Dora Okeyo – EAFF Profile

The EA Friday Feature is a circle of five writers who write 1,000 word flash fiction stories every Friday and post them on their blogs.  This week, we feature these authors, as we get to know them better, and learn what inspires them to write their stories.

Dora from Nilichoandika

I’ve read loads of Dora’s stories.  I’ve also reviewed them on this same blog, so when she agreed to be part of the EA Friday Feature, I was excited.  It’s great to have a seasoned author write with you, she makes me want to keep going as she writes on like nothing will ever stop her.  Dora writes great romance stories, however, she’s branched off to delicious African Tales in her series of books called “The Currents Series.”  The first of which was Fire, and then there was Water, now here’s a glimpse of Wind.

When the wind blows, even the strongest of trees sways.
He felt it while he was at the training grounds.
The people who witnessed it said they had never known the wind to have such anger that it brought down branches of the strongest trees to fall on their roofs.
When he felt the wind on his face, he put down his shield and ran right into it.
The people who saw him wondered why he would do such a thing, but he knew where he was going.
He was Wema.
He was going back home, back to Leo.

Author Profile:

Dora is a wanderer whose writing attempts have earned her some reviews. She is neither famous nor rich, but loves reading and drinking coffee. She is currently forcing her family and close friends to read her book, Fire. It is available on Amazon.
To follow her day in day out life, forget reality TV, and follow her on Twitter, @herhar.

Elly in Nairobi: You are working on the Currents Series:  I’ve read your second book Water, and the following book three is out too.  Please tell us a bit about this series, what inspired it, and the passion in the story.

Dora: The Currents Series was inspired by a friend’s frustration with his Father on his responsibilities and studies. He kept saying how much his Dad wanted so much from him and he was tired.  So I thought that could be a theme, where you have such high expectations of your son and they do the exact opposite (as most if not all kids do). I didn’t start writing the series immediately, because it was more like “that could be a good plot right there” kinda feeling, but as time went by I gave it a shot and now I am writing the final book in the series.

Elly in Nairobi: Have you always written fiction?  How did you get started?  What made you feel, yes, I can sit down and put down fiction on paper?

 Dora: I cannot stipulate an exact time when I started writing fiction, but its always been snippets of stories and scenes in my mind and some have made their way online while most have found themselves in my journal.
There is however a story I wrote in high school called ‘Butterfly Gossips’ that made rounds in class, and had ardent followers even during lessons, especially the Agriculture and History lessons. This made me write more.

Elly in Nairobi: How do you see fiction in Kenya?  What would you like to see happen in terms of publishing, reading, movies e.t.c..Kenyan fiction

Dora: There are lots of writers in Kenya and social media has made it easy for aspiring writers to get feedback and have their works noticed. Isn’t it odd and grand that most people have blogs in Kenya? (Yep, lots of blogs)
On other hand, there is the need to nurture these writers because there is no regulation on the quality of content, and this could go a long way in improving the quality of blog posts and the writing.  I wish Kenya had a paper mill, yes, according to my history, Webuye paper mill was closed, but we need to produce paper because now that we import, paperbacks published in the country are expensive due to the tax on imported paper. You’ll see a book by a Kenyan Writer on the shelf but it’s going for eight hundred or a thousand shillings plus, yet right outside the supermarket there’s a vendor selling international books at a hundred shillings, wouldn’t that hinder you from buying the book by the Kenyan Writer? (It sure does)

Elly in Nairobi: Does your day job affect your writing habits in any way? What is the strangest question you’ve been asked when you say you write fiction?

Dora: Yes, it does. First, my job entails a lot of traveling and I can always encounter something amusing or frustrating to write about, but sometimes I am too exhausted to write.

The strangest question I’ve been asked when I say I am a Writer, has to definitely be ‘what do you write about?’
I always wonder isn’t that old? I prefer someone asking me to tell them about a story or a character that I wrote about. It’s still on what I write about but it focuses on a specific aspect.

Elly in Nairobi: Your favorite book?
Dora: I have a long list of books, but let’s say that I loved literature and narration through a lot of books, but when it comes to dialogue, it’s Chinua Achebe I resonate with the most.

Elly in Nairobi: Do you have another hobby?
   Dora: Yes, I love photography and cooking. If it can be fried, then I will fry it, nothing gets me like preparing fried food.

