18 October, 2017

#Interview with Annamarie Musawale, #Author of In Search of Paradise

About the Author:

Annemarie is a writer of several published stories as well as a ghostwriter of many more. She enjoys writing stories about love, life, and relationships in a way that is real, relatable and possibly a little uncomfortable. If any of her stories provoked thought in her readers, then she's done her job. She's still waiting to make the New York Times bestseller lists though.

Website * Facebook * Twitter

An Interview with the Author:

When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer / a storyteller?
Is there really a moment of realization? In my case I was writing stories from such a young age it was just a way of life. There was no one moment of realization, just a constant feeling of happiness when I write stories.

What inspires you to write?
Everything around me is an inspiration. You just never know where a story might come from. For example in the world of supernatural fanfic, which I write, I saw this tumblr post about Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki being interviewed about the new season of Supernatural. 
And Jensen said, “Well for one thing, Jared makes an excellent wet nurse.”
And that right there is already a writing prompt which undoubtedly sprouted loads of J2 fanfic. It’s like that with any writing. Anything around you might just hit home and the next thing you know, you have a new story.

How did you come up with the idea for your current story?
Well, funny you should ask because it actually came about because of supernatural fanfic. I love reading dystopian stories and one of them had a character who was thinking about demon dean being rehabilitated into normal society. In fact that was my working title for a long while. Instead of demon dean though, I felt like my characters wanted to be Africans and I wanted to explore what post apocalyptic Africa would look like. Given our fabled ability to endure hardship, would we endure better or worse than others? And then just to add a supernatural twist, what if the Egyptian gods rose again in the wake of all this upheaval? The premise excited me tremendously and I think almost a year later, the book is available for pre-order.

What is your favorite scene in the book? Why?
My favorite scene in the book In Search of Paradise is actually the last one I wrote where my two gay characters are dancing together at a concert, in public under cover of darkness. It really brought home to me the reality of being gay in a country in which it isn’t acceptable. Simple things that heterosexual couples might take for granted like dancing in public is a big deal when you’re gay and in the closet.

Did any of your characters inherit some of your own quirks?
Yes, Zawadi, the sister to one of the characters is a pretty badass, outspoken female.

What is your most interesting writing quirk?
Well according to my beta reader, I tend to strip the meat from the bones and do away with anything extraneous. 

Do you read? Who are your favourite authors and how have they influenced your writing style?
I have a shelf full of books and I read at least one fanfic update daily. Diana Gabaldon has definitely taught me a lot about writing sex scenes and one of my favorite fan fic writers has taught me a lot about writing stream of consciousness. I think I write angst a lot better too since I started reading fan fiction.

What is the best piece of advice you have received, as a writer, till date?
Keep writing. That’s what makes you a writer. Diana Gabaldon told me that.

What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone that wants to get into writing?
Don’t talk about, look for a special laptop or writing pad. Just start.

What would be the Dream Cast for you book if it was to be turned into a movie?
Oh man, Alisha Wainwright as Mya and Matthew Daddario as Leo in my Child of Destiny series. For In Search of Paradise I guess Aldis Hodge as Ben and Diddy’s son whose name I can’t remember for Anders.

If you were to be stranded on the famous deserted island, what three things would you carry?
My son, my laptop and toilet paper.

How do you spend your free time? Do you have a favorite place to go and unwind?
I like to swim or sleep or watch TV in my time off. 

Can you share with us something off your bucket list?
New York Times Bestseller list.

Tell us three fun facts about yourself.
- I am addicted to tea.
- I love Shadowhunters the show but can’t stand the books.
- I like to watch movies by myself.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with your readers?
In Search of Paradise is available now for pre-order. All preorder proceeds will go to the national gay and lesbian human rights commission because gay rights in Kenya are not where they should be and the NGLHRC is working to improve that. It’s my way of giving back. 
This book, In Search of Paradise is really the first of its genre – a post-apocalyptic gay African romance - and I’m really proud of how it turned out. I hope you will support it.

About the Book:

Ben and Anders were not prepared for the apocalypse. How could they be? They couldn’t even decide if they were boyfriends or undercover lovers. But then the earth opened beneath their feet and everyone they knew was gone except for Ben, Anders and Anders’ sister, Zawadi.
So now they have to find a new place to call home, a new way to be. Zawadi and Ben are fighting like cats and dogs, and there’s no privacy or lube to be had for love or money.
They really do not need this.
Just when they thought they were getting the hang of this apocalypse thing, the excrement really hits the fan. If they thought they were in a life or death situation before, they didn’t know the half of it.

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