Recently I interviewed the very kind and talented Author, Ambriehl Kahlil. Ambriehl’s novel Coins in the Coffee Cup with be released this July with Pen Name Publishing. She is an Australian and she is passionate about books.
Please tell me about yourself?
There’s not very much to say, if i’m honest. I’m eighteen, so I guess i’m still pretty young—super young to be doing all of this, if I must say. It’s actually quite amazing to say that i’m having a book published. It’s also very daunting. I absolutely live for writing and reading, as cheesy and cliché as it sounds, but it’s all I do. If i’ve got free moment you’ll see me either jotting down something that’s come to my mind, or reading another book. There’s not much of an in-between. I have a knack for reading other people’s work, so finding those sites where people upload their own work is a big part of my reading. I find it really inspiring. Everyone seems to think that I am constantly on my phone for social media and texting, but half the time i’m actually just reading a good story. My dad has learnt to not even bother asking what I am doing anymore. I think everyone is just used to it by now.
I love adventure. I don’t seem to get out much really, but if I had the chance I would absolutely love to be doing something fun and adventurous. I feel like it gives you a lot of life experiences and having an unlimited amount of experiences to work with when you’re a writer, is a massive advantage. Like a lot of women, I love baking. Not cooking meals though, mainly because I seem to burn everything that I come in contact with. I swear i’m just always watching Cake Boss on repeat or some odd cooking show that’s on telly. There’s something really interesting about learning new things, so usually when I find something that I think is capturing, I become positively enamoured by it. It takes up all of my time and all of my interest and I focus on it, and only it, for a fair while. A few months back, Marine Biology took up a gigantic place in my heart. I guess it’s still there, obviously, but I was reading something about it and I just wanted to know everything right then and there. I went to the library with my cousin and borrowed out about twenty seven books. I read every single one of them and it was worth every second.
I find that i’m intrigued by a lot of different things, chances are when someone suggests something, I’ll probably be up for it. New experiences are absolutely fantastic and they’re so, so important. A writer is all about their experiences. Other than that, the most important thing to me is my family. I cherish my little brother, he’s the most important thing in the world to me. Even when we do fight.
I can draw and I can paint, if that’s anything interesting. I spent a solid few years of my life convinced I was made to be an actress. It turns out I was pretty wrong about that. I’ve always had a thing for writing though. In grade eight I used to write all the time, in class and everything. Two of my friends and I attempted to write a book, we did really well actually It was on all these scattered pieces of paper that we had ripped out of our note books, and one of us would write until we couldn’t write anymore, so we passed it along to the next. I found it amongst all my stuff while I was moving about a year ago and attempted to read it. I’ll just say that I was thirteen, and the most exciting thing that happened was a heated snog, and one of the characters falling out a tree.
I guess I’m not the worlds exciting person, but I have a lot of interests and a heck of a lot of dreams that I hope to achieve. I’ve always been the type that aimed for high goals. I don’t think I could ever do anything where my name isn’t somewhat known. Where people want to be nurses or dentists and stuff, i’ve always wanted something bigger, something more. I’ve always wanted to be successful an I honestly don’t think I’ll stop until I get there. I couldn’t imagine doing somewhere where nobody knows who I am; doing the same mundane thing every single day. I think it would drive me crazy. The most important thing to me other than family, obviously, would be achieving my career dreams and I never thought in a million years it would actually start to happen. I was so naïve in high school. I thought becoming successful would be a lot easier than it is. There’s no words to describe being rejected, so when that email came from my publishing company saying that they wanted to release my book, it was the most over whelming feeling. I feel like I am so mature for my age because of the goals and ideas I have in mind.
what do you like to read?
I read practically everything. As I said before, I have a knack for reading online work. It doesn’t really matter what it is, but most of the time it will be a romance or something like that. I usually read young adult, I find that there are some brilliant stories that come out of those. I love the classics, obviously, and I definitely have a weak spot for something that’s action packed. I’ve found that theres something really liberating about reading an action packed story that has a little romance in it. I read an online story the other month where it was set in the year 1981 and there was a murderer in the government who wanted to kill the main character. It was such a brilliant read. Other than that I read whatever I can get my hands on, but my heart is definitely set on a good love story. Experiencing two fictional characters falling in love slowly is my favourite thing in the world. If it can make me laugh, cry, and get angry all at the same time, it’s a winner.
what are you reading right now, and what do you think you will read next?
Right now I am actually not reading anything … Shocker, I know! I’ve been so caught up with other stuff that I haven’t actually had the chance to find anything. I guess i’m behind when I say I still haven’t finished The Hunger Games trilogy. I purchased them over a year ago and I read the first one and was like, yes! This is so good, and then I started the second one, put it down for a day, and never picked it back up. So when I get the chance I will probably end up finishing those. If its not that it will be something I find in a bookstore that has an interesting cover. Everyone always says to never judge a book by its cover, but it’s the very exact thing I do.
what do you like to write?
