An Interview with Gillian Kufinya

Gillian Kufinya

Describe yourself in five words: spirited, merry, hardworking, easy going

What fact about yourself would really surprise people? That I write books now completely different from what I was doing career wise.

How do you work through self-doubts and fear?  I confront my fear head on and surrounded myself with people who are positive who will not feed my fear.

What scares you the most? Getting old without publishing all the books I carry and those I have written.

What makes you happiest? Apart from writing it would be goofing around with my children

Why do you write?  Creative writing has always fascinated me since I was child

 Have you always enjoyed writing? Yes

What motivates you to write? Experiences and a wild imagination.

 What writing are you most proud of? Celestial City Travellers  I published it when I was facing some serious health challenges.

What are you most proud of in your personal life? My children

 What books did you love growing up? Enid Blyton especially Magic of the Faraway tree

 What do you hope your obituary will say about you? Here lies one of the greatest children’s book author whose writing impacted a generation

 Location and life experiences can really influence writing, tell us where you grew up and where you now live? I grew up in Bulawayo before we moved to Harare Zimbabwe

How did you develop your writing? I was writing for my oldest son so he had something more challenging to read and supplement what he was bringing home from the school library.

What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing? marketing

What marketing works for you? Email marketing, facebook ,amazon ads

 Do you find it hard to share your work? no

 Is your family supportive? Do your friends support you? Very supportive couldn’t have done it without them. Have always written but was too lazy to publish and they encouraged me to get published.

 What else do you do, other than write? Run a gaming cafe so I am always surrounded by children

 What other jobs have you had in your life? Accounting by profession

 If you could study any subject at university what would you pick? Child psychology

 If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? It would still be Zimbabwe

 Tell us about your family? Am a mother of four. Have two boys and two girls the oldest now 18 years and the one I started writing books for.

 How do you write – lap top, pen, paper, in bed, at a desk? I am faster with pen and paper

How much sleep do you need to be your best? Four hours of uninterrupted sleep

Is there anyone you’d like to acknowledge and thank for their support? Debra, Heather, Jason, Mrs Collins and Brian

Every writer has their own idea of what a successful career in writing is, what does success in writing look like to you? Getting a couple of book awards and getting sales even after you are gone.

It is vital to get exposure and target the right readers for your writing, tell us about your marketing campaign? I got a launch team of children who will spread the word to their peers. They are more well versed with social media. Plan on doing some school visits to have the book in school libraries.

Tell us about your new book? Why did you write it?  Realm of Uncertainty is a follow up to Celestial City Travellers. Its a story of friendship, loyalty and overcoming one’s fears. I wrote it to show children sometimes struggle to find true friendships and they have fears they have to deal with on a daily basis that adults can be unaware of.

 If you could have a dinner party and invite anyone dead or alive, who would you ask? Enid Blyton

When you are not writing, how do you like to relax? Gaming, reading children’s books or watching movies

What do you hope people will take away from your writing? How will your words make them feel? That they are entertained, refreshed and look forward to see the book turned into a movie.

Do you have links that you’d like to share for others to read?