Good Morning! Let's jump in shall we.
Why don't we start with a little blurb about Shades of Spring 1964:Letter to my Daughter.
Maxine tries to deal with her mother’s death in her own way. But when she finds old letters revealing her family’s past she finds herself creating a bond with someone else, not knowing how far their history goes.
Taylor is amused and infuriated with Marine, and no matter how hard he tries he can’t stay away from her. Now he finds himself being her main supporter, the only one she can lean on as she travels back to the past. And when the past is resolved they now have to think of their futures, while they concentrate on their present.
Sounds Wonderful! Now tell us a little about you.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?The hardest part would be keeping in touch with reality. Even in writing fantasy I want to keep close to reality. The last thing I want is a reader to go like, “oh Please, are you serious!”
Are you a plotter or a pantser?I plot, I think it’s important to know where you want to go at a certain point in the story. But apart from the basic skeleton I let the story and the character’s lead me. I could never force an independent character to suddenly rely on someone else.
Why do you think people should choose your books over another author?I think every author drums their own beat and everyone should dance to it. You can’t possibly say choose mine cause I am better. We all have our audiences.
What do you hope readers take with them after reading one of your stories?That I put in my 100% into the story. Hopefully they can find a little piece of themselves in the story and maybe an Oh! Moment.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
What other careers have you had?
I’m still a student, so I wouldn’t call anything else I have done a career. But from being a receptionist I learnt a lesson in human interaction, an intern at BBC I learnt the importance of truth in a story and from being a legal aid I learnt the importance of work.
Do you write under more than one name? Why?I write fictional romance under M.O Kenyan, although my fantasy books are yet to be published, I write under M.O Knight. I think it’s important for there to be separate names for separate genres. It helps your audience distinguish which genre the book is written in without having to read the back cover.
Are any of your characters based on real people or events?Most of my writing if not all have a piece of me in it. And if I have interacted with you in the past twenty three years you are probably in it too. But I try not to make it so obvious.
How do you come up with the titles?I come up with title before writing some of my books. And sometimes a sentence or a word just jumps at me. No real thought process I am led by instinct.
Has your life changed significantly since becoming a published writer?Honestly no, maybe. Having my work out there does make me nervous on how people receive it. But I am yet to have my Oh my God moment. I don’t know why.
Do you work on one project at a time? Or do you multi-task?
I write books one at a time. But plots and ideas may come to me at the same time. I may say multitask because if I think of a story and a scene seems very crucial to me I will start with that, then be done with it before I start working on another scene.
When not writing, how do you relax?I sleep.
Care to give our readers a brief excerpt?
Excerpt from Shades of Spring 1964~ Letters to my Daughter
“Yes, Maxine.” Maxine didn’t miss the hint of exasperation in the professor’s voice. When she had raised her hand in class, she had seen the professor roll his eyes before he forced a smile and called on her.
“I think we should do African literature,” she began, almost bouncing off her seat. She saw the relieved expression on the professor’s face. It always bothered her when, each time she wanted to make a contribution, there was a look of dread on his face. Maxine looked around the room taking in her classmate’s expressions and, despite the frustration and anger she saw from most of them, she went on. “Especially books by authors who wrote during or about colonization in Africa.” She didn’t care what the professor or the rest of the class thought. She thought it was a brilliant idea.
The resistance from the class didn’t take long. “Why?” her classmate Taylor yelled out from the back of the room. Maxine always felt like his voice was constantly at the back of her mind, always disapproving of her ideas or suggestions. There were times she thought Taylor’s voice was part of her subconscious.
“What do you mean by why?” Maxine slightly turned her head towards the back. She took in quick, short breaths as she prepared to defend her suggestion.
“Why should we?” Taylor went on, addressing the professor. “The books for this unit have already been chosen. I don’t think we should add another book just because she said so.”
“She has a name.” Maxine turned her body to face Taylor. Her eyes narrowed as she burned holes in his pale forehead with her acid gaze. “We can find the time,” she said through clenched teeth. Maxine turned back to face her professor. “As a student, I have the right to ask for more knowledge.” There was no way the professor could deny her the opportunity to learn.
“Get a private tutor. Some of us don’t have time to squeeze in more reading,” Taylor hissed out. Maxine could see the frustration on his face. He had reached his boiling point, but she kept on pushing.
“As an African American--”
Taylor cut in. “Oh please,” he scoffed. “No one focuses on that stuff anymore.”
“That’s why I suggested it. I think we should all remember that time.” Maxine’s voice was like that of a little girl trying to wheedle her father into a new pony, charming but unwavering because she wanted something and she wanted it badly. “We, as Literature students and as people of this world, should care. It is where our history begins.”
“Exactly! History!” Taylor made his way to the front of the class and stood beside the professor.
Maxine held on to the edge of her desk, her nails digging into the wood, and called on every single patient cell in her body. She wasn’t going to let Taylor beat her, not a chance. She needed to make an argument and a good one. With a smile on her face, she also made her way to the front of the class. “As Literature students, we also have to learn the African Literature way of writing.”
“I think we have learned enough about other types of writing,” Taylor smirked.
“I think the fact that you said that proves what an air-head you really are.”
Taylor turned to face Maxine. The anger in his glare displaced the warm humor in his usually kind, brown eyes. She could feel his gaze burn into her, but she refused to look away. She wasn’t going to be moved.
Very Nice! How can our readers get ahold of you?
And to purchase your book?
Amazon, Barnes and Noble or www.5princebooks.com/buy.htm
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