Author Interview: Samira Ahmed Brings Awareness To Struggles

This Book Won’t Burn, Hollow Fires, and several titles have led Samira Ahmed to become a popular name when it comes to Young Adult fiction. When given the chance to interview the author, interviewers from Rambunctious and RamFeed were able to snag the chance to ask her some questions. Samira Ahmed was born in India and raised in Illinois. She is a former high school teacher, with first hand experience in the classroom.

Samira talks about how her character voices are the first thing she figures out. In order to write the story, she needs to know the voice. “I’m trying to create my characters before I write the whole novel because that way I understand more about them so I’ll brainstorm all these things about my character.” Ahmed says, “I always say like when you look through a window into someone’s life in a novel, you can often see a bit of your own life reflected back again, so I want my readers to be able to connect to the characters.” She also hopes that from reading her books, young people can see how much power they have and how they can use their voice to create the change they want to see. 

Samira was also a journalist in high school, which has led to inspiration for some of her books. The main character of Hollow Fires is a journalist, trying to tell the story of a murdered boy. Like most of her other books, Hollow Fires discusses the racist beliefs people hold and where that may lead. Due to her focusing on racism and homophobia, Ahmed also finds herself fighting against book banning. “…It’s not just censorship, it’s erasure of those entire identities and it;s absolutely raging that they think that somebody’s identity like mine is controversial…We are people that exist. Brown people exist, black people exist, indigenous people exist, trans kids exist.” Samira raises awareness through her storytelling.

Samira Ahmed’s books have actively helped raise awareness for the struggles of POC and queer individuals. Her variety of books have allowed people of all ages to see themselves in stories they haven’t been in before. 

Nicole Chen, '26
Nicole Chen is a freshman at J-DHS who writes a myriad of articles for RamPage. She hopes to have her week filled with clubs (which currently, it isn’t) and she obsesses over writing quick author’s bios.