I left home at a young age to distance myself from a troubled childhood, and worked for minimum wage to put myself through a bachelor’s degree. Yes, I was the typical immigrant girl with a few dollars in her pocket who cleaned stinky toilets and slept in rented basement rooms to get on her feet. Through all this, books were my teachers, my parents, my role models, my saviours.
I went on to get an MBA from Solvay Business School in Europe and worked my way through the corporate world for more than a decade until I rediscovered my life’s passion for books and social change. Today, I write, speak and connect with readers with one goal in mind—to inspire and empower the lives of young women around the world, especially those who live in the darkest corners of our planet.
I do what I do because I remember what it’s like to be a scared and lonely girl with few opportunities and little support.
I come from many places. I’m a citizen of this world.
The greatest love of my life is reading. Books are what gave me an escape, a door to wonder and possibilities during the darkest moments of my childhood. I now pledge to read at least forty books a year, every year.
I remember one day discovering a dusty, ripped copy of The Gulag Archipelago, a difficult read about the Stalin era. This was not a book for a child, but there was not much else in my little school library, in that remote town where we lived at that time. That book taught me the strength of words. It taught me how storytelling can shine a powerful spotlight on injustice and how mere words can transform ideas and minds around the world.
I started to write full length novels in 2010, mostly memoirs of a lifetime of traveling. It was only recently I decided to write a story about a young woman who goes through experiences I witnessed, experienced or learned about, having lived in many places where women’s rights are not respected. I wanted to write a story about a girl who goes through adversity and hardship, but who rises up and fights back, and comes out stronger and wiser, despite what she endures.
I write these stories because I’m compelled to write them. I can do nothing less.
My mission in life is to inspire girls and young women who live in the darkest corners of our planet. These are sad places where girls don’t matter and where women have few rights, if any. They are pulled out of school to marry men four times their age, forced into domestic slavery, and sold across borders for a few dollars as chattel. I want to inspire these girls and young women to stay strong against their adversities, to grab onto chances, and to never back down. I want them to know they matter and they are not alone.
I write to entertain, but more importantly, I write to inform the world about what happens to the most vulnerable populations in our world today. And if only one girl, just one girl, stands up for her dignity and rights after reading my work, then I will have done my job.
A few things you might want to know if you want to work with me:
- I work only with those who align with my principles: Integrity, Truth, Respect, Justice, Freedom.
- I do not subscribe to any one religion or culture.
- I am a proponent of global entrepreneurship.
- I am not afraid to speak truth to power.
- I will not be censored.