(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 and most importantly… a chocoholic.


96 thoughts on “About

  1. Wonderfully written, and in your conclusion: ‘bit of a Grammar Nazi’ made me laugh out loud! Your post is delightful and I look forward to following to see what other wise and funny things you’ll share next! Namaste. Gina

  2. Hey!! I was just wondering if I could do an interview/feature blog entry on you and your book? If so, I will need your email address to send you questions and such! πŸ™‚ I just thought it would be a cool post! πŸ™‚

  3. Came across your blog and just wanted to tell you I love your writing style! And also…chocoholics, unite! I’m with you on that one Zen πŸ™‚

    1. Yay! Hearing you say that makes me happy. And yes – there’s nothing more powerful than a group of chocoholics, haha.

  4. Zen, I love your sense of humor and wittiness! It’s inspiring and awesome to see how your writing gets better and better as you blog on, it gives me hope and motivation! .

    1. Thank you for the nice comment! =D And that all started when my cousin had difficulty pronouncing my name and settled instead for “Zen”. The nickname stuck and spun off several variations, including “Zenny” and “Zenzen”.

  5. It’s weird how similar we are, especially the “starting a new novel 10 pages in to the old one” bit. I do that ALL THE TIME. NaNoWriMo keeps me in line…for that month anyway haha

  6. Hello Zen. Your ability to write next to perfect pieces has caused me to tag you for a task I was recently involved in. Simply, the person tagged answers thirty questions, by using only one word! Then, they tag three people of their choosing to answer the questions. If you wish to become involved, please follow the link: http://wp.me/p2tQ7q-3P

  7. YES! A Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan! You go girl. πŸ˜€

    Love the way you’ve done your about page as well, especially the spilling water on your first story, how sad. I bet it would be fun rereading it.

    Really enjoying peeking around your blog!

    1. Haha, always nice to meet a fellow BtVS fan! =D
      Thank you! That’s nice of you to say. It is a shame about the first story; I can’t even remember what happened in it!

  8. Hey Zen!. This is probably one of the best written About pages i have ever come across!. I saw your comment on Monica’s latest post and when I read that Mother’s day is celebrated on 21st Mar where you live, I wondered whether you are from United Arab Emirates. I am an Indian living in UAE. Happy to stumble upon you blog. Following you now. Check out mine if you wish : http://www.nazninazeez.wordpress.com

    PS: I am a bit of a Grammar Nazi myself and hey, my bday is on 12th Oct. Yay for that!

    1. Hello! And thank you – that’s nice of you to say! πŸ˜€ I used to live in UAE almost four years ago, but have since come to stay in Lebanon. Yay for Libras and Grammar Nazis! I’ll head over to your blog soon. πŸ™‚

  9. I somehow just came across ‘Daniel Koeker’s’ blog, clicked into his ‘About me’ and found this link to your blog, I swear I was here a few months ago from one of your lovely comments on my blog and clicked ‘Follow’, WHY HAVE I NOT BEEN GETTING YOUR POSTS?! D: Oh well, re-subscribe! πŸ˜€ Congrats on the Freshly Pressed by the way! πŸ˜€

      1. I think technology just likes to screw with me πŸ˜› Btw, have also just recommended Manuscript Magic to a friend of mine, she is an aspiring author who is part way through her first draft of her book, and your company sounds exactly like the thing she has been searching for before she looks at publishing it! I’ll also remember to stop by if I ever ever get enough patience with myself to write my own book idea too ;P

        1. Aww, thanks! I really do appreciate that. πŸ˜€ When your friend (and you of course) is ready with her manuscript, she should feel free to contact us whenever, and we’ll offer her a free sample edit so she can see the kind of work we do.

    1. I am slowly catching up on my comments and reader, so I’m sorry I didn’t reply to this sooner! Thank you so much for the award!

  10. I gotta say i love your website. I just found out about it today and it’s just plain whooping awesome.

    P.S. I’m a chocoholic too.

  11. Hi Zen, would you be interested in writing for my new blog ?

    We review and discuss media and entertainment across ten different platforms, including movies, tv, games, music, comics, and anime.

    1. Hi, Ghostboy! I’m flattered that you would ask me, but I must decline. I can barely keep up with my own blog as it is, and I won’t have time to post any reviews. Sorry. =[

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