About the author: M.O. Kenyan — Twenty three year old Kenyan girl with a little world in her head. When you have so many voices in your head people may describe you as a schizophrenic, but in the literary world, I am a story teller dying to share with the world the many stories going on inside my head.
Pen Name: M.O. Kenyan
Book Title: Shades of Spring 1964: Letters to My Daughter
Juliette: What is your favorite thing about being a writer?
M.O.: I love the fact that I can create different worlds, characters and be a direct influence to a character’s life.
Juliette: What genre(s) do you write?
M.O.: I write Romance and Fantasy. It’s easier to make two people from different worlds and with different personalities fall in love. And creating a beautiful guy who suddenly turns green is awesome too.
Juliette: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
M.O.: 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!”
Juliette: Are you a plotter or a pantser?
M.O.: 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.
Juliette: Why do you think people should choose your books over another author?
M.O.: 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.
Juliette: What do you hope readers take with them after reading one of your stories?
M.O.: 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.
Juliette: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
M.O.: I try to push the necessity of love and family and truth to oneself in everything I write. At the end of it all when we are stripped bare all we have are the self, love and family.
Juliette: How long have you been a writer?
M.O.: I would like to say all my life, but the first novel I ever wrote was a fantasy trilogy (not yet published) back in 2010.
Juliette: How much time did it take from writing your first book to having it published?
M.O.: My first book–forever. My first published book (shades of spring 1964) took about a month to write and four to publish. In total it took about six months before it became an E-Book.
Juliette: What other careers have you had?
M.O.: 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.
Juliette: Do you write under more than one name? Why?
M.O.: 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.
Juliette: Are any of your characters based on real people or events?
M.O.: 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.
Juliette: How would you describe yourself if you were “speed dating” your readers?
M.O.: Loyal, honest and a contradiction. Happily ever after is not my thing, yet I make sure all my characters get to that point.
Juliette: What’s something fans would find fascinating about you?
M.O.: I honestly don’t know. Most people think I’m crazy but considering all the voices and people in my head maybe I am.
Juliette: What else would you like readers to know about you or your work?
M.O.: Besides the 100% I do my best to please myself first before anyone else. Being true to myself and my characters is important.
Juliette: What books or authors have most influenced your life?
M.O.: Nora Roberts, Stephanie Meyers, Nicki Charles, Brenda K. Davies, Stephanie Meyers, Ruth Ann Nordin and the list goes on.
Juliette: How do your family and/or friends feel about your book or writing venture in general?
M.O.: One word, interesting.
Juliette: Where are you from?
M.O.: Born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya.
Juliette: How do you come up with the titles?
M.O.: 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.
Juliette: Has your life changed significantly since becoming a published writer?
M.O.: 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.
Juliette: Do you work on one project at a time? Or do you multi-task?
M.O.: 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.
Juliette: When not writing, how do you relax?
M.O.: I sleep.
Juliette: Please tell us a few miscellaneous facts about yourself.
M.O.: I am impatient, and when someone gives me a bad impression that’s what sticks with me. I like getting someone committed to my work as much as I am. If I don’t I loose interest.
Juliette: Please share with us your future projects and upcoming releases.
M.O.: I have a number of books that I am now comfortable with querying. ( THE MARA SONG- valentine themed). Right now, I am writing a book called ONE PERCENT. It’s about a woman who only knows how to interact with life by measuring her odds.
Thank you so much, M.O. for this informative interview!