Interview with James Mbotela Syomuti

What do you read for pleasure?
I enjoy reading christian literature, not only for mere pleasure, but for my spiritual nourishment. I also like reading newspapers which are published daily by our local press. Indeed, I have a passion for adult fiction which has been written by other inspiring authors.
What are your comments about your writing experience?
In fact, writing a worthwhile and a palatable book is not an easy assignment. It is a time consuming and energy draining exercise which requires a lot of patience. I didn't write "The Maid" in a conducive atmosphere. I experienced many heart breaking challenges from within and without, especially from the traditional publishing companies which were quite reluctant to publish my novel, even though the Chief Editors affirmed that the book was interesting and publishable! Nevertheless, even though I was turned down and discouraged by the publishers many times, I didn't give up. My unquenchable desire to publish the novel continued to burn within me. Finally, the Living God led me to Smashwords Publishing Platform and now my dream has been realized.
What advice can you give to other upcoming and talented authors?
I want to send a timely and a wake up call to all talented writers globally, to come out of the frustrating traditional publishing mentality and embrace the modern electronic trend of publishing. I know that there are many talented young and old writers outside there who have good content but they have got stuck somewhere on the way, in their concerted efforts to publish their work. The good news is that there is light at the end of the tunnel for such writers, and time is ripe for them now to hit the ground running towards electronic publishing.
In a nutshell, what can you say about the characters in your novel?
Of course each one of the characters in my novel has contributed enormously, whether positively or negatively, to make the book what it is. There are characters in the book that I pity. There are others that I admire. Still, there are other characters that I dread and hate!
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a village called Nguluuni in Kitui County, in Kenya. Life in the village was quite difficult because of severe poverty. As a result, acquisition of sound education in the village was not possible for many of my contemporary age mates. In my village, there were quite a number of pupils who dropped out of school prematurely because their parents could not afford school fees. The girls who dropped out of school were mainly employed as housemaids by the affluent class of our community. I witnessed cases of many girls who secured themselves such employment and the way they were mistreated and exploited by their employers. This prompted me to write "The Maid".
When did you first start writing?
I started writing when I was in primary school, in Class Seven. My English Language teachers admired my work and they encouraged me to keep it up. When I joined High School, my passion for writing stories continued to burn forcefully within me. I remember vividly, though it is now many years down the line, the way my classmates enjoyed reading the stories which I wrote but at the same time they cautioned me to be wary of failing in my exams because of my unreserved total devotion in writing, at the expense of concentrating on my other class work.
What's the story behind your latest book?
It is a moving story of an environment engulfed and dominated by deep sorcery and deliberate termination of lives. It is a story of weird and scaring operations taking place in my immediate community.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Initially, I nurtured the desire of publishing through the traditional trend in order to reach readers in my country with my creative touch. However, since the publishers were reluctant to publish my work, I got stuck for several years wandering and groping. I got frustrated and felt rejected, until a friend of mine who is also an electronic book author advised me to consider venturing independently into electronic publishing. Thank God because I am now reaching many readers globally and conveniently.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Though I joined and published with Smashwords recently, I am quite optimistic that with the passage of time, I will eventually realize tangible success in my current title and as well as the subsequent titles. Smashwords has really been a real blessing to me and a spring board which has ushered me into the realm of publishing. May the Living God bless Smashwords. Congratulations Smashwords for your good work. Bravo Smashwords. You are here to stay!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
My greatest joy in writing is to reach and share my stories and the ideas which are in my mind with my readers/fans all over the world. It is indeed a sure way of pouring myself into the lives of my readers in order to touch them with my intense emotions and life experiences.
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans are my lifeline as far as my writing activities are concerned. Without them, all my writing endeavors can only become a futile task. Of course they are quite important to me because without them I will have no audience to address literally.
What are you working on next?
I am currently working on my second novel entitled "The Moving Mouth," which I intend to publish soon.
Who are your favorite authors?
My favorite authors are professor Ngugi Wa Thiong'o of Kenya and the late Chinua Achebe of Nigeria.
Several months have elapsed since you first did your Smashwords Interview. What have you come up with so far, for your funs' consumption?
I have managed to publish my second novel entitled "The Moving Mouth," as I had promised my fans earlier on during my interview session.
Do you have any comments about your second novel,"The Moving Mouth?"
Yes, this is a book that treats the reader to a charged state of wicked operations taking place in our community which nurtures and perpetuates wickedness as a life style. As I read the book, I also find myself being gripped by the detrimental operations in the scene where these occurrences took place.
Do you have anything interesting that you can tell your readers about the novels which you have published so far?
Quite vividly. This is a timely question that I have been waiting for. It is important to note that writing is a talent and a compelling passion. Again, stories are timeless and immortal. My fans should take note that my first novel to publish (The Maid), was not my first novel to write. "The Moving Mouth" is actually older than "The Maid." There are other books (manuscripts), which are older than the two books which have already been published. However, the manuscripts are still in the waiting list and are undergoing scrutiny before I release them to the global community.
