Now I have hosted Jane before but she has a new book out this week and I want to share that news with you. (The fact that she says nice things about me has nothing to do with it – honest!) This is what Jane wrote.
THE AGONY OF REJECTION
For Lucinda Clarke’s blog
Lucinda – thank you for hosting me today. I love your zany attitude to life and I admire your tenacity. It’s the only way to be in this world.
We both share a love of Africa, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed living with you through your Amie books, savouring again the sights and sounds of the country I still call my home. Let me introduce your readers to my two Africa books, written more in traditional historical fiction style. Each one is a standalone, even though some characters are shared between them.
My first novel took me over thirty years to write – well, I admit that I started it in the mid 1970’s, and then family matters got in the way, so I had to put it on the back-burner until I came to live in the UK and wallowed in nostalgia. Then I suffered the agony of 72 rejections (and that didn’t count those agents/publishers who never bothered to reply). I was just about to give up, when I landed a publisher. Yes – persistence, does pay!
It was nominated for The Guardian First Book Award 2013 and has been compared with the works of Doris Lessing and Wilbur Smith. It covers thirty years of Kenya’s history from the Mau Mau days of the 1950’s, unfolding through the lives of Caroline, a privileged woman from the fertile highlands, and Charles Ondiek, a farm labourer with dreams of an Oxford education. It can be read as a love story, a psychological thriller, or as an exploration into the interactions of people of different races. Superstition and Christian faith clash. And the stunning beauty of the country is a major character in itself.
21st century Kenya is an entirely different country. I went back there to research for my second novel. It’s a story of social contrast against the backdrop of modern day Kenya, with its vibrant, chaotic capital, its beautiful scenery and exotic wildlife. Emily is an AIDS orphan, and two friends, Sam and Paul, form an inter-racial love triangle. Emily’s path crosses with Ouma, a beggar, who is not quite what he seems (the film Slumdog Millionaire gave me the idea), and she falls victim to a predatory stalker…
Here is a snippet to remind you of Africa as it will always be:
“Emily went out by herself to savour the magic of their special place… Reaching a bend in the game path, she looked to her left.
There was a loud snort of concern. A wildebeest stood poised for flight. They eyed each other, frozen with tension. He was big; he tossed his horns and stamped a foot, then snorted again. Emily stood her ground and so did he. Only a few yards separated them, and a feeling of unease spread through her… If she retreated, the animal would chase her down. She held her breath, and eyed the surrounding long grass looking for an escape route – and the wildebeest lowered its head. To her great relief, it continued sedately on its way across her path. She had broken the confrontation, and it no longer saw her as a threat.
For one long moment she had been a mere creature out there facing danger, tasting the fear experienced by wild animals every moment of their vulnerable lives.
I have now ventured into waters new. It was a steep learning curve for me as I struggled with the change from writing novels to non-fiction. This little handbook follows the basic format of a simple business plan, which I have used to mentor clients over the past fifteen years. It is applicable to any type of business, anywhere. Most of it is just old-fashioned common sense, but when you start a new venture, common sense seems to go out of the window. And because I love telling stories, it is illustrated with anecdotes taken from the experiences of my clients.
A reviewer has described it thus: “Business mentor Jane Bwye has written a fantastic new guide for anyone considering starting up their own business. It reads like Jane is sitting right there beside you, explaining the various points to consider, and giving tips & advice on starting up a new company.”
Universal Amazon links:
Grass Shoots: https://bookgoodies.com/a/B01MRAG2F3
Breath of Africa: https://bookgoodies.com/a/B00BOAK0FA
Going It Alone: https://bookgoodies.com/a/B07DN2RRXD
Jane Bwye lived for 55 years in Kenya. She has been an intermittent free-lance journalist most of her life. Her large family, scattered over three continents, are a good excuse for her to indulge in travelling. A former teacher, and owner of several small businesses over the years, she works as a business mentor for small business start-ups.
Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jane-Bwye/e/B00BOK0NN4/
Thank you so much for being my guest Jane. And do please download and read her books. I adore them, and with her novels I can visit Africa again in an instant.
Till next time, take care.