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Beneath the Crimson Circle -- An Interview with the Author

Fofky's: Assalamu aleikum Farah, welcome to Fofky’s. Today, we have Farah Zaman as a guest to talk a little about her book. As a young girl, Farah spent many hours with her head buried in books of mystery, intrigue and adventure. The inevitable outcome was picking up pen and paper to create her own stories and poems, which she enjoyed sharing with family, friends and classmates alike. Farah has spent most of her life working with words, something that she loves doing. One of her greatest treats to herself is curling up with a good book and getting lost in it. Her love of reading coupled with her love of writing gave Farah the impetus to start her journey as an author. Farah presently lives in New York with her family. Visit her at

Her recent book’s summary goes like this:

A dead archaeologist. A stolen artifact. A lost treasure. Are the three mysteries tied together?

That’s what teenage sleuths Zahra, her brother Zaid, and their friends Adam and Layla must discover while vacationing on exotic Noha Island. Convinced that university student Idris Otaibi had been framed for the murder of Professor Abir Musani, the teenagers vow to find the real killer. Soon, they’re pursuing multiple suspects and wriggling out of one sticky situation after another. As they come closer and closer to the truth, danger lurks at every corner.

But time is running out for Idris. As his trial approaches, the teenagers must make one more desperate bid to catch the killer. Will their ruse work or are they destined to become the ones ensnared?

Beneath the Crimson Circle is the intriguing fourth book in The Moon of Masarrah Series.

Fofky's: Beneath the Crimson Circle touches on many issues within our communities. It also has West African Muslim characters whose names were spot on; a thing we appreciated. Would you say that your books are not only for entertainment but also a little bit of social commentary?

Farah Zaman: First of all, thank you for featuring me on Fofky’s. It’s a great pleasure to be given this opportunity. As for my books not being only read for entertainment but also highlighting some social issues, I would say that is definitely true for my last two books. And that’s me growing and maturing as an author. I wanted my readers to leave with a little more than just learning who the murderer was, so that’s why I’ve touched on some other topics. As for the West African Muslim characters in my book, I wanted to demonstrate the diversity within Islam itself. Muslims are not just Arabs and South Asians, but a large number are also Africans and Blacks, and this needs to be reflected in our literature. I think Bakary and Saratou definitely made my book all the richer.

Fofky's: Agreed! Auntie Abir (Professor Musani) was likeable to us. Of course, she also had flaws that people who didn’t know her focused on. But there was a reason for her behavior. I like that you showed her human side. Why Abir as a name for her and not something like Faridah, because she was a force to be reckoned with. For us, Abir means fragance or spice. Or did you mean to say she is a "spice" girl; a difficult woman?

Farah Zaman: Lol…maybe subconsciously I chose a "spicy" name for her. It certainly wasn’t intentional. Honestly, when I was looking to name her, I wasn’t thinking of the meaning at all. Since my books take place in a fictitious archipelago in the Persian Gulf, the indigenous characters are Arabs, hence I went with Arabic names for them. I chose Abir by simply picking it from the list. It just sounded like it suited her character.

Fofky's: How do you decide the topic of each book?

Farah Zaman: The first book was the hardest of all because I had to start from scratch. I played around with the ideas a long time before I actually started to write. Once the first book was completed, it was easier to figure out the settings and plots for the other books because they sort of piggybacked off each other. And even though I had a basic outline for the last two books, it was always subject to change because some great ideas come to you while writing and you just have to seize them and weave them into the fabric of your book.

Fofky's: Is there anything else, you want the reader to know about this fourth installment?

Farah Zaman: This fourth book was actually going to be the last one in the series but then I got an idea for the fifth book, so I decided to write one more. If all goes well, the fifth book will be coming out next summer, insha'Allah.

Fofky's: Excellent! Looking forward to reading it insha'Allah. And it's a wrap, Fofky’s rates Beneath the Crimson Circle a five-stars novel because of writing style, editing, genius plot and commonwealth position. Check it out on Amazon today here and order your copy! Farah, thank you for being with us. Mabrook!

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐

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