Interview With Feminist Thriller Writer Amina Akhtar

I Asked The 22 Questions You Need To Know #fashionvictim Author Amina Akhtar's Answers To

Meet the funny, talented, and #girlboss, Amina Akhtar.

Orlando Pelagio

I interviewed Amina Akhtar about her background and debut novel, #fashionvictim now available.

1. When did you first start writing?

In general, when I was six. I wrote silly poems that my brother later set to punk music.

2. Did you always want to become a writer? If not what did you want to be?

I did! I went into journalism and then fashion because I wanted to make a living writing.

3. What was your childhood like and how do you think it influenced your writing?

We moved a lot. Like every one or two years until I was about 12. So reading and books were my friends. I think learning to create your own world as a child definitely influenced me. Also, we watched a lot of horror movies at way too young an age (The Exorcist at four—yikes!). So I loved all things scary, and our family outings were always to used bookstores.

4. Favorite book and/or author as a child?

I loved Oscar Wilde and still do. De Profundis is simply beautiful.

5. Favorite book and/or author now?

I don't have one favorite—I love so many writers. Stephen King, Caroline Kepnes. Just finished Laurie Petrou's Sister of Mine and loved it. I'm dying to read PJ Vernon's debut When You Find Me. He and I talk about writing constantly and he's utterly brilliant.

6. What are you preferred working conditions?

Having worked in digital, you learn to write and edit almost anywhere. But generally, I like quiet and work sitting on my bed. It's awful for my back, I know!

7. You have a history in fashion and writing for magazines such as Vogue and Elle. How do you think that influences you as an author?

Very much so. I wanted to use some of my experiences to create this dark and horrifying fashion world, but I feel it needs to be said, no one was murdering anyone where I worked.

8. What made you make that switch from online writer and editor to the author of a novel?

Well, that's a long story! I had the idea for #FashionVictim almost eight or nine years ago but got busy and never did anything with it. I thought, oh I'm not a "writer writer". And then my life went sideways. In 2013 my mom passed away and that was a difficult time, to put it mildly. I wasn't handling the loss well. And then I was also laid off. So I had nothing to do but be miserable and depressed and not get off my sofa. I took jobs that weren't career makers so much as rent makers, and in my off hours, I would write. Writing gave me a lifeline. Thus Anya St. Clair was born.

9. Do you have any advice for amateur or aspiring authors?

Do it. Shut that voice in your head up that says you can't write what you want. You can, you just have to do it.

10. They say writing reveals more about the author. Do you agree? What does your writing reveal about you?

That I'm a homicidal bi*ch perhaps? Probably that I find dark things really funny.

11. Is there anything you think your readers should know about you or your writing?

I love really flawed and messed up characters. So I think almost all of the characters in my book would be horrible to interact with in real life.

12. How, if any effect, do you think being a woman has affected you as an author and trying to get your book published?

It was hard to get published because editors didn't like Anya. She's unapologetic and she kills and she does it to achieve her goals. "She's not relatable!" Screw being relatable! I wanted to write and read women characters going for it, acting in ways that male characters have done for eons, but every rejection brought me closer to my editor and Crooked Lane Books. They got Anya. They understood her and I'm so grateful to them.

13. What inspired you to write #fashionvictim?

My love for horror combined with fashion made sense to me. It was a no-brainer. I wanted to write, but I had to make it a very me book.

14. What do you want readers to get out of your book?

Have fun; I love books that you can't put down. That you're thinking about when you're not reading them. I want readers to feel their time reading was worthwhile.

15. #fashionvictim portrays competition between women for a promotion. What type of effect do you think this could have on the audience.

I think a lot of women are set up to compete with each other in the workforce. I've had bosses who explicitly said they wanted to see me and another colleague fight, and that's awful. I think people will recognize that in the book as something we shouldn't have to deal with.

16. Speaking of audience, #fashionvictim is considered very #feminist and #girlpower. Do you think this deters men from reading your book and how/would you want to change that?

Is it? I love that. I think straight men may write it off as a fashion book and that's fine. But I also don't really care. I think going forward I'll have to make sure my characters kill more men and women equally. I'm laughing gleefully as I write that by the way.

17. Do you think being a woman had any advantages or disadvantages when writing and publishing your book?

I think women still have to deal with the whole relatable character nonsense, and I think being a brown woman didn't make it easier.

18. How do you think your book differs from other books in its genre?

I'd say mine is definitely on the crazier, more psychotic end of fashion.

19. Are you working on any new books or projects?

I am! I'm always writing. It's the only way to stay sane.

20. When should we expect another book (a sequel maybe?)?

I'd be into a sequel if people want one, but beyond that, I'm not talking about my new book yet.

21. Do you have any advice for young women?

The number one thing I wish younger me realized was that no one cares about what you do, and I mean that in a good way. We're brought up to worry what people will think of us. They're not thinking of you! They don't remember that time you put your foot in your mouth meeting them or fell on your a*s. Stop worrying about it and be you and have fun.

22. What social media can readers find you on?

I'm on Twitter and Insta! @Drrramina You will see lots of photos of my dog, Beanie.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

119 People Reveal How The Pandemic Has Affected Their Love Lives, And Honestly... Relatable

"I haven't been able to get out of the 'talking phase' with anyone."

The reality is, there's no part of life the pandemic hasn't affected. Whether it's your work life, your home life, your social life, or your love life, coronavirus (COVID-19) is wreaking havoc on just about everything — not to mention people's health.

