Hiya! Today I’ll be interviewing the lovely Laila Sabreen, who’s the author of You Truly Assumed. Enjoy!
PS: An ARC of the book was provided to me by Qamar Blog Tours and Inkyard Press as part of a promotional tour.
Book Title: You Truly Assumed
Author: Laila Sabreen
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Publication Date: February 8th, 2022
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Cover illustration: Alex Cabal https://www.instagram.com/acaballz/
Cover design: Gigi Lau https://www.instagram.com/lau.gigi.lau/?hl=en
Dear White People meets Love, Hate, and Other Filters in this powerful, thought-provoking own-voices debut novel about three Black Muslim girls who create a space where they can shatter assumptions and share truths the country doesn’t see.
In this compelling and thought-provoking debut novel, after a terrorist attack rocks the country and anti-Islamic sentiment stirs, three Black Muslim girls create a space where they can shatter assumptions and share truths.
Sabriya has her whole summer planned out in color-coded glory, but those plans go out the window after a terrorist attack near her home. When the terrorist is assumed to be Muslim and Islamophobia grows, Sabriya turns to her online journal for comfort. You Truly Assumed was never meant to be anything more than an outlet, but the blog goes viral as fellow Muslim teens around the country flock to it and find solace and a sense of community.
Soon two more teens, Zakat and Farah, join Bri to run You Truly Assumed and the three quickly form a strong friendship. But as the blog’s popularity grows, so do the pushback and hateful comments. When one of them is threatened, the search to find out who is behind it all begins, and their friendship is put to the test when all three must decide whether to shut down the blog and lose what they’ve worked for…or take a stand and risk everything to make their voices heard.
Find out more about You Truly Assumed with these links!
Now onto the interview!
1. Hi there Laila! I’m so happy to have you with us here today! Before we begin, do you mind sharing some random facts about yourself?
Laila: Hi Saniya, thank you so much for having me! Three random facts about myself is that my favorite animals are ducklings, I enjoy watching reality tv to relax, and lastly, I actually used to also be a book blogger back when I was in high school!
Saniya: That’s so amazing, I think it’s awesome you were also a book blogger!
2. You Truly Assumed is like no other story I’ve ever read. It’s so heart-wrenching and very powerful. What inspired you to write such a thought-provoking story?
Laila: I was inspired to write You Truly Assumed based on everything that was going on around me at the time. When I started writing the book, that was around the time where the Muslim Ban was in the news and people were talking about anti-Muslim hate because of how it was being used politically. I was also processing the results of the 2016 election and how that impacted me as a young Black Muslim woman. The blogging aspect of the story was inspired by the last fun fact that I shared above! I enjoyed creating content, so I brought that past interest to You Truly Assumed as well!
3. Congratulations on your debut novel! You Truly Assumed is amazing! I can’t wait for other people to read it. If I may ask, what advice would you have given yourself when you first started writing?
Laila: Thank you so much! In terms of advice, one thing that I wish I would’ve told myself when I first started writing is that the first draft doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be written. I can be a bit of a perfectionist, and so I would often start stories and then lose interest when I realized I wasn’t able to get it down the way I envisioned it. But I’ve learned that getting it that way comes with through revising, and that the first draft is really just telling the story to myself.
4. The cover of You Truly Assumed is stunning! What was the cover design process like?
Laila: I absolutely love the cover of You Truly Assumed as well! The cover design process was super collaborative. I shared character inspiration to give an idea of how I envisioned the characters, and I also shared two cover artists whose style I really liked with my publishing team. One of those cover artists was available and interested in the project, which was so great! From there, I saw different cover sketches and was able to pick the one that I felt represented You Truly Assumed more. The hardest decision was deciding which color to go with for the cover, but I absolutely love the warm coral color in the background.
Saniya: I love the coral color too! It’s so beautiful.
5. Lastly, what do you hope readers will take away from your novel?
Laila: One message that I hope that readers will take away from YOU TRULY ASSUMED is that there’s no one way to make change! For example, with the blog, Sabriya writes the content, Zakat provides the illustrations and graphics, and Farah does a lot of the behind-the-scenes work with
coding and web design. Each character is making change, but they’re doing so in a way that’s unique to them and that they’re passionate about. So, I hope readers take away the message that they too can make change in a way that’s true to who they are!
Saniya: I love this message so much!
My You Truly Assumed Mood board!
Disclaimer: The pictures in the mood board are not mine.
About the Author
Laila Sabreen is a writer of young adult contemporary. Raised in the Washington, DC area, she currently attends Emory University and majors in English and Sociology. Her love of writing began as a love of reading when she fell in love with the Angelina Ballerina series. When she isn’t writing, she can be found working on essays, creating playlists that are way too long, and watching This Is Us.
Thank you so much for reading this tour stop post! I hope you decide to check out You Truly Assumed. It’s an amazing book, and is so inspiring. Have a fabulous day!