Featured Interview With Rita Avaud A.Najm
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
My name is Rita Avaud A.Najm. I am an American-Lebanese mother of two amazing boys. I was born and raised In Ashrafiyeh, Lebanon, one of the eastern part of Beirut. Because of France’s historic ties to the region, including its League of Nations mandate over Lebanon following World War I, French became the second language in Lebanon.
I never thought that i will use the language that i studied for more than 20 years until i came to Utah. I felt so glade to know that many public and private schools offer dual immersion French program. That made start writing about the “Petite Rita,” a french little girl who came from Paris with her family to the United States of America.
Both of my published volumes don’t have a story about Rita having a pet, since most of the stories are about my childhood, and i never had a pet until I was in my twenties.
It was a lovely cute white female Lhasa Apso. We loved her so much but because she broke our hearts when we lost her, I decided not to have pets anymore.
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
Before Utah, I lived for more then five years in Houston, Texas. I even went there back to college and studied Business Management. My graduation project was a guide for parents and teachers to encourage students to read more poetry.
My Guide and “La Petite Rita” were not my only books. I actually started writing when i was 7 years old. My humble works were mostly plays, song lyrics, and Arabic poetry.
In middle school, we had to read for Moliere, Voltaire and Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
Victor Hugo’s novels, especially “Les Miserables” and “The Hatchback of Notre-Dame de Paris”, left a mark and made me fall in love with this kind of books until now.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
Besides Victor Hugo, I also love to read for Alexandre Dumas, Author of “Le Comte de Monte Cristo” and “The Three Musketeers.”
This genre of adventure romance is my favorite, as well as any books that have to do with art, since i am a painter.
Biographies about famous artists like Van Gough, DeGas, and of course Micheal Angelo and Leonardo de Vinci are the second most favorite genre to read about.
Those who inspire me in my writing are my children. I love their thoughts and imagination. They remind me of my innocent childhood and their presence makes me put in words my precious memories.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
My two books or volumes of “La Petite Rita” are about a little French girl who came with her family to live in the United States of America.
The cute smart little girl was shy because of her French accent, but her adventures and her love to her school and friends made her popular.
Each volume has 5 stories where the reader can also learn some French common words while enjoying reading.
Some short sentences in the conversions between Rita and her mother Antoinette are in French.
“Bonjour ma petite fille” (good morning my little girl)… “Je t’aime beaucoup” (I love you so much)…
These words are all translated at the bottom of each page.
These books were a dream that became true… More other books to come …. Wish me luck