Have you ever encountered any discourangements in your writing career?
Definitely yes. When I approached one traditional publishing company in my country to see whether they could consider publishing my novel (The Maid), they turned me down by telling me that my work had been overtaken by time and events! Later, a neighbor told me that he was well connected with another writer in the overseas countries and that if I would consider giving him (the neighbor) my manuscript, he would convey it to his friend (writer) to ensure that my novel got published. I gave my manuscript to my neighbor to do the necessary. After waiting for a period of about two years, I was surprised one day when my neighbor gave my manuscript to someone who I cannot even remember, to bring it to me. There was no verbal or any written report at least, to give me an idea of what had transpired concerning the manuscript. That was all. I was demoralized. In the course of time, another friend from one of the overseas countries asked me to give her my book because she was determined and ready to get my material published. I gave her the manuscript. After some time, she returned the same to me without any explanation! That was another heavy blow to me!
What are you working on next?
This time round, I will take a short-lived break from novel writing and publishing, and treat my fans to a rich variety of poems. The third dispatch of my creative work to my global readers is entitled, "The Stranger and Other Poems." In the course of time, this content will be published and ready for consumption.
A keen look at your biography reveals that you are also a pastor. Have you ever considered writing Christian Literature for your fans who may also be nurturing a taste for such material?
Indeed, this is something that I have been contemplating. Frankly speaking I have some good Christian Literature in store and in the course of time, I will be able to release it for consumption.
Are there any inevitable challenges which interfere with your writing career?
Of course yes. To start with, I am a family man and naturally, I have to fend for my family. As a pastor, I am also expected to preach and teach the faithfuls in my local church. Sometimes I also visit other churches when I am invited to minister. Besides, I am a trainer of Bible Skills Institute, a theological program of Every Home For Christ International. I have to meet my students and teach them, at least twice per month, in various centers. As you can see at a glance, all these responsibilities are quite demanding and they obviously pose a big challenge to my writing career. A writer requires ample time and concentration in order to come up with a good content. Though the author lives in his or her own world of imagination during the writing sessions, he or she cannot run away from the real life's demanding responsibilities.
Published 2015-04-18.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Soliloquist (Two)
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 11,220. Language: English. Published: December 7, 2017. Categories: Nonfiction » Literary criticism » African
In this timely masterpiece, the Soliloquist who wants his name to remain anonymous is a disturbed and disheartened man who has been gripped by strong emotions of life’s experiences. He therefore deems it necessary to express his heartaches and headaches of life to his imaginary audience.
The Soliloquist (One)
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 7,340. Language: English. Published: June 21, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Literary criticism » African
In this timely masterpiece, the Soliloquist who wants his name to remain anonymous is a disturbed and disheartened man who has been gripped by strong emotions of his life’s experiences. He therefore deems it necessary to express his heartaches and headaches of life to his imaginary audience.
The Drunkard
You set the price! Words: 8,890. Language: English. Published: April 17, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Short Description of the Drunkard Vilomena Mukenu, the wife of Jooseph Kakumbi, is disillusioned by her husband’s hopeless lifestyle and as a result, her loath towards him takes a firm grip in her heart. Joseph Kakumbi shifts the buck of his drunkenness to his late grandfather and parents. However, it is quite evident that he cannot stop drinking!
The Virgin
You set the price! Words: 13,420. Language: English. Published: February 4, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Psychological thriller
Christina Avia is an innocent and a simple village girl whose decorum is of a rare rating. She is also a well disciplined school girl and a devout Christian. Nevertheless, she is not immune to the inevitable forces of nature and consequently, the curtain of her life falls prematurely and unexpectedly.
The Stranger & Other Poems
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 12,550. Language: American English. Published: August 4, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » African Poetry
The Stranger and Other Poems is indeed a collection of inspiring and enriched poetry which powerfully grips and rivets the reader’s attention. As the reader progresses cautiously in the process of reading this masterpiece, he or she is treated to an apparent mood of tangible ecstasy.
The Moving Mouth
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 23,170. Language: English. Published: January 10, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
The Moving Mouth (Mary Ndunge) nurtures the unquenchable urge to exact evident revenge for her daughter's untimely and mysterious death. Mary Ndunge (alias "The Moving Mouth") is consumed by a relentless desire to exterminate the lives of her close neighbors because she strongly believes that they played an evil role of killing her only beloved daughter (Sabina), through the powers of sorcery.
The Maid
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 59,650. Language: American English. Published: June 26, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
Naivety and sophistication dwell in the minds of people. But their repercussions to the society come with immense blows of societal tumbling in all aspects of life. Regina "the maid" is portrayed as a beautiful young girl. The society underestimates her simple background and consequently laments for this. It forgets that even the most innocent child can turn to be as weird as an angel of light.