Not long ago I met an author, one of the best I’ve come across in a one on one way ever, through another great author Dan McNeil. I’ve read and reviewed her book, and you can read the review on LWI by clicking here. What did I say? Read it, but I warn you, if you know my normal reviews and ratings…you will be shocked. Her name is Jasmine Aziz. Her book is:
First of all, I think people would like to know how in the world you got into the world of selling vibrators. I think that is somewhat important regarding your book. And in addition, how did you get out of doing that?
Well it isn’t exactly something your Guidance Counsellor in school tells you that you were born to do so no one was more surprised than me when I ended up doing door-to-door dildo sales. I went to a party (my first) with my girlfriend and the consultant that was presenting the products was stiffer than the toys on the table. She made everyone uncomfortable. Naturally, coming from a long line of sales people, I did what I know how to do best: make light of the situation to put everyone at ease. The consultant told me to keep quiet but at the end of the presentation, five women I had never met before came up to me to ask me if I could help them choose what to buy. I can’t be sure what made them come to me for guidance but I sensed I was on to something. That, or it was the “Sex Crazed Loon” shirt I was wearing.
There is an amount of honesty in your book that takes courage. How many times did you stop writing or have doubts and who helped push you to complete the project?
It took me six years to complete the book because I wasn’t sure I could face the potential wrath I was expecting from my extended family. But I had spoken to too many women and men that I felt needed the story so I forged forward. It was actually a fateful trip to Las Vegas that propelled me in the right direction. It was there that I was told I wasn’t “sexy” enough to get free tickets to a club. That made me stop and think, well, what is the definition of “sexy” anyway? It was that concept that helped me string the book together. Now if I ever go back to Las Vegas I’m just going to wear a copy of my novel and we’ll see who gets the last laugh.
How many strange men have proposed to you since the book came out?
Are you proposing? 🙂 If so, then only one 😉 Just kidding!
One thing I believe that makes the book so easy to read and perhaps become comfortable with is the humor. Where did the stories told about the sexual explorations and the disasters resulting come from? (I still laugh at the burning man scene.)
I’m often asked how much of it is based on my own adventures but the truth is, they were inspired by my protagonist Leena herself. I’ve always believed that one of the best ways to tackle difficult topics is through humour. When you are relaxed and laughing, you are more likely to be receptive to information. You don’t even realize that you’re learning something. I personally think laugh lines are extremely sexy too!
Why did you write this book? Your storytelling is great. You could easily have written a romantic comedy of the more traditional type but you chose this one. Why?
Well, thank you! In fact, I am trying my hand at a romantic comedy as we speak! The main reason I wrote “Sex & Samosas” was because I needed a way to purge my own feelings after a very bad breakup so I started writing them down. As I continued with my adult toy parties, I started to realize that other people had the same issues and insecurities that I did and that this was a story that so many others would find relatable. Page after page my personal bitterness and angst gave way to the fiction that unfolded. It’s not necessarily cheaper than therapy, but writing the book helped me work through some very difficult issues.
What has been the public reaction to the book?
I’m really blessed with the reaction. I frequently get emails and notes from people telling me that they not only loved the book and have loaned it to everyone they know, but that they have learned something from it or changed their lives as a result. No author could ask for more than that, I think.
What have men said to you about the book?
When they’re not proposing to me…more men have told me that they love the book because it has helped them to understand how a woman’s mind works. There is a voyeuristic quality to being in Leena’s head all the time that helps them to empathize in ways they couldn’t before. Some have even told me that it has helped them improve on their relationships and pick up women in the book store. It’s all good. Just name the baby Jasmine, is all I say!
I enjoyed the cultural aspects you discussed in the book. I think those parts might be the most surprising to people and maybe in some cases the most informative. Was there an intention of putting that in the book or did it just happen?
That was the starting point of the book actually. Leena and I both struggled with finding balance between two opposing cultures and asserting yourself comfortably in both. She has to find her footing and learn to love herself for the hybrid of cultures that she is as I had to when I was writing it.
What do you have to say or would say to people who say you wrote a sex book and you’ve gone against what a “proper” person should do?
If you’re going to be a suck, then at least read my book so you know you’re doing it right.
What did you want to convey to readers with this book?
My message is simple: if you can’t love yourself, don’t expect anyone else to. And that masturbation is healthy and natural. Sure, I can’t see my hand in front of my face and I have the hairiest palms on the planet, but I know better than anyone else how to please myself and that’s all that matters.
Give me your best sales pitch to get me to buy this book.
Buy my book: there’s sex in it.
Kidding again! I realize my novel isn’t for everyone so when people ask me what it’s about I tell them it’s a funny journey of self-discovery that just happens to have a bunch of vibrators in it.
When can we expect the next book to come out?
There’s the trickiest question of them all. I’ve been really busy and not able to finish my follow up memoir about the four years I sold adult toys, though the frame of the story is complete. It’s only now that I’m beginning to wonder if it should be a television series (Netflix, I’m talking to you!) instead. So I’m going to pursue that first before I head back to finish it as a novel.
Where can you connect with Jasmine? Well, she’s made it easy. Drop a hat and you’ll likely find her, and that’s as it should be with a future star of the publishing world.
First go and buy the book!
Click here to find your preferred method. Jasmine has them all listed for you.
Jasmine on LinkedIn.
Want to discover more about Jasmine? Visit her website, JasmineAziz.com.
Ronovan is an author, and blogger who shares his life as an amnesiac and Chronic Pain sufferer though his blog RonovanWrites.WordPress.com. His love of poetry, authors and community through his online world has lead to a growing Weekly Haiku Challenge and the creation of a site dedicated to book reviews, interviews and author resources known as LitWorldInterviews.WordPress.com.
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