I am writer based out of Boston of South Asian descent. I moved to Boston 12 years ago with degree a degree in library sciences a passion for books. My passion for the written word first took hold of me when I worked in advertising. I am a slave to fiction and have been reading and writing stories since I first learned to hold a pencil.
My novel Beauty Sleeping is a fairy tale retelling inspired by the story of Sleeping Beauty. It takes place in the modern day South Asian community, at the heart of the story is a beautiful girl in a hospital who lies in a coma but nevertheless touches the lives of everyone around her.
Let’s Get To Know Farha Hasan
Q: What are the top five books that have influenced your career?
A: The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman taught me that you can write about a tragic situation and still make it beautiful and inspirational.
The Harry Potter series, taught me that YA and children’s fiction is not just for children. Before Harry Potter I never read children and YA novels.
Story Engineering and Story Physics by Larry Brooks taught me the fundamental that need to be present in a novel.
Meditations from the Mat: Daily Reflections on the Path of Yoga, helped me to understand some of the hurdles we set up for ourselves that hinder personal growth.
Q: If you could go back in time before you published your first book, what advice would you give yourself about publishing?
A: I would tell myself to write a little bit everyday, even half a page a day in a year’s time results in 150 pages and to write without criticism and internal editing, manuscripts are always revised later.
Q: What’s your favorite AND least favorite thing about being a writer/author?
A: My favorite thing about being a writer is sharing my work with the world. Artistic endeavors such writing, painting sculpting have the most value when they touch others.
My least favorite aspect about being a writer and this applies to the industry in general, is convincing people that ethnic/multicultural fiction is not just for ethnic people and that a well crafted story can be enjoyed and relatable to the mainstream population.
About Beauty Sleeping by Farha Hasan
Safia and Aiden’s lives are on an undeniable and inevitable course. Like hamsters on a wheel, they toil through their days and well into the nights, working more hours than anyone should.
Safia is an advertising executive at one of New York’s most prestigious firms while Aiden is one of the Wall Street guys. Two people. Two separate lives. Both working to drown their heartaches.
What neither realizes is that the loneliness and mundane nature of each day is about to change. Destiny and fate are real and not just fairytale ideals. But love is a mystery and watching over both of them is a beauty who sleeps but sees all.
In a nearby hospital lies this beautiful girl who has slept for many months in a coma. Quiet and unassuming, yet she is the unlikely instrument that will bring Safia and Aiden together. This beauty sleeping touches everyone who passes by her room, and even those like Aiden and Safia who don’t. Although neither knows it, this Beauty has a supernatural hold over them.
She will seal their fate and bring them together…but if fate is tempted, her power may also keep them apart.
I watch as they lay me down—like a princess. My hair is loose and I am wearing a white gown. There are tubes coming out of my body and machines to keep me anchored. They bathe me and they comb my hair. Sometimes they talk to me, soothing words, and other times they talk to themselves. I listen. People come to check on me—doctors, nurses, family, and friends. They hold my hand. They whisper prayers. They cry, often blubbering out loud and sometimes whimpering softly. These tears are not lost on me. They remark on how good I look, how lovely, as if I were merely asleep. I am beautiful, I know.
“Laila,” they remark, staring down at my figure. “She looks beautiful as always.”
My hair is dark, my lips full, thick lashes line my eyes, and my complexion is the color of rich honey. All this seems only to add to their sorrow and my mystique. They feel sad as they leave me alone in my tower. But, I am not alone. They spend a great deal of time sitting with me, watching me. They do not know that as they watch me, I watch them. I can hear their whispers. I can smell their scent, skin mixed with cologne, fast foods, rich pastries, and stale leftovers. It’s all there. I can sense their emotions. I can read their thoughts. I whisper in their ears and I speak to them in their dreams. I am the shadow that they do not know is there. I follow them. It is hard not to.
What dull lives they have and yet I envy them. I envy their boring routines, their tedious commutes, and their restless sleep. Most of all, I envy their ability to wake-up…but always too soon, and always before I am done. For when they sleep they come into my world and I speak to them. I speak to them through their dreams and they tell me things. There is something I need to know. There is someone I am looking for, but I can’t find him…not without her help.
Aidan has never scaled a castle wall nor slain a dragon in his life. The armor he wears has failed to protect him from life’s mishaps, but he’s not complaining. Aidan is not heroic in the traditional sense but little does he know, as he awakens at fifty thousand feet drenched in sweat, that his life is about to change. For starters, he should have been feeling like crap. His neck is cramped, his back sore and his muscles tight. It had been that type of night but instead Aidan is feeling surprisingly relaxed.
He smiles at his reflection in the window, a telltale sign he knows he’s good looking. If only he were a little more athletic. But he’s never raised a shovel in his life, never changed his own tire, and likely couldn’t shoot a hoop if his life depended on it he’s a numbers guy. He builds models, the type of genius that came to Wall Street right out of school, and helped bring the financial markets to its knees.
It is for this reason that he has the world on his back. It is for this reason that he had just taken the red eye from London to New York, where for three hours he had been listening to his VPs lament the consequences of the bailout—even after so many years—a deal that is both a blessing and a curse. And so Aidan keeps his head down and does his best to blow out the proverbial fires as they flare up in his life. He’s grateful for his job and his pitiful bonus. After all, he is at least partially responsible for his firm’s failures.
He was not the type to lament his burden, or feel sorry for himself. He knows he’s gotten off easy. He still remembers the dark days—and is a little reluctant to let them go—when his old cronies, his bosses, and his bosses’ cronies were routinely being crucified in the press. He doesn’t know what miracle saved him from complete downfall, but if magic wands exist, one had definitely been used to save his brown ass from going down the drain. There is a new management team in place now and under this new leadership some innovations have taken place.
A more prudent, a more conscientious firm has emerged, at least on the surface. Not the least, but certainly the shittiest is the firm’s travel policy, starting with this trip across the pond. He’s grateful that he doesn’t feel like crap. That’s what traveling has come to. Gone are the private jets and caviar with the flight attendants serving gourmet meals—was there ever any doubt. Hell, they were lucky if the firm was willing to spot you a first class ticket, which in his case they weren’t.
No fairy godmother could fix that.
My favorite quote from Beauty Sleeping is:
What would be in a beverage called despair?
Safia imagined it would be a very thick ice cream shake, flavored like dark licorice, the taste would be horrible, but it would have enough caramel in it to make people take another gulp. They would know that it was bad for them, but they would keep coming back. It would stick to their throats as they swallowed, coating their esophagus with ooze making them want to choke, but they wouldn’t be able to stop drinking, they would drink and drink and drink until they’d vomit…that was how despair worked.