(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 rubbish like that. Though the birthday bit is true.

Ever since she was a little girl, Zen had always loved books. 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. Even though her first language is not English, she always picked out books in that language. 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 about it because shortly afterwards she spilled a glass of water on it. At the age of 12 she started working towards creating a collection of horror stories, and due to her fascination with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a number of her stories starred vampires. 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, and that was only with the help of 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. She was studying English Literature as well, but eventually got too bored with all the old literature that she dropped out. Currently she works as a translator for a travel agency.

During her free time, Zen likes to watch sitcoms, anime shows and movies. When she’s not being a couch potato, she draws, does chores and eats her most favourite food in the world – chocolate.

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.

94 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! :) I just thought it would be a cool post! :)

  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 :-)

  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! .

    • 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. :D

    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!

    • 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!

    • Hello! And thank you – that’s nice of you to say! :D 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. :)

  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! :D Congrats on the Freshly Pressed by the way! :D

      • I think technology just likes to screw with me :P 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

  10. smartspassion says:

    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.

Talk to me! I won't bite. Unless you're made of chocolate, then I can't give any promises.

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