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.

Have a Nice Day….

Prompt: Let’s have some fun, and go to a Rock Concert!!  Whatever rocks your boat. Yeah!!

Write 1,000 about this.

concert

Have a Nice Day….

Hunter picked up his guitar cases from the minivan’s floor, and scowled when the snap broke and the case opened. He knelt on the tarmac, and placed the case on the ground, reaching for the lid, he paused, his gaze on the expensive electric guitar resting in the black velvet bed.

Hunter touched the surface with reverence. The surface smooth to the touch, he smiled as he remembered the first time he’d fallen in love with the guitar.

Fourteen years old, he thought.

Listening to a random station in the back of his mother’s house, Bon Jovi’s Have a Nice Day, damn, he loved that song. He’d sang that song every day after that. Screaming it out like a maniac so all the neighbors could hear him. He’d sing in the shower holding the soap like a microphone, at the dinner table with his spoon for a microphone. He’d sang that song until his mother had started calling him, ‘Have a Nice Day’.

Of course, he’d grown out of the phase of singing ‘Have a Nice Day’ aloud when no one was happy about it, but not his love for guitars. At fifteen, he’d cajoled his father into paying for classes at a private music school in Hurlingham. He winced at that memory. His father had used it against him for years…through high school really.

Every time he failed exams, his father would threaten to discontinue paying for the classes.

Hunter sighed.

As a result, he’d worked like a maniac in school. Studying hard, keeping top grades, all for the love of guitars.  Snapping the case closed, Hunter got to his feet and carried the case toward the entrance into the Safaricom Kasarani Stadium.  His band was having three shows here, before moving on to Tanzania.

“Let me get that for you,” a young man hurried to his side, holding out a hand eager to take the case from him.

Hunter shook his head.  No way, he loved this baby too much to give it to anyone else.

“Don’t worry about it,” he said when the young man gave him a disappointed look. “Hey, what’s your name?”

“Maina,” the young man said a smile returning.

“Look Maina, maybe you can get me a large bottle of cold water. Cold, very cold.”

Maina grinned and hurried away in the maze of corridors. Hunter hoped Maina would know where to find him.

“What took you so long?”

Hunter glanced ahead to find his bandmates watching him.

His crew, he thought taking in the trio leaning on the wall, surrounded by management staff.

Hunter remembered the day he’d met them too. Nairobi University, at a poetry discussion meet, they’d all sat in the back, listening to poems about the world ending.  Depressed, they’d skipped out and instead gone to hang out at a local hangout joint and ended up starting a band.

There was Jake, the band’s drummer. Jake was an architect by profession. Then there was Troy. Troy had started out doing medicine before he ditched that major and pursued music. Troy wrote the band’s music. Then there was Kate. Kate with her long thick braids, and catty eyes that could chill a man’s blood, she was the band’s bassist.

Together, they made up the rock band, Furahi.

Hunter held up his guitar and Jake shook his head in amusement.

“No one will steal it,” Troy teased with a sigh, crossing his arms, his drumsticks held in his left hand.

Troy never let anyone carry those either, Hunter thought in amusement.

“Stop teasing him, Troy,” Kate said, moving to pull Hunter into the circle. “The back-up band is on stage rehearsing. I like their guitarist; he’s almost as good as you, but he’s missing the flair.”

“No one is as good as Hunter,” Troy scoffed. “Otherwise, we wouldn’t have him in the band.”

“Well, that’s good to know,” Hunter said with a smile, there was no ending Troy teasing him.

They’d all known each other for ten years. Lived through mistakes, bad decisions, devastating outcomes, and disappointments, Hunter could remember each one with a painful pang in his heart.

Furahi was successful today, but it hadn’t always been. Their down days haunted Hunter.

As though reading his thoughts, Jake touched his left arm.

“They say the tickets are sold out,” Jake said. “They’re worried fans will riot at the entrance.”

“That’s crazy,” Kate said her amazed expression understandable. “We’ve arrived folks.”

Jake and Troy chuckled; Hunter just squeezed Kate’s shoulder and nodded to their manager who was beckoning them.

The next two hours were exhilarating and nerve wrecking. Prepping a concert started months before, but the last few minutes before that first song, Hunter always felt as though the world was dancing on his shoulders.

Taking in a deep breath, he adjusted the black fitted pants and the metallic belt he wore. The band’s hair stylist had his hair cut in a short Mohawk; he sometimes didn’t recognize himself in the mirror. If it was up to him, he’d have a full on Afro like Lenny Kravitz, but apparently that didn’t work for him. Hunter shook his head, rubbing his clean-shaven jaw. Oh well, whatever it took to sell their albums.

Chicks dug the whole bad boy thing anyway, so…he sipped the water Maina had brought him.  He’d had to give an autograph for that.

“If I didn’t have a boyfriend, I’d kiss you,” Kate said coming to stand next to him. She looked hot in leather.

“Dump him,” Hunter challenged, wishing she would.

Kate grinned and pressed a kiss on his left cheek before she walked away.

“Tease,” he called after her.

“Time,” the show’s producer called into the dressing room, setting off the butterflies in Hunter’s stomach.

He’d performed thousands of shows, for thousands and thousands of people. Still, that moment before a concert always got him. He followed his bandmates backstage, climbing the steps with trepidation.

“We got you,” Jake said beside him, right before they stepped out on to the open stage.

Their audience exploded, screams and shouts, and their energy blew him away. Hunter stood still on the stage, feeling free for the first time in his music career. The audience’s enthusiasm exorcised his butterflies, fueling his energy.

Taking his guitar from it’s stand, Hunter walked up to the microphone, amid screams, he was afraid their audience wasn’t going to let him sing.

“We love you, Hunter!” someone screamed out and he grinned. “We love you Furahi.”

Hunter turned to his bandmates.

“Have a nice day….” He sang and got wide grins from them in return, they knew the story of that song. Those days, when he’d sang and, no one had screamed in happiness to hear it.

Hunter turned back to the packed stadium, and strummed the first bar of their hit song, ‘Get me home’.

Hunter started singing, and as his audience sang along, he finally understood Bon Jovi’s song.

Do what you want….no matter what, live your life how you want it.

Other Concert Prompt Stories:

4. Mira’s Love Affair