Q& A with Gabriel Ammah
Gabriel’s debut novel, Parent Quest, is an action-adventure fantasy aimed a teens and young adults. Learn more about Gabriel and the journey of writing his first novel.
Q: Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
A: I had many friends who had grown up without their fathers in their lives and I witnessed the affects it had on them. Writing Parent Quest was more of a subtle encouragement to children or young adults in a similar situation to seek out a missing or absent parent.
Q: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
A: My background is in media so I tend to do photography or film when I’m not writing.
Q: What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
A: As a child, I wasn’t proficient in reading so that left me with a few insecurities. Throughout the creative process of this book, I wanted to appeal to both confident readers and the not so confident. In doing so, I simplified the language and created an easy flowing narrative. I was pretty surprised when I read the book back to myself aloud. It felt like it came alive; as if watching scenes in a movie unfold.
Q: Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?
A: I had three authors that I respected, and loved their style of writing- Jeffrey Archer, Dan Brown and Richard Laymon. As a writer, I think it is better to emulate narrative styles from authors who have had a good track record. That, I think, will help make your process less laborious. Another point is to try and write from the perspective of your book being a film; so the buildup and scene changes could amount to a good read.
Q: As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
A: To be honest, I thought I was going to be a successful soccer player or musician. I was good at both but unfortunately; a reoccurring ankle injury stopped my soccer dream in its tracks. I still play my piano and drums now an then.
Q: What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
A: I would say setting the landscape. Sometimes it is difficult to write what you actually see or intend your readers to visualize. I think I do that well, or I hope…
Q: How long does it take you to write a book?
A: This book took me 18 months to write due to other work commitments and traveling.
Q: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
A: There is a second part to this book, which I have already started writing. It will give an in depth background to the individual characters and you get to discover a lot more of the Powers Neil and Cherron have. That’s all I’m divulging for now…hahaha
Q: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
A: I had a process map drawn up before I started writing so a lot of the elements fell into place. I guess I found proof reading over and over again hard because each time, I wanted to change something.
Q: How did you come up with the title?
A: Finding the title was a bit easy for me. Parent Quest is about two children searching for their parents, so it was kind of self-explanatory. The search for the twin mystery was somehow different. When I searched online for books in the genre I was writing for, I noticed the successful ones had interesting subtitles. Twins are usually alike, so I thought, since the two children are searching for the two parents that have disappeared mysteriously, it was a no brainer.
Q: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
A: There are a lot of messages and advice in the book to help people going through similar situations. I hope the book reaches out to as many children/ young adults as possible. We are living in a technological age with social media, internet, smartphones and drones, so we have a lot more resources available to find missing loved ones. I hope the book inspires people to search for their mystery.
About Parent Quest
A tragic accident and lightning strike changes the lives of two best friends in a magical way.
After both of their parents go missing under mysterious circumstances, Neil and Cherron enlist two of their schoolmates on a journey to uncover the mystery – using social media, clue hunting and spying techniques – they uncover hidden secrets and conspiracy in the small English town of Ipswich.
Biography of Gabrial Ammah
Gabriel Ammah was born in London in 1975, the youngest of three brothers. When Gabriel was five years old, his parents separated. His mother along with his siblings moved to South London where he would spend the best of his teenage and early adult life.
While raising a young family, working, and studying at East London, Gabriel learned the structure and importance of narrative and it’s place in storytelling. With that he decided to embark on writing his first book. Some of the experiences the characters go through in the book were drawn from his own experiences growing up without his father. This, he says, was a learning curve and a realization that life can continue even after a tragedy.