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A little introduction:
Hi my name is Kilmer Mweene. I’m from Africa and I am from Zambia. I have been writing for the last 8 years. I have completed two books. One book is on Xenophobia experienced here in South Africa while my recent book is on Mental health. Both are works of fiction that I plan to publish in 2023.
When did your love of books begin?
I first started reading to prove my older sister wrong. I was 8 years old when she always told me her books were “too old” for me. So I stole one of her books and locked myself in my room. I didn’t leave for hours. I fell in love for the first time. I travelled to distant lands. I grew up and it all happened between a couple of pages.
When did you start to have the wish to become an author?
In primary school, I always told the kids stories and when I got into high school my friends would sit around me and wait for me to tell them more tales. I found that I woke up every day with new stories flooding my brain and it was becoming too loud upstairs to keep in but I couldn’t write because of fear, at the time I believed I wasn’t good enough to be an author. I also didn’t want to be poor. I had heard one of my favourite authors say not a lot of money came from writing and I knew I needed a profitable job. Eventually, I couldn’t ignore the stories living in my heart and I started writing.
How have you found the process for becoming an author?
Hard. I struggle with anxiety and depression. Every day I have to fight my mind to keep moving forward, to believe that my stories will be worth someone’s time but I am glad I started. I know there is a long way to go but I have made it this far and that’s an achievement all on its own.
What would you say to those wanting to become an author?
ARE YOU INSANE? I’m kidding. Kinda. Look you have to be a little insane to do this. You’ll have to spend a lot of time with your thoughts and that can be tough but what we can create when we give ourselves time is out of this world. Don’t stop. Even if it sounds stupid or no one supports you or agents deny you. Keep going! Because one day someone will love what you have created.
Tell us about your book/books:
My first book, ‘Cast Out’ took me five years to complete. It was a bit on the personal side. I struggled to write about the painful events I had witnessed growing up in South Africa and found it difficult to interview people about the traumatic moments the had lived through. The book is about a young girl named ‘Samena’ who runs away from the law with her mother. She’s an illegal immigrant who grew up loving the country that hates her. She loses her faith and joins a dangerous terrorist group that claims to fight for all Africans. To find herself again, she sacrifices her humanity and loses the only person she loves, her mother.
My second book is called ‘Piss Pot’. After writing such a heavy first book I wanted to write a sweet romantic comedy but two years down the line it shifted into a dark romantic story about four teenagers trying to protect their mental health in a world full of pressures. Kearn, one of the main characters, has been bullied since he started high school. His bully graduates a year before him and this gives Kearn hope that his final year to be different. To make that happen, he has to prove to the kids in his school that he has been accepted by Mila Dey, his bully’s younger sister.
An unlikely relationship forms between the two. A relationship that could likely do them more harm than good.
What do you love about the writing/reading community?
How open and welcoming everyone is. Writing can be very lonely but seeing other people be enthusiastic about reading or writing makes you feel like you have a safe space to go to when you’re down. Also, everyone is so nice. It’s incredible.
If you could say anything to your readers what would it be?
Thank you. Sincerely and deeply. Thank you for stopping long enough to see my work and the works of other great humans just trying to make you feel something. Thank you.
Where can people connect with you?