Author Interview: Interview with Parastoo Rezai
About Parastoo Rezai
Today, we have the pleasure to interview Parastoo Rezai, author of “Remembering Hope.” She lives in San Diego, California, with her husband and two children. She received her bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from UCSD, Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Southern California, and master’s degree in Pharmacoeconomics from the University of Florida. She works as a Clinical Pharmacist. When not working, she enjoys writing, reading, traveling, and spending time with family.
Talking About Her Book
Can you share with us what this book is all about?
Remembering Hope is a heartwarming and heartbreaking story of a woman named Bahar, who uproots her life and leaves her family, friends, and a promising legal career in Iran, to move to the United States and start a family with the love of her life. Over a twenty-year marriage, she and her husband, Omid, raised two precious boys and built the life they had always dreamed of. But their happiness is shattered the day Omid receives a devastating diagnosis. Little does Bahar know that her husband’s cancer diagnosis is just the beginning of multiple other challenges looming on the horizon. Freedom, adventure—perhaps even love—could offer her a second chance at happiness, but only if Bahar can find an inner-strength and fortitude she never knew she had. Remembering Hope is a story of devotion, courage, and the power of new beginnings.
What motivated you to write this book?
This is my first novel and the reason I decided to write it is because I felt the need to describe a set of life events where the characters, circumstances, and the vulnerabilities are relatable and authentic to the everyday human experience. My purpose was to show that we as human beings, regardless of our gender, race, or socioeconomic status are all vulnerable to certain hardships that are beyond our control. None of us are immune to the events that take place in this story, and what happens to the protagonists can happen to any one of us. This story was inspired by true events and I wanted to share a powerful story about hope, resilience, and fortitude to move beyond life’s hardships.
Where did you get your information or ideas for your books?
I get ideas for my books by personal experiences during travels as well as family and friends. I feel that everyone has a story to share and I try to listen closely to the threads that some of the life stories have in common. Then I attempt to write my stories using a composite of all of these experiences as I develop my book.
What was your favorite part of the book? Why?
My favorite part of the book was the courtship between the two main protagonists and their journey in starting a new life together. I enjoyed a particular paragraph in the book where the protagonist comes to realize that many things she had planned and envisioned for her life were out of her control. She came to the conclusion that life is not about controlling your future and the outcomes of your life, but learning to accept the circumstances she is confronted with and finding ways to overcome her hardships.
How long did it take to write a book? Why?
It took me about 2.5 years to write this story. As I wrote the book, I felt the need to pause every so often to process some of the profound emotions I felt for what was transpiring in the story, before continuing to write. The protagonist had numerous obstacles to surmount, and I wanted to be able to convey every emotion she was feeling to make the story as realistic as possible.
How did the book get published? Why did you choose to publish your book in this way?
Books can either be published through traditional channels by publishing houses or be self-published by the author on various platforms. I chose to self-publish because this was my first book and I wanted to have full decision-making rights for the title, cover design, and content. I was told if I submitted the book for traditional publishing, it would take much longer to publish and I may have been asked to forego some of those rights.
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