Elly in Nairobi: Anything else you’d like to tell your readers, or potential fans…
   Dora: Read as widely as you can, you can bury your nose in books, magazines, not just newspapers only, yes, and it never hurts to share a review of a good book. If you read a book, you have traveled on a journey with an author, and it wouldn’t hurt to share what you’ve learned from it with other people.

Get her Currents Books Here:

Also, she has a lot  of free stories to read, download them here.

Thank you so much for answering my questions Dora.

That wraps up the round of interviews from the EA Friday Feature writers.  Look forward to the September and October Issues.  Keep writing folks! And if you read it and love it, review it too.

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EA Friday Feature – September Prompt #2

Friday Feature1

EA Friday Feature

Write a story of only 1,000 words using the prompt given.  Post it on your blog on Fridays and share posts from fellow bloggers participating in the feature.

Sept. Prompt #2:

Mystic woods
Once again we have a picture. The Mystic Woods! What story do you see here? The due date for this prompt is: September 11, 2015.
Remember the prompt is simply a guideline…let your creative juices flow and your imagination go wild.
Last Week’s Prompt Responses:
Rosemary – Nilichoandika
The Cursed Blessing – Flashes of Vice
Stay Tuned for the next series of stories…from the EA. ^_^

EA Friday Feature Week #4 Prompt

The EA Friday Feature:

Friday Feature1

Write a story of only 1,000 words using the prompt given.  Post it on your blog on Fridays and share the posts of fellow bloggers participating in the feature.

Participating Bloggers:

  1. Nilichoandika
  2. Flashes of Vice
  3. Children of Destiny Books
  4. Love in Nairobi

Week #4

mail.google.com2

Use “Chocolate Cupcakes” in your 1,000 word story this time.

The story is due on Friday, 28th August, 2015. 

This is an open entry Feature.  If you’d like to participate, simply write the 1,000 word story using the prompt, and leave a comment on this post to let us know to share your story.

Week #3 EA Friday Feature Responses

1. Father’s Love

2. The Man in the Rain

3. The Girl with the Golden Smile-1

Fire by Dora Okeyo – Book Review

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by Dora Okeyo

A boy is born in the land of Leo. As the sound of the cattle horn is heard, everyone in the Kingdom celebrates the birth of not only a boy, but the Crown Prince. His name is Ustawi.

The hands that hold him foretell a prosperous future, but just like every dream has it’s valleys, so has Ustawi’s birth. One man has seen the evil that’s to befall the kingdom under the boy’s reign, his name is Ukweli. He is the Seer.

Fire begins the story of the Prince’s life and as you read through a story rich in culture and customs you can only ask yourself, can the Seer fight the gods? Can he avert the impending doom that’s to come?

Book Review

Fire is a unique literature story, that focuses on East African folklore.  Ms. Okeyo names her characters using the Swahili language.  Each name, symbolizing what the character should be, what they could or should stand for.  For example Ukweli in Swahili means Truth.  I found this characterization quite insightful. 

The story is quite simple, a Crown Prince is born into the land of Leo, the heir to his father’s throne, but instead of joy, the Seer, Ukweli is tormented by dreams of doom and darkness as he foresees the worst.  According to Ukweli, the land of Leo is going to face hard and dark times under the rule of Crown Prince Ustawi.  Tormented by this dreams, Ukweli goes on a journey hoping to find a solution, and on his journey, he finds more questions, and proof that Prince Ustawi’s reign will cause pain to the people of Leo.

Ms. Okeyo paints a great folklore tale, weaving in East African’s own culture into her story.  You’re treated to scenes of palatial huts, cloaks made with animal skin, and elders in a circle, and that just made me smile.  The genre is a different approach for Ms. Okeyo, I’ve only read romance stories from her before, but this is different and she’s set herself apart with Fire.

It did take me a lot longer to read.  You really need to settle down and get through each page to understand why Ukweli is moving from one place to another, and enduring so much torment.  This is not a complaint, more of a judgment of my own reading capabilities, I think.  I need to hone them, or something…^_^! It reminded me of reading a literature set book, you gotta keep your focus to understand what’s going on.  This is not your fast romantic tale, definitely requires undivided attention. Once you get going, Fire is a captivating read!

Get a Copy today!

About Dora Okeyo:

I am a full time wanderer for now. You’ll find me within the pages of a book.  I have written some books, why don’t you read them and get a glimpse.

