katherine for spending this time with us. We enjoyed you!
Katherine was born in Iran in 1993 and has been writing since she was ten-years-old. She always has lots of ideas and sometimes she dreams about them. She believes if she does not write, her brain will implode (:D). Other than writing, Joe does photography as a hobby, plays the piano and is a student and researcher.