Sakinah Baksh is an introverted insomniac of an author who started writing in the heatwaves of Marrakesh, Morocco, after being subjected to book-deprived boredom for several tortuous months. She hasn’t stopped writing ever since. When she isn’t working full time, she usually writes dark, emotional, genre-bending stories, enjoys reading webtoons, and watches anime and Korean or Chinese drama series that mess with her feelings.
Her dream is to connect with the world via her stories, make her readers feel a little less lonely than they were before, and be the best introverted author possible.
What made you decide to publish independently?
Years ago, probably around 2012, I sent out query letters to agents but in the end that method didn’t work for me. I was too impatient and didn’t like the idea of waiting around only to be rejected over and over again because my stories failed to fit a marketable mould. Even if it was the only way to get published, I just wasn’t keen on the idea so I stopped not long after I started. I salute everyone who has the patience and the heart to keep querying.
A while later, I found out self-publishing was a thing and weighed its pros and cons against those of traditional publishing. I liked the amount of creative control offered by self-publishing and wanted to try publishing a novella series that probably wouldn’t have been accepted by traditional publishers anyway due to its length and my writing style. So I decided to become an independent author and I’ve been doing whatever I can to be a successful one in the future.
What has been your most unforgettable experience (good or bad) as an author?
Prior to releasing Don’t Disappoint Me: Volume One, I got a different job and moved to a workplace that was local to me. After I published my first book, I found out a colleague from my old workplace had mentioned my book in the company newsletter which was emailed to everyone working there (over a hundred people, I believe!). Some of my other colleagues bought my book as a result and contributed to the number of sales I had following my first book launch. No matter what happens, I’ll always remember that and feel grateful for their delightfully unexpected support.
Who do you think you inspire? If not, who and what do you want to inspire?
I don’t know if I inspire anyone but I like to write characters with traits that aren’t conventionally acceptable or attractive in the hope that more people relate to them and feel better about being who they are in real life without shame.
Disclaimer: this doesn’t include evil/malicious traits. I don’t want anyone to become like the villains in my stories, even if there’s sometimes a fine line between them and my protagonists. Heh heh.
What character archetype would you be if you were a character in a book, movie or TV series?
I think I’d either be an Outlaw or an Explorer … or perhaps a blend of the two.
From what I understand, the Explorer is a character who tends to be curious, restless, and driven to push the boundaries of the status quo and explore what they don’t know. And the Outlaw often thinks and acts independently, and is usually considered a rebel who doesn’t abide by the demands of society.
What kind of animal character would you be in your story, and why?
Surprisingly, despite my childhood and ongoing fascination with them, the presence of animals in my stories tends to be symbolic. I wrote stories with animal characters when I was younger but most of my new stories don’t really have flesh and blood animals. However my online serial, Darkling, features mythological-type creatures so I’d probably be a werewolf-vampire hybrid.
If you were not doing what you are doing now, what activity or hobby would be keeping you busy?
Alongside reading and watching Asian shows/anime as I do now, I would probably be a lot more active. To be honest, I think I’d be a lot healthier physically if I wasn’t an active writer. I used to enjoy biking to work and I like walking with a set destination in mind so I’d likely cycle a lot and go for walks more often. I also love eating cake so I’d definitely bake more too. Maybe I wouldn’t be much healthier after all. Heh heh.
What do you consider as your weakness, and have you done anything to overcome it?
Following on from my answer above, I struggle to balance my work life, my writing goals, and personal habits that positively affect my physical, mental, and spiritual health. Time seems too short and I don’t always have the energy to maintain that balance. However, ticking off achievements on a list satisfies the high achiever who sleeps in my head so I write checklists daily in my diary to wake them up.
These checklists include small tasks that help me improve myself or aid my overall well being in some way, such as drinking apple cider vinegar or my writing goal for that day. By doing this, I hope to continue my self development and feel great about my progress at the same time, even though I don’t always tick all the boxes every day. It helps me keep track of myself and my habits too, both good and bad!
Anything else you want to tell your fans, our readers, and the writing/reading/blogging community at large?
Hmm … In life and writing alike, a lot of emphasis is placed on perfection. People strive to live or write the perfect story. While I think it’s good to have writing goals and focus on being a better person than you were yesterday, I think it’s also important to take note of two things.
One, you don’t have to do anything to be ‘enough’ and two, it’s impossible to be a perfect person or a perfect writer. So maybe keep climbing up the rope to reach the best version of yourself if you’re not satisfied with who you are at the moment but be careful not to hang yourself with it in the process.
Don’t Disappoint Me: Volume One
Tiro Kaelyn is the most beautiful person she’s ever seen … with a beautiful heart to match. Vix knows she shouldn’t stalk him. She knows she shouldn’t stare at his pictures on social media. She knows that she shouldn’t follow him online. She knows she definitely shouldn’t stalk him in person at work. But a little obsession never hurt anyone. Until it does. And Vix realises she’s made herself the next target.
Don’t Disappoint Me: Volume Two
Vix has never been known for her beauty. If anything, she’s always been the brains behind the outfit. One of the smartest people in the room. But she’s done something stupid. A mistake that has led her into the hands of someone who has both brains and beauty. Into a fight she’s not sure she can win. And Vix is slowly starting to learn just how easy it is for some people to get away with murder.