Author Interview: Mina Waheed

Hello, little foxes! Long time, no see. Today, I’d like to introduce a new series, 5 Questions with Kristyn. Since it’s Pride Month, I wanted to interview LGBTQ+ authors and find out more about them and their work. This week, I have the glorious Mina Waheed!

Cover of Graham's Delicacies by Mina Waheed Six people and three love stories all in one bakery. 

Jen goes to work, agonizes over college, and looks forward to the stolen moments in the kitchen. There she can watch Emilie bake love into every morsel. Their delicate friendship takes a step towards a budding romance, but will Jen’s anxiety help them survive their first hurdle?

James has never been kissed but he wants to be. Especially by his co-worker Sam, who he can’t talk to without turning into a little jerk. Sam is made of all the good stuff, but will James’ deepest insecurities allow him to kiss the boy?

Alex won’t let some foodie with a video camera bash their beloved bakery, even if it means to be petty. Except they’re nowhere ready for Yujin, the one who got away and is now romancing them. Will Alex’s pride let them see the gold heart the bashful king hides? Goodreads

Three months ago, you published Graham’s Delicacies, and it received a lot of positive reviews. Where did you get the inspiration for Graham’s Delicacies?

Wow, it has already been three months since Graham’s Delicacies came out! I am glad I got to share this book with the world. The blog tour was a delightful surprise and a lot of amazing effort by book bloggers. The inspiration… well, would it be weird to say that the girl I’d begun developing feelings for was the reason? She had the same name and similar hair to a teeeeny tiny minor character in Soft on Soft.

This is totally cheesy, but I began sending her direct messages on Twitter since we’d already been mutuals and friends who talked about books. I told her about the character, how she had a cute baker enbyfriend. Yeah, I totally wrote fanfiction for this girl.

And… well, she liked it. She liked the first story so much, which I shared in Google Docs, that I wrote more. By the time I was finishing Delectable (the second story in Graham’s Delicacies), she and I were texting daily, she went over the whole doc, read the new stuff, left me a bazillion comments that made me so happy.

I fell for her kindness, how she gave me time out of her busy life, how I could make her laugh and smile with the words I wrote. I wasn’t going to publish it, but I loved that book. It’s the manifestation of becoming good friends, then when I finished writing it, my feelings for my girl. I don’t think I’ll ever think of this book and feel bad (because my anxiety works in wondrous ways) because Graham’s Delicacies allowed me to gain such a good friend and a partner in crime. The crime being talking about anything and everything. So, thank you to her, I guess.

How do you stay motivated as a writer?

I don’t! Hah! Just kidding. Motivation is TOUGH. Since I’m a self-published author, I have to not only write, but do everything else to ensure the readers get the best version of the book and that doesn’t always happen. The issues that rise stump my motivation. I had terrible thoughts of just quitting. Deleting everything. Disappearing off the face of the internet. Except… I don’t want to. I’ve always wanted to be a writer. Words comfort me so much. I never had a thing that was solely mine. Writing feels like a secret most of the time because I am deeply closeted and no one in real life but my two friends, has read my books, but I still do it because it’s mine. I’m not that good at it, but I’ve been working, practicing, trying to hone my craft, quite publicly too. I just want to be good at it even if it’ll take me decades.

Do you prefer to write books with a happily ever after or a happy for now romance?

I am a sucker for HEA (Happily Ever After) because it’s a comfort for my anxious heart. Hence why I read a lot of romance and want to write romance. It’s the confidence that they are going to be together, happily. The promise of happiness is so lovely. It’s kind of why I think HEA shouldn’t just be a romance thing, it should be even in our friendships, our relationships with family, with ourselves. I want to write many romances and many HEAs not only for romantic relationships but also for friends who never have to be anxious and tense about their friends. It’s kind of important for me to portray the diversity of love; platonic and romantic and provide it with HEA.

What are some of your favorite romance novel tropes?

Oh, wow! I have so many tropes! Let’s start with Fake Relationship. I love any variation, I especially love it when it’s between friends who have been pining for one another, unknowing of how either one feels for the other. I love forced proximity, roommates, neighbors, people who have to work together. Especially when there is tension between them. I love sexual tropes too like “One of us is experienced and the other is not.” It creates a fun sexy dynamic. I also love, of course, friends-to-lovers. Pining or simply having a moment of clarity of realizing “I’d die for this person” whether it be romantic or platonic, it IS SO GOOD. I love any kind of variation of friendship centered tropes, to be honest.

Do you have any other projects in the works?

Yes! If you’re asking about ideas that I have skeletons of in my Word Documents, then I have around five? I think one even has over 15k of words written in April (hah!) I have another that’s 10k+ which I’m supposed to work on because it’s different and fun and very close to my heart. However, now, I’m taking a break from writing so I’d kind of help my burn out. I’ve written a lot in the past six months, to try and catch up to everyone else. I hurt my brain and my heart in the process. I had to trash seventy-five thousand words because it was going nowhere and wrote it again with a structure and an outline.

I finished a WIP recently and revised it. It’s Shelby’s story. Shelby is June’s best friend in Soft on Soft and they’re quite the homey character. Driven but are held back by their depression. The WIP is nowhere near done but I have sent it off to trusted beta readers and I now will take a break until they’re done. It sounds like a wishy-washy plan, especially since I’m a Virgo who likes planning their week down to the hour, but I need this. I need to be absorbed in other people’s words for the time being so when I go back to my words, I am kinder and more delicate with myself.

You can pick up Mina Waheed’s fabulous books on Amazon or through The Ripped Bodice through our affiliate links!

About Mina Waheed:

Mina Waheed grew up on TV and K-pop like many in their generation. At thirteen, they picked up their first book with the blessing of an older sister and has been in love with prose ever since. They learned a lot about how to be a hermit and not interact with people, but love hearing from readers! Reach Mina through social media or email if you’re shy like them.