Interview with Karang'ae Chege

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Oh! Yes. I wrote the first story when I was in Class Four. It was about a huge monster that went on swallowing people.
What is your writing process?
Whenever a story comes in my mind, I record it in points so that it may not get lost. That way I can weave it in prose whenever I get time or inspiration.
How do you approach cover design?
I sketch it and then give it to my artist. Sometimes I do the whole work myself, but this is usually whenever I am assisting somebody else to self publish.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
I like cartoons most. Tintin is my best. The color, the wit of the main character and that guy "thousand of blistering barnacles". The entire stories. I like the classic Treasure Island since I was a boy and now I am older. The characters are just real. The author's descriptions make you smell the scenes and feel them. I can read Robinson Crusoe if I get it again. It's just nostalgic. Takes you on a voyage of aloneness where you can be free and creative for as long as you wish. Nyota ya Rehema, a Swahili one. The characterisation, the language, the style, the revolution. Meja Mwangi's The Cockroach Dance is the most hilarious I ever read. At times I meet Dusman along Kirinyaga Road in Nairobi. Instead of doing my studies at O Level, I read all James Hadley Chase, Nick Carter and James Bond. Harold Robbin was my other best author. And on spirituality, The Science of Mind. Earnest Holmes was in tune with the infinite, as another great write described him as well. And still on that note, Our Ultimate Reality by my friend on Facebook, Adrian Cooper. A huge tome that you can not lay down, has all the answers to questions I ask myself.
What do you read for pleasure?
Mostly stuff from the internet. E-books and those comics I mentioned above.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I still use the laptop or the desktop. Whenever I have a good phone, I use it.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Using the social media. I merchandise as much as possible. Smashwords does the other job.
Describe your desk
Cyber cafe or a hotel. I never get peace at home.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
In a village near Thika and in the towns, mostly Nairobi in Kenya where for a while I stayed in the streets. I also lived in several other towns in the world. That way, my characters may swing from the village to the metropolitan within no time.
When did you first start writing?
Around 1990. I wrote Swahili poems for the Radio and also scripts for the same.
What's the story behind your latest book?
It's a romance. Somebody loves a girl who is not readily available. After a drama they finally marry. You should read it. It is called Mtaka cha Mvunguni. Somebody is doing the translation for it in Arabic and English.
Published 2014-10-30.
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