Jessica Tendayi Interview
Self-Publisher’s Showcase: Today we are joined by Jessica Tendayi, author of Love Changes Everything. Welcome to the Showcase Lounge, Jessica
JT: Thank you, so happy to be here. Thank you for having me on your showcase
SPS: For any of our readers that haven’t come across your work previously, can you take a moment to tell us all a little about yourself and your work?
JT: Well, I am Mom to three beautiful children, and an avid reader. My favourite books are chic lit, general romance; you know, the kind of books whose stories relate to our everyday life, and yet still leave us with hope that it will all be okay in the end. My current favourite authors are Nicholas Sparks and Karen Kingsbury
SPS: What are your perfect writing conditions, and how often do you write?
JT: I love to write in the mornings, especially before everyone else gets up, as well as in the afternoons. There’s something creative that’s ignited in me by either tranquil silence or the late afternoon’s sun rays filtering through the window.
SPS: Can you put your finger on the moment where you decided that you wanted to publish your work?
JT: I have always wanted to write a book. It was like one of those “someday” dreams. But 3 years ago I went through a life experience that made me realise that life was too short. We must act on our dreams whilst we have the strength and ability.
SPS: Why do you think it is that you have found yourself writing in the style that you do?
JT: I read a statement once that said “we are shaped by the things we love.” I love reading books that although the stories are all fiction, they still portray the real life challenges that we all experience, putting a sin of hope and victory to every circumstance. Those are the kind of stories that I like to write too. Encourage, motivating and inspirational stories.
SPS: What would you say, if anything, best differentiates you from other authors?
JT: I believe readers connect with a story because of the emotions it invokes. I am not sure if this would differentiate me, but when I write, I allow myself to feel the emotions my character are feeling, and then I find it easier to write from their point of view. This can result in me feeling a lot of different emotions even in writing just a single chapter.
SPS: Where does the inspiration for your work come from?
JT: I have always believed that life writes the best stories. The inspiration of my work comes from life experiences. These could my own experiences, people I know, or even things I see on the news. It all goes into this proverbial boiling pot of my mind
SPS: Have you received a favourite review of your work?
JT: Yes. Here a few of them:
“Loved it! I couldn’t put the book down! “– Hannah Campbell, Orangeville
“Awesome story – we need the sequel please!” – Ingrid Gondoza, Brampton
“Nicely written and easy to understand. I read in just 3 sittings!” – Michelle, London U.K
SPS: What’s next on the self-publishing horizon for yourself?
JT: I am currently working on two more projects. I am particularly excited about one of these projects as the story touches on the issues the young women and girls are facing in Southern Africa. I believe it that we can use art to give a voice to some of our social and economic issues.
SPS: Was the Self-Published/Indie-Published route always your preferred route for your work?
JT: To be honest, I never knew it existed, until I was actually writing, and looking for options. Right now I think it’s the best thing since sliced bread! Nobody needs to wait on someone else to fulfil their dreams. If your dream is to write and publish a book, nothing stops you now.
SPS: Has the experience so far been all that you thought it would be?
JT: In many ways yes. I love knowing that I own my work, and I don’t have to give away any rights to anybody. But I think I also under-estimated the amount of work that is involved in marketing and selling the book. Writers like to work alone, focusing on the story. Being “out there” in the market selling your work is a whole different world.
SPS: If you could give one piece of advice for someone looking to get into writing, what would it be?
JT: Start today. And write something every day. Even if it is just a paragraph. Also, read a lot. I also recommend reading books that are in the same genre that you write.
SPS: Before we bring this interview to a close, it’s your chance to name-drop. Anyone who you feel is deserving of more recognition at present or someone whose writing you have recently enjoyed? Now is your chance to spread the word…
JT: I want to shout out Anna LeBaron. She escaped a violent polygamist cult and wrote a memoir about it. It’s entitled “The Polygamist’s Daughter”. It will be released in March 2017 so look out for it in your book stores.
SPS: Thank you for joining us today, and all the best for the future, Jessica.
JT: Absolutely! Thank you for having me. It was a joy!