Name Jane Bwye
Where are you from I lived 55 years in Kenya, and retired to Eastbourne, UK at the turn of the century.
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
My website: http://janebwye.com/ will tell you the basics about me and my books.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I first considered myself a writer when I received payment for the first in a series of Letters From Oxford in the Kenya Weekly News in 1961. It was the princely sum of Kenya Shs. 50/-, which today amounts to about 33P!
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Nicholas Monserrat and his “Tribe” books inspired me to write Breath of Africa. Iwrote to him asking if he was considering writing a positive story about Africa for a change, and received a letter from his widow challenging me to do just that. Writing it also served as a catharsis when I came to live in the UK after 55 years in Kenya.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
And now I am half way through the first draft of the sequel. I have thoroughly enjoyed doing the research as it meant I had an excuse to revisit East Africa. I spent nearly two months there at the beginning of this year, enjoying being with family, and delivering talks about how my life experiences are reflected in my novel. I also visited a mining project on Kenya’s coast and a village in Uganda, to study different approaches to the question of investment and charity in Africa. I am exploring this theme in Grass Shoots, which follows the lives and loves of the younger characters in Breath of Africa, and solves the mystery of what happened to Charles. But I will say no more.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
My advice for other writers is – persevere. Don’t give up. Set yourself an objective to produce a definite number of words every week. If you fall short, you can always change the goal posts, but setting the objective is of primary importance.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
To my readers, I will say that Grass Shoots stands alone as a novel. However, you will benefit from a smooth transition and prior knowledge of the characters if you’ve read Breath of Africa first. And if you feel so inclined, a review posted on Amazon is the very best way of showing your appreciation to an author.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The first book which made an impression on me was Black Beauty. My love of horses is still alive and strong, and in the evening of my days I enjoy going to some wonderful country estates in the South of England to judge dressage at Equestrian events.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
Beloved mother and Grandmother ….. ?and great grandmother(!). Because my family is my all.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
I enjoy classical music and belong to a choral society. Exercise includes playing geriatric tennis and walking every month with friends from church. I keep my brain active by playing duplicate bridge in a friendly club which also indulges in partying and travels abroad. And whenever I go to a new place I buy a bird book. My bird lists reside in the pages of these books, and perhaps one day I will get round to putting them in a database.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?