GP and mother of three, Attiya Khan visited year 9 today to talk about her debut YA book Ten Steps to Us and her journey to becoming a published author.
Attiya had wanted to write as a child but was encouraged to go into a more “serious” profession by her family. She has no regrets about this and loves working as a GP in East London, but after rediscovering her love of literature Attiya has found writing in her spare time to be therapeutic
After joining a very supportive writing group for a hobby, the idea for Ten Steps to Us began as a free writing exercise with the first chapter based on an incident of bullying from Attiya’s own teenhood. Attiya wanted to promote more diversity in literature after hearing her daughter say there were no characters in books that she could identify with.
Attiya spoke about being resilient to rejection, believing in yourself and not giving up when she was looking for a publisher for her book. After being accepted for publication by Hashtag BLAK, the road to publication suffered further delays due to the pandemic and a lot of the launch publicity has still been pushed on-line, but Ten Steps to Us is finally available to purchase. Attiya has now been asked by Hashtag BLAK to write another teen novel with a Muslim protagonist.
Ten Steps to Us is a story of romance, bullying, frenemies, social media trolling, family expectations, religious commitment and finding your place in the world.