Today we are chatting with Zoulfa Katouh, author of As Long As The Lemon Trees Grow!
Read on for more about her, the book, and a giveaway!
Meet Zoulfa Katouh
Zoulfa Katouh is a Syrian Canadian based in Switzerland. She is currently pursuing her master’s in Drug Sciences and finds Studio Ghibli inspiration in the mountains, lakes, and stars surrounding her. When she’s not talking to herself in the woodland forest, she’s drinking iced coffee, baking aesthetic cookies and cakes, and telling everyone who would listen about how BTS paved the way. Her dream is to get Kim Namjoon to read one of her books. If that happens, she will expire on the spot. As Long As the Lemon Trees Grow is her debut novel. You can find her on Twitter @thelemonwitch_ or on her website.
About the Book: As Long As The Lemon Trees Grow
A love letter to Syria and its people, As Long as the Lemon Trees Grow is a speculative novel set amid the Syrian Revolution, burning with the fires of hope, love, and possibility. Perfect for fans of The Book Thief and Salt to the Sea.
Salama Kassab was a pharmacy student when the cries for freedom broke out in Syria. She still had her parents and her big brother; she still had her home. She had a normal teenager’s life.
Now Salama volunteers at a hospital in Homs, helping the wounded who flood through the doors daily. Secretly, though, she is desperate to find a way out of her beloved country before her sister-in-law, Layla, gives birth. So desperate, that she has manifested a physical embodiment of her fear in the form of her imagined companion, Khawf, who haunts her every move in an effort to keep her safe.
But even with Khawf pressing her to leave, Salama is torn between her loyalty to her country and her conviction to survive. Salama must contend with bullets and bombs, military assaults, and her shifting sense of morality before she might finally breathe free. And when she crosses paths with the boy she was supposed to meet one fateful day, she starts to doubt her resolve in leaving home at all.
Soon, Salama must learn to see the events around her for what they truly are—not a war, but a revolution—and decide how she, too, will cry for Syria’s freedom.
YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
YABC: What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
Chapter 29. I am told it’s poignant.
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
The blue shade.
YABC: What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2022?
LOVE FROM MECCA TO MEDINA by S.K. Ali. I was lucky enough to read an ARC and oh my God, I felt so loved in that book. So seen. I felt I was in Mecca and Medina. Also, Adam and Zayneb my beloveds.
YABC: What’s a book you’ve recently read and loved?
BLOODMARKED by Tracy Deonn lives rent free in my brain. Selbree, come back home. I miss you.
YABC: What’s up next for you?
I’m writing book 2 at the moment, which is hitting a little too close to home. I have cried three times and counting.
YABC: What is the main message or lesson you would like your reader to remember from this book?
That hope persists. It always has. Always will. Even when the odds are against it.
YABC: What would you say is your superpower?
Being an ARMY.
YABC: What advice do you have for new writers?
Please don’t be afraid to rewrite your book. It’s very difficult and will probably make you cry from frustration (speaking from experience), but oh so worth it!
Book’s Title: As Long As the Lemon Trees Grow
Author/Illustrator: Zoulfa Katouh
Release Date: 9/13/22
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young adult fiction
Age Range: 14+
Three winners will receive a copy of As Long As The Lemon Trees Grow (Zoulfa Katouh). US Only!
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*