For the fourteenth episode of Why Morocco podcast, I sat down with British-Moroccan author Saeida Rouass who has an obsession with serial killers, having grown up steps away from where Jack the Ripper once roamed. She stopped by the studio following her TEDx Marrakech talk to chat writing her first book Assembly of the Dead, a historical fiction set in Marrakech in 1906 and the soon to be released sequel Library of Untruth that sees the return of Farouk al Alami, the detective we met in her first book, but this time in Fez in 1912 at the start of the French Protectorate era.
I first met Saeida when I was assisting with the organization of a book reading and presentation of Assembly of the Dead at Café Clock Marrakech. I picked up a copy and spent hours consumed in the book, imagining life in the Marrakech medina in 1906. While some areas of the medina seem to have changed significantly, others I feel haven’t changed at all, maintaining such charm!
But it was one of those interviews that certainly left me inspired. You see, I’ve been considering writing a book for quite awhile. Through our conversations about her writing process, I was able to define what I may want to one day start writing about. My interest in historical fiction is real, and my personal obsession are books set in the 1930s. With art deco architecture. And grand theatres. Coincidently, I’m rather obsessed with Casablanca (I wrote about the need for architectural conservation for the Independent and also recorded this podcast with a Casablanca-based architect). So now my brain is spinning with ideas.