I write so much. I write about everything. I’m not that into poetry, if I must admit. It is beautiful and everything, but i’ve never really gotten into it all that much. I find that my most successful stories are always a little sad. I love creating all different kinds of characters and different scenarios. I like to create different worlds and be in control of something so big. To be in control of an entire character. It’s amazing to be so in control of every action, every thought, every gesture, every smile and laugh., especially when it’s something that someone is going to read one day. I don’t often write short stories, I prefer to write something long, even if it doesn’t go anywhere, but when I do write something small, the character is always a little sad about something.
I like to write young adult, I feel like I relate to it the most, but there are times when i’m writing something and I have to think … is this really counted as young adult? Sometimes I just want to write something action packed or something a little crazy. But really, give me a scenario and I will be able to make it work somehow.
Tell us about where you come from and where you live now?
I’ve lived all around Australia, actually. I was born in Queensland, and thats the place I have lived around the most. While growing up though, there were a fair few places that we lived. I was just a baby when we lived in Warwick, Killarney, Hervey Bay, The Gold Coast/Robina, Sunshine Coast/Noosa, and then when I hit the age where I started to remember where I was, it was Perth, Melbourne, and then finally, Brisbane. I’m back in Melbourne now though, I moved here just last year. It’s so beautiful.
If you could invite any person, alive today or from history, to a dinner party, who would you invite and why?
I would probably invite Bill Nighy. He’s my favourite older male actor and he’s absolutely phenomenal. He is in some of my absolute favourite movies and the way he plays every single character so flawlessly, astounds me. I guess I would really just love to meet him and ask him how the heck he does it. Also, I may or may not have been watching Love Actually again and couldn’t think of anyone else.
what advice can you give to people who are trying to achieve their dreams?
I think the most important advice is to just keep going and keep trying. If you genuinely want it bad enough, you will get it. Its not easy. Achieving your dreams never is, you have to really work for it. You don’t get anything handed to you on a silver platter in this life unless you’re famous. You don’t get everything handed to you by sitting on your arse and hoping and dreaming about it. If you aren’t putting everything you possibly can into trying to make your dreams come true, then it isn’t going to happen. If you try and you get shut down, then you have to try again. Fix whatever you think was wrong, or not good enough, and go again. You keep trying and trying, because eventually its going to happen and every single person that told you that you will never amount to anything, or that your dreams are impossible, is going to have their eyes opened, and you can laugh in their face as say thats right, I did it. Laugh at me now.
There is nothing more thrilling than achieving something that everyone used to make fun of you for wanting. As soon as you get it, people you haven’t spoken to in months, sometimes even years, come crawling back to you, trying to apologise, trying to ask for help and advice, simply just trying to wiggle their way back into your life because you have something now. Don’t let them. If they weren’t good enough to believe in you in the first place, and stay by your side, then they’re not worth it. They never are.
can you tell us about the new book you have coming out and your inspiration?
My book is called Coins in The Coffee Cup, and it is basically about a homosexual teenager who has a lot going on in his life, and he learns to deal with it. He falls in love, and has his eyes opened; even though he has some utter crap going on, he manages to push it aside. I kind of like to think of it as a story about growing, learning, and falling in love. I am such a sap for the whole true love and heartbreak thing.
I don’t actually know what inspired me. One day I was just laying in bed and I hadn’t written in so long, I didn’t even think I knew how to write anymore, and I just jumped up and wrote the first line. The entire book has changed so much from what it used to be, and I definitely wouldn’t change that. I love the way it is now, it’s a lot less choppy and messy and it has a better message. Before hand, it was just a whole bunch of crap shoved together and it didn’t flow at all.
I chose to make it about a homosexual teenager basically because, yeah, it has been done plenty of times, sure, but not enough. The world is changing, it’s changed so much and I hate how people still look at homosexuals like they aren’t the same as heterosexuals, like they don’t get the same privileges or they don’t get to fall in love the same way. It’s simply not true and I can’t stress it enough. It’s so not fair to make gay people feel like it is wrong to love who they love. The amount of times people have asked me what my book is about and i’ve replied with ‘a gay kid’ and had them look at me like i’m an idiot is ridiculous and I hate it. I was at a pub one night, making harmless conversation with someone, and somehow the whole book thing came up. When I told him what it was about, the first thing he asked (in a very judgmental voice, might I add), was if I was gay too. It stresses me out that apparently, it is weird for me to write about because I am a girl, or because i’m straight. I write better from the point of view of a male, and I am allowed to write about whatever the heck I want to write about, if people aren’t okay with it, then it’s fine by me.
Can you give us a quote from your favourite book?
I don’t have a favourite book. I wish I did, but I don’t. I have read so many and some were so amazing, amazing enough for me to consider it my favourite at the time, but the moment passed and I realised that none has actually stood out enough for me to claim that it is better than anything else i’ve read.
For further information please see
Pennamepublishing.com and ambriehlkhalil.wordpress.com