(This shall be written in third person so I don’t feel like a show-off.)
Zen (officially known as Zeinab Alayan) was born on the 16th of October. It was a warm and bright Sunday, and her parents couldn’t have been more delighted to receive a baby as beautiful as her. The birds were chirping, people were rejoicing… oh scratch that. You don’t want to hear this rubbish. Though the birthday bit is true.
She loved books dearly, ever since she was four and still managed to look super cute in pigtails. Unlike other kids her age who preferred to go out and play, she tended to sit at home and read. The first book she ever chose herself was a Ladybird edition of Thumbelina, and many books followed after that. She loves reading in English though it is not her native tongue. Eventually, she started writing, and her first story was about a rabbit, and she wrote it in red ink. That’s all she can remember because shortly afterwards she spilt a glass of water on it and watched in horror as her precious story bled on the table. Influenced by Goosebumps and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, she started working towards creating a collection of horror stories, of which several starred vampires (and none of them sparkly kinds, mind you). But that didn’t last for too long, especially when she’d start a new story when she was a mere 10 pages into another.
After a while, she branched into fanfiction and wrote stories for a number of her favourite fandoms, such as Harry Potter and Rurouni Kenshin. It wasn’t until 2008 that she returned to writing original fiction, motivated by the National Novel Writing Month event (NaNoWriMo). Puppet Parade was the first novel she finished, even though the first novel she wrote during NaNo was The Muse Bunny – it’s quite a long story, involving a Tinker Bell, crashing computers and bunnies who refuse to go down without a fight.
Being bilingual – with English and Arabic under her belt – she graduated from university with a degree in Translation and Interpretation. Currently, she works as a translator for a travel agency and dabbles in freelance gigs on the side.
During her free time, Zen likes to watch sitcoms, anime shows and movies. When she’s not being a couch potato, she reads, draws, practices her calligraphy, occasionally remembers to write and eats her most favourite food in the world – chocolate.
Soooo… to recap: Zen is a writer, an editor, a translator, a bookworm, an artist, an avid movie watcher, an anime fan, a procrastinator, a paranoiac, a dork, a bit of a Grammar Nazi and most importantly… a chocoholic.