When it comes to romance, in particular, people are all handling things differently and there's no "right way" of making it through, regardless of your relationship status (single, taken, married, divorced, you name it). So, some of Swoon's creators sought out to hear from various individuals on how exactly their love lives have been affected since quarantine began.

Keep Reading... Show less

Preview These Top Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2020 Picks — From Luxury Purses To Skincare

Currently 3 million people viewing the Stella McCartney purse I absolutely must have.

Online shopping has been a guilty pleasure of ours for years, but now more than ever it's been a shopping lover's outlet for all our home redecorating projects and resort wear we're purchasing for that trip we had to cancel.

One of my favorite places to (virtually) window shop has always been Nordstrom. I admittedly can't afford to go on sprees there often, but I still get a high off of adding things to my cart I know I'll never actually end up buying. But sometimes, that's not enough — that's when I, like the masses of luxury-, beauty-, fashion-, and decor-lovers around the world count the days down to the annual Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.

Keep Reading... Show less

7 Things You Need To Know About Our NEW Bachelorette, Tayshia Adams

Could THIS be the most dramatic season in "Bachelorette" history?

Bombshell news coming from Bachelor Nation today, Tayshia Adams is replacing Clare Crawley as the bachelorette!

Rumor has it that Clare found her person early on in the process and did not want to continue with the process of leading other men on throughout the season.

Keep Reading... Show less

The NBA is back, and for basketball fans, like myself, it has been the BEST news we have heard since COVID-19 shutdown play indefinitely. I mean, come on, we need to see if James Harden can once again perform so well he has back-to-back 50 point games, Kawhi can lead another team to the championship title, and whether Giannis is going to be back-to-back MVP... among like 500 other things running through our heads!

In the midst of all of the amazing statistics and records that these players are breaking, though, we also just love the NBA because well, there are some pretty good looking guys out there. Here are the 19 hottest NBA players (in no particular order) you would totally let slam dunk on you now that the NBA has returned.

Keep Reading... Show less

Rihanna is known for many things: her music, fashion, makeup, and now skincare. As a makeup artist myself, I can confidently say that she rocked the makeup world when she released her makeup line in 2017 and has been influencing the beauty world ever since.

Trying some of her makeup products myself, I know that she doesn't skimp on quality, and even though some of her products may be a little pricey, trust me, you get what you pay for.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

If 'Hockey Is For Everyone,' Why Is Matt Dumba So Alone In Fighting For Racial Equality In The NHL?

If the NHL is using #WeSkateForEquality, why is Dumba alone in the fight for equality?

On Saturday, August 1, 2020, the National Hockey League resumed play for the first time since March 12, 2020. The season was paused due to the growing coronavirus (COVID-19) spread and a concern for the players contacting the virus and spreading it through the League. Fans and players sat and waited for the hockey season to resume, which took more than 140 days.

Keep Reading... Show less

I Recommend This $85 POC-Founded Hair Brush To Everyone — Here's Why It's Worth EVERY Penny

It replaces nearly three steps in my hair routine.

- Though as a little girl, I had the silkiest, softest hair that would get compliments everywhere I went, since I turned about thirteen I've since had coarse, dry hair no amount of deep conditioning masks or sulfate-free shampoo could fix.

- I started using the Raincry's Condition Boar Bristle Brush several months ago, and while I noticed that my hair had been softer, silkier, and shinier than it had ever been, I didn't make the connection because I never thought a simple hairbrush could make any difference in my hair texture.

- I will be the first to admit that I thought it was ridiculous to spend nearly a hundred dollars on a hairbrush, but this one eliminates the need for me to use any heat tools or styling products on it.

- I put some oil or a serum in my hair when it's wet, brush my hair with the boar bristle brush once it's dry, and end up with the lowest maintenance, shiniest hair I've had since I was 8 years old.


Keep Reading... Show less

What Your Favorite Rom-Com Says About You And Your Dream Guy

These movies are always there for us when we need them.


Bingeing a romantic comedy is always a good idea, and during this pandemic, these movies bring us one of the only elements of romance we can get. Through all the break-ups, obstacles, and struggles in our love lives, romantic comedies have always been there to make us laugh and keep us company while we cry.

While we love these movies for the beyond gorgeous male love interests, the female protagonists are still the ones we always remember. Although rom-coms are far from reality, it is always fun to imagine what our life would be like if a cinematic studio was behind our love life. So what does your favorite romantic comedies say about your dream guy?

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Everything You Need To Know About Macronutrients, Because A Diet Should Be More Than Calories

Pay attention to what you're eating, not just how much you're eating.

Plenty of people are familiar with the "calories in, calories out" (CICO) method of dieting which can be used for losing, gaining, or maintaining weight. This method relies on calculating a person's total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) to ensure that they are not overeating or undereating to achieve their desired weight. TDEE considers a person's height, weight, age, gender, and level of activity to determine what their caloric intake should be — some calculators can factor in body fat percentage as well. When I used a TDEE calculator online, it said that my TDEE would be 1,990 calories if I was trying to maintain my weight, but are all calories created equal? I'd argue that they're not.

It might seem obvious to some of you that 1,990 calories of macaroni and cheese are not healthy at all compared to 1,990 calories of varied foods (fruit, veggies, meat, bread, etc.).

Keep Reading... Show less

Whether you're in an unhealthy relationship currently, you know someone who is, or you just want to have these numbers saved just in case it could one day save someone's life (if not your own), this article is for you. Here are three numbers to save in your contacts ASAP so you can always be safe, both physically and mentally, in every relationship.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments