Interview with Author Fida Abbott – Ramona Portelli Blog

Interview with Author Fida Abbott

Fida Abbott is an award-winning author and blogger. Her two books received a Pinnacle Book Achievement Award from the National Association of Book Entrepreneur (NABE)Enthusiasm in the category of Novel for the Spring 2010 and Exploring My Ideas in the category of Short Stories for the Summer 2019. In 2011, she was chosen as a 2011 winner of 50 Great Writers You Should be Reading, presented by Her blog received Honorable Mention from in 2009 and was a Finalist of Christian Indonesian Blogger Festival in 2008, presented by

Fida has been writing since she was thirteen. Her first short story was published in the Middle School Magazine in Surabaya, Indonesia, the city where she was born. Her first publication in the local daily newspaper was her poem she wrote when she was in High School. In 2002, she came to the USA and married her American fiancé. With her husband and her daughter, they live in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, a city where she resides and expresses herself in her writings in English and Indonesian.

In the virtual world, Fida is a director of an online writing course,, as well as KabarIndonesia, an online Indonesian news site based on the citizen reporter, She is also a certified Department of Defense Language Instructor for Bahasa Indonesia, serving United States Air Force (USAF) for online classes. In addition to writing, she is a motivational speaker covering writing and other topics. 

Ramona: Tell me more about your latest book!

Fida Abbott: Exploring My Ideas is comprised of ten evocative short stories that were crafted from my personal experiences and observations. Every short story is followed by my explanation how I developed an idea and wrote it into a short story. This book includes a simple and practical guide on how to explore and compose ideas into short stories, as well as publishing tips. This book not only gives readers easy steps to build a story from their point of view, but it also brings the readers’ imaginations to life. The readers will think, learn, practice, and be entertained by short stories about psychology, crime, relationship, family, horror, and others. Exploring My Ideas is an ideal book for those who love literary collection and all writers who write as a hobby or a necessity, especially for beginning aspiring writers.

Ramona: In August 2019, ‘Exploring My Ideas’ got Pinnacle Book Achievement Award from National Association of Book Entrepreneurs (NABE) for the category of Short Stories. What does this mean to you?

Fida Abbott: As an independent author, it means a lot. By winning an award, my book will get more exposure and is recognized among other book award winners. It shows that I have created a good quality content for my book. This gives me more confident to spread about my book and it becomes part of my journey in the writing world to achieve more challenges and successes.

Ramona: What is it like to be an independent author?

Fida Abbott: Honestly, to be an independent author I do a lot of work from publishing to marketing, but I gain a lot of knowledge and experience. This sharpens my skills in the publishing world. What I need to remember is that I have to be ready to lose money for book marketing. For me it is an investment for the future if I want to pursue a career as an author. As long as under my budget, I will fly away to take this opportunity to learn a lot as a self-published author. I might not get profit from publishing my books, but my name and my accomplishment get recognized, and it contributes the success to other significant fields, especially in contributing outstanding resume as an author, director for an online media and online writing workshop, language instructor, interpreter, and public speaker. It means as an independent author, I can also contribute profits to other significant fields that I have interest in.

Ramona: What motivated you to become an author?

Fida Abbott: I have been a blogger since on February 10, 2006. I also wrote to several online medias. Many people like my writings and I received many positive messages and comments, so these inspired me to write a book. I am happy I did it. I began to write an easy and simple eBook. My daughter inspired me to write this eBook entitled What Prayers Does Mommy Teach Me? I didn’t use professional help for this book. I created it using service and began to learn how to publish in the USA. From there I grew. I kept writing another eBook/book and another book till one day, I told my husband “It’s the time I write a novel and will use professional help.” This journey sinks me to be a real author with the same status as a self-published author. I dug more and more learning in the publishing world in the USA, how to market, and how to build network and use many tools in the virtual world. Here, I am now with a status: An Award-Winning Author. The long journey to achieve this, makes me deeply understand what the real thing to become an author.

Ramona: What brought you to write your books?

Fida Abbott: Every book I wrote, came from an idea or inspiration. The idea or inspiration pushed me to write my books. As I composed my idea into my writing and I publish it to become a book, I always hope that my book will bring blessing to readers. This strengthen me to keep writing and publishing. Besides that, my expectation is to bring my books to become a blessing to the community where I live, as I used to donate my books in a beautiful basket for fundraiser events or sending my books to the remote areas, especially in Indonesia which my book, Enthusiasm was published in Indonesia by an Indonesian traditional publisher, Yayasan Komunikasi Bina Kasih (YKBK).

Ramona: How many books have you written so far? 

Fida Abbott: My books are published by me, myself and by others including traditional publisher in Indonesia.

Books/eBooks that I published myself and are still in the market:

  1. What Prayers Does Mommy Teach Me?, 2008
  2. Chaiku Poem Anthology, 2015 (second edition)
  3. Fabulous Leftover Turkey, 2009
  4. Tumpeng, An Authentic Indonesian Food, 2010
  5. Enthusiasm, 2010
  6. Exploring My Ideas, 2019

Books/eBooks that are published by others including traditional publisher in Indonesia

  1. Terhilang di Rumah Bapa (Indonesian, written by some Indonesia Christian bloggers), 2008
  2. Antusiasme (Indonesian), 2012
  3. Rahel Pergi ke Surga Sendiri, (Indonesian, written by some well-known Indonesia Christian authors), 2018

Ramona: What book or books have had a strong influence on you or your writing?

Fida Abbott: My book Enthusiasm had strong influence on me. I had strange experience during and after writing this book, including after I published it. I had very strong desire to write this book that I could not handle it. I felt a spirit had lived in my soul. If I began to slow down, I felt something whip me. I had to keep writing even though it was very late toward morning when the idea in my mind was full and it needed to be written. When it was published, one by one the door opens for me although not all of them succeed, but I could see the path that brought me to the brighter future. I was right. My book won an award, and then it was picked by an Indonesia traditional publisher and two years later my book was published in Indonesia. Eight months later after my book published in Indonesia, my brother passed away, and two months later after that, my father passed away. You can’t imagine how I felt at that time, even I could not describe it. They were in Indonesia and I was in the USA. One thing that I thank God was I knew they both had done reading my book, Antusiasme (Enthusiasm in English). After that I knew why my desire was very strong at the time when I wrote it. It seemed God tried to communicate with me through that situation before they both passed away, so they had a chance to read “my first published book”.

Ramona: What is your advice for aspiring writers?

Fida Abbott: To become a writer, it will be a long journey. None of the famous writers went through instantly. It will need determination. So, start small and keep writing. Do not forget to read, read, and read. Do not let anyone discourage you and do not shy to show your writing to the world. Write from your heart and do not plan on making a lot of money from your writing but seek out constructive feedback on your work. Always take opportunity to participate in the writing contest, writing workshop or other activities that is relevant with your writing needs. While you do those all, build your network.

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