Jasser Hammami is a young Tunisian author and fantasy enthusiast. Unlike most authors, he didn’t grow up surrounded by books. As a child, he doesn’t recall ever seeing a family member or anyone in his surrounding area reading a book or asking him to read one. Reading books wasn’t exactly a widespread cultural activity among Tunisians. He never liked the fact that nearly 80% of the population of his country don’t read books. Or at least that’s what he read in an article back in 2015.
However, the thing about Jasser is… There isn’t anything in this world he loves more than a good story, unless we mention chocolate and cappuccino. He just couldn’t stop making stories in his head. Even as a little boy, he couldn’t enjoy watching cartoons or a kids’ movie without spending the rest of the evening imagining a whole new scenario with the same characters or a whole different ending. He liked playing video games, too, but mostly because he enjoyed the stories those games were based on. He spent so much time online that he developed a high fluency in the English language, and then unintentionally created stories in his head in English–he found this a bit bizarre for a while, but then adjusted. Then one day, he had the courage to discover the great invention called “books.” And let’s just say they worked on him like cigarettes, only one book was enough to get him addicted. He had started with some classics. Dickens’ Great Expectations was one of the very first books he had ever read. The language was a bit hard, but it only motivated him to further develop his knowledge of this language.
Literature wasn’t exactly the most appreciated field in his country or area. “Focus on math and physics! Writers don’t make enough money to live. Don’t waste your time writing. It won’t get you anywhere.” He heard this hundreds of times. However, it was a fact: authors or anyone working in the book industry have a horribly low income from their books. His first attempts at publishing his books in Tunisia were futile. He’d been told that he wouldn’t make it and couldn’t possibly write something good enough to be accepted for publishing. Many people enjoyed trying to put him down, but he enjoyed proving them wrong even more.
Eventually, he became the youngest and one of the very first Tunisians to publish books in the English language in Tunisia, a country where literature was thought to only exist in French and Arabic languages. You can ask the organizers of the “Comar d’or” awards, one of the most known literature awards event in Tunisia. They still think so.
However, being the ambitious young man he was, this wasn’t enough for him. That’s why he decided to venture into the book industry worldwide and attempt to publish his first young adult fantasy novel and the first book in his fantasy series with a foreign publisher. It had been quite a frustrating and hard journey to get a publisher from the USA to publish his book. (No author can deny how horribly hard it can be. Even J K Rowling’s book had been rejected 12 times before it was published.) Eventually, he realized it was all worth it when he finally signed a contract with Crystal Publishing, LLC for his first novel Jeremy Heimer and the Lady of the Frozen Owl.
Trailer for Jeremy Heimer and the Lady of the Frozen Owl: