We asked 2023 Texas Book Festival Author Huda Fahmy a few questions about herself and her featured Festival title Huda F Cares.
TBF: Why did you write your featured book? (What was your inspiration? Where did the idea start?)
HF: “I like writing stories with characters who are trying to discover who they are and are struggling to find a way to be true to themselves but also fit in. Huda F Cares was inspired by the hundreds of road trips my family and I took over the years. So many of my core memories happened on those trips. I would even go so far to say that I wouldn’t be the person I am today had it not been for those trips. There’s a saying in my faith that there are three ways to know someone’s true character: lend or borrow money from them, live with them, or travel with them. And every time I went on a trip with my family I would discover something new about myself in the way that I reacted to certain situations. I would discover what I liked about myself and what I didn’t like about myself but I would also discover that I was in control of who I wanted to be. And that’s what I wanted to explore in Huda F Cares.”
TBF: What is the last book you read, loved, and can’t stop recommending? What did you love about it?
HF: “The last book I read that I can’t help but recommend to everybody I need is called As Long As the Lemon Trees Grow by Zoulfa Katouh. It is such a beautifully written story about love and survival with a heartbreaking twist.”
TBF: What’s the first book you remember reading and who gave it to you? What inspired your love of reading/writing?
HF: “The first book I remember reading all on my own was James and the Giant Peach. I can’t really narrow down what inspired my love for reading but I can tell you that I was very much bullied as a kid and excluded for being different. But the characters in books didn’t care who I was and I could escape into whatever world I wanted and it felt like I belonged. Also, English wasn’t my first language and I desperately wanted to fit in so I read everything I could at a young age with the hope that I would pick up colloquialisms and figure out how to be like the other kids. Instead, I figured out how to love and accept myself even when others couldn’t or wouldn’t. It was a win-win.”
Huda Fahmy grew up in Dearborn, Michigan, and has loved comics since she was a kid. She attended the University of Michigan where she majored in English. She taught English to middle and high schoolers for eight years before she started writing about her experiences as a visibly Muslim woman in America and was encouraged by her older sister to turn these stories into comics. Huda, her husband Gehad, and their children reside in Houston, Texas. You can see Fahmy at the 2023 Texas Book Festival this November 11–12!