Connect with Dora:

Facebook: Dora Achieng Okeyo (like her page)

Twitter: @herhar (Follow her)

Her Books: Dora’s Books

Fire by Dora Okeyo

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Fire

by Dora Okeyo

A boy is born in the land of Leo. As the sound of the cattle horn is heard, everyone in the Kingdom celebrates the birth of not only a boy, but the Crown Prince. His name is Ustawi.

The hands that hold him foretell a prosperous future, but just like every dream has it’s valleys, so has Ustawi’s birth. One man has seen the evil that’s to befall the kingdom under the boy’s reign, his name is Ukweli. He is the Seer.

Fire begins the story of the Prince’s life and as you read through a story rich in culture and customs you can only ask yourself, can the Seer fight the gods? Can he avert the impending doom that’s to come?

Currently reading this book, a review to come soon.

Check it out, Fire is available on Amazon’s Kindle as an e-book and as a paperback book on Amazon

Find more books by Dora here.

21 Days – Short Stories Week

21 Days

by Dora Okeyo

I found him on the first day. He was walking towards my table at the restaurant. The place was full except for the seat beside me. I cringed at the thought of sharing my table with someone, worse off a guy. What if I chewed too loudly?”

Zora met Jack on the first day.
Jack met her on the second day.

Their romance is a countdown of dates with each telling their own version of what they found from the other on each day.
Question is: Will they keep each other at the end of it all?

Short Stories Week Review

This story is written in chronological order, Day One all the way to Day Twenty-One.  Ms. Okeyo writes out a story told between two individuals who meet quite by luck at a restaurant, and who then get to know each other.  The main characters, Zora and Jack, tell the story from their perspectives, moving from the shyness and jitters of the first meet in a relationship, to hurt emotions created by misunderstandings, and then the getting to know each other better part.  However, Jack keeps a huge secret, that is subtly hinted at by Zora’s friends and those who know Zora.  When it finally comes to light, it breaks them apart, but the reasons why Zora decides to call it quits have a lot to do with trust, and not the secret itself.

This story rang true for me because of the experiences I’ve seen friends go through.  When you’re getting to know someone, it never is what he’s done in the past, but whether he trusted you enough to tell you about that past.  Giving you the chance to make your own choice, instead of making the choice for you, because of how you’ll react or what you’ll think.  It was nice to read a relationship from such a perspective.  Love can exist in different forms.

Please have a read of this story that is readily available on Smashwords on this link : 21 Days

About Dora Okeyo

Visit her blog : Dora Jodie

Dora’s facebook page: Dora Okeyo

Follow her on Twitter: @herhar

I Love You this Much – Dora Okeyo

I Love You This Much

by Dora Okeyo

Summary:

Leila is alive and in-love with Maxwell; but he’s only some memory, or is he? Nancy loves William. He doesn’t love her though, because he is not the same-not since the accident; and all four are tangled in a web, one that’s created by one of them, will love their love endure?

My Review:

Reading this story was like walking down the streets of Nairobi, meeting people and finding out a bit about their lives.  An exploration behind the stranger seated at the next table sipping coffee while they read through their newspaper.  I loved Leila’s attitude, and how easy it is for her to stand for her beliefs. She is strong and also vulnerable as well. I loved how well Dora describes Leila’s life.  She hangs out with the guys at the club, and also makes the best girlfriend for Nancy.  Nancy describes Leila best, “….She told William one day that if I was a man, she’d get married to me. When Maxwell heard this he nearly broke all the glasses in his house….”

Nancy’s description made me laugh. Often times, you’ll meet a guy,  you like his temperament, and obviously you’re clicking, and you think, this could work.  Two dates, and he decides that as long as you’re not seeing him with the goal of marriage, the relationship is a waste of time. I thought marriage should be about friendship first?  If we can’t even have friendship, how do you jump straight to marriage? I think that’s why I loved Leila’s attitude in this story. Her determination not to compromise who she is and what she’s about.

This is a story about friendship and love, and the struggle to find a balance in this Nairobi city.  In the end, we’re all just wishing for the one to share a happy live aren’t we?

The ending is a fabulous twist best for you to find out when you read this story.

I Love You This Much is available on Smashwords.com for free.

Visit Dora Okeyo’s blog to read more about her.

Download it for your Kindle or Adobe Reader Here.

Do you have a book that needs a review?  Feel free to message me.  Email: ellyinnairobi@gmail.com.